The Differences Between Single-Page and Multi-Page Applications

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There has been a lot of debate in technology circles about the respective merits of single-page and multi-page applications.

Web apps have become much more prevalent in recent times as they are simple to use, easy to update and not limited to one device.

For anyone aiming to create an app, there are two main design structures – multi-page (MPA) and single-page (SPA). Read on as we take a closer look at both types.

Types of Web Applications

Single Page

As the name suggests, single-page apps like Wink Slots consist of one single page. SPAs present content in an efficient way as it loads on one single page rather requiring the user to navigate several pages.

SPAs are faster than traditional web apps because they perform the logic in the browser itself rather than on the server. After the initial page load, only data is sent back and forth instead of the whole HTML, thus reducing the bandwidth.

Top 3 Advantages of Single-Page Apps

  • Enhanced User Experience: Faster page load time and uninterrupted scrolling provides a better experience for the user.
  • The Base for Mobile Apps: The backend code of a web solution or an online game can be conveniently reused in native mobile improvements.
  • Easier and Faster to Develop: Fewer pages result in less build and test time, making single-page a more cost-effective solution.

Top 3 Disadvantages of Single-Page Apps

  • Download problems: Single-page apps can be slow to download because of the heavy client frameworks that need to be loaded.
  • Security issues: SPA is can be less secure as cross-site scripting (XSS) allows attackers to inject client-side scripts into the web app.
  • Memory leak:¬† Memory leak in JavaScript can result in slow down.

Multi-Page

Multi-page apps (MPA) are the traditional web applications that reload the entire web page and a new one when a user interacts with the app.

When data is exchanged back and forth, a new page is proposed from the server to display in the browser. This process takes time to create the pages on the server, sending it to a client and displaying it in the browser which may affect the user experience.

However, AJAX made it reasonable to render just a particular component of the app, but this makes the development process even more complex.

Top 3 Advantages of Multi-Page Apps

  • Easier to Scale: Multipage provides more freedom, with almost no restrictions on the number of pages developers can add.
  • Improved Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Multi-page is more SEO-friendly than single-page.
  • Insightful Data Analytics: Multi-page offers more in-depth analytical reporting than single page.

Top 3 Disadvantages of Multi-Page Apps

  • Costly to Develop: Multi-page apps can be extremely costly to develop as more pages are added.
  • Lower Performance Indicators: The content in multi-page apps is constantly refreshed which increases the load on your servers.
  • Expensive Maintenance: As you extend a web system, the more difficult and expensive the support becomes. This is particularly pertinent where data security is concerned.

SPA or MPA?

Before deploying a web application, it is important to assess what you are looking to achieve and whether it is sustainable over a significant period of time.

If you need multiple categories for publishing lots of quality content or running an online shop, multi-page is the way to go.

A third option of a hybrid app is worth considering if you fall in between the two stools, as this takes the best of both strategies and wraps them up in a neat package.

However, if your site is appropriate for single-page without cramming everything in, then this is certainly the most advisable option.

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