Pros and cons of Single-Page Apps (SPA)

If you’ve never heard of the single page approach used for web development apps, you might say: “Single page apps? No way!” But if you look closer into it, you’d be surprised how many custom web app development services are staying busy with clients asking: “MPA or SPA? Which one to go with?” Yes, we are all used to multi-page apps (MPAs) and this approach in web development seemed almost unaltered. However, the transition towards more simple but greater efficiency of apps has happened. What’s the reason? Delivering a better experience to users via improved usability & easy navigation – 2 cornerstones of app development. But can something simpler be actually better? To answer this question, let’s make a quick overview of SPAs and talk about the goods and bads of the SPA approach in app development.

What do SPAs do?

Single page applications (SPAs) load single HTMLs where users can update page info dynamically and download the whole app into the Internet browser as a single page. And then have different “pages” revealed as the user navigates around the application. And just because these “pages” are already downloaded, they load up much faster compared to the standard server-side rendered apps. Keep in mind that single page apps do not fetch new HTMLs from the server to load NEW pages. Instead, SPAs utilizes Java along with the client-side routing to render new pages instantly. Data gets retrieved from the server via AJAX requests and then
that data renders into content by utilizing JS frameworks like React or Angular. Some examples of SPA apps: Netflix, Gmail, Google Maps, Pixenio, Twitter, Trello, etc.

How are SPAs different from MPAs?

While SPAs are better in terms of overall performance, user experience, and server resource usage, they may not work in all search browsers and are a bit more tedious to code. MPAs are easier to code, MPAs work in all Internet browsers, and are considered to be better in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). So, what are the pros of SPAs then? Read on!

What are the advantages of SPAs?

Before hiring a software development agency, do your homework and learn some pros and cons of the SPA approach. Then see whether these advantages correlate with your goals for your future application.


● Flexible and portable front-end. If you don’t use a back-end framework like Flask or Django and put the entire logic on the front-end only using a SPA framework, you get an entirely “back-end independent” code (which is the biggest benefit). In other words, it doesn’t matter which framework it’s written in because you can switch between them easily now.

● Know just Java script and that’s pretty much it? You are all set! In a regular app, you need to know a back-end language (like PHP, Python, ASP.NET, etc.), as well as HTML/CSS/JS for front-end coding. But with SPA, your entire logic is mostly in JS. Awesome!

● You can debug SPAs with Chrome easily.

● You can use SPAs offline due to local cache storages.

● The linear user experience becomes much easier and convenient.What are the tradeoffs of SPAs?

● You lose SEO. Due to the very nature of SPA apps, it becomes difficult to take advantage of SEO features in it.

● Your code can be stolen. For instance, if you’ve got all your business logic conveyed into the app and have it written in front-end Java script, anyone would be able to simply right-click > view-source in the browser and steal your code.

● Browser compatibility. Not all browsers are compatible with front-end SPA frameworks like Angular and React.

● Unstable ecosystem. Since the JavaScript NPM ecosystem is still evolving at a rapid pace, it’s possible that you may have to spend a huge chunk of time fixing trivial bugs which you would’ve already fixed in regular back-end languages like Python and PHP.

Final Thoughts

Before building an app, define your goals first, and then pick a web development consultancy to find out whether you need a SPA approach or not. Maybe your app needs multiple categories. You need to find that out to be certain what custom web app development services you need. For example, if you’re running an online shop or publishing lots of content, then going for a MPA approach in this case would be better.

However, don’t go for the SPA approach just because you think that this app development process will be cheaper. In fact, there are always lots of different things to consider when you are designing any app. So, make sure you ask your web development consultancy any questions you possibly need to clarify anything regarding the service fees and estimates.