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Published on July 21st, 2021 | by Ravi Sharma

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Will Single Page Applications (SPAs) become more Prominent?

You must be designing a new application for web browsers or reworking an existing one. Are you confused between Single Page Application(SPA) and Multi-Page Application(MPA)? MPAs have been in the market for quite a long time. But, what was the need for SPAs to emerge? How can you benefit from the SPA design? We’ll cover your major queries in the article below.

What is a Single Page Application?

Single Page Application (SPA) is an app that operates on a single page (as the name implies). SPA is the web application or website that rewrites the data dynamically with the help of a web browser instead of loading an entirely new page. The exciting feature of SPA is that it rewrites the content and changes the URL as well.

In this, the framework of the page remains the same as in Gmail, Facebook, Airbnb, Netflix, and many others. For example, in Gmail, the basic setup of the Gmail is constant while the content keeps on changing. So, SPA works on the principle of alternation of a few parts of the page as per user requirements. You can consider SPA as bricks and pipes of the house while you need to add mortar into it.

The Structure of SPA

Let’s have an overview of SPA to understand how it works. Before the SPA in the market, Multiple page applications(MPAs) were quite prevalent. Web browser(client) requests for data from the webserver. Web host sends HTML files to the client and CSS, images, security information, and other things. It results in the rendering of a helpful page for the web browser. This combination always travels in the same pattern.

Then the scene shifts, and the single-app changes many things. It breaks the structure of the requests. First, the web browser gets the elemental composition of the web page. It is general HTML, not the actual content. Then, the user receives the desired data with Javascript. So, the basic foundation remains the same, and individual pieces get delivered to the customer as needed.

The framework of SPA

Developers use AJAX to design SPAs. AJAX stands for Asynchronous Javascript and XML. So, it is the AJAX that collects data in the background. The database supports the SPA. MySQL and MongoDB are the most common databases used for the SPAs.

SPA uses Javascript like Ember.js, AngularJS, Vue.js. These are apps designed within the browser. You must have noticed that sites like Netflix have the same sidebar, header, placement of elements. How? SPA takes time to get loaded initially, as it loads everything from the server. But, later, it retrieves other information related to the user instantly. Let’s know more about these Javascript frameworks:

AngularJS

AngularJS boasts of leading clients in the industry like Forbes, Google, Netflix, and Freelancer. Businesses can launch and display their projects faster. AngularJS allows easy app development, and its testing is like a cakewalk.

SPA architecture is quite user-friendly as well. Do you know that automatic data sync is the most attractive feature of AngularJS? The frontend and backend teams can easily dependencies on each other.

ReactJS

Facebook, Tumblr, Airbnb, Reddit, Yahoo Mail, and Dropbox are the famous clients of ReactJS. Developers can use its database components again and again. They can write in a native programming language.

ReactJS uses a two-thronged approach. Rendering from both server-side and customer-side is possible with ReactJS. Its virtual Document object model(DOM) keeps on updating its parts randomly. It is SEO friendly and gives high performance.

When should you use a Single Page Application?

SPA is a big yes when you require a responsive application that works well on all devices like desktop, iOS, smartphone, and tablet. SPA is super simple for designing, management, and handling purposes. Developers can deal with front-end and back-end operations separately very easily. Developers need to focus on rewriting the current page. In contrast, web browsers need to load a whole lot of pages in MPAs.

Important factors that need to consider are:

  • Similar Pages: SPA has a specialty that data rendering happens in stages from the server. If you require pages that have similar features, then SPA is a good choice. It gives an excellent user experience. The chances of conveying information powerfully increase manifold with SPA.
  • Critical data: You have a web application with necessary data from the client’s point of view. SPA serves the best purpose. Apps covering medical emergencies, health concerns, money exchange are the ones that need instant response.

If there is any delay, then it costs even the life of the customers. SPA piles information in no time. Therefore, pages that load in as little time as possible become desirable.

  • Works well in offline mode: SPAs have the unique ability to store data locally. It enables the rendering of information, even if there is no active internet connection. The data is already available in SPAs beforehand.

So, the role of servers decreases for operating in offline mode. It contrasts with traditional pages, where data fetching occurs in full bundles rather than pieces of data. Thus, already arranged apps empower clients to use the app even if they are disconnected.

Why do you need Single Page Applications?

It is a very critical question for developers, web, and app designers. You can have a look at these details:

Better user experience

Can you imagine that users are getting everything they require in one place? SPA gives a better and rich customer-side experience. The drag and drop feature of SPA provides more flexibility to users. They are getting an application that loads quickly.

Browsing SPA sites becomes a fulfilling experience. Users can move between different sites, access additional services. They’re likely to come to that site again and again.

Good performance

SPAs don’t need to call servers repeatedly demanding data. They can easily get information stored in DOM. It saves multiple requests from the user side to the server. Further, the back and forth movement of data are also not required. So, extra queries get eliminated. Other than that, when information is there in the user’s platter, it automatically improves the application’s performance.

Easy Troubleshooting

SPAs are much easier to troubleshoot than MPAs. AngularJS and Vue.js Javascript notations have the in-built capacity for early problem detection. Developers need to focus on a few parts of the application. So, troubleshooting SPAs is the best match for making the developer jobs much more uncomplicated.

What are the cons of SPA?

Do you think SPA comes with all the positive things in the world? Definitely, not! Some of its disadvantages are:

Problem in Optimization

Single-page applications are not suitable as far as SEO is concerned. Developers face problems in getting their web page indexed. It is a significant barrier to achieve high rankings. Google is finding solutions for this. So, it will get resolved any time soon.

Security issues

SPAs are not that good from a web-security point of view as they are vulnerable to cross-scripting attacks(XSS). Web attackers can put malicious code and scripts in the application. Therefore, it could even lead to the leaking of confidential information. Experienced developers can cover the security.

Social media sharing

Sharing your web application gives you a lot of user engagement with sharing, likes, and comments. Social media platforms like Facebook pick up the metadata from HTML. It is not the case with Javascript. So, it is not possible to generate nice previews of the web page while sharing.

Therefore, newbie developers and novice security experts must prefer using MPAs for their business. Gradually, the client base increase and you have team experts with you. Then, it is better to scale your web application with SPA.

Conclusion

SPAs are of a clear advantage over MPAs. SPAs are going to become ever more prominent for web applications. Developers can even use a hybrid model of SPA and MPA. Single Page Applications are better where we need faster loading times, have a fixed web framework, and prefer local caches. Developers can use MPAs for web pages to get better SEO and achieve better security. But, SPAs are overtaking the advantages of MPAs. So, even in the hybrid model, SPAs are going to rule.


Cover Image by NeedPix

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About the Author

Mr. Ravi Sharma, CEO of Webomaze is a highly enthusiastic entrepreneur. He has got a great grip on the idea of effective eCommerce Strategies, SEO processes, and tactics that are vital for virtual exposure. He is a fun-loving person and a keen traveler who always hunts to find adventure in new places.

LinkedIn - https://linkedin.com/in/sharmaravi08
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