Advantages and Utility of Single-page Applications (SPA)
Whether it is a page in your eCommerce shopping mobile app or a website application page, responsiveness is a must. For years, developers have been using the concept of a multi-page application to build pages. What happens here is that with every single piece of information requested or submitted, new page loads. Meaning that every time, a user sends a request, the website loads a new page as the response. However, with the time & increased efficiency of technologies, single-page applications are gaining traction too.
Let us understand both.
Quick introduction to Multiple-page Applications
Considering that every time you need to load content and store the previous one, the applications built on the multi-page concept are quite large. Further, these applications encompass a range of UI. Even so, the concept has been used for ages and thanks to Ajax, the transfer of data between application and server is no longer an issue.
Also, these have had their own set of benefits that accounted for their popularity and usage. As a matter of fact, there is a long list of advantages of using multi-page applications when developing apps.
- When users wish to optimize their page for SEO and embed one keyword for every page, multi-page applications serve the purpose best. They are pretty easy to manage and simplify the SEO process.
- Another reason why few developers prefer multi-page applications for mobile app development is because such a method lays the foundation of a visual road map. Users have a clear idea of what’s next. Navigation is easier, improving the overall user experience.
- Extracting significant insights on the performance of the website is easier using MPA. In fact, MPAs have tremendous potential when it comes to determining which feature is working for your site and which isn’t.
- Multi-page applications are scalable and allow developers to add as many pages as needed within the application
Fascinating, isn’t it?
Now, as much as the perks of using multi-page applications please you, the disadvantages associated with the same compel users to shift towards the modern concept, known as single-page applications or SPA for mobile app development. Whether it is the huge development time or the need to update every page, multi-page applications tend to lower the speed of loading websites, in a way disrupting the performance of the mobile app.
Single Page Applications
To deal with this, we introduce the concept of a single page application. According to a survey conducted by Statista, more than half of the user traffic is routed via mobile phones. This implies that users look for faster and better solutions, pages that load faster and apps that offer an exceptional user interface.
A single-page web application is one that maps the aforementioned requirements. Ever used Gmail or Google Drive? How about Facebook, I wager on the second one.
Advantages of SPA
Wondering how will the adoption of SPA improve mobile app development?
Let’s have it:
- Thanks to the architecture of single-page applications, they never reload the entire page, instead only the content that needs to be displayed is shared to and from the server. This transition is fast and doesn’t consume much of the time, enhancing the response time of the website and improving the performance.
- As single page applications share data, it enables caching the same and storing it in the local server. The next time a request is sent, the data can be fetched from the cache location and doesn’t need to bother the server. Since the data is stored in a local database, it allows accessing the same even if there is poor internet connectivity. Google Drive is an example worth mentioning.
- Transitions and parallax scrolling are few of the features that enhance the user’s app experience. It is seen that single-page applications deploy a very clean and linear interface, never messing with the layout, making it easier for the user to pass through the app.
- The Chrome Browsers inspection function streamlines the task of debugging the application. Also, upgrading is never an issue with the inception of a swift load time feature.
So, moved with the list? Ok, there are certain drawbacks too. The most prominent ones being the inability to index in search engine rankings and the absence of user input features. Also, these applications are highly vulnerable to hacks, so before you decide, make sure you have your needs aligned.
When to Choose Single Page Application?
What separates single page application from the MPAs is the fact that where former has a single HTML file, the latter encompasses more than one, in fact many. Owing to the above, the content size of multi-page applications ranges between 1.3 MB to 2.5MB. This increases the page load time and alternatively affects the speed and performance of the website.
Considering that users look for faster loading websites, single-page applications are best suited for mobile app development.
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