The business benefits of server-side rendering
There’s a number of reasons why a development team might choose to use server-side rendering. Chief among them is improved SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Web crawlers get access to a fully rendered page, so you don’t run the risk of them skipping over content that takes too long to load. In fact, the waiting time before content shows up is just as important to the human users of your app, particularly those with older devices or slow internet. Thanks to SSR, they can enjoy the full experience much quicker and are less likely to get discouraged from interacting with your site. Depending on your business, this can have a profound effect on conversion rates.
What is Server Side Rendering?
It might seem like rendering a modern web page shouldn’t be that much work for a browser, but a step-by-step breakdown shows a different story. Scripts need to be downloaded, parsed and ran. Often, there’s data to be retrieved for the app to work properly (e.g. various graphical elements). Finally, the app is rendered in an empty container, and the user can interact with it.
SSR changes things from the first step forward. The HTML sent by the server is already rendered. Then it’s time to download, parse and run scripts, as well as retrieve necessary data. Finally, the HTML (again, already rendered!) is made interactive for the user, who doesn’t have to wait for everything to load completely before they see something meaningful. It’s important to note that the user technically has to wait the same amount of time to begin interacting with the app. But the perceived waiting time is shorter. It might sound small, but in a world as impatient as ours, even a fraction of a second can become a big business advantage.
All three of the presented frameworks are perfectly viable options if you’re building a server side rendered app. If you need to make a choice between them, your decision will most likely depend on the frameworks’ other advantages and your team’s familiarity with them.
Want to know which framework is best for your app? iRonin’s team has been using React, Angular and Vue.js in many commercial projects. Our philosophy is to always choose the best tool for the job.