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Single Page Application (SPA) : What’s so good (or bad)?

Single-page applications work in the browser and do not need to reload the page or additional waiting time. Since the content is downloaded automatically, there is no need to refresh the page. We use these types of applications every day. Think about Facebook & Netflix. These are good examples of single-page applications.

SPAs use AJAX and HTML5 to create responsive applications. JavaScript frameworks such as Angular, React, Vue, and Ember handle the heavy lifting on the client-side of a single-page application.

The page will not be reloaded at any point in the process, nor will control be transferred to an alternate page, although the HTML5 history API or location hash can be used to provide navigability and insight into different logical pages in the web application.

Based on the explanation above, a single-page app will only rewrite the content of the current page, not the loading of the initial page in response to user actions. As we discussed, this will not cause the page to reload or cause additional wait time.

Dynamic content loading in a single-page web application creates a smooth and natural user experience, making the application feel like a native desktop or mobile application.

Let’s have a look at some of the major advantages as well as disadvantages of single-page applications in the real world out there:

Pros

  • Capability of caching
    Single-page apps can effectively cache any local data. SPA just sends a request to the server and then stores all the data it receives. You can then use the data and even work offline. If the user’s connection is not smooth, you can synchronize the local data with the server if the connection is allowed.
  • Speed & Response
    Since single-page applications do not update the entire page but only the required content, they significantly increase the speed of the website. Most resources (HTML / CSS / scripts) are only loaded once in the entire application lifecycle. Only data is transferred from one side to the other. This is a great advantage. According to Google research, if a page load time exceeds 200 milliseconds, it can have a potentially significant impact on business and sales.
  • Experience of linear user
    SPAs provide users with a simple linear experience.For example, a web application like Saucony contains a perfect beginning, middle, and end.Saucony web application development provides an excellent interactive user experience using parallax scrolling and stunning transitions, and effects to showcase the entire customer journey.Since the experience is more continuous and fluid in a single-page application, it eliminates the need for the user to click on infinite links to reach different sections of content.The scrolling features of SPAs make them impeccably suitable for mobile users who are already accustomed to scrolling.
  • Chrome Debugging
    It is easy to debug SPAs with Chrome because these applications are developed in frameworks such as AngularJS Batarang and React development tools. These frameworks have their Chrome developer tools, which makes debugging much easier in SPAs than in MPAs. Additionally, SPAs allow you to monitor network operations and investigate page elements and data related to them.
  • Less consumption of Bandwidth
    It’s no wonder that SPAs consume less bandwidth as they only load a web page once. Also, they can work well in areas with slower Internet connections. Therefore, no matter what the Internet speed is, everyone can use it comfortably.However, despite all the advantages of SPAs, you should also consider some disadvantages. Let’s take a look at them.

Cons

  • SEO Optimization
    Some people think that the SEO optimization provided by SPAs is not good. This is because single-page applications use JavaScript and download data on demand from the client. The URL can not be changed, and different pages do not have their unique URLs. Since search robots cannot scan most pages, it is difficult to optimize these sites for search engines.Recently, Google launched a new program to increase the SEO optimization of single-page applications. Google now indexes dynamic pages. But for this, developers need to ensure that Google can index their JavaScript files (because Google runs them in its crawler). They should also verify whether websites use HTML5 mode in the URL scheme.
  • Security Issues
    Compared with multi-page applications, single-page applications are less immune to cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. Using XSS, hackers can inject client-side scripts into web applications.The security issue is the exposure of sensitive data. If developers accidentally handle the data contained in the initial page load, they can easily send data that should not be exposed to all users. The whole of the SPA is usually not visible in the browser, which can provide a false sense of security. Another reason the SPA may be insecure is the lack of access control at the functional level. Since developers move functionality and logic from the server to the client, it’s really easy to give clients access to features that they shouldn’t be able to use.
  • Browser History
    SPAs do not save the visitor’s jump between states. This means that when users click the back button, they will not return. The browser simply takes the user to the previous page, not to the previous state of the application. To solve this problem, developers can use the HTML5 History API to prepare the SPA framework. The History API provides developers access to the browser’s browsing history through the JavaScript framework.
  • Consumption of a lot of Browser resources
    The SPA requires a lot of web browser resources because the browser performs most of the SPA tasks. Creating a SPA generally requires users to use the latest browser that supports some modern features.
  • Bottom-line
    Single-page applications are very suitable for developing powerful platforms with a small amount of data.In addition, single-page applications are very suitable as the basis for future web and mobile app development. SPAs attempt to provide an excellent user experience by trying to replicate the natural environment in the browser, without reloading the page, and without additional waiting time.This model is very suitable for social media, SaaS platforms, and closed communities where search engine optimization is irrelevant.
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