Server or clientside rendering


Background story: I’m looking to create a website for a family member who has a crafting business (hopefully shouldn’t be any carts involved, just simply showcasing work). I came from the days of creating websites in UltraEdit using PHP and MySQL over 10 years ago, until getting a job as an application developer which seen my free time go whizzing past. Anyhow, I was hoping to get back into web development again, but there seems to be so much out there now.

Question: I was wondering what is the best way to create a website these days? Is the web development world going towards client side rendering like AngularJS, or is server rendering still preferred? Had a huge dislike for Javascript when developing websites in the past, but I don’t mind learning anything new if there isn’t any obvious drawbacks. Interested to see what the general consensus is on this subject though…


Hi Neil,

I’d suggest having a read over this recent thread here on the forums, Are We in a Scripting-dependency Backlash?, as there was a lot of discussion on the pros and cons of client-side rendering and progressive enhancement.

Basically, considering the kind of site you’re talking about, I’d definitely stick with server-side rendering. Using something like AngularJS would make the site inaccessible for anyone who doesn’t have JS enabled for whatever reason (older/non-standard browser, company firewall problems, etc.). By all means use JS to enhance the site and add nicer functionality, but the site should still be usable for those without it (IMO).


For something like this, the most accepted way today is to use a CMS like Wordpress, Drupal, or Joomla. Most content coming from serverside rendering. This way you can make minor edits easily or even allow the client to make their own edits. You also have a huge world of templates, plugins (for contact forms and what not), and all sorts of other stuff that has been done a million times before.

IMHO, if it’s not an app that needs to provide a good interface where the user can interact with it, then it doesn’t need to be rendered by JS. But, I said that many times in that thread @fretburner linked… so I don’t want to go into all that again.

Things have changed a lot.

lol A lot of people at my work still use this for most of their coding, even C++. I actually never heard of it until I came here… and I have to say that it might be one of the worst text editors I’ve ever seen. It’s less powerful than most of the newer ones, it only has about half the boot time of Eclipse (which is super slow), and it eats up tons of resources when it’s open.

If you’re looking for an alternative, check out:

  • SublimeText3 - unlimited free trial for personal use, very good program with lots of plugins
  • Atom - free, heavily inspired by SublimeText. It’s good, just not SublimeText good.
  • Brackets - honestly haven’t used this one, but I’ve heard good things

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