Should All Growing Companies Move To Single Page Apps?
Single Page Applications have been the standard for high performing websites and applications for years now. However, the majority of websites built on platforms like Shopify, Magento, WordPress, etc run by small and even large businesses are not leveraging the single page app concept.
Why are more companies not doing this?
Well right now its fairly expensive to build out this infrastructure. Most companies lack engineering resources and can barely afford an agency to build a high-quality site that doesn’t even have the single page application concept on a platform like WordPress, Shopify, Magento etc.
So, if companies are struggling to adopt this technology due to lack of resources. Should they invest in this?
To me, the answer is yes and no. I think companies that have a healthy technology budget and that can effectively manage web development projects should start to invest in this technology or at least be considering it. Companies that are still struggling with the web should focus on getting a basic infrastructure up using a platform like WordPress or Shopify.
So why should you adopt this if you are a company who can afford it?
Improved Site Speed
One of the main advantages of SPA’s is that they are fast. The reason they are so fast is that you no longer have to load the entire page to view new content. If you are viewing new catalog information or new information in which only part of the page is being updated, a Single Page Application will only call that piece of information instead of reloading the entire page. They also can provide caching benefits and other speed improvements to ensure your website/web application is scalable and fast even with a large user base.
Future-proof your infrastructure:
Single Page Apps are the future because they are faster and more efficient. Its easier to maintain code quality and modularize your frontend infrastructure. You also become less dependent on one type of backend like Magento or WordPress etc. Now you can integrate with whatever you want and pull in different types of data more easily without worrying about having to use a subdomain etc. By moving to this architecture, you are more likely to future-proof your investment instead of investing in the old way of doing things.
Headless Has Development Speed Benefits
The front-end architecture of headless platforms like AngularJS, React, and VueJS can allow developers to move faster with more component like architecture. In basic terms, they can reuse blocks of code for different parts of the site quickly if they follow the same visual patterns which are common for most websites & web applications.
No Longer Rely On One Backend
With Headless, the backend and frontend are no longer as reliant on each other. This can also help in that a small issue may no longer take down the entire site which can happen when a system is so interconnected like that. The main advantage though, is that you can have multiple backend infrastructure powering your web application. So for instance, if you wanted to use WordPress and Magento, this is fairly tricky and may require an extension like Fishpig that has many limitations. With headless, you could take the best of Magento and use it for the eCommerce pieces you need and use WordPress to power the other content pieces all without the customer knowing. This can be done in the background in which the single page app is pulling this data via JSON / API’s and displaying it on the frontend.
In conclusion, I think there will definitely be some larger upfront costs to get this up and running for your business, so it might not make sense given your constraints. However, if used effectively it can lead to more efficient development and faster page load times as well as many other benefits.