Web application programming: Basic Concepts

New Trends in Web App Programming

The world of software is now evolving with great speed. Just a couple of years ago, desktop computers and laptops were the main devices for web development implementation. Today things are completely different. Universal web apps replace the more old-fashioned desktop static pages. Why? Because they retain functionality on all devices, are based in the cloud, and in general are much more convenient to use. Some believe that browser-based web programs are being gradually replaced by mobile apps with their huge client bases. But the truth is that web apps are more alive than ever, and the demand for them is only growing now.

If you are thinking about developing a web application for your company, you probably already know that there are two basic approaches to development: single-page web apps (SPA), Multipage apps (MPA). Just like everything in our lives, both versions of designs have their advantages and disadvantages.

SPA or MPA: What to Choose

Before embarking on the embodiment of ideas, several important decisions must be made. To decide which web programming model suits your business, always focus on the content that your customers value more, because without a content component, you simply will not be able to attract customers to use your web products. Therefore, the most important questions at the first stage are what content you want to promote for the target audience and what is most important for them in cooperation with you.

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Both SPA and MPA have their pros and cons. Let's look at the difference between these two types and try to find the right solution in the field of web programming for your company. Or you can contact us right now to discuss your project and make this choice easier with the Magora’s team.

Single-Page Applications

Single-page apps work in the browser and don’t require reloading the page or loading additional pages during use. Such programs are utilised by millions of users every day, without even noticing it. The most popular examples: Gmail, GitHub, Google Maps and even Facebook.

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Single-page solutions, as a rule, are highly interactive, so that the user feels that he or she is working with a desktop application: in most cases, the response to user actions is instantaneous. This SPA favorably differs from multi-page sites, where a user needs to wait for a new page to be loaded.

Such web apps are created to provide users with an excellent UX, reminiscent of the "natural" browser environment, without reloading pages, and therefore, without delays in performance. A typical one-page program looks like a web page that loads and updates content without rebooting with JavaScript. SPA requests the page layout and its content, and then creates a final page view directly in the browser. This effect can be achieved through advanced JavaScript frameworks, such as Ember.js, Meteor.js, AngularJS, Knockout.js.

From the point of view of ordinary users, the main UX advantage of single-page apps is that all content is presented in an accessible and functional form, without having to jump from page to page.

Besides the main popular frameworks, the Magora’s developers are also able to develop single-page apps using ReactJS.

  • The main advantage of React is a low entry threshold. React is fairly easy to use; almost any developer familiar with HTML can create React apps.
  • Another advantage is the ability to write apps for the web and for mobile platforms using a single stack of technologies.

We use React, together with the Redux library, to build the right architecture and complex web apps, which are easily scalable.

  • SPAs are characterised by excellent performance, since most of the resources they use (HTML + CSS + Scripts) are downloaded only once during the session. After performing actions on the page, only the data changes.
  • Web programming is usually faster and more efficient. There is no need to write a separate code to render the page on the server side. It's also much easier to start the programming of similar applications, because you can start writing code with the file: // URI file without using any server.
  • SPA are optimized for Chrome debugging, developers can monitor network actions, learn page elements and data associated with them.
  • If you already have a SPA, it will be possible to create a mobile solutions with the same backend.
  • SPA are more efficient in caching data on local media. The application sends one request, collects all the necessary data, and from that moment is able to work even in offline mode.
  • SEO-optimisation is not very simple. The content is downloaded using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) - a method for exchanging data and updating the application without reloading the page, while SEO optimisation is based on the stability of the content in every single page. At the same time, promotion of your site in search engines is still possible. Many changes in SEO can be done on the server side, and companies like Google continue to come up with new solutions to make life easier for both SPA owners and their users.
  • They are loaded for quite some time, since heavy client frameworks must first be loaded into the browser.
  • SPA require JavaScript in the active mode in users' browsers. If one of your clients manually disables the JavaScript use, they will not be able to take full advantage of your application. Even if you cache and process your pages on the server side (which is now also possible), you still risk not delivering all the functions of a single-page application in the right form to users without JS.
  • Compared with traditional software, the SPA is slightly less secure. Thanks to cross-site scripting (XSS), attackers have the ability to implement additional scripts on the client side.
  • Some memory leaks in JavaScript can lead to performance degradation, even in powerful systems.

It is also useful to know that all problems associated with the use of single-page apps are being gradually solved, since many companies, including technology corporations, encourage this form of relationship with customers on the Internet.

SPA is suitable for any business that needs to automate its processes. But for corporate websites and Internet directories, for example, it is better to use more traditional websites.

Our Achievements:

322 App Development Projects
413 Mobile Applications
75 Enterprise Software Solutions

Multi-Page Applications

Multi-page apps work in a more traditional way. Each significant data change or uploading information back to the server results in the rendering of a new page in the browser. Multi-page solutions are obviously "heavier" than single-page applications, and are usually aimed at displaying more content. The complexity and costs of MPA programming are higher, and they require a multi-level UI design. Fortunately, now this is not such a big problem, because AJAX allows you to update only certain parts of the program, and not to transfer a bunch of data between servers and browsers.

When It Is Time to Decision Making

Before making a decision to program a web application, you must first of all keep in mind the purpose of its creation.

  • If in your business you have to deal with a lot of different goods and services, the multipage site will be the best solution for you.
  • If you are focused on the maximum functionality in a compressed web space, the right choice will be a one-page web application.
  • And if the functionality of SPA is right for you, but you can not even imagine how to fit all your content onto one page, you should consider the hybrid site option.

Hybrid Web Application Programming

A hybrid application is aimed at taking the best of the two worlds, while minimising the disadvantages. Technically, the hybrid application is still a SPA, but it uses the URL anchors as synthetic pages, thereby increasing the browser's built-in navigation and the functionality of the settings. If you think that your project requires the hybrid web app programming, drop us a line to arrange a call and discuss all the possibilities of this approach.

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Advantages of Multi-Page Apps

This is the most suitable option for users who need a more visually understandable interface and familiar navigation. MPA is usually created with multi-level menus and other navigation tools. Significant simplification of SEO. You can optimise every single page for the keywords you need.

Disadvantages of MPA

Frontend and backend programming in this case are combined very closely. MPA programming is rather complicated, as it requires the use of frameworks both on the client and server side. The timing and costs of development, respectively, are not so pleasant for many companies.

Contact Us

Our head office is located in the center of London. Our web application programming experts are building responsive websites, e-commerce solutions and any bespoke software you may need. If you are looking for the optimum IT solution, which meets your specific needs, get in touch with us!

Or if you have any questions about application programming, do not hesitate to contact our team. We are pleased to provide free advice on the digital strategy for growing your business.

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