Have Single-Page Apps Ruined the Web? (“Transitional Apps”)

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Chris Coyier on (Updated on )

A big heaping 19-minute bowl of not-too-hot, not-too-cold baby bear porridge website building from Rich Harris.

I’ve certainly overheard more than my fair share of arguments about Single Page Apps (SPAs) vs Multi-Page Apps (MPAs). Although it’s only recently that I’ve heard people put an acronym to MPA, and it feels weird.

My guess is that most folks actually hold appropriately-nuanced opinions about what site-building architectures are appropriate for the sites they are building. But it’s fun to pit hardline-opinioned caricatures of developers against each other and extract the best points from each side.

The irony is that the way the industry is going, picking SPA or MPA isn’t an all-in choice. You can literally have aspects of both on one site. And while technologies, like SvelteKit and Astro, are helping it along directly (seems like Next 12 and server-rendered components are part of this shift too somehow), I’m sure there are lots of sites out there already doing it by virtue of being a hodgepodge of technology smushed together to make business happen over long spans of years. (I may or may not be talking about my own experience on CodePen.)

I quite like how some very newfangled stuff is awesome and worth picking up and taking advantage of, while some old stuff has really stood the test of time and is just as useful today as ever.

If you can’t get enough of the topic, Surma and Jake get into it as well.