If you’re in either boat, you’re in the right place. Continue reading to learn the difference between client-side rendering and server-side rendering, or jump to a specific section.
Think of client-side rendering like ordering furniture from IKEA. IKEA doesn’t send the furniture to your house already assembled. Instead, they send you the parts that you have to assemble once they arrive at your house.
Because all the burden of rendering content is on the client (i.e. person or bot trying to view your page), client-side rendering is the cheaper option for the website owner because it reduces the load on their own servers.
Client-side rendering has two main downsides.
Related Resource: Page Speed & SEO: How Load Time Affects Bots and Humans Differently
Sending fully-rendered pages to search engine bots also means that you’re not risking the “partial indexing” that can happen with client-side rendered content. When Google and other search engine bots try to access your page, instead of having to wait for rendering resources to become available before seeing your full page, they’ll get the fully-rendered page right from the get-go.
Between the two options, server-side rendering is better for SEO than client-side rendering. This is because server-side rendering can speed up page load times, which not only improves the user experience, but can help your site rank better in Google search results.
But what if you can’t afford to implement server-side rendering? Or you don’t have the technical resources to execute it?
Thankfully, there’s a third option.
Dynamic rendering is a hybrid of client-side and server-side rendering.
It works like this.
When a search engine bot tries to access a page, the website sends over a fully-rendered page. But when a human tries to access a page, their browser has to render the page.
This Google-approved rendering option is preferred by many because it:
There are a few ways you can do this: