Where Are We Now?
Object-oriented Design to the Rescue!
What if I want a Website instead of an Application?
Where does the “Single Page” Come in?
The core concept behind a Single Page Application is that the browser only uses one URL. That means you can bounce around the site, fill out forms, or conduct any normal activity without the location in your browser’s address bar ever changing. It’s a simple thing from the user’s perspective, but it has big implications for the programmer.
Is this a Trend Bubble or the Shape of Things to Come?
Google did a lot of the early work in this area and many of Google’s products, like Gmail, Maps, and Reader (RIP), are straight up SPAs. The main pages for Facebook and Twitter use an SPA-like design. The more a site uses AJAX to serve content instead of full page transitions, the more it is like an SPA. I think it’s safe to say SPAs are here to stay.
What are the Benefits of an SPA?
There Has to be a Catch…
There are definitely some special considerations to take into account with SPAs. Creating an SPA without sound object-oriented principles can lead to memory leaks within the browser which can cause it to slow down or crash. If you use an SPA for your main site, you have to take special steps for search engine optimization (SEO) so that crawlers will see an appropriate version of your page. The biggest bane of SPAs is the browser back button. If not properly handled, the user can click the back button intending to go back one step in their workflow, but instead be dumped back to whatever page they were at before they entered the SPA. However, all of these issues can be addressed with the right techniques.
Is a Single Page Application Right for Me?
Probably. It’s the natural evolution of web programming and it pairs nicely with mobile device support options like responsive design. If you’d like a more customized answer just give us a call; we’ve got plenty of experience in developing Single Page Applications.