Server Side Rendering SEO Vs Client Side Rendering SEO

Team TypeStack
Team TypeStack ...
Nov 29, 2022  . 9 min read
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Server side rendering vs client side rendering - TypeStack
Server side rendering vs client side rendering - TypeStack
Table of Content

JavaScript is becoming dominant in the website building space.

The way Javascript is implemented can make a big difference in user experience and search engine ranking.

Well if you are wondering why you must learn about a scripting language? Because time is changing very fast and technology is moving at double the speed.

So you have to be informed to get the maximum benefit out of it. You need to be well informed about server-side rendering vs client-side rendering, their benefits, their pros and cons, and their working.

Don’t worry if you don't understand a word, just read along and you will find all the answers ahead.

First, let's see

What is rendering?

Let us understand what is rendering - TypeStack
Let us understand what is rendering - TypeStack

Rendering is a process that turns codes of scripting language into an interactive webpage that you see after clicking the page link. Users are the core of website design, and their preferences and opinions are given the utmost attention.

Rendering process smoothens the experience for visitors and eliminates all the possibilities for any mishap.

Rendering is categorized three ways

  • Client-side rendering
  • Server-side rendering
  • Dynamic rendering

What is client-side rendering?

What is client-side rendering - TypeStack
What is client-side rendering - TypeStack

Client-side rendering means the Javascript of the requested website is not rendered on the website’s server, rather it’s rendered on the client’s browser (as the name suggests client-side).

For example, you have ordered a bed. You receive your order, but the bed is in parts and you have to assemble it to make a complete bed. Now it's up to you i.e. the client as to how much the bed will deviate from the picture bed?

Client-side rendering is a default setting in the JavaScript framework. Just to let you know. If you want to know more about Client-side rendering, then read along with Q&A with Google’s Martin Splitt.

Benefits of client-side rendering

Benefits of client side rendering - TypeStack
Benefits of client side rendering - TypeStack

If you are looking for a cost-friendly option, then choose it because all the responsibility for rendering is on the one who is requesting the web page i.e. either visitor or bot.

Another feature that makes it a favorite is its default state for Javascript-coded websites. It's one of the reasons that doesn’t let website owners engage in a complex process.

Drawbacks of client-side rendering?

Drawbacks of client-side rendering
Drawbacks of client-side rendering

Here the drawback is that it will increase the chances of poor user experience. The full burden is on the client's browser, therefore, it might lead to more loading time.

Another disadvantage is the non-inclusion in Google’s index. There is a process called the second wave of indexing, which means the HTML of the page is primarily crawled and indexed then Javascript’s turn.

That results in sometimes leaving the Javascript content outside Google's index box.

Server-side rendering definition

What is server-side rendering - TypeStack
What is server-side rendering - TypeStack

If you want to understand what is server side rendering, it is just the opposite of client side rendering, here you won’t have to assemble your bed. It will be delivered to you in one piece.

Server side rendering means the JavaScript of the website requested is rendered on the website’s server, not on the client's browser.

With SSR, you get to view two different versions of the webpage i.e. Initial HTML and Rendered HTML. Rendered HTML is also called Direct Object Model i.e. DOM. Popular search engines like Google can only access the latter.

Therefore, to be visible to search engines, make sure the contents and key elements are rendered properly.

Benefits of server side rendering

Benefits of server side rendering - TypeStack
Benefits of server side rendering - TypeStack

If you are wondering, why server-side rendering? Mentioned below are the benefits of server  that will make you opt for it.

Because of its feature of rendering on the website’s server, the visitor and search engine bots both get to experience the faster page, which directly results in a better user experience, which gives you a plus point in the search engine ranking algorithm.

So far did you know that server-side rendering also indirectly affects your visibility and ranking?

Read further to know more about server-side rendering vs client-side rendering.

Disadvantages for others can be the advantage for you. Partial indexing is a problem in client-side rendering, which is completely eliminated in this because fully rendered pages are delivered to search engine bots. No one has to wait in line for the availability of rendering resources.

Server side rendering disadvantages

Server side rendering disadvantages - TypeStack
Server side rendering disadvantages - TypeStack

Server-side rendering seems to be a simple; however, its complexity increases in parallel with the application's complexity.

