Single Page Applications might, at first glance, not seem like anything your users might find helpful. Only one page? Not even the simplest product or service information will fit on it! But what might surprise you is that you have already used SPA’s plenty of times – for example, while browsing your Facebook feed or checking your emails. Because of how fast, smooth, convenient, and convenient those applications can be, they are perfect for the modern age.

What exactly are SPA and what is the “magic” behind them? You’ll learn everything you need to know in this article. 

What is a Single Page Application?

A single-page application (SPA) is a web application or website which dynamically refreshes and updates specific elements on the page instead of loading the whole page at once. The website or app has only one HTML page – hence the name “single page.” Whenever the users interact with the page, the application uses Javascript to update the content on the website – and only those that are needed at the moment. 

That way, users can use the website without having to open multiple pages or wait for them to load, boosting their user experience and satisfaction with the app.

How do those applications work? 

Single page applications use AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) to download and render small bits of data from the server as needed. Since the app only loads the elements required at the moment, the amount of data that it has to render is drastically reduced – and hence, also the time it takes for the page to load.

How are single-page applications different from multi-page ones?

The main reason why SPAs are so popular is because they are much faster and more convenient to use than traditional multi-page applications. Some even say there’s virtually no difference between SPAs and native desktop or mobile apps!

The difference comes from how SPAs and MPAs work.

In single-page apps, users can jump between different parts of the system without reloading the entire page. The browser loads a single HTML page and then uses JavaScript to dynamically update the content of that page to match what the user is looking for. Multi-page applications, on the other hand, need to load a new page every time a user does something on the website. 

For example, let’s look at Google Maps.  

Whenever you use it, Google Maps will only load the map area you are currently looking at. But more importantly, it will automatically update the map as you scroll or zoom it. That way, you don’t have to refresh or open new pages – Google Maps will immediately update the map for you.   

What are the advantages of single-page applications?

The number of companies who are now using SPA is far longer though. The super smooth news loading on the Facebook dashboard? That’s a single-page application in action. Netflix, Airbnb, Paypal, and thousands of other brands also use SPA on their websites. 

Why is SPA so popular, though? Take a look at some of its main benefits:

It’s much faster

Super short loading time is one of the main reasons why businesses and users like SPA so much. Just imagine how long it would take to load Google Maps if the entire map had to be opened and refreshed at once! So instead, single page apps refresh just the necessary parts of the page rather than the whole page. 

Of course, loading the website for the first time might feel somewhat slow – but once the initial page is loaded, there’s virtually no delay between clicking on a button or zooming and the page updating the content. 

Lower internet usage

One more benefit coming from SPA loading only necessary elements or content rather than the entire website – it uses much less internet data. While virtually everyone now has mobile internet access in their phones, the internet speed is often relatively low, especially in less populated areas. SPA loads quickly even on a slow internet connection though, and as a result, also needs far less data.   

Fast development

For developers, designing a SPA is also much easier and faster than building a regular website. Since the front and back ends can be separated, development teams can work in parallel. They won’t affect each other’s work either, so developers can experiment, build and test the page elements without having to worry about affecting other aspects of the app. 

Smooth user experience

With SPA, users don’t have to wait until the whole website loads or move from one page to another. Instead, the website or app will update the content for them as they are scrolling or interacting with the elements on the website right away. 

That feature makes SPA’s especially useful for mobile devices, as there’s a lower risk that users might get frustrated with how slow the website is loading or how many pages they need to open before finding the information they need. 

Easy to convert to mobile

And while we are talking about mobiles – you might want to consider building a SPA if your plan of action is to create a mobile website next, as SPA can be quickly turned into mobile websites. Developers can just take the existing SPA backend and then adapt it into any platform they might need, rather than having to design everything from scratch. 

Offline functionality

The last advantage of SPAs is that they can work offline. Since the SPA stores all the necessary local data on their server, that gives the users the option to use the application even when they are offline. When the user goes back online, the app will then sync any changes made while offline. 

When a single page app is a good choice? 

So as you can see, SPAs have both plenty of shining points but also quite a few drawbacks. So while planning whether your new website or app should be working as SPA or maybe MPA, it’s a good idea to think about your website’s purpose.      

For example, Single Page Applications work great for:

  • Todo Lists: SPA’s will allow the users to add, edit, and delete tasks in real-time without needing to refresh the page.
  • Social media feeds: Thanks to SPAs, users can seamlessly scroll through their feeds and interact with posts without reloading.
  • Interactive maps: SPAs can render locations and data without refreshing the page, providing a smoother navigation experience.
  • E-commerce product catalog: Online stores can use SPAs to enable users to filter, sort, and explore products without reloading pages each time.

MPA applications meanwhile might be more useful for:

  • Blog websites: If your website has separate pages for different articles, then MPA can give users easy navigation through various content.
  • News Portal: Same as with blog websites, MPA can help companies to organize their content and make it easier for their users to browse the content.  

And whichever option you will pick, you can integrate the website with Xtremepush to design dynamic, fully customized messages and notifications for your users. With a Single Customer View, Intelligent Delivery, and a few other features, you can send personalized on site-messages and push notifications to your users exactly when they are using the app. Schedule a meeting for a demo and see for yourself 🙂    


It shouldn’t be anything surprising that SPAs are so popular with both users and businesses. For users, Single Page Applications are far more convenient to use as 

instead of loading everything, SPAs only refresh the parts that need to be updated. This makes the application feel faster and smoother – even on a slow internet connection. 

So, if you want your website or web app to feel more like a mobile or desktop app rather than a regular website, then a single-page application might be a good choice for you. But before you start developing it, make sure that SPA will work well for your website goals – otherwise instead of a delighting user experience you might only frustrate your visitors. 

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