Author avatar

Gaurav Singhal

Why Do We Need Single-page Applications?

Gaurav Singhal

  • Apr 9, 2020
  • 5 Min read
  • 760 Views
  • Apr 9, 2020
  • 5 Min read
  • 760 Views
Web Development
Front End Web Development
Client-side Framework
React

Introduction

Single-page applications are the most popular way to create websites that load faster without hitting the server every time the user interacts with the application.

In this guide, you'll learn about single-page applications, why we need to use them, and how they compare with multi-page applications.

Single-page Apps

The major difference between multi-page and single-page applications is that single-page apps download the page a single time once it is executed.

As soon as a user interacts with the app, only the required component will be modified, not the complete application, which makes a single-page app much faster in terms of interactivity. Single-page applications offer a much better user experience (UX), meaningthat users can navigate easily between the different pages of an app without waiting for the pages to load.

Advantages of Single-page Apps

An important feature of single-page applications is performance. They get a performance boost by loading HTML, CSS, and JavaScript resources as soon as the website is loaded.

The reason is that when users come to an application, they need the shortest possible wait time so that they can do their work and leave. The performance reflects the demand for the application.

If the application does not provide the necessary performance, users may leave that app and choose another platform. That's one of the primary reasons developers choose single-page apps nowadays.

There are other advantages as well:

  • Battery reusability
  • Optimization
  • Client-side rendering
  • User experience
  • Easy debugging
  • Performance
  • Less complex implementation
  • Better caching
  • Better SEO optimization

Disadvantages of Single-page Apps

There are also some disadvantages to using single-page apps:

  • Single-page apps use JavaScript, so it can be difficult to trace errors.
  • Users need to turn on JavaScript in their web browser or the application won’t work.
  • Memory leaks may result in a performance dro .
  • Single-page apps are not suitable for enterprise-based applications, only for small and mid-size applications.
  • They have terrible maintainability due to using third-party plug-ins.

Multi-page Apps

Multi-page applications contain tons of pages, and when users request resources or interact, the app has to go to the server, download the resource, and show it to the user.

The process is quite slow and painful when it comes to performance, but mostlarge companies use multi-page applications because they have to deal with tons of services and products.

Onedisadvantage is in flexibility and optimization. Users may need to put in more effort, and required changes may be costly over time.

Other disadvantages of multi-page applications include:

  • Slow performance
  • Higher resource utilization
  • Less flexibility
  • More time for development and maintenance
  • Less reusability

Comparing Single-page and Multi-page Apps

Understanding the difference between single-page apps and multi-page apps can help you decide which type of application structure you need. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Multi-page applications are often optimized for SEO so you can target your audience easily, while single-page applications are not quite optimized for that.
  • Single-page applications are easy to develop and maintain, while multi-page applications can be complex to develop and maintain.
  • Multi-page applications follow a high-security standard, while single-page applications are less secure.
  • One advantage of single-page apps is that they won’t make a round trip when a user interacts with the system, while multi-page apps make a round trip for each request from the end user.
  • Single-page applications are compatible with offline sercice when an internet connection is interrupted, while multi-page applications need the connection to complete user requests.

Available Frameworks

To build powerful single-page apps, you need a powerful framework or library. There are plenty of options to choose from, including:

  • Angular
  • React
  • MeteorJs
  • BackboneJs
  • EmberJs
  • PolymerJs
  • KnockoutJs
  • Aurelia

These are some frameworks and libraries that can be used to create single-page applications without any fuss.

Conclusion

This guide introduced you to single-page applications and multi-page applications, including their use in real-life scenarios.

There are certain advantages and disadvantages of single-page and multi-page applications, and knowing them can help you choose the right type of application for your project.

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