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Published : Mar 29, 2022
Mar 2022
Hold ? Proceed with caution

We generally avoid putting blips in Hold when we consider that advice too obvious, including blindly following an architectural style without paying attention to trade-offs. However, the sheer prevalence of teams choosing a single-page application (SPA) by default when they need a website has us concerned that people aren't even recognizing SPAs as an architectural style to begin with, instead immediately jumping into framework selection. SPAs incur complexity that simply doesn't exist with traditional server-based websites: search engine optimization, browser history management, web analytics, first page load time, etc. That complexity is often warranted for user experience reasons, and tooling continues to evolve to make those concerns easier to address (although the churn in the React community around state management hints at how hard it can be to get a generally applicable solution). Too often, though, we don't see teams making that trade-off analysis, blindly accepting the complexity of SPAs by default even when the business needs don't justify it. Indeed, we've started to notice that many newer developers aren't even aware of an alternative approach, as they've spent their entire career in a framework like React. We believe that many websites will benefit from the simplicity of server-side logic, and we're encouraged by techniques like Hotwire that help close the gap on user experience.

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