Weighing up single-page applications

With a new full-time role, I’m in the process of getting my head around some of the technology choices I’ll be working with and the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

One of those choices is building single-page applications (SPA) with a JavaScript framework for the front-end. I can see why this choice was made, but I’m now weighing up whether it is worth considering for my own projects. With that in mind, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about single-page applications.

I liked Jim Newbury’s article on single-page applications and his point about understanding what you are building.

We ask “What framework should we use for this whole app?” for new products up front, when we don’t even understand what we’re building yet. It’s far less wasteful to ask “What technical approach best supports this user need?” on a case-by-case basis as we learn more about those user needs during incremental product design and development.

Create your own dysfunctional single-page app in five easy steps by Jim Newbury

Sure your team might be well versed in building single-page applications, but it’s not the best fit for all types of applications. It’s all about finding the right tool for the job.

Ruby on Rails is a good starting point for most of the projects that I work on, but I know it’s not a good fit for other types of projects. For other projects I know I would need to use another set of development tools.

I understand the benefits of using single-page applications, but it’s not a style of application that will yield immediate benefits in my own, smaller projects. I’ll stick with the tried and tested multiple-page application monoliths for now.