Difference between regular website and Single Page Application (SPA, PWA)

We already posted an article about IP and Domain Names. But this time we want to talk about why we need those tools. In this article, we will talk about websites and their types. Maybe you will be surprised, but websites do differ depending on the structure and principles of their work. Let's start with the definition of "website". Site or Website (sometimes "web site") is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server (by Wikipedia ).

We are used to perceiving a website as a page in a browser but thanks to technologies websites changed their form. And now we will talk about those new and interesting forms. The first will be a SPA (Single Page Application)which is a one-page web application loaded on one HTML page and does not require reloading due to dynamic updating. SPA work is performed inside the browser, and the code is rendered on the user side.
Popular examples of dynamic sites are Gmail, Google Maps, and Facebook. When you load them, you are first given the main content, and to perform various actions (scrolling, switching to other pages), instead of reloading the pages, only certain elements are loaded.
Here are the pros of creating SPA for your business :

  • high speed compared to traditional sites
  • well-functioning work on both desktop and mobile devices
  • flexibility and responsiveness due to the lack of reloading and re-rendering
  • optimized and simplified development

The next form of a new website is PWA (Progressive Web Apps) is a website built on web technologies using JavaScript, HTML and CSS and interacting with the visitor as an application. It can be added to the home screen of mobile devices and send push notifications. PWA can work without an Internet connection. A good example of a PWA site is Twitter.
Pros of creating PWA:

  • easy development in comparison with native mobile apps
  • cross-platform
  • minimum device resource requirements
  • works both online and offline thanks to page caching
  • fast installation from browser
  • high speed

PWA-websites also have a special principle of the working process. When a user visits a website for the first time, PWA installs the Service Worker script, which adds the application shell to the cache. After shell installation, the website requests information to populate the view, and then the content is requested. After that Service Worker goes to standby until a network request triggers a new action.

In terms of speed, SPA and PWA sites are significantly ahead of traditional sites. They load equally fast. The only difference is that progressive web applications, in addition, provide the ability to work offline with instant downloads.

Also, you should remember that PWA is almost always an SPA, but SPA it's not always a PWA. PWA and SPA are the new forms of modern websites that you can upload on a screen of a mobile phone and open it as an application even when you don't have an internet connection. The website takes all information from the cache and uploads new information when the internet connection is available. In case with a regular website in the browser, of course, you don't have that option.

Depending on your business needs you can choose the most suitable type of website for yourself. If you want to advertise some products or services, a regular website will be perfect for you. If you want a more dynamic and responsive website for users, it's better to build some PWA (or SPA).

We hope that this information was useful for you, but anyway, if you still have some questions about websites and you can't decide which one you need, our team is always glad to give you all the answers. Just ask us!

by Ragneda
on 20 May 2020

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