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Matthias Andrasch
Matthias Andrasch

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NodeJS Server Side Rendering (SSR) - do we really need it?

I already blogged about this briefly. Now Theo ( delivered a new, brilliant summary about this topic:

The video covers React and React Server Components as example.

Here was my blog post about Rich Harris take on this regarding SvelteKit development:

Rich Harris explains why SvelteKit pushes for Server Side Rendering (and against SPA / CSR)

One of the big questions regarding this is: Will NodeJS SSR in future be as easily and cheaply available as todays widespread PHP hosting?

Btw: There are great news regarding Hosting NodeJS with Server Side Rendering in the EU 🇪🇺:

Green Webspace hosting company Mittwald just announced support for NodeJS SSR on their SpaceServer offering. You can try it for free for 10 days here:

Mittwald SpaceServer

Beside the great sustainability efforts by Mittwald the GDPR-compliance of this offering is a big plus for customer projects.

(This is not a sponsored post, I'm just a fan of their work)

I'll try this out next and post about it on

If you are interested in SSR-hosting and GDPR, you could also check out this tutorial: Host SvelteKit apps with SSR-support via (on Hetzner Cloud)

Another easy and fast way of trying out SSR hosting is still Vercel, next to some other US services like, etc.

What are your experiences with NodeJS SSR hosting? Let me know in the comments! 🤗

Top comments (7)

marcus-sa profile image
Marcus S. Abildskov

For enterprise apps it's irrelevant, hence why Angular is still king here.
For consumer/user facing apps, SSR is very much needed for a better experience.

bobbyconnolly profile image
Bobby Connolly

I feel like this can be a good approach for certain apps, and a terrible one for others. For "shallow" apps like a marketing website, it's perfect. For accounting software, it's a disaster waiting to happen. For complicated apps, you want to modularize! Next kind of does the opposite with server components

brianmcbride profile image
Brian McBride

In most cases SSG is better.

mandrasch profile image
Matthias Andrasch

Thx for comment! I'm a fan of the SSG idea, but it is more complex to setup. If you have a headless WordPress blog for example, you need to re-trigger the build after content changes. If it has many sites, you want incremental rebuilds... Can get complex rather fast. My current opinion is that SSR is a much simpler concept for dealing with APIs, etc. ...

brianmcbride profile image
Brian McBride

I hear you. Yeah, it is simpler. It is slower, if you are going to query your DB on every request. Of course, you can cache those pages, but then you need the complexity in invalidating the cache when your CMS changes.

At some point, what is the value of replacing Wordpress with NextJS if we are doing exactly the same thing? To be clear, I'm not a fan of PHP and I hope it goes away someday. Still, if we are going to lean heavy into SSR and that is the future, I start to think about really fast server tech stacks. Blazor or some Rust solution. If we are generating HTML with no to very minimal javascript, why even bother with React? Again, to clarify, TS/Node is my go-to stack. So I am heavy invested there. But we are doing all this for speed right? Trying to make everything just a bit faster? With that logic, Node is slower than Rust and C#/.NET.

Finally, all this heavy SSR tooling is completely throwing out the reason we put logic into the clients in the first place. Internet connections still suck. While a horrible name, the point of the PWA combined with apis and offline-first approach continues to be of interest to me.

Thread Thread
mandrasch profile image
Matthias Andrasch • Edited

Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts on that, much appreciated!

Good point regards complexity of caching for SSR, have to dig deeper into this, no experience yet.

Maybe just one quick response to one aspect:

"But we are doing all this for speed right?"

Personally I'm interested in building robust, long term maintainable websites with good developer experience and following the "keep it simple"-approach as much as possible. Speed and performance (+ SEO, accessibility and sustainability) are key indicator as well of course. But I guess that depends on the area of work. Worked recently in a small agency dev team and having everything in one repo seemed to be a simple, maintainable approach - in contrast to all other setups. (Especially when the database is available as well - just like in PHP/MySQL webhosting - exactly what Vercel is now offering as combined product as well [vercels pricing model is debatable of course ;-)] Hope that more hosting companies will offer SSR in future, recently tested mittwald

610470416 profile image

HTML is always rendered by browser not server.