What is a Single Page Application (SPA)?

With today’s high-speed Internet standards, there’s no need to be trapped on a model in which every action performed on the website, such as clicking on various buttons, results in another web page being downloaded from a server. That is the main reason why organizations are moving towards building a few parts of their web application with this newly emerged term “Single Page Application (SPA)”.

Single Page Application is a web application or website that interacts with the user by dynamically rewriting the current page, rather than loading entire new pages from the server.

When you browse through your email, for example, you’ll notice that little changes throughout navigation – the sidebar and header remain unchanged as you look through your inbox. With each click, the SPA just communicates what you need, and your browser displays that information. This differs from a conventional page load, in which the server re-renders a whole page with each click and delivers it to your browser.

This piece-by-piece, client-side technique reduces load time for consumers and reduces the quantity of information a server needs deliver, making it much less and much more cost efficient.

What Is A Single Page Application? Meaning, Pitfalls & Benefits
Photo: www.excellentwebworld.com/what-is-a-single-page-application/

A refresh of page never occurs with an SPA; instead, the browser retrieves all necessary HTML, JavaScript, and CSS code with a single page load, or the appropriate resources are dynamically loaded and appended to the page as needed, generally in reaction to user activities.

At their core, single page applications are based on Ajax — a set of web development techniques for sending and processing requests from a server in the background without the need to reload a whole page. Ajax has allowed developers to start folding complex functionality into apps that fit on a single page.

Single Page Application vs. Multi Page Application
Basic Representation of Single Page Application vs. Traditional

Benefits of Single Page Applications:

  • Single Time File Load Each of HTML, CSS, JS – After the initial page load, the server does not send any additional HTML to you; instead, you download it all at the start. The SPA then sends back requests for data and markup as you click around, the server provides back the raw materials required, and your browser takes it and displays an updated UI – interchanging parts without ever needing to refresh the entire page.
  • Fast and Responsive Front-end Built – This is due to the decoupled architecture of SPAs, or a separation of back-end services and front-end display. With a decoupled setup, developers can build, deploy, and experiment with the front-end completely independently of the underlying back-end technology.
  • Improved User Experience – Single page web applications are great for developing unique sites while also offering an excellent user experience. Because visitors do not need to wait for the new page to load. The dynamic loading of the material provides the user with a consistent experience.

Some Single Page Application examples are like Gmail, Google Maps, AirBNB, Netflix, Pinterest, Paypal, and many more are using SPAs to build a fluid, scalable experience.

Why developers of 2021 prefer the SPA approach? SPAs have more chances to hold users’ attention as they seem to be fast operating — SPAs provide users with instant feedback (compared to regular sites with their white screens before the page will be completely downloaded). Single-page sites also consume less and could work without server-side code at all (API technology).

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