If you’re finding it difficult to decide whether you should build a multi-page application or a single-page application, you have to come to the right place. This blog post will give you an overview of a multi-page application and a single-page application and will give you a concise comparison between the two types of web applications.
A multi-page application is a web app that consists of multiple web pages. So as there will be more than one web pages on this kind of web application, the user will be taken to several pages on the website when the user clicks on some link, and the pages will not be shown instantly as it will take some time to load a particular page depending on Internet speed and other factors.
Amazon.com is a good example of a multi-page application.
A single-page application, on the other hand, is a web app that consists of only one web page. As there will be just one web page on the website, the user will see all the features of the website on the same page. He/she won’t be taken to a different webpage. So new pages will not be loaded when the user will do something on the website. Everything will be shown on the same webpage to the user.
Facebook is a good example of a single-page application. Although there are multiple pages on Facebook, so much happens on the same page. Most of the time, the user is not taken to a new page on Fb. Rather, a particular task is executed on the same webpage.
A multi-page application gives you many interesting advantages. Let’s talk about the most important ones.
SEO optimization: As an MPA has multiple pages, it will have a better SEO performance when compared to an SPA. So with a multi-page web application, you will have a greater control over SEO. So your site will rank easily on search engines.
Google Analytics: When you have a multi-page application, you will get a huge amount of useful data about your website using which you can improve various aspects of your website. On the contrary, with a single-page website, you won’t get much information from Google Analytics.
Unlimited scalability: With a multi-page application, you can enjoy unlimited scalability, which is a great benefit for your business.
The major disadvantages of a multi-page application are as follows.
Development time: Building a multi-page application requires more time as you need to create multiple pages.
Difficulty in maintenance: As an MPA has more than one page, it can become very difficult to maintain the website. The larger your website becomes, the harder it will be to maintain the site.
Low performance: When compared to an SPA, an MPA can be slower.
The key benefits that you will get from a single-page application are outlined below.
High performance: A single-page application is very fast because the entire webpage isn’t updated, only the necessary content gets updated. High-performance is one of the most exciting advantages of a single-page application.
Amazing user experience: A single-page application gives the user the most amazing experience as the user can perform various operations on the page instantly, without having to reload the webpage.
Easy debugging with Chrome: As single-page applications are usually developed using frameworks such as AngularJS, React Developer tools, and Batarang, debugging such web apps is easy with Chrome.
Great caching capabilities: As SPAs have great caching capabilities, users can perform some tasks on the webpage offline. This is a great advantage especially for people with poor Internet connection. This feature enhances the user experience.
Let’s take a look at some disadvantages of a single-page application.
Security problems: A single-page application has some security issues. To give you an example, client-side scripts can easily be injected into SPAs using XSS. Although a single-page application has security issues, you have to keep in mind that you can fix those issues with some techniques. So it won’t be a big problem for you if you build a single-page application.
SEO: A single-page application may not have good SEO performance but you don’t have to worry as Google has provided a great new scheme that enhances SEO for a single-page app. But for this, you, as a developer, have to verify that Google can index JS files of the app and you also need to make sure that HTML5 mode is used in the URL scheme.
Which type of web app you should build for your business depends on your business goals. But you should note that although each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, a single-page application is more modern and it will give your site visitors a better user experience and performance.
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