Quick Summery

Quick Summery

We will drive through the battle between SPA vs MPA. Know which suits best for your web development architecture. At a glance, know everything about single-page applications and multi-page applications in this detailed guide that we have brought for you.

Okay, let’s begin this SPA vs MPA battle

Picture this – you have thought of bringing your business to a digital platform. So, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking about digitisation?

Probably – A web application or website for your business!!

Okay, but when you begin web application development – you will find yourself in the most popular battle i.e. – SPA (Single Page Application) vs MPA (Multi Page Application).

Yeah, You need to choose any one of these web architectures for your web app development!

You want your business on the top and will need help finding the most suitable web architecture to build your web app.

Although, no worries! We’re here to help you!

With the help of this blog, we’ll assist you in choosing the most suitable choice of Single-Page Application (SPA) and Multi-Page Application (MPA)for your web app development.

Let’s begin with the basics!

What is a Single-Page Application (SPA)?

As the names suggest it is a single page application wherein everything gets loaded in one page. We can call SPA as a web app or a website that runs on a browser with one screen.

One of the best examples to consider here is Facebook and X. Yes, you read right! Facebook and X are a single-page application. Here, as you scroll down for feeds, that new content will keep coming without reloading or shifting to a new page.

The logic for SPA is that it does not reload the entire page, however, only the main content section of the page gets reloaded. Thus, preserves the same menu, and header footer for the page.

Now, let’s describe SPA in technical terms. Most of the time, SPAs are used to create fast and seamless websites with the help of technologies like Angular, Vue.js and React.js.

In short, if you’re looking to develop a website that is fast, easy to build, responsive, adaptive, and maintainable then SPA is a choice for you.

Examples of Single-Page Application (SPA)

1. Gmail

2. Google Maps

3. Facebook

4. Twitter

5. Trello

6. GitHub

7. Spotify

How to Develop a Single-Page Application (SPA)?

Well, to build a SPA, you need to follow the below given comprehensive a step-by-step process.

  • Step 1: Plan and Design
    Define the application’s objectives, features, and user experience and then develop wireframes or mockups to visualize the layout and interactions.
  • Step 2: Select Framework
    You have to choose a JavaScript framework or library such as React, Angular, or Vue.js for your web application.
  • Step 3: Development Environment
    Install necessary tools and dependencies, including Node.js, npm/yarn, and a code editor.
  • Application Structure
    Establish the basic folder structure for your project and initialize the project using npm or yarn.
  • Step 4: Develop User Interface
    Build the UI components and layout using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Step 5: Client-Side Routing
    Seting up client-side routing to manage navigation within the application without full page reloads. Mostly the router libraries like React Router, Vue Router, or Angular Router are used.
  • Step 6: Data Management
    Implement logic for fetching and managing data from backend APIs or services. Utilize state management solutions like Redux (for React), Vuex (for Vue), or Angular services.
  • Step 7: Optimize Performance
    Keep enhancing the application’s performance by minimizing bundle size, lazy loading components, and utilizing techniques like code splitting and caching.
  • Step 8: Testing
    Its best to test your app across different browsers and devices to ensure compatibility and responsiveness.
  • Step 9: Deployment
    Build the application for production and deploy it to a web server or cloud hosting platform.
  • Step 10: Maintenance and Updates
    Monitor performance and user feedback, and implement improvements as needed.

If you need more info about how to build a Single Page Application then you can visit our detailed guide – Defining SPA. Or, you can connect with our experts!

Single-Page Application (SPA) Development Lifecycle

Single-Page Application (SPA) Lifecycle

Firstly, let’s talk about how does single page application work. However, the above-given image makes it much clearer about the single page application lifecycle.

The working of SPA is mainly divided into the four major steps, which is explained below.

  • STEP 1: Initial Load
    When a user visits the SPA, the browser loads a single HTML file that contains the basic structure and initial content of the application.
  • STEP 2: Client Side Rendering
    The frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue.js renders the initial UI components and fetches necessary data from backend APIs asynchronously.
  • STEP 3: Dynamic Updates
    As, user starts interacting with wep app, the content updates dynamically without the full page reloads. It is possible by manipulating the DOM (Document Object Model) directly on the client-side, based on user actions and data received from the server.
  • STEP 4: Client Side Routing
    Here, SPA utlizes the client side routing for handling the navigation among different sections of the application. When a user navigates to a new route (e.g., changing the URL or clicking on a link), the framework updates the URL in the browser’s address bar and loads the corresponding view.
  • 5 key benefits of single-page applications (SPA)

    Moving towards the advantages, check out the list of pointers given below.

