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A Complete Guide on How to Build a Single Page Application

A Complete Guide on How to Build a Single Page Application

Since you are here reading this article, we are pretty sure that you understand the importance of business websites and the benefits you can reap from it. But, have you ever taken a step back to wonder about the website’s loading time and how it can affect user experience? The main issue with complex websites is that everytime the user interacts with it, they are redirected to new pages and the content is refreshed and reloaded. This can hamper the total time spent on the website and can demotivate users; so, how do you tackle this issue and ensure that your audience stays on your website?

The solution is – single page applications (SPAs), which fit the complete website content in one page. Seems cool, doesn’t it? Well, SPAs are different from complex websites because whenever the user interacts with it, the SPA content gets updated with new material. Now, the question is, how do you build a single page application (SPA) that keeps your users engaged? Although the concept is a bit complicated, we have broken it down and simplified it for you. Check out the following article to learn more about SPAs and learn how you can build a single page application for your business today!

What Are Single Page Applications (SPAs) And How Are They Different From Typical Websites?

If you have been searching the internet trying to find what single page applications (SPAs) are all about, you’re at the right place. As you might have been able to guess from the name, SPAs are websites that contain all of their content on a single page. In simpler terms, you can think of SPAs as a website which is not reloaded whenever you click on its tabs, links, or buttons. So, how exactly does it operate and why are they better? Instead of reloading, only the content being displayed on the SPA is changed; so, these websites have a faster loading time and help boost user experience.

Although the concept of single page applications has been floating the industry for several years now, several business owners and developers like you have only been trying it out recently. To help you better understand why you must build a single page application, we have listed the differences between SPAs and typical websites in the section below.

Differences between SPAs and MPAs

Whenever you perform any action on typical websites, a new HTML page is requested from the server and displayed. So, in the case of traditional websites (also called multi-page applications or MPAs), you can expect numerous request transactions between the client and server. On the other hand, single page applications use AJAX technologies; which include numerous techniques that refresh only a simple application area instead of your complete website page.

Are you confused about which pattern would better suit your website or development project? We have listed the key differences between single page applications and typical websites in the following table.

  • Initial Load takes longer time
  • Further app usage is quicker
  • Initial Load time is lesser
  • Loads every time user interacts, making it slower
SecurityCan be hacked easily, but with the right security protocols and measures, hacking can be preventedDevelopers must adopt security approaches for all the web pages available
Development ProcessBack-end code is reusable and is separated from the front-end codeSeveral dependencies present between back-end and front-end
JavaScript DependenciesPresence of JS dependencies that might affect the initial loadingNo JS dependencies
Link SharingSingle link is valid for the entire app, but deep linking is necessary for sharing specific contentEvery webpage included has a different link
User ExperienceQuite responsive, quick, and mobile-friendlyBetter information architecture
Popular Web Application ExamplesGoogle Maps, Trello, GmailCNN, Forbes, Amazon

Why are SPAs so Beneficial?

Now that you have an idea about why SPAs are preferred over typical websites, you might be leaning a bit towards it. But, before you hire web developers to build a single page application for your business, let us look at a few more reasons why SPAs are so beneficial.

Well, single page applications are really responsive, interactive, fast, and adaptive to customer needs and requirements. Moreover, they are really reliable and secure and have great SERP rankings; so, when you build a single page application, you automatically reap the benefits of search engine optimization techniques. Another important point that contributes to the popularity of SPAs is that it downloads the website’s complete HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code during startup.

Are you ready to build a single page application and dominate the web development industry? Before you do so, check out the following section to learn about the projects where SPAs can help.

Projects Where You Must Develop a Single Page Application (SPA)

Although it might not be that obvious, SPAs are suitable for almost every project except eCommerce websites and marketplaces. This is because eCommerce websites and marketplaces include multiple pages and rely on the MPA design for proper functioning. If you are worried that the possibility of utilizing single page applications is limited, don’t be! SPAs have endless possibilities; just look at the following examples of the top single page web application using AngularJS and React:-

  • Gmail
  • Google Maps
  • Facebook (partial)

Advantages and Disadvantages of SPAs

Are you wondering whether the world of single page applications (SPAs) is as lucrative and beneficial as it seems? Well, there are two sides of the same coin – single page applications have numerous advantages, but they have a few disadvantages too. To help you better decide whether you must build a single page application or not, we have listed its advantages and disadvantages below.

Advantages That SPAs Bring to Projects

Advantages That SPAs Bring to Projects

Single page applications are really popular today and there must be a reason for that, right? Well, actually, there are a few reasons that contribute to the popularity of single page applications. These benefits make major contributions to the popularity of SPAs and are mentioned for you below:-

1.   Quick and Flexible

When you build a single page application, your complete website content is present there; and, whenever users interact with it, a part of the content reloads. Moreover, application resources like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files are loaded only once, remarkably boosting the website speed. Since data is the only item that is exchanged, handling user needs and delivering solutions become quite easy.

