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Most websites on the Internet consist of multiple pages, but there has been a growing trend and demand over the past couple of years for single page websites. A one-page website aligns well with the simplicity that our society is gravitating towards. However, if you have mixed feelings about one-page websites, you are not alone.
This post should help you obtain a better understanding of what a one-page website is, as well as list out the pros and cons associated with one-page websites. Let’s first take a look at the basics.
What Is A One-Page Website?
If you are well informed about single-page websites, you can go ahead and skip this section. If you do not have basic knowledge of what a one-page website is and is not, this is a great section to start with. It’s important to understand the basics of one-page websites before you make any decisions on utilizing the format.
A one-page website is essentially a single page website that only has one HTML page. On older one page websites, a user would simply scroll down the page to access different content parts. Now, thanks to newer CSS3 and AJAX techniques, many one-page websites have navigation menus that take users to a specific part of the page without scrolling.
The main purposes of a one-page website are to remove clutter and give visitors just the information they need to take action. Those who opt for one-page websites believe in the importance of only showing the most valuable content to website visitors. Here is a gallery of single page websites.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what a one-page website is, let’s take a look advantages and disadvantages associated with them.
It’s hard to imagine a solution that is more simple than a one-page website. A one-page website doesn’t require a visitor to search through multiple pages to find relevant information, which could help to reduce your abandonment rates. Everyone who has ever used a smartphone or computer knows how to scroll.
2. HIGHER CONVERSION RATES
Research has shown that one-page websites tend to have higher conversion rates than multi-page websites. This is due to every step of the conversion funnel being located on one page. With a one-page website, consumers don’t have to navigate through many pages to get to the checkout page.
3. EASY TO MANAGE AND MAINTAIN
As a web designer, you understand how much work goes into completing a web design project. Not only is a one-page website easier and faster to design, they are also much easier to maintain. This is especially handy for the busy business owner who does not want the responsibility of making website changes to multiple pages or simply does not have the knowledge to do so.
One-page websites are much easier to optimize for mobile. People on mobile phones are used to scrolling to access information, plus scrolling on a mobile phone is much easier than clicking on tabs or menu bars. Catering to our mobile-first world is very important, and a one-page website can help you achieve just that.
5. UNIQUE DESIGN
The majority of websites on the Internet are traditional, multi-page designs. So, if you have a one-page website, you will stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression on your site visitors. In a world where companies are competing for everything, being unique is a top priority.
6. FASTER BROWSING
A one-page website makes it easy for your site visitors to view content on your website. All they have to do is either scroll or utilize the menu bar to be taken directly to the content they are interested in. Making information easily accessible to site visitors is a top priority for any business owner.
1. POTENTIAL CONFUSION
Since most of the website on the Internet are multi-page, site visitors could become confused by landing on a one-page website. Visitors will always be taken to the top of the page when coming from an external source, and will be required to find the information that they need. This can frustrate some visitors.
2. POTENTIALLY SLOWER LOAD TIME
Since everything on your website will be on one page, it could cause your website to load slower. This is especially true if you have a lot of content on your one-page website. Research has correlated slow page load speed with high abandonment rates. Thus, if you decide to go with a one-page website you will need to make every effort to ensure your website loads quickly.
3. COULD CRUSH YOUR SEO EFFORTS
A one-page website can be an SEO nightmare. It is extremely hard to include all keywords that are relevant and important to your business on one page. You may be able to rank high for your business’ main service, but ranking for other related terms could prove to be a challenge.
4. OVERLOAD OF CONTENT
As we discussed earlier, one of the main reasons people decide to go with a one-page website is for simplicity. The challenge with a one-page website is making sure you have enough content to adequately describe your products and services, while also ensuring your pages do not become cluttered with content. Too much content could not only result in slower load time but also result in overwhelming your website visitors.
5. DIFFICULT TO SHARE CONTENT
With a traditional website, it’s easy to share a specific website with someone else via email or social networking. With a one-page website, this is more difficult. Sure, you can share the entire site with someone, but you will not be able to share specific information, because all of the content on the site is under one URL.
6. HARD TO SCALE
A one-page website also makes it hard to add additional content as you add more services. In addition, a one-page website makes it nearly impossible to host a company blog or post occasional articles that are relevant to your business. If you have a business with many products and services, or you wish to keep an active blog, a one-page website is not the best option for you.
7. TOUGH TO ANALYZE
There is a wealth of information you can get from Google Analytics on your website traffic. With a traditional website, you can see how each page is performing to help you determine what is and is not working. With a one-page website, this is much harder to do.
For instance, you will not be able to see how users are engaging with specific content on your site to help you make modifications to increase conversions. In addition, you will not be able to analyze bounce rate in a meaningful way. It is extremely hard to make improvements to your site when you have no analytics to back up what is and isn’t working.
What If I’m Still On The Fence?
If you are still uncertain if a one-page website would be right for you after reading this article, the best thing to do is sit down and map out your needs and requirements in a website. For instance, if you are aiming for a website with a simple design and less content, a one-page website could be the perfect option for you. However, if you have a business with many products and services that require extensive explanations, it may be best to go with a traditional, multi-page design.
Next, think about how much analytics mean to you. If you don’t plan on using Google Analytics to help you improve content on your website, a one-page website could be a great option to simplify the purchase process for your consumers. However, if you like to crunch numbers and analyze data that could help you make improvements to your site, a multi-page website may be a better option.
Ultimately, it comes down to your business goals. Nobody knows your business better than you.