HomeTutorialsWindow Is Not Available During Server Side Rendering: A Detailed Explanation

Window Is Not Available During Server Side Rendering: A Detailed Explanation




Are you curious why window is not available during server side rendering? If so, this blog post has the answer! I will go through an overview of how and why the window object isn’t available on the server side and also offer some techniques for handling its absence. I will also provide some code examples of server-side rendering using Next JS – a popular React framework.

For those who are in a hurry, here is the short answer:

During server-side rendering, the server is responsible for generating the HTML for a web page and sending it to the client. The window object is not present on the server because it is a client-side object and does not exist on the server. Instead, the server generates the HTML for the page and sends it to the client, where it is displayed in the web browser window.

If you continue reading, I am confident that you will have a greater comprehension of the window object as well as server-side rendering. So let’s get started!

What Is The Window Object And What Does It Do?

The window object is a global object in JavaScript that represents the current web browser window. From resizing the web browser window to interacting with its contents, window offers several properties and methods that are helpful and simple to use. Some popular purposes for using it include:

  • Accessing the browser’s window size: You can use the window.innerWidth and window.innerHeight properties to get the width and height of the browser window.
  • Accessing the localStorage object: The localStorage object is used to store and retrieve data on the client side and is accessible through the window object.
  • Managing the window’s history: You can use the window.history object to manipulate the browser’s history, including going back and forward in the history, and adding and replacing history entries.
  • Manipulating the window’s location: You can use the window.location object to get and set the URL of the current page, and to redirect the browser to a different page.

These are merely a few capabilities of the numerous possibilities available with the window object in front-end web development. It is an important and powerful tool for interacting with the web browser and its features.

What Is Server-Side Rendering?

Server-side rendering (SSR) is a technique for building web applications that involve generating the HTML for a web page on the server and sending it to the client. This stands in contrast to client-side rendering, where the HTML for a page is generated by the web browser using JavaScript.

Server-side rendering has several benefits compared to client-side rendering:

  • Improved performance: Server-side rendering allows the webserver to do the heavy lifting of generating the HTML for a page, which can be faster than generating the HTML on the client side. This can result in a faster and more responsive user experience, especially for users with slower devices or internet connections.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): Search engines have a difficult time indexing content that is generated dynamically on the client side using JavaScript. With server-side rendering, the HTML for a page is generated on the server and is fully visible to search engines, which can improve the visibility of your website in search results.
  • Improved accessibility: Server-side rendering can also be beneficial for users with disabilities or users who rely on assistive technologies, such as screen readers. These technologies are better able to access and interpret the content of a page when the HTML is generated on the server, rather than on the client side.

To implement server-side rendering, you will need to use a server-side language, such as Node.js, to generate the HTML for a page and send it to the client. There are also many frameworks and libraries available that can help you implement server-side rendering in your web application, such as Next.js for React applications.

Why Window Is Not Available During Server Side Rendering

Server-side rendering is a robust method for building web applications, yet it can be tricky if you want to use the window object in your client-side code. The window object is an essential element of web development and is used for many purposes, including determining the window size, creating pop-ups, or accessing browser’s storage. However, during server-side rendering, window is not accessible because it is a client-side object and is not present on the server.

Server-Side Rendering Using Next JS

Next JS is a popular framework for server-side rendering with React. Its purpose is to simplify the process of developing React applications for server-side rendering that are both high-performing and scalable.

Some of the noteworthy features and advantages of utilizing Next JS for server-side rendering are:

  • Automatic code splitting: Next JS automatically splits your code into separate chunks based on the routes and components in your application. This can improve the performance of your application by reducing the amount of JavaScript that needs to be loaded on the initial page load.
  • Automatic optimization of application performance: Next JS also provides a number of built-in optimizations to improve the performance of your application, such as automatic compression of assets and automatic generation of optimized production builds.
  • Easy setup: Next JS makes it easy to set up a server-side rendering application with minimal configuration. With Next JS, all you have to do is create a pages directory for your React components and it will handle the rest.

Next JS offers numerous advanced features and functionalities that can be leveraged to build robust server-side rendering applications using React. To learn more, consult the official documentation.

How To Handle The Absence Of The Window Object During Server-Side Rendering In Next JS

Try To Use Server-Side APIs If Possible

One way to handle the absence of the window object is to use server-side APIs instead of client-side APIs. For example, if you are using the localStorage object to store data on the client-side, you can use a server-side storage solution such as a database or a file system to store the data on the server and fetch data in client-side using the getServerSideProps function:

import axios from 'axios';

function App({ data }) {
  return (
      <h1>My Web Page</h1>

export const getServerSideProps = async () => {
  // Use server-side API to retrieve data
  const response = await axios.get('/api/data');
  const data = response.data;

  return {
    props: {

This allows you to take advantage of server-side rendering in your Next JS application while still being able to access data in your client-side code.

Use Client-Side Rendering Selectively

Instead of using server-side rendering for the entire web application, you can use client-side rendering selectively for certain parts of the application. This allows you to use the window object in the client-side code and handle the absence of it during server-side rendering.

Here is a code example demonstrating how to access the window object in a useEffect hook in Next JS:

import { useEffect, useState } from 'react';

function App() {
  const [windowWidth, setWindowWidth] = useState(0);

  useEffect(() => {
    // Access the window object in the useEffect hook

    const handleResize = () => {

    window.addEventListener('resize', handleResize);

    return () => {
      window.removeEventListener('resize', handleResize);
  }, []);

  return (
      <h1>My Web Page</h1>
      <p>The window width is: {windowWidth}</p>

export default App;

By using the useEffect hook, you can access the window object in Next JS and use it to perform client-side tasks such as handling window resizes or accessing the localStorage.


This blog post delves into the topic of the unavailability of the window object in server-side rendering. It covers the function of the window object in web development and contrasts server-side rendering with client-side rendering.

We have also explained the reasons why the window object is not available during server-side rendering, and provided examples of how to use Next JS to implement server-side rendering. Finally, we have discussed some techniques for handling its absence during server-side rendering.

It’s important to understand the differences between server-side rendering and client-side rendering when developing web applications and to choose the approach that is most suitable for the needs of the application. By understanding these differences and how to handle the absence of the window object during server-side rendering, you can build reliable and scalable web applications that deliver a great user experience.

If you have any ideas or questions about this topic, I encourage you to leave a comment. I hope you have found this blog post helpful and informative, and I look forward to hearing from you!


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