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Server Side Rendering (SSR)

Server Side Rendering (SSR) is a technique used in web development where the server renders the HTML of a web page and sends it to the client, resulting in faster loading times and improved SEO.

What is Server Side Rendering (SSR)?

Server Side Rendering (SSR) is a web development technique where the HTML of webpages is rendered on the server and then sent to the client. This approach contrasts with Client Side Rendering (CSR), where rendering occurs on the client's browser using JavaScript. SSR sends a fully rendered page to the client, thus reducing the time needed for the browser to interpret and display the content.

A remarkable advantage of SSR is the speed at which users can see the content. For instance, when using SSR, server-side operations generate the HTML, CSS, and other resources before they arrive at the user's browser. This process decreases the Time-to-First-Byte (TTFB), one of the essential SEO metrics.

SSR is particularly beneficial for services that need rapid initial load times and better Search Engine Optimization (SEO) performance, as pre-rendered HTML pages are easier for search engine bots to crawl. Examples include e-commerce websites, news platforms, blogs, and large portals with dynamic content.

How Does Server Side Rendering Work?

  1. Request: A user's browser requests a webpage.
  2. Server-Side Rendering: The server processes the request, executes the application's logic, fetches the data, and generates an HTML page on the fly.
  3. Response: The server sends the fully rendered HTML, along with CSS and JavaScript resources, to the client's browser.
  4. Display: The browser presents the content to the user immediately, even as JavaScript continuously improves the page by allowing for dynamic interaction as needed.

By shifting the rendering process server-side, the user experiences a swift initial load and seamless interaction henceforth.

Benefits of Server Side Rendering

1. Improved Performance

SSR drastically reduces the time required for users to view the content because the server sends pre-rendered pages. This decrease in TTFB enhances user experience, especially for users in regions with slower internet connections or using low-performance devices.

2. Enhanced SEO

For search engine bots, pre-rendered HTML pages are easier to crawl and index, making SSR an excellent choice for enhancing a site's SEO performance. Even in scenarios where the internet connection is poor or JavaScript is disabled in the browser, the content remains accessible.

3. Better Accessibility

SSR ensures that all content is accessible right away, including for screen readers and other assistive technologies, improving Accessibility and user experience for all users.

Downsides and Considerations of SSR

While SSR offers distinct advantages, developers should consider a few downsides:

1. Increased Server Load

Since rendering occurs server-side, it places additional load on the server, possibly leading to slower performance under high traffic unless the server infrastructure scales dynamically.

2. Complexity

Integrating SSR requires more sophistication than client-side approaches. Debugging and development can become more complex when dealing with server-side code and continuous data flow.

Popular Frameworks that Support SSR

Several modern JavaScript frameworks support SSR, streamlining the process for developers:

  • Next.js: Provides seamless SSR alongside other techniques like Static Site Generation (SSG) and Incremental Static Regeneration (ISR).
  • Nuxt: A framework built on top of Vue.js, enabling easy integration of SSR in Vue applications.
  • SvelteKit: Built on Svelte, this framework offers a robust SSR solution.
  • Angular Universal: Extends Angular applications to server-side rendering effortlessly.
  • Remix: A new addition to the ecosystem, Remix focuses on a user-first approach, ensuring robust SSR capabilities.

Server Side Rendering vs. Client Side Rendering

Comparing SSR with CSR highlights the former's edge in several areas:


With SSR, the server renders pages faster and the content appears almost instantly, regardless of the user's device or internet speed. In contrast, CSR relies heavily on JavaScript to load the content, which may delay rendering, especially on slower devices.


SSR ensures better SEO as search engines can easily crawl pre-rendered HTML, whereas CSR relies on JavaScript execution, posing challenges for search engine bots in analyzing the content.


CSR is generally more scalable than SSR as the server offloads the rendering task to the client. This is advantageous for websites experiencing massive traffic fluctuations.

Integrating SSR with wisp for Enhanced Web Performance

If you aim to harness the power of SSR while managing your content efficiently, the wisp CMS offers seamless integration options. With wisp, you can manage your content effortlessly while benefiting from SSR's advantages to deliver fast, SEO-friendly web experiences.

External Resources

For further reading, you can explore related terms like Client Side Rendering (CSR), Incremental Static Regeneration (ISR) and Next.js.