Building a Single Page Web Application

As the name hints, a single page web application refers to a site that contains all the information in one page. Unlike most sites today, in a single page application, clicking a tab or button on the site does not direct you to another page. Instead, only the content therein changes. From this, single web page applications eliminate the forced waiting associated with multi-page web apps.

Web development team at Saigon Technology.

Saigon Technology, a top web application development company in Vietnam, shares with us following:

Features of SPA

The core features of a competitive single page app include:

  • No server roundtrip

The use of Separation of Concerns (SoC) design principle helps prevent server round trip by reshaping the UI and restoring the HTML Page. It works by dividing the software system into separate parts that perform/tackle different problems.

  • Client-side templating and routing

With the JavaScript-based routers, it is possible to monitor the state and location of the user within the navigation experience.

  • Works offline

Once loaded, a SPA can still function in the event of connection loss. Furthermore, local data and the web server are automatically synchronized whenever there is internet connection.

  • Cross-platform functionality

Users can load a single page application from any operating system and browsers.

  • Reduced throughput

Server connection is made in small fragments, which helps facilitate working on the application even when there is a limited or slow connection.

These features form the core defining attributes of single-page web applications.

Building a Single Page Web Application

There exist some technical implications that will enable you to develop a single page web application. Here are some of the key technical frameworks to work with.

JavaScript Frameworks

Single-page applications are mostly based on JavaScript framework. AngularJS, ExtJS, React, Ember.js, Meteror.js, Knockout.js and Vue.js all have SPA principles. The properties of these JavaScript frameworks and libraries make it possible to develop a web app that doesn’t require server interaction. The frameworks are all based on JavaScript and are unique as they offer various capabilities. For instance, React is more versatile, given it uses both JS and HTML.


Ajax is prominently used for SPA, particularly the XMLHffpRequest/ActiveX Object from JavaScript, and the jQuery library. Other approaches include the use of script HTML elements or the use of IFRAME.

Server-sent events

The SSE technique allows for data transmission between servers and browser clients. Upon establishment of the initial connection, the event stream remains open until the session is closed by the client. SSEs have a variety of features, including event IDs, automatic reconnection and capabilities of sending arbitrary events.


As part of the HTML5 specification, this bidirectional client-server communication technology offers superior and more simplicity in performance compared to Ajax.

Browser Plug-ins

Silverlight, Java applets and Flash plug-ins can be used for server synchronization. However, this technique is relatively old and is no longer widely used.

Server Architecture

Thin server architecture: In this model, the logic of the SPA is moved to the client side, with the web server only providing web service or data API. This system reduced the complexity of the SPA model.

Thick stateful server architecture: This model requires more server memory and processing. Its advantages are that coding of the application is fully embedded in the server, and the UI state within the server and the data share the same memory space, thus eliminating the necessity of a communication bridge between the custom client and the server.

Thick stateless server architecture: Here, data on the current state of client page is transmitted to the server where the server then reconstructs and generates necessary data/code to produce the desired response based on client actions. This approach is demanding but more scalable since there is no storage of per-client page data. Thus the Ajax requests can be dispatched to different server nodes without server affinity or sessional sharing of data.

Local sharing: The file URI scheme makes it possible to run some single page web applications locally. Users can download and run the SPA file within their local storage device, thus eliminating the need for server connectivity. But for updated data, these SPAs must use in-browser web storage.

When is a Single Page Web Application Appropriate?

This model is appropriate if you want a dynamic platform that processes small volumes of data. It is also a convenient option for those with plans to develop a mobile application since the API can be used in developing web and mobile applications like.

Advantages of Single Page Web Applications

The main benefits of single-page web apps include:

  1. Fast and responsive design

The loading time for a single page web app is dramatically short. Resources are only loaded once and only repeated in small chunks, depending on user interactions.

  1. Caching capabilities

Saving local data after every request means users can access the application components even when the connection is limited.

  1. Adaptable

The layout can be easily adapted for different designs of devices and browsers. Further, the UX is flawless with the seamless transitions.

Wrap up

SEO and link sharing capabilities are a challenge with the single page web applications, but they offer a simple and flexible approach to achieving business goals. With enhanced research and advice from an experienced developer, you will be able to determine the suitability of a SPA for a business/brand.

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