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Developers have fallen into a problem-solution loop. There is a continuous effort to solve one or another problem in the developer community. Ironically, there are so many solutions now that there is a need for another solution for the existing ones.
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Astro allows users to build a site with their favourite framework or multi-frameworks at the same time and renders them to static html build time. It takes a different approach from the existing rendering patterns used by many other frameworks such as Gatsby, Next.js, Remix.run, and others.
While other frameworks like Angular, Svelte, and Vue are focused on developing dynamic sites, Astro has been able to find the sweet spot between static and dynamic sites.
Solution to key problems in websites
Managing hydration is one of the major issues in websites.
Static web pages are hydrated before a user can interact with them, which decreases performance. The longer the hydration process takes, the longer users have to wait to interact with a website or an online application.
Astro overcomes this issue by loading certain page components as needed and leaving the remainder of the page as static HTML. This is known as partial hydration. Astro-created websites are static by default. That is, no JS would be served; instead, all JS would be stripped during the process.
Since users do not have to wait for the complete page to load before interacting with the web page, the partial hydration process is critical to having the Island architecture load faster than the single-page application architecture. The Island design allows components to load independently of one another and render in isolation.
After the Beta release, Astro instantly announced experimental support for server-side rendering (SSR). This is crucial since server-side applications render faster and are naturally SEO-friendly.
However, many others believe that Astro might not be a replacement for all the frameworks. It is most likely to co-exist with other frameworks. Astro has released its version 1.0 which is still in the Beta phase. It is therefore tough to situate this platform in the larger framework universe as of now.
Next.js is the biggest competitor to Astro. The latter is still new in the market and widely believed to be nascent in comparison to the formidable Next.js.