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Server-side vs client-side

We break down what these two phrases mean in the web development world.


Posted August 18, 2022


Server-side means the server machine that is serving the website to you.

You can see the moment your browser is asking the server for information using Google Chrome.

A website loading

Before that loading circle turns into a color, your browser is waiting for the website's server to build and respond with its data.

A server loaded website

Once you see color in the loading circle, the website's server is sending you its data.


Client-side is - you! Your device that is viewing the website is considered the client.

Server-side rendered applications

An example of a server-side rendered application would be right here at Kahu Software! This example may be hard to catch. Within the first split second of loading our website, you will notice an immediate render that contains information before images get their chance to load.

A screenshot of our server-side rendering in effect

This practice is great for Search Engine Optimization. This allows crawling robots to see our data immediately giving us a higher rank on the search engine. It is also a great user experience practice to keep the user engaged immediately.

Client-side rendered applications

Next, the rest of the site is "hydrated" into that skeleton using a client-side rendered application.

A hydrated Kahu Software

A client-side rendered application is ran off of the user's device at that point. When the website loads, the minimal assets required are cached into the user's browser. Every subsequent click afterward is already "loaded" saving everyone bandwidth. It also helps that our website is less than a megabyte to load the entire thing.

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