Why Single-Page Applications?

Single Page Applications (SPAs) are one of the most recent and booming trends in web development. Their seamless responsiveness, stability, and high performance allow businesses to achieve better user engagement and enhance customer experience. Following examples of Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Google Maps, PayPal, many companies tend to choose this model for their apps. However, does this mean that it fits everyone? 

In this article, we will explore the difference between single-page applications and multi-page applications (MPA) and help you find out if SPAs can benefit your business.

What is a Single-Page Application?

SPA is an app created as a single web page. It works inside the browser and, due to strong dependence on JavaScript, doesn’t require page re-rendering in contrast to multi-page apps. Once it is loaded, only the requested data is updated. As a result, businesses can improve their customer experience since the users don’t have to wait until the page loads and can enjoy smooth and easy navigation across the app.

Single Page Applications: Pros and Cons

Single-page applications have become a buzzword nowadays due to their merits. Here are some of them.

1. Speed

Speed is a crucial factor for the website to retain users. According to statistics, one in four customers would abandon the web page after 4 seconds of waiting. SPAs can boast of a high-performance speed since CSS, Scripts, and HTML are loaded once. The only thing that needs an update is the data transferred from and to the server.

2. Simplified Development Process

The SPA web development process is well-structured and optimized. Developers don’t have to write the code to render pages on the server. Moreover, they can easily reuse the back-end and API code to build native mobile apps. As front-end and back-end development can be separated, such apps are also faster to go on the market.

3. Easy Debugging

Single-page apps can be debugged with the Chrome browser. This way, it’s possible to monitor page components, examine the network operations, and other associated data.

4. Caching

SPAs offer an effective caching process. Once the request is sent to a server, the single-page app stores all the received data. This SPA ability allows customers to continue using the app in case of poor or no internet connection.

However, SPAs have their drawbacks as well. Let’s have a closer look at them.

1. Poor Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The URL of a single-page application doesn’t really change. Thus, search bots usually index only the main page, paying no attention to additional ones. Although Google and SEO agencies are trying to find new methods to improve SPAs’ optimization, they are still often indexed incorrectly.

2. Security Issues

SPAs are more vulnerable to Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks. It means that hackers can inject client-side scripts into the web app. Thus, it’s crucial to make sure that all the front-end logic, such as validation, authentication, etc., is repeated on the server for verification.

3. Requires JavaScript

Due to their heavy dependence on JavaScript, SPAs won’t work if the user didn’t turn on or disabled JavaScript in the browser.

4. Lack of Scalability

In contrast to MPA development, where it’s easy to modify separate pages without putting at risk the functionality of the whole app, SPA developers have to foresee future changes. Since all the components of SPAs are interconnected, even small alterations may affect the responsiveness of the application.

Comparing Single-Page and Multi-Page Apps

Each web development model has its advantages and disadvantages. Although many businesses turn to modern single-page architecture, MPAs are still extremely widespread. Let’s compare single-page applications vs multi-page applications to find out what’s worth choosing for your business.

  1. Speed. In terms of speed, SPAs are undisputed leaders. MPAs need significantly more time to load new data from the server.
  2. SEO. Due to many pages and constantly changing content, multi-page apps don’t have any issues with SEO optimization, unlike single-page apps.
  3. Development. In contrast to SPAs, MPAs have a more challenging development process. Not only do the developers have to write back-end code from scratch, but also it can be complicated to separate the front-end and back-end of multi-page apps.
  4. Security. SPAs are less secure and prone to hacker attacks, while MPAs are usually built with high-security standards.
  5. Offline Mode. Due to efficient caching single-page applications can function offline. Multi-page apps, however, require a sustainable internet connection.

Summing it up, SPAs align best with dynamic platforms that don’t require huge data volumes and don’t depend much on SEO. Thus, this architecture is widespread for building social media networks, for example.

MPA will be a good choice for your company if you have a wide variety of products and services. E-commerce websites, company sites, marketplaces, etc., usually use this web development model.

Available Frameworks For SPA Development

Once you analyze your business demands and decide to create a single-page application, you need to choose a robust framework. Here are some you can opt for:

  1. Angular.js is an open-source front-end framework created by Google to help in developing single-page apps. It is a powerful tool with a shallow learning curve that provides developers with a wide range of features such as two-way data binding, Model-View-Controller architecture, real-time testing, dependency injection, etc. Some of the popular SPAs developed with Angular.js are PayPal and Gmail.
  2. React.js is an efficient, feature-rich JavaScript library maintained by Facebook and aimed at a highly responsive UI. React.js offers developers robust performance, easy development of reusable components, Virtual Dom, strong community support, etc. Besides Facebook itself, React.js was used to create Instagram, WhatsApp, Uber, and many other SPAs.
  3. Vue.js is a lightweight and considerably new JavaScript framework gaining popularity among developers due to its strong and consistent performance. Vue.js main focus is speed and simplicity, thus, it lets developers achieve high results with a minimum of code. This framework is used by such companies as GitLab, Alibaba, and others.

Conclusion

Single-page applications have captured a big part of the modern web development market. However, before following the trend and opting for the SPA model, consider your business requirements and align them with the abilities of this architecture type.

SPA will be a reasonable choice if you care about speed and code reusability. Besides, if your business deals with a single product, nothing can be better than a single-page application.

Once you have decided to employ this application type, make sure you hire an experienced development team that will make use of single-page model advantages to build a robust application that will help your business be more efficient.

Steffi Stark

Steffi is a freelance health blogger and is involved in writing fitness and health-related blogs for more than 5 years now. She is a certified health coach and even guides her audience with the healthy foods and recipes. In her writings, she involves news, the latest changes in the health industry, and fitness tips. She even informs her audience about celebrity fitness tips and goals through her writings. Education Masters from University School of Medicine Certified trainer

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