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Single-page Applications


Do I need a single page application?

Multi page applications (traditional websites) are out. Today the world is crying out for Single Page Applications (SPA). In the following article we would like to explain what makes this modern form of web application so smart and what the advantages of using an SPA are.

With the evolution of the Internet, more and more conventional desktop applications are being replaced by web apps. Web apps can be started conveniently via the browser without installation, have a simple update process and can be used independently of the platform (Windows, Mac, etc.). The greatest challenge is to make the web apps as performant and easy to use as desktop applications are.

When introducing web applications, traditional websites consisting of a collection of static HTML documents were used. This type of websites is called Multi Page Applications. They have the disadvantage that a complete HTML page has to be loaded each time the user interacts. In contrast to a desktop application, this makes the application very slow, which also has a negative effect on the user experience.

The turning point came with the introduction of so-called single page applications and everything became simpler and better. Well, almost everything.

Strictly speaking, a SPA consists of just one HTML page. This is loaded once when the app is started. From this point on, the app runs within the web browser. Content is then reloaded with the help of JavaScript. User interactions now feel fluid and the look and feel are very close to a desktop application. Awesome!

There are now many frameworks that make it easier for developers to build an SPA. The start was made by the jQuery library, which is still very popular today. With Angular, React or Vuejs, for example, there are now SPA frameworks that provide the developer with features such as client-side MVC architecture or URL routing. The developer no longer has to worry about setting up the SPA and can concentrate fully on developing the app functionality.

It is important to mention that a SPA is not the right solution for every website. With rather small sites, the overhead and complexity in development would be too great or too expensive. The strengths of an SPA come into play when it is a large web application in which a lot of data and user interactions have to be handled fluently.

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