Everything you need to know about Single Page Applications

Overview of Single page application 

                                                                Photo Credit: Apptunix

Single Page Applications are the web apps that work inside a browser and don’t reload during use. In Spite of being able to be accessible through a web browser, they deliver more dynamic user experiences which can be compared to a native mobile application and desktop applications. 

SPA overcomes the drawbacks of traditional websites in terms of reduction of the number of page refreshes which is needed for the user interactions. This is achieved by AJAX; it is a tool that allows the website to exchange information with back-end servers and load data into an application without constant page reloads.

The processing work in single page application is transferred to the client side. A single HTML page is loaded so that the contents on the page can be dynamically updated. All this happens without having to refresh the page as they easily interact with the application.

Without even realizing we have been using single page applications in the form of google inbox, scrolling through the news feed on FacebookTwitter or even while using Google maps, Trello, and many others as well. 

Single Page Application requests data independently which renders the pages straight in the browsers. This is possible through advanced Javascript frameworks like Angular 6, React, Vue, Ember.js.

4 Attributes of Single Page Application 

User experience: 

  • Single Page Application allows the building of more advanced and richer application.
  • SPAs are very fast and are only loaded once throughout of the application.
  • As a heavy framework has to be loaded on the client side, the initial process that involves data request to be downloaded is quite slow. But there are various methods that can be used to solve this and is popular nowadays.
  • If by any case, JavaScript is disabled, the SPA does not  function as desired 
  • Single page applications are less secure than multi-page applications. Due to this reason the attacker could inject malicious scripts that would directly attack the user as it is client side.
  • As there is a workload on device’s browser, Single page application drains battery power easily than multi-page Applications.

Development:

  • During the development phase, no separate code should be written for server-side rendering as we can get started without any server. 
  • Single page application one sends one server request. It stores the data locally and allows to use the data over and over again without having to request.
  • SPA allows reusing of the same backend code to be transited to a mobile application while for Multi-Page applications the backend code should be written from the scratch in most of the cases. 

Debugging:

  • Debugging single page applications can be done using Google Chrome. Chrome allows the user to track network operations, inspect page elements and check the data associated with individual elements. 
  • But the knowledge and extra effort are required for debugging. 

Seo:

  • Search engine optimization on single page application is tricky because of use of AJAX. Also, limited keyword option and content are available at all the information should be presented on a single page. This affects the SEO rankings. Whereas, the Multi-Page application gives better chances of ranking for different keywords and are very good and easy for proper SEO management. 
  • But the isomorphic rendering/ server-side rendering has made SPAs to be optimized for the search engine. 
  • Fully rendered pages help search engines crawlers to read easily which leads for better SEO. 

Concluding, Single Page Applications are widely popular these days as it brings a lot of advantages. Many application is migrating towards this model. SPA generally wins over the traditional approach by its speed and the ability to develop mobile application easily.

This architecture is used mainly for SaaS platforms, social networks, and closed communities. 

Whether an individual likes it or not, SPAs can’t simply be ignored as it will be topic of discussion for a long time.

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