The meteoric rise of front-end frameworks like React, Angular, Vue.js, Elm, etc. has made single-page applications ubiquitous on the web. For many developers, these have become part of their ‘default’ toolset. When they start a new project, they grab the tools they know already: a REST API on the backend, and a React/Angular/Vue/Elm frontend.

When to go for the single page app

As I said, the default choice in most cases should be the traditional server-rendered application. However, there are some requirements that might force you to opt for the single-page application architecture:

  • Core functionality is real-time (e.g Slack)
  • Rich UI interactions are core to the product (e.g Trello)
  • Lots of state shared between screens (e.g. Spotify)

These products absolutely have to use a single-page architecture to work properly. This is why it’s the right choice for these companies. However, many web-based products do not have these requirements and this complexity can be avoided.


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