What Is A Single Page Application?

What Is A Single Page Application?


Everybody, I’m Dave Hecker and today we’re going to talk about a term that we are are hearing all the time these days, and a lot of clients are asking about. It’s the single page application. We’ll talk about what it is, and how it’s going to affect you and your project. Okay to start, this is not going to be a super technical explanation of what a single page application means. This is more going to be for the layman all the way up to somebody who is just considering and trying to get a very broad understanding of what it means.
So here we go. Let’s start with the Wikipedia definition of the single page application. A single page application, also known as a single page interface, which I have never heard, is a web application or website that fits on a single web page with the goal of providing a more fluid user experience
akin to a desktop application. That’s a good definition. Let’s talk about what it kind of really means. In the past, the way that web applications worked was like
this, you have a browser and you have a web server over here. You’re sitting at your browser and you type in www.whatever.com, and your browser sends a request to the server and says, “Send me the home page of that site.” Server sends it back to you, and you look at it, and you click again, send another page. “Now send me this page.” Now that page comes back. Now you type something in the box, “Send me the search results for this term.” Server thinks about it sends you a new page back. You are always getting new pages, and that’s why we see a lot of reloading, especially in older websites. You’re always waiting for the page to refresh. A single page application doesn’t do that at all It’s a completely different approach. When you first come to the website, behind the scenes
your browser downloads a little program in JavaScript. Comes down to your browser, your browser saves it starts to run it.
It is a complete application, as if you had sort of installed a smaller application on your computer, but this is in your browser. And it usually happens in just a few seconds, you don’t even notice it. Once that is running, you don’t need to reload that page any more. That little javascript program is going to control everything on your screen and, if it needs to, it will communicate to the server over the internet and get the information you need without reloading the page. That’s why we call it a single page application. It just loads that one time. That saves a ton of bandwidth, a ton of time. It’s much faster, it’s a much more fluid experience. We’ve all sat there waiting for a page to refresh. That doesn’t really happen on a single page application. A great example is Gmail. They are one of the leaders of the whole single page application approach. You may notice that in Gmail, it never really refreshes. You’re clicking all over the place, email coming in, even new email. It’s obviously communicating with the server but it’s just that same page. And that’s what’s great about single page. Overall, single page applications are great approach especially for more
complex applications. It’s faster, it’s better in a lot of ways, it is harder to
build, but this I think is the way of the future. It embraces html5 and JavaScript
to forward-thinking common approach and I highly recommend it. And we know lots and lots and lots of great javascript developers who can help you do it. So if you have any questions get in touch, and good luck on your project.

Danny Hutson

21 thoughts on “What Is A Single Page Application?

  1. I really like the simple explanation about SPA. Could you give me the permission to translate the subtitles into Chinese ? I'd like to let more people watch this video.

  2. nice one. The app industry seriously need to stop using made up stupid words to explain what their tools do. don't know why they do it.

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