2.   Better User Experiences

When you build a single page application, multiple modular services get updated automatically; this makes it easier for developers to experiment with their website’s appearance. So, you can easily create engaging, dynamic, and animated user experiences and can test them using SPA frameworks. A word of caution – if you like programming in a single language, you might face issues because sometimes back-end services might be written in other languages. This is why we recommend partnering with a development company offering web application development services for quicker and seamless SPA creation.

3.   Capable of Caching

Generally, single page applications can send a single request to server, save the information it receives back, and then caches any local data that is available. This allows the SPA to effectively use the local data without requiring permission from the server; so, your single page application can also operate offline, while the content gets synced whenever the device has secure internet connectivity.

4.   Simple yet Adaptable

Since single page applications have a single page and operate based on an individual script, you can easily build a single page application. Another advantage is that they allow developers to stage multiple resources, facilitating flexible re-development of the application as and when needed.

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Disadvantages of SPAs That You Must Tackle

Apart from the numerous benefits of single page applications, there are a few disadvantages that you must tackle too. We recommend you hire dedicated developers to smoothly handle these issues and develop the industry’s best single page applications.

1.   Issues with Storing Browser History

As we discussed, browsers cache all the pages of the SPA that are to be loaded, which can cause problems when the application is getting updated. This is because users who visit your application during the updation time will only be able to view the cached version.

2.   Difficulties with Updates

In case you need to make several changes to your application, it can be pretty challenging to do so with an SPA. We recommend you build a single page application React from scratch again for better development and quicker editing.

3.   SEO Optimization

Although SPAs generally rank better, it is important to acknowledge that link building, page sessions, and web page crawling are important SEO concepts that SPAs do not support.

4.   Security Issues

Since single page applications majorly rely on client-side scripting for their functionality, they are less immune to XSS or cross-scripting attacks as compared to that of multi-page applications. This means that hackers can easily inject your website’s client-side scripts and directly affect the web application. Another important security concern that you must pay attention to is the disclosure of sensitive information. If you are not careful about the data that is being displayed in the initial page reload, your website can easily send sensitive information that must not be shown.

5.   Link Sharing

When you build a single page application, you do so on only one URL; so, your complete application is accessible with a single URL and its components cannot be shared individually without intricate development methodologies.

How to Build a Single Page Application From Scratch?

Now, you are ready to build a single page application, but the main question is – how do you develop a single page application successfully and engage users? In this section, we will discuss the three cornerstones that determine the quality of your application and the development process.

1.   Tools and Technologies

Similar to developing a multi-page application, JavaScript is a must in SPA development. Some common alternatives that you must look into before you build a single page application include:-

  • JavaScript’s frameworks like AngularJS and Vue.
  • AJAX for asynchronous JavaScript and XML to replicate the seamless reload-less content change.
  • Back-end technologies like NodeJs and Laravel PHP.
  • Databases like MongoDB and MySQL.

2.   Development Team

Before you start to build a single page application, you must ensure that your development team is JavaScript-savvy. Being highly competent in JavaScript can help reduce your app’s complexity and ensure that your app gets launched quickly. The perfect SPA development team consists of the following roles:-

  • UI/UX designers to ensure proper application design.
  • JavaScript developers for high-quality front-end code.
  • Back-end engineers who help establish seamless connections between front-end and back-end.
  • Your application must undergo exhaustive debugging and testing by QA specialists.
  • A project manager who must ensure that your team is adhering to the planned timeline of the project.

3.   Timeline for Project Completion (Estimated)

Remember: the total time required to build a single-page application hinges upon its features and complexity. Additionally, your development team’s expertise, coupled with their total size is significant to this equation; so, we strongly suggest that you plan your application diligently and secure an expert and skilled group of developers.


Numerous businesses are attracted to the popular web development concept – single page applications; largely due to their enhanced user experiences. To create a single-page application, you must first gain precise understanding of its advantages and disadvantages as well as comprehend the necessary steps involved. We hope that the above article helps you gather significant insights into the world of SPAs and helps you facilitate rapid development of a single page application. Partnering with a premium web app development company will also allow you to ensure that you have adopted the right strategy, guaranteeing successful development of a single-page application.

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Written by Parth Patel

Parth Patel is a Microsoft Certified Solution Associate (MCSA) and DotNet Team Lead at CMARIX, a leading ASP.NET MVC Development Company. With 10+ years of extensive experience in developing enterprise grade custom softwares. Parth has been actively working on different business domains like Banking, Insurance, Fintech, Security, Healthcare etc to provide technology services.

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