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What is Single-page application?

  • 7-8 min read
  • August 10, 2020
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (2 votes)

Active users of the Internet don’t often think about the technologies that make surfing on the websites possible and readable. One of those technologies is a single-page application. So what is a single-page application? This is a web app that works within a browser and doesn’t need to reload the page while using it. It means that every new page is provided not from loading new HTML pages but powered by JavaScript programming language. SPA gives the ability to continue surfing the page while new elements are being updated. We use this type of  web application every day – Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Amazon, etc. 

How does the single-page application work?

A single-page application is a web application that interacts with its users by rewriting the current page but not loading new pages. Single-page application architecture is linear – it consists of client-side technologies and server-side technologies. 

The key point of how a single-page application really works is that instead of converting data to HTML on the server and then sending it over the wire, in a SPA the conversion process is transferred from the server to the client. This conversion process lasts second on the client-side that gives excellent and improved users` experience and engages them to stay or come back later again.

Benefits of a single-page application

If single-page applications are rather popular and actively used for the development of websites, then there must be a lot of benefits for the companies. Now we would emphasize the obvious and hidden advantages of single-page app software. 

  • Saving money – this is a key benefit for all business spheres. It is clear that almost no app user thinks about the cost of every reloading of the page for its owners.  As Google researches have shown that reloading of the page lasts more than 200 milliseconds there a huge probability of your business will go broke as the price is too expensive, and not all companies can cope with it. For example, Amazon says that 1 second of additional delay in page load costs them 1% of sales (which, considering Amazon’s amount of sales, is $1.6 billion per year.) SPAs don’t reload the entire page but only require content that makes the workflow speed of the website faster. Only data is transmitted back and forth.
  • Customer experience – single-page application comes with a straight forward and a clear beginning, middle, and end that leads to seamless UX with animation effects and various transitions. Scrolling is uninterrupted and convenient.
  • Simple development – there is no need to write code for rendering pages on the server. It is much more simple to get started because you can usually drop development from a file file://URI, without using any server at all. This fast interchangeability makes SPA useful on pages that are highly navigated and use repeating templates. Building a SPA for production, you usually end up with one HTML file, one CSS bundle, and a JavaScript bundle. 
  • Caching – a single-page application has the ability to access any local data effectively. It sends only one request to a server and then stores all the data it receives. Then the SPA can use this data from the storage and work offline.
  • Debugging with ChromeIt is an easy process to debug a single-page application with Chrome since this type of app is developed on frameworks like AngularJS Batarang and React developer tools. These frameworks have their own Chrome developer tools that make debugging much easier compared with MPAs. SPA gives the ability to monitor network operations and investigate page elements.

 

Want to know how your business can benefit from SPA?

 

Examples of popular SPA

There is a large number of actively used successful single-page applications. We use them on a daily basis but don’t know which of them are SPA. Now we would like to describe some of the most popular international single-page apps.

  • Gmail – this mail assistant produced by Google is considered to be the most popular and remains number one for past years. What is so good about Google accounts is that all Google programs are connected with each other and contain all your data in different forms – tables, text docs, presentations, emails, etc. So why is Gmail considered to be a single-page application? When you open a new message in your inbox, the browser stays on the same webpage, but JavaScript code hides the inbox and brings the message body on screen. This is how the SPA works.
  • Facebook is a partly single-page application. There are many options that you can perform on the website without reloading the whole page and your browser doesn’t show a new URL. It makes surfing on the site more convenient and quicker, especially if you need to find or answer important messages. For example, you are looking through your chronics and get a new message, you don’t need to go to the Messenger page. You can open it in a small table staying on the same page with no interruption for your previous deal. One more option is the menu from the left side. If you click on the “Photos”, the browser also doesn’t send you to another link, it just opens the tab on the same URL.
  • Pinterest is a popular visual website where people usually look for inspiration for photos, events, wallpaper, interesting ideas, or just nice pictures. It has a website and a mobile app. Pinterest is a single-page application. When you surf the site, you can notice that every picture you want to take closer opens quickly and without reloading the page of a definite search. It gives the ability to go back without losing the search you need. You can pin to the boards or save to the device any picture. However, if you want,  you can go to the true source of the photo. 

 

Already have your own SPA in mind and need a team of experienced developers?

Where to use SPA?

If speaking about the business sphere, single-page application development, as we already mentioned, takes less time and resources since the same backend API can be used for both the web and mobile versions of an app. Consequently, the information flow is straightforward, and it becomes much easier to create a standalone native mobile application. 

All users of the internet expect the quick and accurate flow of the websites. there is no reason to wait for a long time as they can always go to another resource. Therefore, your website is going to be lost on the net. So users will be more engaged in using your app if it is fast in clicks and loading. So a single-page application can cope with all these probable troubles. 

This type of web app development can be used in all possible business areas, mainly modern and digitized. For example:

  • new social media – new messenger for existing social media or rebranding
  • travel app – clients can choose tours with a detailed choice of hotels, duration, meals, excursions, etc. 

Nowadays people are attracted to those spheres that keep pace with time and development of technologies. The main key is to make your app visually interesting and quick – of course, in the way of single-page application software.

Conclusions

Nowadays there is a tendency of transferring from usually to single-page applications. These web apps attract and involve users thanks to their quick loading, convenience, and even innovation. So this type of web app development is the best choice for excellent engagement between owner and user. However, the SPA is not suitable for all kinds of projects but a real professional can find the approach for implementing a single-page application for your business. 

You may ask – where to find a professional developer like this? Contact us and our developer team will surprise you with the appropriate solutions and high-qualified workflow.

It has a lot of benefits for your business. Some of them are reducing the costs, saving much money, attracting more users because of the quick loading of the content, and simple development.
Mostly there are three types of JavaScript frameworks that are used for SPA - Angular, React.js and Vue.js. If you want to define your type, contact us for deeper information.
A single-page application gains more popularity in the software market. The most famous ones are Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, GitHub, Pinterest, and many others.

Creator

Due to my Master`s Degree in journalism, I focus on the details while doing the research on the topic. My particular curiosity is about the latest mobile app developments that start in 2015 that make life easier and save much time to spend it more productive. I am an expert in reviewing and consulting web projects related to web applications, especially if they are connected with wearables.
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