If you’ve ever used the internet, you’ve probably experienced server-side rendering and client-side rendering, even if you didn’t know it. These two techniques are essential to web development, and understanding them can help you appreciate the web browsing experience a little more.
Frameworks that utilize SSR and CSR
Some popular web frameworks that utilize CSR include React, Vue, and Angular. Although these three frameworks are used to create client-side applications by default, it is now possible to render server-side [1, 2, 3]. These frameworks allow developers to build complex and dynamic web applications that rely heavily on client-side rendering. As the creators of React, it’s no wonder Facebook uses CSR with React to update its news feed, profiles, and other features without having to refresh the page. Similarly Twitter uses CSR with React to update its feed and allow users to interact with tweets and other content in real-time. Gmail uses Angular to update its interface and allow users to navigate their inbox and compose new messages without needing to reload the page. Airbnb ses React to display search results, allow users to filter and sort listings and book reservations in real-time. Spotify and Netflix use React to update their interface and allow users to browse and stream music or video content without having to refresh the page.
In contrast, some popular frameworks that utilize SSR include Next.js, Nuxt.js, and Gatsby. These frameworks allow developers to build web applications that prioritize fast initial load times and search engine optimization. AT&T is built using Next.js allowing for an optimized user experience. Shopify uses SSR with Ruby on Rails to generate the HTML pages that make up its online store platform. LinkedIn uses SSR with the Play Framework to create the professional social network platform.
In general, you would choose to use SSR when you want to optimize for initial load times and search engine optimization, and you would choose to use CSR when you want to build a highly interactive and dynamic client-side application. However, there may be situations where you would want to use a combination of both techniques to achieve the best results. For example, you might use SSR for the initial page load and then switch to CSR for subsequent user interactions.
Server-side rendering and client-side rendering are both essential techniques in web development. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each technique, you can make informed decisions about which technique to use in your web development projects.
Featured Image by Ismail Enes Ayhan