In the early days of the internet, single page websites were the norm. As web design has progressed and companies have grown, larger websites have become the trend. This has meant multiple pages, sections, and aspects to a website.
Well, it seems the trend of minimalism has made its way to the world of web design, as one-page websites are back in vogue. Some consider them the next big thing. Others think that they’re akin to a crime of fashion. Most people are on the fence – which if you’re reading this, this probably sounds like you.
So, to help decide whether you should jump on this bandwagon or ignore the hype, here are the pros and cons of developing a one-page website.
As the name suggests, one-page websites can be very simple. When we say simple, we don’t mean low budget, we mean easily digestible. A one-page website allows you to tell a straightforward narrative about your business or brand and present all the information that you want your visitors to see.
Furthermore, the design of a one-page website can be incredibly straightforward. This can make the process of designing, building, and publishing your website quicker and cheaper.
If designed well, a one-page website can offer high conversions and help you to streamline your marketing activity (fewer landing pages for example). However, if your one-page site contains lack-lustre CTAs, confusing copy, or is simply a mess, this can have the opposite effect.
Con: SEO Challenges
A one-page website can present some challenges when it comes to SEO. Let’s start with keywords. Multiple pages allow you to place different keywords in several places. All of these keywords will mean search hits and send traffic to your site. On a single page, however, you can’t have as many of these keywords. In fact, if your keyword density is too high, this can actually harm your SEO performance.
Next, you need to consider the content of your site. Having different pages, or a blog, for example, allows you to update your content with ease. Updating your content on these pages can help you to boost your SEO performance. Making regular updates to a single-page website isn’t as easy, as you have limited space for these updates.
You’ll also encounter this handle with meta descriptions. Basically, you can only have one meta description, which can limit the number of search hits that you’ll get (unless you really nail your optimisation).
Pro: Faster Loading Times
In today’s world of next day delivery and push notifications, there is a need for speed – especially when it comes to websites. The longer it takes for your page to load, the more likely someone is to go somewhere else. A one-page website has less content than a larger site, which means there is less information for a browser to load. This means a quicker opening time for your visitors.
Con: Not for Everyone
A one-page website is not a one size fits all solution. The limited nature of this style of webpage simply won’t work for some businesses. For example, if you’re a retail company that sells thousands of products, would it really be a good idea to try and squeeze them all into a single page?
Hours of scrolling is the last thing anyone wants to do – despite what social media may have you believe.
Pro: Ease of Use
Scrolling through one page means users can find the information they need with ease. It also gives you more control over the narrative of your page. Instead of clicking on a tab and skipping valuable messaging on the homepage, people who visit your site will scroll over it instead which will increase the chances of them actually reading it.
Instead of getting lost in a maze of pages, your customers can instead scroll up and down a single page that has everything that they need.
Con: Challenging User Experience
A single-page site also presents risks to the user experience. On a multi-page website, if you click on the wrong page or a link by accident, you can simply click the back button and arrive where you started. You can’t do this on a single page website.
Instead, if a customer loses their place on the page, they need to find what they were looking for themselves. For some users, one-page sites can be confusing, especially if they aren’t as comfortable with technology.
Pro: Mobile Friendly
Since phones were able to access the internet, companies have strived to make their websites more mobile-friendly. One-page websites function in a similar way to many popular mobile apps, acting more like a feed and less like a conventional website.
Having a mobile-friendly site means you’ll have access to the growing number of customers who shop and browse the internet from their phones.
Con: Foggy Analytics
Through analytics tools, you can track the visits, clicks, time spent, and other important metrics across your various pages. This can help you to better understand how your site is performing, which products are popular, and where you need to make changes.
Pinpointing this important information is harder on one-page sites as the information is muddled on one page.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to choosing a one-page website. For smaller businesses, they present a huge opportunity to streamline your web presence and offer a concise source of information for your customers.
For larger businesses or those with a large range of products and services, they present a few hurdles.
So when it comes to making a decision, the needs of your business and the experience for your customers come first.