Website Rendering
Technology Web

Website Rendering: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Ever wonder how a website works to display content on the screen?

Out of the 1.7 billion websites, each displays its pages using a website browser. The browser’s role is to show the correct content which is a process called website rendering.

Yet, how does web page rendering work? Does Google Search consider browser rendering to rank a site #1?

This article explains what rendering web page content means and why it matters. Read on to get to grips with website development techniques to push your site up the SERPs.

What Is Website Rendering?

Rendering is another term for drawing or displaying content on the screen. Website rendering is, therefore, the process of showing a web page to the user in the way the developer intended.

The basic building blocks of the web consist of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

HTML tags provide the content and structure of the page. CSS styles each element and can determine its position like a floating button. JavaScript makes the content interactive.

Rendering brings all of these elements together. And the software that handles that magic is called a website browser. 

What Are Website Browsers?

A browser’s job is to render content correctly on the screen.

It also must be able to navigate between pages and websites. And it works with interactive technologies to handle user input like tapping an image.

The most popular website browsers include:

  • Google Chrome – with 63% market share
  • Safari – available on iOS and macOS
  • Edge – Microsoft’s default browser
  • Firefox – the ‘alternative’ browser rendering app
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What steps does a browser take to render a website? Is there anything you should know to improve your SEO?

Rendering Web Pages on a Browser

The goal of any web browser is to render a page as quickly as possible by creating the DOM or Document Object Model.

The DOM acts as a hierarchy of all the elements on the page. It’s divided into two main sections: head and body. Once loaded, CSS can style those elements and JavaScript can manipulate them.

Browser rendering takes place both from the outset and on an ongoing basis.

Repainting updates the elements on the screen as they change. For example, a social media post appears on the timeline and fades into place.

Reflow occurs when new elements affect other items, shifting their position. That’s normally fine when the user taps the screen. But it’s not okay when the page has barely finished loading.

Optimize for Web Page Rendering

Google now uses Core Web Vitals in its search ranking factors. These signals identify if the page offers a quality user experience (UX).

One of those signals is Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS. This simply means how long the pages take to load before becoming stable. If the page moves around as elements render on the screen it can irritate the user.

SEO measures try to prevent this. Yet don’t confuse SEO with SEM! The two are quite different and you can read more about it here.

Render a Website for SEO

Ensure your render times are under 2.5 seconds. Also, your pages should become interactive within 100 milliseconds or less.

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Google can now view pages on your site as a human would. Providing it with an excellent experience will carry on to Google Search and your customers.

Website Development Hints and Tips

Website rendering is an important part of SEO. Try to keep rending times to a minimum for the best results. Also, don’t make your mobile users download lots of large images.

Read more about website development on our blog.

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