Server side rendering and static site trends confuses me..

Germanas Latvaitis
2 replies
I used to create static sites or sites made with Django as a web framework. Then there was a trend to use static site generators with headless CMS (nextjs, gatsbyjs with prismic..). I have built a few and there were always some inconsistencies between some libraries. Made the development cumbersome where I needed just a simple site with some content management backend. Also, build times took forever for simple changes. Fast forward to yesterday, where I got a newsletter from Netlify stating that Gatsby version 4 will support server-side rendering. This kinda falls back to where I have started with Django and simple WP sites. For now, I believe I will stick to good old web frameworks that I am familiar with, and spicing some stuff with react.js. Does anyone else have some confusion or frustration regarding this? Are we going back to where we all started?

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Tim Mickel
Making tools and learning
Sticking with the tools you know best, and enjoy, is the way to go. Ultimately, if a product is successful enough that the choice matters, that success will guarantee you can make a switch. Vercel/Next.js and Gatsby produce frameworks, but ultimately they are companies. Their goal is to get you to use their tools, and host using their servers. Django, on the other hand, has no such incentive and no marketing budget to match. Django "is" SSR, it is pretty much equivalent to Gatsby with SSR, just a different language and framework. If you think about the end user's experience, 99% of the time they will not tell the difference. In some cases, a ahead-of-time-generated-static site can have lower latency (especially through the use of CDNs), but the difference is not meaningful unless your product is wildly popular (think Google A/B testing button colors-level popular).
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Germanas Latvaitis
Head of product at day and dev at night
@timmickel great answer. Thanks for reasurance!