Contrary to their name, Single Page Applications do not necessarily consist of only one ‘page’, traditionally speaking. In fact, many of the modern sites you use on a daily basis, such as LinkedIn, Gmail, Facebook, and many others are all examples of SPAs.
In traditional website design, when a page on a website is accessed, the entire page has to be loaded from either the server or a locally stored copy of the site on the user’s computer, then processed by the browser to convert the code hosted and sent by the server into the website that is displayed by the browser. Now, if the user navigates to a different page on the same site, even if some things are the same between the pages (such as header/footer), the entire page (including the header/footer) has to be loaded and converted again. As you might be able to tell, this is a rather inefficient method, but this is the traditional way in which multi-page websites have functioned.
With a Single Page Application, the ‘Single Page’ aspect comes from the fact that instead of needing to load entire new pages, instead the parts of the page that need to be changed are dynamically rewritten, while unchanged parts (such as the header or footer) don’t need to be reloaded.
What are the advantages of Single Page Applications?
There are many advantages to the Single Page Application design, which include decreased data usage and loading times for users (as only the necessary sections need to be loaded and rendered between pages/changes).
Due to the development requirements for a SPA site, it also allows for a much easier integration of your site data to a variety of access modalities, such as a mobile application, a desktop application, and many others.
And on a subjective level, because SPAs can dynamically refresh only the necessary sections of the page, navigating and using an SPA website just feels smoother (in my personal opinion).
Future trends and conclusion
With the growing popularity of SPA design in Web Development, there is a strong possibility that SPAs could continue to grow into the major trend of Website design, but only time will tell. I hope this article helped give you some extra perspective, and thank you for reading!