Client or Server Side? How Your Website Should Render
Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn. Every industry has a series of questions that are almost guaranteed to provoke arguments among professionals. Web design is no different. At risk of provoking one of those arguments, we’re going to weigh in on one of the central debates of web design: what’s better, client side or server side rendering?
As with any of these debates, the answer is “Depends.” In this case, it depends on what kind of site you’re running and who is designing and hosting it. Since you’re watching this, you probably have a site for your car dealership and in that case, the answer is clear.
You want server side rendering, which is what we provide for DealerOn websites.
The difference between server side and client side rendering boils down to who is loading your website when you get a visitor. A server side render means that we are loading the site on our end and delivering it in completed form to your visitors. This has several key benefits to their experience as well as SEO.
It delivers dynamic information as static HTML.
When search engines look over your site’s code, they are often unable to recognize dynamic content, seeing it instead as placeholder names that would be populated by specifics on a customer-facing page. For example, your sites might have “Make” and “Model” as placeholders in the design code, expecting customers to put the make and model of their choice, and allowing the site to populate the page with specifics. If the site is client side rendered, then the search engine will see this code and therefore might miss your site in a specific search. If the render is on the server side, the entire site will be loaded before the search engine categorizes it. Your SEO gets a boost and your customers get the experience they want.
The render is faster.
Because we’re doing the render on our side, the site loads faster. As you know, load times are a big part of SEO and user experience. As long as the company doing the render has invested in the equipment to do it well, and DealerOn has, the server side render is better.
It reduces or eliminates speed related budget issues.
In a client-side render, Google has to load the site in two phases. Practically, this means that the load takes extra time. Once loaded, there’s a chance that your dynamic elements will be missing, and Google might miss pages entirely. A server side render saves you this trouble.
As you might have guessed, at DealerOn, all of our sites are rendered on the server side. We’ve invested in our infrastructure so that your load times will be fast, and our dynamic programming means that your customers will always find exactly what they want.
That’s all the time we have for today’s workshop. As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next week for another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.