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Single Page Application vs Multi Page Application

What’s in common between Twitter, Google Maps, Facebook, Google Drive, and Gmail? The answer is simple: all of them are Single Page Applications. But why had all those giants turned away from a traditional multi-page site model?  Maybe SPAs claim to become the next stage in web application development?

The Difference Between SPA and MPA

The main difference between SPA and MPA lies in a page lifecycle.

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  • MPA has a classical architecture, which means that each page of a website has to be completely reloaded upon the request to the server when updating data.
  • SPA is created in the way to update only a portion of a content, which allows avoiding the full page reload.

Thus, SPA can be defined as a dynamic single-page application and a fast, user-friendly alternative to multi-page apps.

Benefits of SPAs

Here are the main benefits SPAs might offer:

Working Faster

According to statistics, 90% of users would leave the site or switch to another one in case they don’t get a page fully loaded in the very first 3 secs. SPAs work much faster than traditional multi-page apps due to a minimum data load time.

User-Friendly Navigation

SPAs offer smooth, user-friendly site navigation without annoying time lags and reloads.

Offline Accessibility

SPA caches data seamlessly, thus can be used to work offline. This means that a low bandwidth is no longer a problem.

Mobile Application

As SPA allows rebuilding the backend code of your web/native application, it is easier to create a mobile app from scratch.

SPA Pitfalls

Here are the main reasons why SPAs were lagging behind:

  1. Some time ago it was tricky enough to make an SEO-friendly SPA. Google crawlers often experienced problems trying to index SPAs. However, this issue has been successfully resolved and there is no more hassle with crawling.
  2. Such heavy frameworks as JS need to be preloaded on the client side, thus there are some slight problems with SPAs downloads.
  3. In comparison to a traditional multi-page application, SPA is considered to be less secure. In fact, memory leaks in JavaScript can slow down even a powerful system.
  4. Although the majority is slowly transforming towards SPAs, still there are some projects that cannot move to this trend. And for them, MPAs remain more applicable.

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SPA for Business

Imagine you need to buy a tablet, and you surf through hundreds of pages in order to find a perfect fit. Each time you tap a link, your browser refreshes to load a new page. Each page reload is equal to 2-3 seconds delay, 5 minutes in total of lost time just for the browser load.

Now think of some popular e-commerce website. And what if it were a SPA?

It will repeatedly refresh itself at each page and, as a result, will get a significantly higher response rate, providing better user experience and acquisition. Such a website will definitely attract more customers and return them back.


Considering all the benefits SPAs provide, we expect these applications to become more frequently used in the coming years. If you have any questions regarding SPA development or need to migrate your existing app into SPA, feel free to contact us.

Author Bio

Alex Burets Head of Web Development Department
Alex has 19 years of experience in software development, delivering new and innovative solutions for a myriad of different companies, ranging from small startups to large-scale enterprises with massive programming needs. His main focus areas are web development, front-end development, and eCommerce solutions.

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