By Luke Pickering
So what are single page websites? It’s a site that only contains one HTML page and the user can find all your information by simply scrolling down, or navigation links that will take them to different areas on the page. When it comes to deciding between a single page and multi-page design it can sometimes be quite tricky. With the increase in mobile browsing, making sure your website is simple and quick to navigate through is so important and while single-page websites tick all those boxes are they worth it?
The best way of deciding between a single-page and a multi-page design is to take into consideration the content that you’re going to be putting on your site. Is your content quick and easy to digest? Or are you going to have to split it up and strategically place it? It’s all about taking a content-first approach and then you’ll be able to make the correct choice on what type of website is right for you.
There are a handful of times where a single-page website really works, for example landing pages, portfolios or event-related websites. These all work really well as single-pages sites because you’re able to get all of the information across in one page without missing any content or making the site too long.
Why would you choose a single page site when you could just go for a multi-page design? It’s all about improving your user’s experience. You want to provide your user with the content they’re after as quickly and easily as possible, so in some cases, it may be possible to do this on one page. A big advantage is that single-page designs actually tend to lead to higher conversion rates, this case study showed that when they opted for a single page format they saw a 37.5% increase in signups. This is likely due to the fact that there is less for the user to be distracted by and they’re going to move through your site quicker.
Another positive of a single page site is that they are great for responsive mobile websites. With a small amount of information all fitting on one page it makes it much easier to fit onto a smaller screen. On mobile, we’re very used to the scrolling motion which is the only motion that you will have to do on a single page, so it makes it very enjoyable for mobile users. Finally, with it being all on one page there is a reduced amount of links and much less content so generally, they are easier to maintain and faster to load.
The big issue if you’re using a single-page design is that they don’t really help your SEO efforts. In fact, it may actually have a negative effect on your Google rankings which will only lead to decreased traffic and therefore user engagement. With the reduced amount of content on your site, the keywords you’re targeting can often get neglected and overlooked. With not having the ability to go in-depth on a separate page you have to compress all of your content into small paragraphs, this can mean that you may be overlooking some essential content that the users might want. Also, a single-page design may not be worth it to you if you’re a growing business. Due to the limit on how much you can scale up a one-page design, it means that if you decide to broaden your offerings or start to expand sell more products then you’re likely going to have to make the switch to a multipage design to offer a reasonable experience to your users.