How a Single Page Application Works


As we are taking more and more steps forward to JavaScript enabled applications, everyone is striving hard to create web-based applications. With the evolution of web apps, everyone is concentrating more over them than their old desktop applications.

With modern software demands, all are adapting for rapid application development framework considering previous desktop applications to be too slow and of minimal use. Why not? With the usage of web applications, they will be no problem of installation, updation and they will be available almost on every device.

Approximately across the internet an average amount of 11.8 seconds is taken for a page to load. But as we shove more and more data in a single pipeline and due to the network to and fro trips to the server to fetch all the HTML data it is taking a lot of time. In order to succeed, web applications have to overcome many challenges and are opting for single page application.

What is a Single Page Application?

It’s a new approach to build web-based applications, the whole source code is either loaded initially or dynamically without reloading the page. In this, the navigation takes place on the client side and server calls are done altogether.

While using SPA, in a short period of bandwidth, users are able to simplify application like user interfaces to enhance the customer experience as data gets sent over the same pipeline keeping them in a single convenient web space.

When it comes to a single page application or as we call SPA one of the major advantage is that all your needed content is fully loaded by simulating same browser environment and native APIs. Reducing the amount of time needed it dynamically updates the page as users interact with the different pages of the site.

Users experience a right-on approach in a short duration of time, as updates happen without reloading each and every data. They typically have

  • Application like interaction
  • Dynamic data loading on the server side of API
  • More fluid transactions between the pages in the particular site
  • More Javascript than actual HTML

Current SPA Trends

  • AngularJS – Easy to start, without many dependencies it has great communication support
  • BACKBONE.JS – With moderate support, it has good compatibility with other JS. It has dependencies on Underscore.JS and JQuery
  • REACT – It is only a view layer that utilizes virtual DOM to minimize real DOM changes
  • EMBER – It has dependencies on handlebars and JQuery and is great for web apps

How SPA with Little of Loaded HTML Solves the Problem?

But do you wonder once starting a new app, how is it even possible to load a new HTML as we only initiated a little amount of HTML? Well, that’s the major advantage of SPA. Traditionally the data to HTML conversion takes on the server’s side. But over here the transformation has been moved from server to the client.

It all happens at a high speed and customized format as there will be no more retrievals of HTML data. When you switch from one page to another page in the SPA you will be finding how fastly and proactively the page updates. UI is built on the client side

Using open source Javascript frameworks a user can easily create SPAs. It uses AJAX to build a free flow and responsive web applications. It is a method of exchanging and updating on the website without refreshing the page. As with HTML there will be including a lot of headers, footers, and duplicated tags. When this kind of data is being sent forward and backward a huge amount of time is getting wasted.

But with SPA without constantly reloading the page only data gets requested from the server to the client as soon as you enter the particular site as all the work takes place at the client-server. No full page refreshes are done as the user moves through the application.

Advantages of Single Page Applications

Agile Performance

Since it doesn’t need to reload an entire page except for the user interested part it uses a less amount of time and bandwidth. As per Google survey, it’s been said when a page takes longer than 200 milliseconds then the user might lose interest in it.

Straightforward and Comprehensive

Since it is straightforward by using SPA users can easily opt for the right product without much delay. With this, it gives the best way possible in demonstrating the product information

In-App Navigation

Giving a comfortable end-user experience it easy navigates from one page to another without worrying about loading an entire amount of data. It works inside a browser and does not require page reloading issue.

Easy to Debug with Chrome

As it is a single page application debugging can be done in an easy manner when compared with MPA. With Chrome, you can investigate network operations, page elements, and data associated with it.

Why didn’t SPAs are given much of a Limelight?

As we are now aware of the advantages of SPAs, why they aren’t known for a while? Instead of distracting users with multiple web pages, if you want the site to be based on a single page than use SPA. It is much suitable for SaaS platforms.

For an app like Gmail that especially concentrates on a single product then SPA is the right application.When we consider Gmail it loads all wanted data from the server once and then all translations are done on the client side to the server.

The disadvantage of this approach is that it gives a not so standard SEO optimization. So, if something like Amazon which requires excellent search engine optimization then it is better to opt for the multi-page application or MPA. And if you like SPA and want all features to sync into a single page, consider the hybrid site which minimizes the disadvantages of SPA.

Features Supported by SPA Framework

  • Client-side templates
  • Real-time communication
  • Local storage
  • Ajax
  • Single time file load
  • Routing
  • Data transport

With that being said, SPAs are great for cross-platform apps which avoid the app store. Choosing the right framework is a must for your SPA to perform faster. It has an upper hand not likely on websites but on a content-rich cross-platform application.  As server-side developer focuses on business logic, when it uses AJAX, a rapid application development framework themajority of interactions are handled on the page without any need of the server.It helps the end users of the product by giving an app like experience to produce better feedback, by saving time through well organized and streamline development.