What is server side rendering and why you need it on your site?

What is server side rendering and why you need it on your site?

New technologies continue to empower us to create better web products using browsers and Javascript. 

Server-side rendering (or SSR) has proved to be one of the most modern approaches to web application development. It allows you to make your site or web app much faster, and more accessible, convenient and scalable than ever before.

Background of Server-Side Rendering

Server-side rendering has been around for as long as server programming languages such as Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby. Every time you navigate to another route, the server has to do the work all over again. It gets the PHP file, compiles it, and delivers the HTML, with all the CSS and JS delaying the page load to a few hundred ms or even seconds.

The data is retrieved and formatted in an HTML list on the server. When viewing the page in a browser, you don’t have to wait for any JavaScript to be run. All the requests to your server return as fully rendered HTML, so the data is already available, and you can see it straight away. 

This is great for everyone, including search engines and social media. The data is already available in the source of the page, so web crawlers such as Google or even Facebook can parse this content and display search results or link previews.

SSR provides two benefits: 

  • Faster times for rendering the initial page 
  • Fully indexable HTML pages

The SSR solution enables you to do the first-page load and then use a framework to perform dynamic routing with AJAX, retrieving only the data you need.  

SSR is getting more and more traction within the community because React has popularized this problem with an easy-to-use solution: The RenderToString method.

Next.JS and Gatsby.JS are the two main frameworks widely used for SSR with React. 

These two solutions allow seamless SSR work and enable your site to transit to a new tech stack and get an immense speed increase. 

Gatsby.JS and JamStack Technologies

Gatsby.JS is primarily designed to work with JamStack and generate static files. It works much faster than any other framework, providing the best development speeds and results.

The only limitation of this technology is the number of static pages generated: according to our calculations, you could comfortably end up working with resources of up to 5000 pages, or possibly up to 10,000 with additional settings, and more extensive resources have to be shared in some way.

Learn more about this technology: What is JamStack, Gatsby, and how can it improve your Web Experience?

In the case of more resources, Next.JS technology should be considered.

Server Side Rendering with Next.JS

With SSR, you get a high speed initial page opening and the ability to quickly master modern technologies and migrate to the current stack. You can even use your existing platform Backend, such as WordPress, Drupal, or Magento to manage your content.

5 Benefits of NEXT.JS as an SSR Platform

Performance

Rendering can take a long time on slower devices and may end up in a degraded experience. A more powerful server can help minimize the time users spend waiting and ensure your conversion rate does not suffer.

Optimization 

Your pages become easily indexable by search engines and previewable on social media platforms. SSR allows you to take your SEO to the next level and sidestep the issue entirely with Next.js.

Fast Delivery

With SSR, you get reduced bandwidth consumption and lower latency, which are vital for an improved mobile experience. Using server-side rendering for initial data prefetching and building pages critically decreases the number of round trips required to view your site.  

Incrementally Adopt

Next.js can be incorporated into any existing application. It provides complete multi-zone support for exposing multiple deployments under a single domain.

Scalability 

Next.js also supports serverless builds out of the box and can output an SSR-equipped lambda for each page, which can be used instantly for platforms like Now 2.0.

Server-side rendering without static page generation will run a little slower, but is much faster than Backend platform generators. Also, you will get all the necessary technology headsets to grow your business, such as headless eCommerce.

How Next.JS Is Used

This technology is now used on projects of different scales and is gaining popularity. If you have an extensive database of pages and want to experience the full benefits of the transition, look for it.

This technology is now used on projects of different scales and is gaining popularity. If you have an extensive database of pages and want to experience the full benefits of the transition, look for it.

Which Companies Are Actively Using This Technology

Netflix Jobs

Twitch!

AT&T Official Site

Uber Marketplace

Hilton Hotels and Resorts

Marvel

How Much Does It Cost to Switch to SSR  

The cost of transferring your business to SSR depends on the existing platform that your company uses. 

You can look at our approximate calculations for the transition to this technology for different types of solutions:

How much does it cost to switch to  Headless  eCommerce.

Check out the benefits of JamStack and Gatsby technologies.

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