If the SPA is built right, it will never reload page unless the user refreshes the page. The implementation of single page applications differ but the majority of the SPA’s rely on native APIs or browser behavior to bring the core functionality into action.
There are two types of single page application and the difference comes from their way of implementation. The first type of SPA draws its state (first page) from a URL location while the second type has the state internally. Majority of the single page application that exists today belong to the URL state type where the first state of the SPA points to a server location (URL)
1.) Angular JS
It is one of the most popular frameworks to build single page application. The Angular JS has a large amount of built-in functionality that makes it possible for developers to develop an SPA for every task and environment they can think of. Developers also prefer Angular JS for SPA as they are required to write lesser code and the applications can be easily maintained and scaled as per business needs.
It is a legacy SPA framework with less than 800 lines of code. The Backbone framework remains favorite amongst developers due to the flexibility provided by its MVC model. The Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern also supports a wide range of collections that allow developers in a variation of program architecture. The underscore library allows the application to handle complex calculation gracefully while reduced data tie-ups help developers to create a structural code that can be easily modified and the changes reflected in DOM.
It is a framework used to build Facebook and Instagram. React has a powerful library that simplifies building of applications including single page applications. The framework has a strong code base in form of components to build large-scale applications that function well in high resources or in constrained environment. Developers also have the option of using other frameworks to extend the functionality of the framework.
The Knockout employs an MVVM (Model–view–viewmode) architecture pattern that allows developers to organize code in a simple way. The framework can be used to build large-scale applications that remain synced with a server like the applications created in Backbone and Angular JS. The scalable front-end architecture can be used to build SPA’s that be scaled up or down depending on the user base.
5.) Meteor JS
Based on Node JS, it is one of the rising single page application platforms. It has all the tools required to build a single page application without compromising on application architecture or structure.As Meteor JS can run on both client end and server, developers don’t need different frameworks to build front end and backend of single page application. The unified code allows developers to build seamless single page applications with necessary functionalities.
There is no doubt single page applications bring some distinct advantages that make them more useful in many cases. Some of the use cases of single page applications are
a.) Frequently navigated webpages
Single page applications are known to store data locally, it allows rendering of data even when offline. In SPA, the heavy lifting of data processing is moved from server to browser. This means the server lines are less occupied and sending less amount of data in comparison to a traditional website where HTML, CSS data is sent for every page. Designing your website’s frequently navigated pages as SPA allow the users to see the content in frequently navigated webpages much faster and able to access the content even in offline mode.
b.) Performance critical pages
If you want a website that looks modern and loads quickly, single page application is the answer. Single page applications offer a fast loading experience which translates into the great user experience. SPA’s do not interact much with the server and the rendering of the content is pretty fast.
c.) Pages where there are more similarities than differences
One of the biggest benefits of Single Page application is a better user experience as the user is not required to wait until the successive page loads. The user does not experience any kind of interruption while using SPA and the whole user experience reaches a higher level.
Since the full page never reloads completely, the application works faster and there are fewer server requests to make. The page refreshes as the user navigates and the content on the page changes dynamically as the need arises. Since only data is sent over the wire, less bandwidth is used and the transfer of data is also quick. Also, the SPA stores data locally which means the data can be used over and over again by the application even in offline mode.
Single page application is less complex and hence easier to build and debug. Developers can debug single page application using browsers like Chrome where the developer can inspect different page elements, data related to different page elements and monitor network operations. The back-end code of the SPA can be reused to build a native application.
Single Page applications are popular even today and their popularity is increasing with passing time. Many users are using Single Page application in their daily life even without knowing it.If you are using Gmail or popular Gmail apps, you are more likely using single page application every day.
There is no doubt single page applications offer a faster and immersive user experience. Due to their design architecture and technical limitations, single page application model is not suitable for every project. However, if you see around, SPA is making their presence felt and they are used to build a dashboard of Internet services or SaaS (software as a service) platform. The single page application technology is also used to build form-intensive and data-driven enterprise applications. Though SPA’s have existed for years, they have not become widespread over the Internet. As the technology improves, you are more likely to see more SPAs in the future. If you are looking to build a fast, compatible cost-friendly application, single page application is the way to go.