One of the most recent trends in the web design industry is a one-page website. In this design, rather than having different pages for different products and services, visitors can see everything they need to know about your brand and business on, well, one page. It’s a simple and elegant solution that’s understandably appealing to many small business owners, but it’s important to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of this web design option before you take the plunge. That way, you’ll be able to choose the option that works best for your business.
Let’s start with what we love about one-page web design.
Great for mobile
For today’s internet users, mobile sites are where it’s at. In the UK alone, there are 65.32 million active mobile internet users, and by the end of 2020, 66.7% of all shoppers were using their mobile phones to make purchases. One-page sites are the ideal mobile sites because they are easy to view and use on mobile phones and tablets. Visitors simply scroll down to find what they want rather than having to work their way through complex, multi-page navigation.
Quick to create
With just one page to create, the web design process is much faster than it is with multi-page designs. This means that it’s more affordable to make and that you can be up and running in less time.
Of course, there still has to be a very strong design element here to make sure that you’re not simply condensing a multi-page site into one page and overwhelming your visitors. It needs to be structured thoughtfully with custom code, a clear sales funnel and putting all the most important information exactly where it should be.
Create a strong user experience
Because designers are only working with a single page, it’s also much easier to create a consistent user experience and design aesthetic with a continuous message and colour scheme. There’s no space to add unnecessary content, and everything is short, sweet and to the point. This makes one-page sites very concise and easy to absorb – and therefore more engaging.
You can also control what the user sees and when by staging the content carefully as you scroll down through the page. This creates a great way to emerge your visitor in your story and work them through the sales funnel to help increase conversions.
Improve engagement on your website
Internet users often don’t have the patience to navigate through pages and pages of content (especially on their mobiles) to find what they’re looking for. They need to see the answer to their query front-and-centre when they land on your page. One-page sites help increase engagement by eliminating these attention-span issues and putting everything a user needs in one space. With a one-page site, users who fit into the average attention span of around 8 seconds will still have a good chance of finding what they want and engaging with your business.
Now that we’ve covered all the good stuff, let’s look at the challenges of having a one-page site.
Initial page load time
One-page sites tend to have much more data on that page than a normal multi-page design would, which is understandable. The problem is that this means these websites often load slower as a result – especially in this age of high-quality, visual design. Since Google has said that initial page load speed is a factor in search engine rankings for websites, this can affect your search engine optimisation (SEO).
It also affects your consumer engagement with your website and ultimately, your sales. After just 5 seconds, website conversions drop by around 4.42% for each additional second, and after 10 seconds mobile visitor bounce rate increases by 123%.
If you have a one-page site, it’s critical to remove video, animations and other data-heavy features that can cause slow load times, and to regularly test your load time against established benchmarks. If your business wants to capitalise on the power of video marketing and offer plenty of engaging visuals and products, it’s probably better to opt for a multi-page website.
Difficult to implement an SEO strategy
With load times already affecting your search engine optimisation strategy, the rest of your SEO needs to be on point. But with only one page to work on, it’s very difficult to get all your targeted keywords into your content without it becoming difficult to read or even get penalised by Google and other search engines for spamming. Creating SEO-rich images, text content, page titles, and descriptions is much easier when you have more pages to work with, and the result ends up being much more enjoyable to read too.
Limited information on display
Most businesses have a lot of information to share with their clients and customers, whether it’s large volumes of e-commerce goods, a wide range of services, or information to help people understand and use their technology. It’s very difficult to get a more complex message across in the limited space of a one-page site, and it’s not practical or effective to keep the user scrolling indefinitely.
Too much information on one page has exactly the opposite effect that you want to get from this type of website, as you can quickly overwhelm and lose your audience. If you provide more than one product or service, then a multi-page site with a hamburger menu, contact form, and dedicated product and service pages is usually a far better fit.
Challenging to share
Digital marketing is all about creating content that you and your audience can access and share in a cycle that brings people towards the products and services they need. On a multi-page site with integrated social media icons, you can share a single product or service from a dedicated page in your Tweets, on LinkedIn, on Facebook or on Instagram. Similarly, users who find something interesting can share it with people they know, becoming powerful brand advocates and increasing brand awareness.
But this is a little more challenging with a one-page site because you can only link or share that one page. You may be referring to a single aspect of the page, but it’s up to the user who clicks through to find it. And as we mentioned earlier, internet users simply don’t have the patience or attention span to find that needle in a haystack.
So, How Do I Choose Between a One-Page Site or Multi-Page Site?
In the end, it all comes down to one critical factor – matching your business to user experience. It’s not about web design costs, the time it takes to build a website, or even using creative professionals instead of a Wix website.
If your business offers one product or one service, a single page may be just what you need. However, they still need to be planned and structured correctly to become engaging and beautiful websites that draw in your customer. When you have a lot of information to share with the customer and want to be able to educate and empower people about what you do, then a more traditional multi-page option will provide a better customer experience.
Ideally, your website should always be a consistent reflection of your brand, be aligned with the values of your customers, have a fast initial page load speed, and offer the functionality your customers and digital marketing strategy demand. Knowing the pros and cons of the one-page site will help you make this choice a little easier.
At Yellowball, we help businesses of every size and shape find the right type of website for them – and their customer. As a multi-award-winning digital agency, we’re here to deliver the best possible product for your brand and realise your potential to make an impact online. Get in touch and let our team show you what we can do – and where we can take you.