Changing SEO Practice – Server-Side Vs Client-Side

Earlier the web pages used to show just the static content. In that era, the web pages were static or plain web pages wherein there was no room for interaction.

The main idea behind hosting those websites was just to help people know about the company and its products to increase sales.

As a result, the only option to present HTML to the screen was through server-side rendering. It was the single method to load HTML to a server and it was converted into useful documents by the server for the users.

In today’s modern world the entire concept has changed. Nowadays most websites are not just meant to present static pages with content but they are just like applications portrayed as websites.

The interaction is possible through websites as you can send messages, shop, update your information online and a lot of other online activities can be done. Hence, server-side rendering is gradually going out of the picture and it is slowly getting replaced by an efficient client-side rendering method.

SEO has changed the way the websites are built these days. Certainly, search engines change strategies to weigh every website and that makes us change Magento SEO strategies for e-commerce websites.

Which approach is the right one for you?

Now whether to choose server-side rendering (SSR) or client-side rendering (CSR) depends on the purpose of developing a website. So, make sure you consider the advantages and disadvantages to decide the right option to move ahead.

Let us understand each of the concepts to help you make an informed decision.

Server-Side Rendering

If you are not aware of what exactly server-side rendering is then it is a process wherein the user sends a request to the webpage and the server creates an HTML page by gathering user-oriented data. Next, it sends it to the user’s device online.

Now the browser interprets the content and shows up the page. The entire process of data collection from the database, creation of an HTML page, and sending it to the specific client takes place in just milliseconds.

Suppose a user clicks a particular link on a page. This lets the browser send the request to the server and the rest of the process is performed by the server. This process not only increases the burden on the server but also eats up a lot of internet bandwidth.

Client-Side Rendering

Now, let us understand what is CSR that is client-side rendering? It is a modern technique to render websites. It is rendering the content in a specific browser with the help of JavaScript.

The process of fetching the content from the HTML document, the basic HTML document having a JavaScript file is received in its initial stage of loading and it renders the remaining site with the help of the browser.

The starting phase of page-load in client-side rendering seems to be quite low. But, after that each page load becomes fast.

This approach is flexible as the interaction with the server occurs only for fetching run-time data. Also, you don’t need to reload the whole UI post each request to the server.

The CSR framework is efficient to update UI with changed information. It is possible by rendering that specific DOM element only.

Some of the popular examples of client-side rendering are Angular & React.js.

SEO involvement in SSR and CSR

The SEO involvement of SSR and CSR differs as in SSR the entire HTML content exists in source code. It indicates that the search engine can easily request, crawl & index the site instantly. This results in a faster time in ranking and appearing in search results.

Most professional Magento SEO services understand the fact that the HTML that needs to be indexed is unmasked when JavaScript is rendered completely on the client-side. Hence, it takes a couple of hours to almost a week to crawl, index, and start ranking in search results.

So, having an SEO friendly Magento store needs you to consider the right SEO technique to help your site rank in search engines.

Let us have a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches (SSR and CSR) so that it becomes easy for you to take the right decision.

Advantages – Server-Side rendering

  • Search engines are efficient enough to crawl the website for enhanced SEO
  • Perfect for static websites
  • The initial stage of page load is fast

Disadvantages

  • Constant server requests
  • The entire page reloads
  • Page rendering is slow initially
  • Site interactions are not efficient

Advantages – Client-side rendering

  • Ideal for web applications
  • Efficient website communications
  • Faster page load after initial page load
  • Powerful collection of JavaScript libraries.

Disadvantages

  • Weak SEO when not executed correctly
  • Needs external library in most cases
  • Initial page load may need extended time

After knowing the advantages and the disadvantages of each approach you need to understand the right structure to implement them.

When do you need server-side rendering?

  • An application having basic UI and a few pages or features
  • The site content needs more of reading than written interaction
  • The dynamic data is less in an application
  • The goal is not on affluent site and comprises few users only

When do you need client-side rendering?

  • An application comprises a complex user interface having plenty of features and pages
  • The site content needs more interaction than just reading
  • The dynamic data is large in an application
  • The goal is on the affluent site with a huge of users

The overall conclusion is that server-side rendering is a set of ready-made elements whereas client-side rendering is setting up everything from scratch to put it in place.

Now, it is your decision whether you need a ready-made one or wish to assemble to make it fit your needs. Certainly, your decision will help you generate revenues for your business. So, take some time to plan it well and analyze how it is going to be beneficial for your business.

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