Client Side Rendering vs Server Side Rendering

Client Side Rendering vs Server Side Rendering for Web Application Development

When a user types a website’s URL into a browser’s search bar, a request is sent to the website’s server, and a web application delivers the requested page from the server to the browser. From there, subsequent pages are either delivered directly from the server (server-side rendering), or JavaScript is executed in the browser on your computer, making website content deliverable directly from the browser (client-side rendering). While most web users don’t really notice much difference between server-side rendering (SSR) or client-side rendering (SSR), for developers, deciding whether to configure a web app for CSR or SSR often poses a dilemma. 

SSR vs CSR

SSR vs CSR

Server-side rendering is a well-established traditional approach for displaying a web application’s content. It converts HTML files housed on the server into useful information, which is then sent back to the browser and displayed on the user’s screen in a matter of milliseconds.

With client-side rendering, after the initial source is loaded into the browser, website content is rendered entirely in the browser, eliminating the need for a different HTML page per route . With CSS, the browser only communicates with the server to obtain run-time data, and the user interface (UI) does not have to reload for each call to the server. While the initial page load speed is slower for the first page, it speeds up for subsequent pages. 

Neither CSR or SSR is superior to the other, and both have their strengths and weaknesses The choice comes down to the project’s specific priorities and use cases. Progressive web applications (PWAs) can be developed with either approach, although

ssr vs csr

dynamic content that is continually refreshed (think Instagram) is better served by CSR. Static pages perform just as well with more traditional SSR, and may fare better on search engines, since SSR is more accessible to crawlers and bots. 


ssr app

The Role of JavaScript

In the past, complete HTML pages had to be prepared on a server before they were sent to a browser for rendering, which is classic SSR. JavaScript frameworks changed all that by making it possible to render dynamic content directly from the browser. Using JavaScript, developers are now able to create web applications that are rendered entirely on the client side, which handles all data retrieval, logic, templating and routing. This eliminates the need for a different HTML page per route, and allows for dynamic rendering of each route on the client side, directly in the browser. 

CSR requires the loading of resources like HTML, CSS and JavaScript only one time over the lifespan of a web application. Once loaded, the browser executes JavaScript to retrieve dynamic data from the server. Thanks to JavaScript, data is the only element transmitted back and forth between browser and server on CSR web apps.

Differences Between CSR vs SSR Web Apps

Main Differences Between CSR vs SSR Web Apps

  1. Page Loading Speed: The time that elapses between a browser request and a server rendering is the page load time. While fast and slow are relative terms, a page that loads extremely slowly can negatively affect user experience. For SSR, page access is relatively fast across the board, while the loading speed of a site’s initial page is a bit slow with CSR, but speeds up with additional pages. 
  2. Caching: A cache is a temporary storage location for files so they can be quickly accessed. Both browsers and servers use caching mechanisms for a user’s reusable scripts, speeding up both CSR and SSR. The key difference is that CSR web apps can run without an Internet connection once they are rendered in the browser, while SSR apps require a connection to send requests to the server.

SEO: Search engines use automated bots to crawl your website’s metadata to understand its content. That information is used to rank your page in the SE’s results listing. SSR pages are inherently optimized for search bots, since they already contain all their metadata. CSR pages, on the other hand, use plugins or

library modules to execute metadata for each page with JavaScript, meaning metadata is changed from one page to another, making it less friendly to search crawlers.

Which to Choose: SSR vs CSR

Which to Choose: SSR vs CSR

As frameworks become more sophisticated and efficient, and as web applications become more dynamic and interactive, developers are drifting more toward CSR for web applications. With CSR, developers only have to think about the client code, since the app’s functionality is not married to the server. But CSR is not necessary or preferable for every app. In cases where time-to-content and SEO are critical, SSR may be a better choice.

Web Application Development at Tateeda

Web Application Development at Tateeda

As web app development matures, a growing number of tools and options are available to developers. To build a high-quality web application that performs flawlessly, you need a development team with experience that understands the use cases and advantages of various frameworks, languages and tools, and how they interact with one another. 

The software development professionals at Tateeda have the experience and expertise necessary to leverage the best tools and practices for software development. Contact us today, and let us build a custom web application that meets and exceeds your requirements and expectations.


Igor Kravchuk

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