Before 2010, hardly anyone thought about building websites with only one page. The basic idea of a website was like a collection of multiple web pages. However, in the recent years, the experiments in the user-friendly web design resulted in radical changes in the structure of websites and one such change is one-page websites.
Many small business owners now prefer single-page websites because it is trendy and looks cool. If you are also planning for a single-page website, it would be better to know pros and cons of single page websites before you go ahead with your plan.
How Single Page Website Works
As the name suggests, such websites have only one page, and all the contents are given on that. There are thousands of high-quality, beautiful themes and templates available on the internet which we can personalize easily. This increased the popularity of single-page websites. Before, we get into the pros and cons; we can look into the various features of the one-page website and how it is different from the traditional multi-page websites.
Divide Pages into Easily Identifiable Sections
A single-page website is usually divided into multiple sections. Each section can be the counterpart of pages on a multi-page website.
100% Height for Sections
Most of the time, the sections on a single-page website have 100% height. On the full-screen mode, the users will see the entire section on the screen and nothing else from other sections.
Navigation Menu for Different Sections
The navigation menu will help the users to go to any section on the page easily. Since the next section is on the same page, the navigation will be instant which provides an excellent user experience for the visitors.
Usually, the navigation menu is placed on the top right corner like any other websites. A sliding navigation menu with hamburger menu icon (inspired by mobo design) is also a popular way of positioning navigation on a single-page website.
The smooth scrolling is another feature of the single-page website. When the user clicks on a navigation menu to go to the particular section on the page, the page will scroll smoothly to the target section instead of jumping.
Vertical Sliding Effect for Sections
When the users use the scroll wheel of their mouse, the next section comes and is filled on the screen like a slider effect. This is another cool effect that makes one-page websites more interesting. However, this kind of effect can be used on any kind of website.
Pros of Single-page Websites
Better Information Flow
Website owners have better control over the information flow of the website. Most of the website visitors will read from top to bottom in the order. On a multi-page website, users will go to any page from the first they reached on your website. Website owners don’t have much control over that.
Therefore, users will not miss any important message or content.
Higher Conversion Rate
The content on the page is prepared and arranged to optimize conversion. The visitors go through that content in the exact order, and we can influence the users better. It improves the conversion rate of the website.
Require Less Time and Cost
Single-page websites can be developed faster because there is only one page to be designed and coded. Therefore, the time and money required to create a single-page website are less compared to multi-page websites.
On mobile phones, it is easier to scroll down and up rather than browsing through multiple pages. When the hamburger menu icon of the navigation is always fixed at the top of the screen, mobile users will find extremely easy to navigate through your website.
Better Quality Website
Designers have to focus on only one page, and it gives more control for them. Apart from that, single page design always gives better possibilities for the designers because they don’t have to worry about the consistency across different pages.
Cons of Single Page Websites
SEO is Difficult
This is the biggest disadvantage of single-page websites.
It would be difficult for small businesses with single-page websites to compete against established businesses.
Can’t Optimize the Website for Multiple Keywords
In multi-page websites, we can create different pages for different focus keywords. On the other hand, on single-page websites, we can’t do that. If we optimize the only page for multiple keywords, it may negatively affect our SEO efforts.
Page Size and Load Time
The size of the page increases as lots of contents are filled on the main page, and it affects the page loading time. This may cause poor user-experience or drop in ranking if the page size is too high.
When we fill lots of contents on a page, structuring the page becomes difficult. We need to be care careful and creative in dividing the page into sections and organizing the contents.
Visitors may feel overwhelmed with all content on the page. If there is information regarding multiple, products, services or packages, the visitors may not remember anything after they have gone through the website.
Less Insight from the Analytics
Since there is only one page, we don’t get much information regarding the top content on the website or users’ behavior on the website.
Scalability is Limited
When we add more content to a single-page website, we end up increasing the length as well as the size of the page. Lots of information on a single page would also clutter up the website. On the other hand, in a multi-page website, we can create new pages as we like and scalability is infinite.
When to use Single-page Website
- You have a very specific goal with your website
- You have only one conversion goal: selling a single product or service, generate leads or make visitors contact you
- You need a stronger conversion funnel: the content on the page can be optimized and organized to make the visitors go through all stages of conversion funnel on their first visit itself.
- You need to provide an immersive experience for the visitors during the conversion journey: there will not be further page loading and waiting while consuming the content on the website. This improves visitors’ user experience.
When You Shouldn’t Use Single-page Website
- You have lots of products, services or information, you need multiple pages
- You want your website to be optimized for multiple keywords, you need a multi-page website
- You will need to scale up your website: if you need to add more content on your website, don’t go for a one-page website.
We hope this article helped you to understand the pros and cons of single-page websites and when you should use them and when you should avoid them. If you have any doubt on these points or you want to know more about this, please comment below. I am more than happy to help you.