Single-Page Applications vs. Multiple-Page Applications: Pros and Cons

The software market is growing at a quick pace, and by 2030 it is expected to reach almost $600 billion. Various web app solutions are gaining popularity, replacing the old desktop applications. They offer mobility and flexibility to users, providing them with full-fledged analogs of desktop programs that can be easily accessible from anywhere.

Generally, there are two main design patterns to create web apps: multi-page applications (MPAs) and single-page applications (SPAs). If you are thinking of creating your own app, you should consider them both in order to decide which app model is better for you. In this posting, we will be taking a closer look at the difference between SPA and MPA, while analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of each type of web app.


What is Multiple Page Application?

MPAs are apps with traditional architecture. Each user request reloads the whole page, updating all the data. This negatively affects the performance and speed of an app as a bunch of resources are spent on displaying the same elements again and again. Due to a high amount of content, these apps typically have many levels of UI. To picture an example of MPA, think of any of those complex sites with multiple pages like eBay or Amazon.

Pros of MPA

  • Building a MPA requires a relatively small stack of technologies (however, the development process is more complex)
  • Improved SEO optimization. This approach provides the ability to optimize every page for search engines as MPA architecture is native to their crawlers
  • Unlimited scalability. MPAs allow you to include an unlimited amount of data about your services or products


Cons of MPA

  • Backend and frontend development are coupled as they interact closely with each other
  • It will take you more time to create a MPA as coders will have to develop the backend from scratch
  • Lower performance and speed as most elements of a page (scripts, CSS, HTML) are being reloaded with every interaction.
  • MPAs are more difficult to maintain and update

What is Single Page Application?

Single-page apps are best suited for building dynamic platforms with a relatively small amount of data. They provide the ability to simulate the work of desktop applications. Single-page applications are about imitating a “natural” environment in a browser. They work inside a browser and do not require page reloading. In other words, each time a user goes to a new page, only a part of the content is updated. There is no need to re-download the same elements again and again which is highly convenient to both users and developers. Examples of single-page apps include GitHub, Facebook, Google Maps, and Gmail.


Pros of MPA

  • SPAs are easier to develop. Frontend and backend developers can work in parallel and not interfering with each other. The development process is streamlined and simplified as they can use a ready-made code
  • SPAs provide a simple linear experience, presenting the complete user journey
  • SPAs work faster as most elements are only loaded once throughout the lifespan of an app
  • SPAs provide the ability to effectively cache any local storage

Cons of MPA

  • SPAs require JavaScript to be enabled in a browser (many users prefer keeping it turned off by default)
  • SPAs provide a relatively lower level of security. Hackers can inject client-side scripts into them
  • Poor SEO optimization. Most of the pages are unavailable for scanning by search engines
  • SPAs cannot save users’ jumps between states in an application. They only can take them to the previous page, not to the previous state.

What is Single Page Application?

As you have probably noticed, each approach has its pros and cons that make it perfect for a particular purpose. MPAs provide higher performance, but they are more difficult to develop. This architecture is perfect for marketplaces, catalogs, ecommerce stores, and business websites. SPAs come with a poor search engine optimization, which makes them best suitable for closed communities, social networks, or SaaS platforms, where SEO does not play a key role. At the same time, this architecture is distinguished by its simplicity and speed. Nevertheless, both approaches allow you to develop a scalable web app. At Loonar Studios, we can help you find the optimal model that perfectly matches your business needs. Feel free to contact us if you still have any questions. Good luck!