rendering in context of web development

Using Next.js, developers can use SSG, SSR with Hydration, and CSR with Prerendering depending on the use case. Next.js is like the swiss army knife of a web framework, and that’s why it’s a useful tool to have in every developer’s toolbelt. That must be one of the reasons Next.js has exploded in popularity over the past few years (as you can see in the latest Web Almanac By HTTP Archive 2021 research). The three solutions mentioned above are the foundations of rendering on the web.

what is rendering in programming

Rendering or image synthesis is the process of generating a photorealistic or non-photorealistic image from a 2D or 3D model by means of a computer program.[citation needed] The resulting image is referred to as a rendering. Multiple models can be defined in a scene file containing objects in a strictly defined language or data structure. The scene file contains geometry, viewpoint, textures, lighting, and shading information describing the virtual scene. The data contained in the scene file is then passed to a rendering program to be processed and output to a digital image or raster graphics image file. The term “rendering” is analogous to the concept of an artist’s impression of a scene. The term “rendering” is also used to describe the process of calculating effects in a video editing program to produce the final video output.

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In addition to server-side rendering, there’s Client-Side Rendering (CSR), where the rendering takes place in the user’s browser. This method allows for dynamic content updates without reloading the page, offering a more interactive user experience, especially for web applications with real-time features. The rendering pipeline is the process by which images are prepared and output onto the screen. The graphics rendering pipeline takes the 3D objects built from primitives described using vertices, applies processing, calculates the fragments and renders them on the 2D screen as pixels. It is also common to render only parts of the scene at high detail, and to remove objects that are not important to what is currently being developed. Many renderings have a very rough estimate of radiosity, simply illuminating an entire scene very slightly with a factor known as ambiance.

  • Many modern JavaScript frameworks like Next.js and Gatsby, let you combine rendering methods throughout a website.
  • Examples of SSR are frameworks like Ruby on Rails, PHP Laravel, Elixir Phoenix, or Python Django, and the like.
  • This approach can work well for a variety
    of device and network conditions, and opens up interesting browser optimizations
    like streaming document parsing.
  • Rendering has uses in architecture, video games, simulators, movie and TV visual effects, and design visualization, each employing a different balance of features and techniques.

Before Googlebot is able to fully understand the HTML response containing JavaScript it has to render it. Once rendered, the interpreted HTML file is ready for indexing in the search engine. In particular, search engines aren’t that great (yet) at understanding – and thus indexing – pages containing many JavaScript elements. There are optimization techniques and libraries that enable them to be used with a client-side JS framework, turning them into SSR with Hydration.


If you’re able to use SSG for your website, then there are some great benefits to gain. Most notably, the performance of SSG sites is the best out of all three rendering methods. This is due to having the rendering complete before the user requests a page. When a user does request a page, the server can respond immediately with the final HTML without having to wait for it to be generated. Different rendering methods have different benefits such as better SEO support or faster initial load times to name a couple of examples. And, once you understand these differences, how they work, and their relation to your application, you’re in a better position to choose the best one for your situation.

what is rendering in programming

Choosing the right rendering method for your needs is all about balancing the priorities for your project. For a marketing blog, the SEO gains of SSG may be very appealing, and there’s not much lost in the lack of data freshness. However, for an e-commerce site, SSR might make more sense because it needs to be SEO-friendly and have fresh data for crucial information like stock levels, prices, and more.


Rendering has uses in architecture, video games, simulators, movie and TV visual effects, and design visualization, each employing a different balance of features and techniques. Some are integrated into larger modeling and animation packages, some are stand-alone, and some are what is rendering free open-source projects. On the inside, a renderer is a carefully engineered program based on multiple disciplines, including light physics, visual perception, mathematics, and software development. Rendering in web development does have its prerequisites and dependencies.

what is rendering in programming

In ray casting the geometry which has been modeled is parsed pixel by pixel, line by line, from the point of view outward, as if casting rays out from the point of view. Where an object is intersected, the color value at the point may be evaluated using several methods. In the simplest, the color value of the object at the point of intersection becomes the value of that pixel. A more sophisticated method is to modify the color value by an illumination factor, but without calculating the relationship to a simulated light source. To reduce artifacts, a number of rays in slightly different directions may be averaged. First, large areas of the image may be empty of primitives; rasterization will ignore these areas, but pixel-by-pixel rendering must pass through them.

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These options essentially allow you to redeploy or rebuild the site incrementally or at particular times. This is possible because JavaScript frameworks like Next.js and Gatsby compile all of the project’s code at “build time,” which is when a build script is triggered, and output an HTML file for each page on your website. Then commonly (but optionally) these final HTML files are then distributed onto a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to allow for them to be distributed around the world to a location close to your users for even faster page load times. Because of the multi-step process required to download and execute the JavaScript for the page to render, CSR has the slowest initial rendering time of all the methods listed today. However, once the initial rendering is complete and all the required JavaScript is downloaded, it has very fast page transition times and great interactivity because no more requests to the server are required.

what is rendering in programming

On the other hand, pages that render slowly negatively impact both user experience and search engine rankings. Webpage rendering affects how a page is indexed by bots and experienced by users. Understanding the impact of rendering on search engine rankings and SEO results should be a key consideration for any web development team.

Generally, static rendering means producing a separate HTML file for each URL
ahead of time. With HTML responses generated in advance, you can deploy static
renders to multiple CDNs to take advantage of edge caching. Many modern frameworks, libraries and architectures let you render the same
application on both the client and the server.

One of the downsides to static rendering is that it must generate individual
HTML files for every possible URL. This can be challenging or even infeasible
when you can’t predict what those URLs will be ahead of time, or for sites with
a large number of unique pages. During output merging some processing is also applied to ignore information that is not needed — for example the parameters of objects that are outside the screen or behind other objects, and thus not visible, are not calculated. During the output manipulation stage all the fragments of the primitives from the 3D space are transformed into a 2D grid of pixels that are then printed out on the screen display. The last step is viewport transformation, which involves outputting everything for the next step in the rendering pipeline. The basic concepts are moderately straightforward, but intractable to calculate; and a single elegant algorithm or approach has been elusive for more general purpose renderers.

Or, it can be much more complicated and completed using a JavaScript framework like React or Vue. Server-side rendering has had a number of developments over the last few years. The Rendering Patterns you mentioned (Server-Side Rendering and Client-Side Rendering) have gotten their name from the location where the HTML is generated/”rendered” (Client vs. Server). Rendering in programming refers to processing any piece of code that we have written and showing the result of it. As the following example shows, to change the paint attribute to a blue-green gradient fill, you construct a GradientPaint object and then call the setPaint method. The optical basis of the simulation is that some diffused light from a given point on a given surface is reflected in a large spectrum of directions and illuminates the area around it.

what is rendering in programming