What is isomorphic JavaScript?

Isomorphic JavaScript is used by many prominent frameworks, the most notable being Meteor and React. Sharing code between the server and the client, as is the case with isomorphic javascript like Node.js, is becoming an increasingly attractive option and may point to the future of the web development industry. 

In this article we’ll explain the concept of isomorphic JavaScript and why this technology is important for web development.

What is isomorphic JavaScript?

Some computer science jargon, like “isomorphic JavaScript,” sounds more technical than it actually is. In applications with isomorphic JavaScript the server and client share substantial parts of their respective source codes. This is possible because the same rendering engine is used for both the client and the server, simplifying the maintenance of markup templates. 

Isomorphic JavaScript includes a combination of client and server rendering models. The alternative, server-side rendering, involves converting the markup of your application into HTML and then sending that rendered version to the client browser. Thanks to innovative isomorphic JavaScript rendering, developers no longer need to create separate code sets for the back-end and front-end.

Why is isomorphic JavaScript important?

There are many compelling reasons why isomorphic JavaScript deserves our attention. A few of the top reasons isomorphic JavaScript is considered important include: 

Faster perceived load times 

Sites driven by widely used JavaScript frameworks like Ember, Backbone, or Angular can often take a while to render into the DOM (Data Object Model). As a result, the users must wait for the app to bootstrap before they can begin browsing and ‘using’ the app. As isomorphic JavaScript continues to power more and more of the web, the browser DOM performance gains are becoming more obvious. 

Enhanced global user experience (UX)

A poor user experience occurs when users are forced to wait for an app to bootstrap. By switching to server-side rendering, this problem disappears. Rendering your application’s markup on the server ensures that the page loads instantly, allowing the user to begin performing their specific action without delay.

Capabilities for indexing by search engines

Isomorphic JavaScript is done with search engine optimization in mind. Search engines can index your app’s data to increase your app’s organic traffic if everything is set up correctly. 

Easier code maintenance 

Reusing the existing code is recommended to achieve an isomorphic solution. This alleviates the burden of code debt and code maintenance. However, despite sharing the same codebase, server and client implementations differ slightly.

Final Word of isomorphic JavaScript

Regarding performance and code size, isomorphic JavaScript is a clear winner. However, this very new technology has several known flaws. For one, frameworks can be large and difficult to implement. There can also be a lot more steps involved in building the isomorphic application framework. Isomorphic JavaScript is by no means perfect, but it will most certainly improve over time.

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