Do You Need To Learn MPA Development Today?

With the rise of single-page application (SPA), the traditional approach to web development, Multi-page application seems to have been forgotten. Is MPA as an architecture for web development dead? Should developers still learn MPA? Let us discuss SPA VS MPA, and see how we need to adapt learning strategies for the coming years in web development.

What are Multi-page applications

Multi-page application has been the ‘traditional’ or ‘classical’ approach to web development. Every client request in this application results in the server rendering a new page and sending it to the client. If you have learned web development stacks such as LAMP( Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP ), you must have had experience developing Multi-page applications.

What are single page applications

Single-page applications( SPA ) are the modern approach to web development and gained a great leap with the popularity of Javascript and its frontend and backend frameworks. If you are new to web development, you may be thinking the only way to web application development is SPA.

What are the major differences between MPA and SPA

Single-page applications ( SPA )Multi-page applications ( MPA )
Once the application is loaded in the browser, there are no more page reloads. SPA request markup and data independently in rendering a page.A new page is generated for the most requests from the client.
Keep the user interaction in one place. In other words, if you are using SPA, it is as if you are using a desktop application.Enable better information architecture with clear Navigation. It can be appealing to some users who would like to know where they are in large MPA systems.
More suitable for less complex applications, apps with many images,
social networking applications and SaaS platforms.
MPA is more scalable as new pages can be added. This feature makes
Suitable larger and more complex systems such as large e-commerce business applications, business catalogs, CMS systems and blogs, forums, other sites that sell products and services.
Ex: Gmail, Google Maps, Facebook, GitHub, Headless CMS applicationsEx: eBay, Amazon, traditional monolithic CMS systems such as WordPress, Jumla

Now, let’s compare these architectures more, especially, the technical differences and key differences.

Key Technical differences between MPA and SPA

Single-page applications ( SPA )Multi-page applications ( MPA )
No extra wait time because only data is transmitted from server to client.MPA systems are slow in general as browsers must reload the whole page from scratch.
SPA has a strong emphasis on decoupling, which means the front-end and back-end of the applications are separate. Therefore these can be developed simultaneously, which cuts down the development time. In addition, it is easier to debug as developers can monitor network operations and associated data in the browser.Tightly coupled frontend and backend development.
MPA’s take longer to develop as in most cases, the server-side has to be coded from the beginning.
Developers can optimize to mobile users better than MPA systems. Modern Javascript frameworks and libraries applied in SPA enable you to develop mobile-friendly apps.Large MPA systems may need a separate native mobile application for mobile users of the system.
Even though server-side rendering can minimize this problem, it is difficult to implement SPA for SEO. There are no URLs (URL addresses) for different pages in SPA development. Therefore, search engine bots are unable to scan and index these pages.MPA is much more SEO friendly because each page can uniquely identify using different keywords, unique URLs, and meta tags
As search engine bots download the HTML files, static HTML web pages are easier to rank on search engine indexing.

SPA is more vulnerable to malware, XSS attacks, and other hacker attacks because they run almost entirely on Javascript.

Even though SPA is faster than MPA, on the other hand, it can also get slow with heavy client-side frameworks. Additionally, memory leaks in Javascript can cause the whole system to slow down, crash, or cause problems with other interacting applications.

It is also worthwhile to remember that you must have Javascript enabled in your browser to run SPA; otherwise, the application will not offer the full functionality for the user( poor user experience ), which could make the user leave the site.

So, What should you learn…

As you can see that although SPA is more popular today, usage of MPA is far from over. Many technologies such as Java or PHP still rank at the top of the list. MPA has its unique features and advantages over SPA, and SPA is not necessarily suitable for all sorts of applications. I would personally recommend a new developer to learn a language for both SPA and MPA development.

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