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Any recommendations/gotchas for building Single Page Applications (SPA)?

I'm in the process of building a Single Page App for the first time, and wondering if anyone can share what has worked well for you with SPAs (vs traditional multi-page apps) or any gotchas worth being aware of. Were there complexities you didn't expect? How did you handle SEO? Any best practices or recommendations you've come up with? Thanks!

27 Replies

Aleksandra Czajka
3
0
Aleksandra Czajka Entrepreneur
Freelance Senior Software Engineer, Developer, Web Developer, Programmer - Full Stack
Valerie,

Have you determined that your project specifically requires for your technology to be a one page app? If not, then there is no good reason to do it. If your functionality is really hefty, this single page will get too cumbersome and difficult to support. But it all depends on what your requirements are for the project.

Best,
Aleks
Troy Gardner
3
0
Troy Gardner Advisor
Chief Technology Officer, Chief Brewing Officer at Cloud9 Brewing Systems
It's easier these days with javascript advances like React.js and websockets, which can like a chat application (which is really what facebook is) change any element of the page at any time, deleting/rewriting anything. If you run javascript on the server (e.g. node.js) you can generate a full page on the server for non-javascript clients (search engine bots) then progressively enhance to fancy javascript for people on mobile/etc. For SEO detect the user agent and show whatever basic html optimized for seo.
Rahul Guha, Full Stack Software Architect
4
0
Director of Architecture at Fidelity Investments
SPA is the way to go today because of speed, availability of frameworks, ecosystem and community support. I would always lean to angularJS.
However SEO is a pain - (although it can be mitigated by phantomJS / Serverside cache technology) for SPA.

Vince Edwards
1
0
Vince Edwards Entrepreneur
Website Guru / Software developer
I think a big gotcha is SEO. If not done right, there's nothing for google to sink its teeth into. Also, if not done on the right framework (javascript framework in particular) the code could get messy underneath.
Jeff Hoang
1
0
Jeff Hoang Entrepreneur
Senior Software Engineer / Lead at Cisco
I recommend you look into an isomorphic app using reactjs, nodejs and express.
Rohit Paliwal
1
0
Rohit Paliwal Advisor
COO @ Uvaca, Inc.
Since you mentioned that you're already building a SPA, I'm going to assume that you have already done your due diligence regarding whether or not SPA is the best approach for you, else I'm with Aleksandra that just because SPAs are the flavor of the month does not mean that they are the best for your solution.

Having said that, SPAs do have some advantages especially if you're targeting both web (HTML) and mobile app solutions since you can build an API and front-end(s) are SPA and native app respectively. They also offer more seamless experience in many cases, but not always since your app becomes heavier.

SEO is an issue. Isomorphic Reactjs is a potential solution, as is server side rendering via phantomjs just for SEO. However, you should also evaluate what parts/content you need SEO on and if your app can be split into server side rendered for SEO content, such as landing page and other free/static content, and SPA for non-SEO content such as post-user-authentication protected content, which will make SEO for SPA a non-issue.




Valerie Lanard
0
0
Valerie Lanard Entrepreneur
Senior Software Engineering Manager at Salesforce
I'm building an SPA precisely to get a sense of the paradigm - the project was chosen to suit this medium. Responsive, web-based. I am planning to use Node/Angular/Express at a minimum. I'm also curious about Redux.
neven sakotic
0
0
neven sakotic Entrepreneur
Mobile app web developer android phonegap
you can make clasik web seo if it is web app
Miguel Ângelo
0
0
Miguel Ângelo Entrepreneur
Full Stack Developer jr @ Clientscape
If you're planning to use Node/Angular/Express, I recommend you to take a look at MEAN (http://mean.io/).
Valerie Lanard
1
0
Valerie Lanard Entrepreneur
Senior Software Engineering Manager at Salesforce
Paul C, in the future you might want to check someone's bio before making an outdated gender assumption, speaking of keeping up.
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