Server Side Rendering Using Angular Universal
Server-side rendering (SSR) is a technique to render a web page’s HTML on the server before sending it to the client’s browser. In the case of Angular, the default rendering is on the client-side, which means that the client’s browser has to download and render the HTML file, which results in decreased performance and higher loading times.
Angular Universal is a tool that solves the performance and SEO issues of client-side rendering by enabling server-side rendering. It allows the Angular application to run on the server, which then delivers pre-rendered HTML content to the client’s browser.
Why Use Server Side Rendering?
There are several benefits of using server-side rendering:
- Improved Performance: By rendering the content on the server, you can reduce the loading time significantly for the first request. This results in a better user experience and improved search engine optimization (SEO).
- Better SEO: Since search engines crawl on the server-side content, server-side rendering helps improve SEO by providing the search engine with rendered HTML content.
- Improved Accessibility: Rendering the HTML on the server enables users with slow internet connections and devices that don’t support client-side scripting to access your web application.
How to Implement Server Side Rendering Using Angular Universal?
Implementing server-side rendering using Angular Universal is a straightforward process. The following are the high-level steps involved:
- Install Angular CLI and create a new Angular project: You can install the latest version of the Angular CLI globally by running the following command in your command prompt:
npm install -g @angular/cli
Now create a new Angular project with the Angular CLI using the following command:
ng new project-name
- Integrate Angular Universal with the Angular project: You can install Angular Universal into your project by running the following command in your terminal inside your Angular project directory:
ng add @nguniversal/express-engine --clientProject YOUR_PROJECT_NAME
- Generate server.ts file: In your Angular project, run the following command to generate the server.ts file:
ng generate universal --clientProject YOUR_PROJECT_NAME
- Run your application: To run your application, run the following command:
npm run build:ssr && npm run serve:ssr
After following these steps successfully, you will have a server-side rendered Angular application, which can pre-render HTML for faster loading and SEO benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Angular Universal?
Angular Universal is a tool that enables server-side rendering support to Angular applications, allowing applications to be rendered as HTML content on the server before being sent to a client’s browser. Its primary use case is to increase the performance and SEO benefits of the Angular application.
What are the benefits of using Angular Universal?
There are many benefits to using Angular Universal:
- Improved performance, especially for first-time users.
- Better SEO as search engines crawl on the server-side content.
- Improved accessibility, allowing web applications to be rendered on user devices that don’t support complex client-side scripting.
- Improved UX (user experience) for users with slow internet connections.
- Easier application development since Angular Universal allows the use of a single codebase that can deploy on both client and server-side.
Is it difficult to implement server-side rendering using Angular Universal?
No. It’s quite easy to implement server-side rendering using Angular Universal. By following the steps mentioned above, you can quickly get started with server-side rendering for your Angular application to start seeing performance improvements, better SEO, and improved user experiences.
Do I need a separate server to host a server-side rendered Angular Application?
No. You can host a server-side rendered Angular application on any standard web server. Any server that supports Node.js or Express.js will allow you to run server-side rendered Angular applications directly.
What is the difference between client-side and server-side rendering?
Can I develop an Angular application with server-side rendering from the beginning?
Yes. You can develop an Angular application with server-side rendering from the beginning. When creating a new Angular project, you can specify whether you want to support server-side rendering in your project. If you choose to do so, Angular CLI will set up the necessary components to support server-side rendering.
Is server-side rendering mandatory for Angular applications?
No. Server-side rendering is not mandatory for Angular applications, and many Angular applications run successfully without implementing server-side rendering. However, if you want to improve your application’s performance, better SEO, and user experience, then server-side rendering is an excellent option.