d8888888b    888 .d8888b.888888888888888888888Y88b   d88P  .d8888b. 8888b
       d888888888b   888d88P  Y88b   888    888        Y88b d88P  d88P  Y88b88888b
      d88P88888888b  888Y88b.        888    888         Y88o88P   888    888888?88b
     d88P 888888Y88b 888 "Y888b.     888    8888888      Y888P    888       888 ?88b
    d88P  888888 Y88b888    "Y88b.   888    888           888     888       888  ?8bb
   d88P   888888  Y88888      "888   888    888           888     888    888888   ?8bb
  d8888888888888   Y8888Y88b  d88P   888    888           888  d8bY88b  d88P8888888888b
 d88P     888888    Y888 "Y8888P"    888    8888888888    888  Y8P "Y8888P" 888     ?88b

The Problem With Single Page Applications



An SPA is going to be significantly more complex than a non SPA website. Period.

Most developers opt to use a framework to help mitigate the inherent complexity with a SPA. However, a framework isn't actually necessary. But for larger SPAs a framework is recommended, and the choice of that framework could have significant long-term ramifications.

One of the main goals for a framework is to try to mitigate complexity, but unfortunateley they aren't a magic bullet that solves the problem entirely. Frameworks require time and effort to learn, and they introduce a fairly rigid set of rules which restricts how things are implemented. The learning curve varies by framework but are typically steep. And because there are a lot of different frameworks, and developers tend to prefer a specific tool, a SPA website is going to be bound by the limitations of a particular framework and highly dependent on the availability of developers who know it.

Size & Performance

SPA frameworks are notoriously bulky, in some cases adding hundreds of kilobytes of code to the final product. Typically this is a trade-off between features and performance; a more feature-rich framework will be bigger. Regardless, a larger library is going to take longer to load, despite tricks and techniques to optimize it. This ultimately affects page load time, which in turn can drastically impact a user's experience. No matter how you look at it, performance does matter.


With any website, maintainability is extremely important - after all, websites need to be updated and maintained. A framework will complicate the maintainability of a website, especially if the original developer is not going to be responsible for the maintenance.

Framework Support

Another concern is the long-term support for the framework of choice. There are many SPA frameworks available, but as so often happens with technology, projects are abandoned or replaced. Newer frameworks will replace the old ones, but unfortunately this doesn't mean an easy migration - in all liklihood refactoring a website to use a new framework would require a complete rebuild.

SPA's Are Not Search Engine Friendly

A Single Page Application is not indexable by internet search engines. Due to the nature of an SPA site, there is simply no way for a crawler to effectively explore and index the site. The only obvious solution is to create what are known as "doorway pages" which are essentially a statically rendered copy of key elements of the SPA site. Unfortunately, this solution is pretty fragile - not only do search engines frown on (and penalize) sites that use doorway pages, but unless you are willing to pay a company to maintain that service a DIY based approach is almost certainly going to fail badly.

Home - Geocaching - PHP Scripts - Articles - Music - Programming - Hot Sauce Review
About This Site - Site Search - About Me - Link Directory - Contact Me

This site was constructed entirely by hand { more info }
Modified Tuesday, April 4th 2017 UTC

(C) Copyright 2000-2018 Marty Anstey ~~ I didn't rip you off, so don't rip me off.