  • Cross-Platform Development SPAs allow seamless compatibility across various devices like tables, mobile devices, laptops, desktops, and more. Hence, it eliminates the need to build separate code bases for various devices.
  • Enhanced User Experience Single page applications offer a smooth and interactive user experience as they avoid full page reload. Ultimately, it leads to faster navigation.
  • Simplified Development A separate code base is built for client-side and server-side development which lets developers focus on creating an interactive interface and features.
  • Enhanced Development Tools and Ecosystem The best part of SPA is its high-tech ecosystem of libraries, tools and frameworks designed for client-side development.
  • Offline Support SPA benefits by allowing web app users to get access to certain features without any internet connection.

In short, single-page application web development leverages you with a modern and effortless approach to building a web application that is fast and efficient. It improves the overall user experience for your website.

Transform your vision into reality with our comprehensive web application development services

Limitations of Single-Page Application (SPA):

Following are the 3 major disadvantage of Single Page Application;

1. SEO Challenges: Single-plage application faces difficulties with search engine optimization due to client-side rendering.
2.Initial Load Time: SPAs have longer initial load times as they need to download the entire application upfront.
3.JavaScript Dependence: SPAs probably rely on client-side JavaScript, which may cause issues for users with JavaScript disabled or incompatible browsers.

What is a Multi-Page Application (MPA)

Coming to the multi-page application, here multiple web pages are served to the user’s browsers as they navigate through the web app.

Basically, each page represents a functionality or a different section based on the user navigation. The fact is, MPA requires a full page load when you navigate from one functionality to another or to various sections. For instance, MPA has a home page, contact form, user profile, admin profile, login page, product display page, and more. And, each of these pages has its layout and functionality based on its purpose and functionality.

For traditional rendering setups, MPA is the most used approach for web development.

Examples of Multi-Page Application (MPA)

  • Wikipedia
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • LinkedIn
  • Craigslist
  • WordPress
  • Stack Overflow

How to Build a Multi Page Application (MPA)?

Here’s a list of pointers to develop a MPA:
1. List Our Your Requirements: Clearly outline the features and functionality your application will need to support.
2. Select Technology Stack: Choose the appropriate technologies and frameworks based on your project requirements and team expertise.
3. Web App Structure: Design the architecture of your application, including navigation flow and page hierarchy.
4. Create Page Templates: Develop HTML templates for each page of your application.
5. Server-Side Logic: Write server-side code to handle requests, process data, and generate dynamic content for each page.
6. Set Up Routing: Define routes to map URLs to specific pages or resources in your application.
7. Front End Development: Build the front-end interface using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to render pages and handle user interactions.
8. Data Management: Implement data fetching and manipulation logic, including interactions with backend APIs or databases.
9. Performance Optimization: Keep working on page load times and server response times by minimizing code size, leveraging caching mechanisms, and optimizing database queries.
10. Test Application: Perform thorough testing to ensure functionality, compatibility, and performance across different browsers and devices.
11. Deploy Application: Deploy your application to a web server or cloud hosting platform to make it accessible to users.
12. Monitor and Maintain: Keep an eye on the performance and security of your application, and regularly update it to address bugs, vulnerabilities, and user feedback.

Multi-Page Application (MPA) Development Lifecycle Lifecycle

Multi-Page Application (MPA) Lifecycle
The above image makes it clear how the MPA lifecycle differs from the SPA web development phase. Just like SPA, the MPA lifecycle is divided into four parts as explained below. Lets get into how multi page application work?

  • STEP 1: Initial Page Load
  • When user interacts, the browser requests the initial HTML document from the server. And, the server sends entier HTML page with CSS and Javascript required.
  • STEP 2: Page Navigation
  • As the user navigates through application, the server keeps responding by sending all necessary HTML documenets requested for the pages.
  • STEP 3: Full Page Reload
  • The page reload process involves fetching new HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other assets from the server, resulting in a complete refresh of the browser window
  • STEP 4: Rendering
  • As a new page loads, the browser renders the content and executes any JavaScript code included in the page.

5 key benefits of multi-page applications

1. Faster Initial Load Time- MPAs have faster initial load time as only the necessary resources for each page are loaded, rather than loading the entire application upfront.
2. SEO Friendliness- Multi page applications are easy for search engine optimization as it allows search engines to index individual pages with proper keywords and potentially improve rankings.
3. Improvised Security- We consider MPA to a more secure as the application logic is executed on a server that ultimately reduces and prevents malicious code injection in server-side rendering.
4. Better Code Organization- As each page has a separate HTML file, the MPA codebase is more organized and clearer to understand and maintain.
5. Backward Compatibility- MPAs are compatible with a wide range of browsers, including older versions, since they rely less on client-side JavaScript for rendering and functionality.

Limitations of MPA:

The 3 prime disadvantages of MPAs are as given below;

  • Limited Interactivity: Due to frequent page reloading, MPA offer less interactivity which ultimately affects user experiences.
  • Slower Performance: MPAs generally have slower performance as each page requires a full reload, leading to longer wait times for users
  • Scalability Challenges: MultI Page Applications are less responsive compared to SPAs as especially when handling large volumes of concurrent users, as each page request requires server processing.

