Sure you could do it backwards and do it the good old fashioned way of "I click, it reloads", but then when the server will be slow or even go 504 users will complain it's slow and unreliable, while you could've used AJAX (which we've been doing for a looooong while now) and provided helpful, human readable status messages without sending your users out or even losing their work because your API aren't reliable.
You can also do both, use server side templating and use JS to augment the website and cache.
Basically what dev.to is doing and being pretty fast at it too.
There's no single way to build a website anymore and that's great for everyone, yeah the complexity of frontend programming is escalating, but there is a lot of innovation going on at the same time
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