Single page application (SPA) website development vs multi-page websites
When people come to me with the need for a website, e-shop, etc. I ask if they want SPA and then usually I hear a question: “Why do I need an app? We need a website!”
SPA is not an app that runs independently in your computer or phone but it’s a web app that runs in the browser like a website.
“Web page” or “web app” — the difference is that in a “web page” you will have some content and there will be (hyper)links to subpages (“services”, “news”, “contact”, whatever). When you click on any link then there will be a new HTTP request and new page loads. Depending on your connection speed, website’s server and its connection and some other factors it will take a certain amount of time to load the new page. You’ll see in the browser tab title (left side — where usually is the website’s icon) half-circle turning around. That’s indicating that the new “web page” is loading.
Why? Because loading a new page will take some time even if you have a fibre-optic connection and the website is super optimised and in a fast and expensive server. In SPA the loading of new pages will be either lightning-fast and instant or to make things especially cool and modern maybe with some effect (let it be fade in/out, slide, etc.). Click on this website’s top menu items to see how new “view” loads with a fade.
So speed is one of the most important aspects. Internet is full of stats how many % big e-commerce players and websites have gained longer browsing visitors after switching to SPA as visitors (without thinking about speed) click on more links and browse around more if new views/pages load super fast.
Downsides of the SPA? Not really any more except little more hours of work on web development. They used to be in very recent history, not so SEO (search engine optimisation) friendly but that’s over now. VueJs has Nuxt.js and React has Next.js web application framework and with these, each SPA view will look like a web page for search engines. It will have its web address (URL), title, description and all the META tags that are good for SEO so SPA is more SEO friendly as Google loves super fast and modern web apps!
Another minus that used to be, is the slightly longer initial loading time because of the heavy frameworks. Usually, some kind of loader is displayed during that time but be creative and different — display during the loading time already some interesting/educative/funny/whatever content while all the cool stuff loads in the background! Also, we can do with the initial load just the landing page and while the visitor has already that one fully loaded we can load in the background the rest to make whatever further visitor’s interaction instant.
Want to hear more about the SPA web app development? Book a free up to 30min web development consultation with me>> And read also about PWA (progressive web apps)>>