The Single Page Application (or SPA) is a web app that has gained popularity over recent years. The smooth browsing experience provided by the application offers the ultimate user experience. Where different pages are created for different services, the application merges them and rewrites the page.
AnA has many advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before choosing it for your business. To comprehend what Single Page Application means, let’s first define it.
The concept of SEO for SPAs is somewhat different. This procedure involves optimising SPAs by implementing various strategies. This simplifies the user’s life as everything is on one page, saving them time. The content is presented on one page, unlike traditional web applications that require users to load multiple pages to access it all. This ensures a minimum amount of disruption and destruction while working.
Similarly, these websites are also accessed via a web browser and provide users with a dynamic experience, similar to what we can find in mobile or desktop applications.
The rankings of Single Page Applications in search engines can be improved through various SEO techniques.
Websites that display news or are related to social networks generally use Single Page Applications to better serve their customers. This does not just apply to news websites, though. Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some examples of Single Page Applications we use regularly.
To ensure that SPAs are fully accessible by crawlers, there are a number of steps you must take. These techniques include creating a clean sitemap and rendering tricks for apps in order to optimise them for search engines.
The process basically consists of three steps. Building a Sitemap, Using Server-Side Rendering and Completing Pre-Rendering.
Step 1: Sitemap
The basics need to be covered before we tackle indexing and crawling problems specific to SPAs. In this step, nicely formatted sitemap files must be submitted to Google. It does not provide any assistance with resources but at least search engines will be able to figure out what structures have been created for the website and what related pages are there.
Step 2: Server-Side Rendering (SSR)
Using server-side rendering for SPA websites is a simple and effective way to improve them. It provides the service according to the needs of the server and focuses only on requests from the server. After the page has been rendered, it is sent to the client so Java can take over and SPA can continue working.
While performing it, one needs to be very careful since it is a lengthy process. In SPA applications, Virtual DOM is the first one where execution takes place, followed by HTML string conversion. A converted HTML string is added to the page specifically. By using it, the best way to serve a website’s pages is ensured.
It is also true that SSR has some drawbacks. This takes a lot of effort and time, as it increases the load on the server, resulting in slower load and response times. It can be resolved with caching, but SPA fails to meet its purpose in some way. In addition, they can be beneficial for content that is tailored to a specific user or that is used occasionally.
Step 3: Pre-Rendering
The process of pre-rendering is very similar to that of server-side rendering. In this case, the main difference is the pre-deployment stage. Performing pre-rendering services is done here before the deployment of the project.
To perform a pre-rendering, the user will only need to run the Single Page Applications on any browser that supports web pages. The user must then take a snapshot of the page output after going through this process. This file then replaces the HTML files according to the server’s request.
It is not necessary to use the Node.js backend for pre-rendering, and you won’t have to worry about affecting your load time. Despite having many advantages, it has many disadvantages, such as a lack of responsiveness for constantly changing pages and needing to be dynamically loaded.
What are the benefits of SPAs? Keep reading to learn more.
In many web development projects, SPAs are an attractive solution due to their several key benefits.
A better user experience
Enhanced loading time
These applications provide fast loading times, which is one of their greatest advantages. Alternatively, the old applications require much more time as each page refreshes, moreover, each page refresh takes a long time. Unlike SPAs where everything is on one page, simultaneous interactions take place as it loads the page at once.
Additionally, the amount of data moving from the device of the client to the server is very low when the Single Page Application is loaded, thereby decreasing load time.
Suitable for distribution as a Progressive Web Application (PWA)
Once these applications are formed, they can be distributed as PWA (Progressive Web Applications) which provide a very similar experience to the users as the mobile application but the footprints are decreased heavily.
Possibilities are limitless
Our goal should be to develop a content editing application packed with real-time analytical features, and the best way to accomplish this is by utilising SPAs. On the other hand, building strategies in the old app require loading a full page. The SPA crawls only the required parts of the page, without touching the fixed elements, providing a load-friendly and user-friendly experience.
A reduction in development costs
One important advantage is lower development costs. Application costs for other types of applications can be significantly higher than those for SPAs because they require less coding.
SPAs are also easy to update and maintain than traditional applications, which leads to a decrease in its development and overall cost.
Less bandwidth usage
Apart from the other advantages of this application, it requires very less bandwidth. This shows that it can work in remote areas also with a minimum connection without impacting load speed. Additionally, it will lead to less use of data and specifically benefit people with limited data plans.
The SPA might seem like a fine solution, mainly because of quick loading but it does not fit in every situation.
Utilises Additional Browser Resources
As a SPA works, the browser’s central role constantly requires material from the browser, regardless of the server. SPAs rely heavily on browsers, so it is imperative that they have updated features providing the best support possible. This can seriously affect the performance of these applications if it is not handled properly.
Higher potential for memory leaks
The device that users use to navigate these applications can eventually become unable to hold enough memory due to the fact that these applications cannot be reloaded. SPAs can suffer from memory leaks if they are navigated more frequently. During the development stage, these can be easily managed, but they must happen as poor performance can lead to customer dissatisfaction and a bad customer experience.
High risk for security issues
It is not always possible to secure SPAs while optimising them for search engines. This is due to the fact that search engines consider various factors when crawling applications which impact rankings, and here the limitation is the number of pages. Consequently, it does not contribute to ranking performance since it loads just one page.
Affects website statistics
SPAs affect the accuracy and the traffic of the website. It sometimes creates difficulty for the user to decide which content or pages are more popular as there is only a single page in it. To track page views on a Single Page Application, you need to figure out the default Google Analytics tag manually.
The Google SPA Guidelines include some points to consider. From an SEO perspective, these can be beneficial. According to Google, all code paths should be covered, and each view should be treated as a URL with optimised titles and descriptions. A much better error-handling system should also be implemented in the SPA.
The foundation or framework of the SPA should be very strong. It is important to select a framework that has individual attributes. An individual company’s needs determine the framework it chooses for its SPA.
Vue.JS, React.JS, Angular.JS, Next.JS and ASP.NET are the frameworks that can be considered for creating Single Page Applications. SPA framework selection should take into account the following factors.
1. Vue.JS comes with mixed functionality. As a result, it cannot be considered either a framework or a library. With it, you can easily manage HTML blocks for two-way communication. In addition, there is a virtual DOM. It is reactive, however, because of the reciprocal data transfer.
2. React.JS is the best option as a Single Page Application framework for those websites that look for adaptability and performance. Additionally, it has stand-alone libraries and virtual DOMs. The changes here can be added without affecting any other sections.
3. Angular.JS should be considered when looking for a performance-based SPA. These require fewer codes as compared to others. This is considered a cross-platform for Single Page Applications.
4. Next.JS framework works with a flexible approach that accelerates site loading and data retrieval.
Since SPAs are not search engine friendly, it is important that they are created in a way that the performance of a website does not suffer. Here is what can be done to improve the performance of Single Page Applications.
1. The end-user experience should be understood before even creating a SPA. This will highlight the purpose of creating a SPA.
2. The things that are not in control should be closely observed. Necessary steps should be taken to remove the errors.
3. The virtual pages should be monitored regularly.
4. The code paths should be covered.
Single Page Applications can be difficult to monitor and are not easily crawlable and indexable either. But if a SPA manages to give the best user experience, that is what will matter towards the end of the day.
One needs to create a SPA keeping in mind the framework suitable to their business requirements. A Single Page Application created on a strong framework can give desired results.