It’s been a long since old desktop applications have been abandoned, as with the passage of every year, cloud-based applications are becoming more popular and relevant. According to Statista, by the end of 2022, the cloud-based application market will reach $103 billion, and it will keep growing at a breakneck pace in the future.

With 94% of the companies using cloud technology and 42% of small businesses already having a mobile app, there is no surprise why cloud-based application development is spreading like wildfire. Apart from being user-friendly and easy to update, cloud-based web apps are not confined to a single device.

Even with an influx in the trend of moving from browser-based web applications to mobile ones, the demand for cloud-based apps is already growing at a surreal speed. And if you have decided to build an app, you couldn’t have chosen a better moment. But Before moving further, you have to overcome the dilemma of choosing between a single-page application (SPA) and a multi-page application (MPA).

It is currently the most debated topic in the cloud web application realm. To ensure the stable operation of a complex web application, one has to choose the technology that gives the best performance and speed.

To help businesses make more informed decisions and make SPA and MPA easy to fathom, we have come up with this detailed blog post where we will discuss all you need to know about these two options of cloud-based web app development.

What is a Single Page Application?

Single Page Application is a type of web application or website that uses only a single HTML page in the form of a shell for all the web pages. When it comes to loading, SPAs always have a dynamic nature of loading, and it helps to simulate the working of a desktop application.

The architecture of SPA is in such a manner that when you visit a new page, only a part of the content is updated. Therefore, it eliminates the need to re-download the same element repeatedly.

The most used programming language for SPA is JavaScript, and the SPA applications are a part of your daily life since everyone uses them daily. Some best examples of SPAs are Google Maps, Google, GitHub, and Facebook.

The best thing about SPA is it requests the data and the markup independently, and the pages are rendered directly in the browser.

What are the advantages of SPA?

Seamless and fast UX

It’s evident that constant full-page reloads are the worst perpetrators of a seamless customer experience, but you won’t have to deal with such issues in SPA. HTML, CSS, and even JavaScript are loaded once through the entire lifecycle of the application, and when the initial load is completed, the server only forwards new data.

In the case of a traditional application, the server has to generate the entire page for many users. Therefore, the server cannot respond faster to the users’ requests.

The only case where you have to deal with this issue in the case of SPA is when you will have old and outdated hardware; otherwise, the seamlessness and fast UX of SPA is ubiquitous.

Brilliant adaptability

SPA is about the long list of benefits for the users, but it is a blessing in disguise for even the developers. The developers can rehash the same backend code for web and native app development.

That is also one of the main points of difference between SPA and MPA since such rehashing of code is not possible in the case of MPA, which makes developers’ lives a little bit difficult.

Seamless chrome debugging
When debugging with Chrome, nothing can surpass SPA’s effectiveness because the entire code is visible at once since they all are present on the same page. That is what makes debugging SPA with Chrome a painless process.

Also, Chrome’s development tools like Vue.js, Angular JS Batarang, and React developer tools are used to develop the framework of SPA.

What are the disadvantages of SPA?

SEO obstacles
It’s been a long since Google has been dealing with problems while indexing SPAs. The bots used by Google were pretty good at crawling all the static HTML pages in the case of dynamic content; they weren’t that effective.

Because of this, single-page applications could not make it to the top of the search result. Although Google has improved its ability to index JavaScript in the past, it doesn’t deny that it is not very good at indexing single-page applications.

Scalability issues

In terms of scalability, you won’t rate SPA that good, and the rigidness in terms of scalability is a result of the fact that everything is coupled on a single page. Creating new pages for adding new content can become an arduous task in the case of SPAs.

But this is not an issue with MPA as you can easily create new pages and split those pages across the app. In the case of SPA, trying to include more in a single page can increase the page’s loading time.

Security concerns
Upon comparing with other applications, you will find that SPA is less secure. The cross-site scripting or XSS leaves a loophole that attackers can use for injecting client-side scripts in the web application of other users.

What are the advantages of MPA?

Indescribably good SEO

Upon comparing MPA and SPA in terms of SEO, you will find that MPA surpasses SPA. One of the biggest advantages you get with MPA is splitting the content into different pages, which allows you to stuff more keywords in the architecture.

Such type of keywords structure in the application makes crawling a breeze, and therefore, the chances of the application ranking higher in search engine results increases by many folds. Dealing with SEO in MPA is also relatively easy since you get a brand new page that already has completed content for every type of request.

Ultimate scalability
MPA is one of the best web applications when it comes down to scalability. It eliminates the boundaries of adding content in the application, and thus you have better chances to excel.

With MPA, you can keep on adding an unlimited number of product pages, information, features, service, and so forth so on. The scalability in the case of MPA is far better than SPA, which is one of the most significant advantages of MPA.

A long list of solutions

Another reason why people accept MPA with alacrity is it offers the right mix of solutions that developers can use to enhance the customization of applications and their effectiveness during the development stage.

For example, in MPA, a developer can use OpenCart and Magento to develop an eCommerce web application or Egg or Dolphin to build social networks.

What are the disadvantages of MPA?

Time taken
The tight coupling of both the backend and the frontend is one of the biggest issues during MPA development. Because of such tight coupling, developers have to spend more time building them.

In most cases, the developers have to write code for the back-end from scratch, leading to prolonged waiting from the client’s side, especially when they are on a strict timeline.

Slow speed
MPAs will always be slower than SPAs because there is always a need to load pages consistently for each request and wait for this to occur. A slow server can make the application perform more slowly in such circumstances.

The slower speed in the case of MPA is simply a result of the fact that the browser needs to fetch all the resources from the server every time a person visits a part of the page, leading to a poor user experience.

When to choose SPA?

If you plan to create a dynamic solution with limited data volume, you should choose SPA without any doubt. Even though SPA applications run on browsers, SPA pages can give the feeling of a mobile or desktop app, which is why SPAs are so famous.

When to choose MPA?

MPA can turn out to be a win-win option for enterprise-level companies as, for them, it is necessary to show a wide array of features and products, and therefore, they need a long list of menus, pages, and features.

As you can see, the question should never be whether SPA is better than MPA or vice versa; instead, you should first look at your requirements and then decide since both the web applications have their list of cons and pros that can be indescribably good for some people. At the same time, it can become the main reason for aversion.

So, go through the features and capabilities of both the web applications mentioned in this list and then choose.