Now you’ve come halfway to the single page application vs multipage application. So, what do you think, about which web architecture will suit your web application?

Are you still confused?

Let’s get into more detail about MPA vs SPA.

SPA vs MPA – Key Technical Differences Between SPA And MPA

SR.NO Features & Functionalities MPA SPA
1 Page Loading Need entire page load when navigating between the pages Faster navigation as the page loads only once for the subsequent interactions
2 Performance MPAs are quite slower than SPAs as they have a load the entire page for every new functionality and action As the page loads only once, they are faster and more seamless for the user navigation
3 Initial Load Time Less initial load time as each page needs its own resources to be fetched from the server. Usually takes a longer time as all the necessary upfront resources are loaded for the subsequent actions.
4 SEO Friendliness Considered as more SEO friendly as each page has its own URL and content which gives a boost to SEO You might need an additional effort to ensure indexing by search engines for client-side rendering and dynamic content loading
5 Security The server side rendering offers better protection for the attacks like cross-site scripting (XSS) Need to take proper security measures to prevent client side rendering attacks like XSS and CSRF
6 Code Reusability Limited code reusability as each page may require its own set of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript resources. Better code reusability through component-based architecture, where reusable UI components can be shared across different views within the application.
7 Testing Testing is simple and straight as each page is tested individually Needs extra considerations, especially for client-side interactions which involve complex testing setups
8 Third-Party Integrations Integrating third-party services or widgets can be simpler since each page operates independently. Requires careful consideration of third-party integrations to ensure compatibility with client-side rendering and routing
9 Resource Utilization Needs more server resources for the frequent page requests Decrease the server load time as most of the app logic is handled on the client side
10 Scalability Easy to scale for high traffic website as the load is distributed among various servers Need to be careful especially for the huge amount of data
11 Browser History Management Handled naturally by the browser, as each page load corresponds to a new entry in the history stack. Requires explicit management of browser history using JavaScript, typically through HTML5 History API or routing libraries
12 Development Process The web app development process is quite straightforward as the app is built on server and deployed on browser The process comes quite cyclical, as the app is developed and deployed on the browser

For SPA vs MPA, here is one more brief for you. We have assembled a few conditions for you that will help you decide on the web application architecture for web application development.

Deep dive into below given points

When to Choose Single Page Application (SPA) over (MPA)?

You can consider the following aspects for choosing SPA;
  • If you need high level interaction and responsiveness for your web application then SPA is a suitable choice. It comes with a flawless user experience eliminating page reloads and enabling dynamic content updates.
  • For complex user interfaces, such as dashboards, data visualization tools, or collaborative platforms wherein frequent updates are required.
  • When performance optimization is crucial, SPAs shine by reducing server load, minimizing bandwidth usage, and offering faster initial load times

When to Choose Multi Page Application (MPA) over (SPA)?

Consider the following factors for multi page app development;
  • The first and foremost is SEO friendliness if your web app relies highly on search engine visibility.
  • When compatibility with older browsers or devices is essential, MPAs offer better support since they rely less on client-side JavaScript for rendering and functionality
  • MPAs provide a more straightforward development process compared to SPAs, reducing development time and resources

SPA vs MPA – An Ideal Architecture to Build Your Web App

When opting for web development solutions, choosing the right architecture plays a signification role. However, for SPA vs MPA, we cannot give you any precise answer, as the requirement varies from app to app.

Though, we have shared the entire study of both single page applications and multi-page applications for you. However, if you’re still stuck on choosing your web architecture then our team is here to help you.

Being an experienced web app development company, we have a team of experts who can guide and build the best web app for your business/startup.

Get in touch with us! Let’s build your web app together!

Frequently Asked Questions on the SPA vs. MPA main difference

A Multi-Page Application (MPA) consists of multiple HTML pages, with each page serving different content or functionality. In contrast, a Single-Page Application (SPA) operates within a single HTML page, dynamically updating content without full page reloads.

Single page applications are usually used to build websites that need enhanced interactivity and responsiveness thus, they may not be suitable for all types of websites or applications. They are particularly well-suited for highly interactive applications such as web-based tools, dashboards, or real-time collaboration platforms.

Well, no one can give you the exact time to build an SPA or MPA web app. As it completely depends on the web app development company you hire and your app requirements.
However, SPAs may require longer development time due to their intricate client-side logic and routing.

Web applications that use frameworks like Next.js or Nuxt.js for server-side rendering can minimize code while retaining the benefits of both SPAs and MPAs. These frameworks enable developers to write minimal code for server-side rendering, resulting in efficient and performant web applications.

Paresh Sagar

Article By

Paresh Sagar

Paresh Sagar is the CEO of Excellent Webworld. He firmly believes in using technology to solve challenges. His dedication and attention to detail make him an expert in helping startups in different industries digitalize their businesses globally.