Following are some of the disadvantages of server-side rendering:

  • Server-side rendering is costly as compared to the other one. It becomes expensive due to its feature of rendering content on its servers for visitors and bots, all of these incur huge costs. Under CSR users are forced to pay, therefore they are cheap in comparison.
  • Another drawback is it is resource intensive. The engineering team needs to combine both hard work and smart work for its execution. Since it is not the default system under the JavaScript website.
  • Third-party JavaScript like reviews or product recommendation engines, will also not be rendered by the SSR. Links and specific contents will be invisible.
  • Make sure not to have content that highly includes UGC, otherwise, you will be invisible to bots.

What is dynamic rendering?

You have seen the definition of both, SSR & CSR, dynamic rendering is the combination of these both.

Confused. How does it work?

For both search engine bots and visitors, rendering is different. Whenever a search engine bot requests a web page, server side rendering features are activated. Whereas, when visitors request client-side rendering features are offered.

Dynamic rendering has solved every issue related either to SSR or CSR. No costlier, No partial indexing issue, and definitely no speed-related crawl budget issues, and also lets visitors take advantage of an interactive webpage which is possible due to Javascript.

John Mueller, who has introduced this hybrid concept, says “In a nutshell, dynamic rendering is the principle of sending normal, client-side rendered content to users, and sending fully server-side rendered content to search engines”.

Now you are well informed about all the aspects of rendering technique. So here is the most important question, server-side rendering vs client-side rendering? Which one to go for?

Here are some random tips that you can consider-

Server side rendering vs Client side rendering (SSR vs CSS)

Server side rendering vs Client side rendering - SSR vs CSS - TypeStack
Server side rendering vs Client side rendering - SSR vs CSS - TypeStack

Everything at the end comes to users only. To choose which option is best you need to keep the user experience in mind. As compared to client-side rendering, server-side rendering fastens the page load times, which adjacently improves site ranking on the web.

SEO experts also prefer SSR to avoid solving speed-related crawl budgets and partial indexing. Full responsibility of rendering Javascript off to bots is also eliminated.

Which type of website needs to worry about this?

All this information is beneficial for Javascript websites, not those that are purely written in HTML. In HTML websites, there is not any rendering process by visitors or bots.

Websites can be either full Javascript or full HTML or part Javascript part HTML. On the basis of coding, full Javascript websites remain blank unless they are rendered.

Websites that have coding part in Javascript and part in HTML, will be completely visible only after rendering. For that, you need to wisely choose the rendering services.

If you want to know more about this, check out Google Developer’s guide to “Understanding the Javascript SEO Basics”.

Audit of Javascript websites

It's better to diagnose the problems by yourself. If you wish to self-audit your Javascript websites for SEO issues, here are some suggestions-

  • Turn off the Javascript of the webpage using any browser extension and check whether Javascript elements are still visible or not If not, then there is a Javascript SEO issue. This option is shown as “Disable Javascript” in any of the browser extensions.
  • Identify Javascript-induced content in the webpage, and copy that specific content into Google search. If your webpage doesn’t appear in search results, then your webpage is in trouble.
  • Compare an HTML-only crawl and a Javascript-enabled crawl to highlight the SEO issues in the whole website. Use both options for better understanding, with and without Javascript enabled. You can give it a shot to SiteCrawler.
  • You can also use Google search console’s URL Inspection tool to identify Javascript SEO issues. Take a demo by running a page, then click the view crawled page option and see the results. If the whole page is not appearing, then you have got to fix some leakages.

Conclusion

Just writing content is not enough, you have to see how and in which way that content is received by the end user. Rendering is a bit technical stuff, but this is changing the SEO strategies and practices. SEO experts pay attention to server-side and client-side rendering while planning and plotting.

If your website is fully coded in JavaScript, then server-side rendering is the suitable option, it won’t create hurdles in the visibility and ranking of your web page. SSR smoothens the path of presenting the webpage as you want and eliminates all the burden that comes on visitors or bots.

Though Dynamic rendering is also an option, it will only make things more complex for website owners. Keep it simple.

If you didn’t know where to start? Start from TypeStack which is offering SSR services. You can get more information on their website.

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