What is Rendering?
This process usually happens in real time whenever users access a web page. For each user interaction, the page will be re-rendered to update the displayed content.
There are different types of rendering, and the most common ones include:
Static rendering is the process of prerendering content into static HTML files before users request them. This typically takes place during the build or deployment period of a website. It also means that the created static HTML files won’t change until the next build or update.
Server-side rendering (SSR)
As the name suggests, the rendering process (generating a full HTML page) of server-side rendering (SSR) occurs on the server when a user agent requests a particular web page. The browser only receives ready-to-display content, allowing users to see the page without additional processing on their device.
Client-side rendering (CSR)
Another rendering type you may also have heard of is prerendering. This will be discussed in the next section.
What is Prerendering?
Prerendering is a technique where the static version of a web page is generated and cached in advance at build time or during runtime. These pre-built pages are stored and served whenever a user agent requests them.
The definition of prerendering above may sound similar to static rendering; that’s because prerendering is a subset of static rendering. They’re both aimed to serve pre-generated static HTML files to improve website performance.
To implement this, your servers must be capable of distinguishing between human users and bots, caching the fully rendered page versions, and executing the rendering process.
Related: Optimize SPA for crawling and indexing by following this guide.
Here’s the comparison of prerendering, SSR, static rendering, and hydration in detail.
The content first needs to go through the rendering process before indexing. This is why many heavy JS-based websites adopt a workaround, such as prerendering.
Through prerendering, JS content is rendered into its static HTML version in advance. So, when Googlebot requests it, it can seamlessly index the content. Not only does this ensure that every page element (including the vital SEO elements) is indexed perfectly, but it also cuts the crawling and indexing time in half.
In addition, prerendering also improves the following Core Web Vital scores, a set of crucial technical SEO metrics:
- Faster LCP (Largest Contentful Paint)
When users access a page, they receive ready-to-serve static files, leading to quicker rendering and improved LCP metrics.
- Shorter FID (First Input Delay)
Since the browser has less work to do on the client side, it can quickly display the page and respond to user interactions without needing additional processing. Consequently, the FID is improved.
- Better CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift)
Because the content isn’t generated per request, it minimizes layout shifts, leading to better CLS.
- Lower TTFB (Time to First Byte)
There is less data fetching required in static rendering pages, resulting in reduced server load and improved TTFB, which contributes to faster page loading times.
Now, what are the available prerendering solutions?
As an enterprise SEO rendering solution trusted by 65k developers and marketers across the globe, Prerender is an excellent choice.
Then, the tool will feed this ready-to-crawl content to the search engine bot, facilitating a seamless crawling and indexing process. As for requests from human users, they are redirected through the standard server routes, allowing them to enjoy the interactive JS web elements.
Compared to standard SSR, hydration, and static rendering, prerendering comes with more benefits. For starters, you don’t need to change your tech stack to install Prerender. As a plug-and-play solution, it requires near-zero development time and costs. And when your website demands more prerendering service, we grow with you. Simply contact us to adjust your plan.
Prerender helps you balance healthy SEO scores and an immersive user experience—a smart solution to fix enterprise SEO rendering issues.
Start with Prerender today!