Most businesses use multi-page websites to highlight a variety of their products and services, as well as to direct users to various pages filled with information. Considering utilizing a one page may therefore appear to be highly unconventional. However, there are many scenarios where it may be beneficial to have all your business and service information on one page.
Strong single page websites provide the perfect amount of information to convert their visitors. This is why single-page design is often used for landing pages, portfolios and event-related websites. This minimalistic design allows the user to focus on your businesses most important content.
In this article, we will highlight the scenarios in which it is best to utilize a one page website, the benefits, the drawbacks and some of the key design decisions that need to be made in order to ensure a successful customer experience.
When to use a one page website
One-page sites are highly advantageous in scenarios where you have small amounts of text and many images to display. Your business may benefit from a one-page website if you are displaying a portfolio, landing page, brochure, a one-time event or if you’re selling just a single product. You will also find it beneficial to use a one-page website if you don’t have the budget or the time to maintain and update a multi-paged website.
If you’re a freelancer or remote contractor, a single page website will more than likely be sufficient for your goals. In one page you should be able to present a small bio, as well as highlight your skills, completed projects and contact information. The low maintenance and simplicity of updating the page will be suitable for the solo entrepreneur.
Landing pages are created to convert visitors into prospects and leads. Landing pages are a great way to effectively test your advertising strategy, with A/B testing, allowing you to home in on which of your web pages attributes are most effective at converting website visitors into leads, and leads into sales.
Brochures and White Papers
Due to the highly visual nature of a one-page website, they are well suited for advertising material such as brochures, where all the information is contained in one page. If you have a simple product or service, then you may only need enough space to describe your offering, display some photos and create a contact form. These same concepts hold true for white papers.
If your business is hosting an event, then a one-page website will often suffice. When advertising an event, it is best practice to use many high-quality photos and display minimal text. A perfect match for the one-page website. You can display all necessary information about your event’s date, time, location and schedule, without requiring multiple web pages.
If you’re a small business offering just a single product, you may find it is the best use of your time to utilize a one-page website. If you are able to cut through the fluff and over-selling of your offering and utilize A/B testing to optimize the page, then it may prove to be a worthy investment over a multi-page site. If you have a product that is highly visual and well designed, or if it is not overly complicated and doesn’t require a lot of describing than this will suit you. If you are selling a high volume, low cost product, users will be less likely to be put off from the simple one-page design. For more professional, industrial or expensive sales, you may want to opt for the multi-page site.
Mobile Focused Audiences
For multi-page websites to be optimized for mobile, they often need to be redesigned from scratch. If your audience is primarily mobile based, it can benefit you to create a single page website, because the same backend code is used to develop mobile site. Navigating a website through the phone can sometimes be a frustrating experience, having a one-page website puts you in an advantageous position with mobile users, as they naturally scroll down your website.
In short, a one-page website will benefit you if you’re displaying a variety of high-quality photos. This is because all of your content is on one page, which means that your visitors will be lead down your web page with visual after visual..
The affordability and ease of maintenance makes it an appropriate choice for a small solo entrepreneur, or a business on a budget. This ensures that your time is more effectively spent in other parts of your business rather than on ensuring your website is running smoothly. These one-page websites can be up and running in a matter of hours, while a multi-page website can take days to complete.
If you do decide to expand to a multi-page website, you can always use the same set-up and add the additional required pages. It may be wiser to start off with a site that is small and easy to manage, and then to increase on those webpages as you see fit.
Give some thought into how you may need to organize and display your content based on your product and target audience. If you’re banking on ranking your site well with SEO, you will find yourself at a disadvantage, and you will want to consider the traditional multi-page website option. This is also true if you’re going to need to display a lot of information. However, if you fit into one of the aforementioned cases, then one-page websites are a legitimate option for you.
BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS
Now that you know when it is appropriate to implement a one-page website, you should also be aware of the benefits and drawbacks that come with one-page sites so that you can make a more educated decision on whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for your unique purposes.
No page refreshes when navigating the site. This means that navigating the content is quicker and more responsive than having to move from page to page.
Easier to maintain and update due to the limited number of pages.
Able to more effectively optimize your landing page, which may increase the quality of your website and its conversion rate, as compared to a less optimized multi-page website.
Your website will stand out compared to other websites, as most sites use the multi-page format.
It is a good way to set up a mobile friendly site. With one page containing all the content for the entire site, all your visitor needs to do is scroll up or down.
Ease of use. There is no need to learn how to navigate through the site. Scrolling up and down is simple to figure out and removes the hassle of having to interact with the website to find the appropriate web page.
More control over what visitors see. By using a one-page website you can more effectively control exactly what your visitor will see, and what order they will see it. This is in contrast to a multi-page site where they may jump from page to page in a way that could disadvantage your product or service or lead to lower conversions.
Increased user engagement. A one page site website delivers all the required information and call-to-actions much faster than a multi-page website. Since users are presented with one page this facilitates interactions with any on-screen calls-to-action such as contact forms.
The potentially larger file sized on your single page may cause longer loading times.
Designing the page may prove difficult as it will require proper planning and creativity to fit all the required information in one page.
If your site has too much content and requires a lot of scrolling, you actually make navigation more difficult. This can lead the user to not know where they are on the page if they want to find their way back. Proper design decisions can alleviate this problem, however.
Potentially poorer SEO performance. This can happen because fitting all your keywords into your one page is going to be difficult. You will also run into issues regarding page title, meta descriptions and content images, if you aren’t able to separate your site to hit those SEO checkmarks.
Not ideal for growing businesses, as scaling is limited unless you expand to multiple pages. This means that you will need to invest in a redesign eventually.
Unless you’re using an A/B testing strategy, you won’t have as much analytics data at your disposal. If you’re just using one page, you can’t compare which pages on your website your visitors gravitate towards, and which specific content pages they tend to click on.
Your users may be confused. Since multi-page websites are the norm, users may be put off by your one-page website. If a user comes on your website expecting to navigate through it by clicking through multiple pages, they may just decide to leave.
Limited social media sharing options. If you are updating your website with new content and would like it to be shared on social media, you may find that having a single URL puts you at a disadvantage. If a user finds one piece of content interesting on your website, all they can do is share the link to the whole site, which may put them off from sharing at all!
At this point you should be able to weigh out the pros and cons of using a one-page website for your business, and you should have a better understanding of the situations in which these websites shine. With this new knowledge in hand, we can begin to make some important design decisions that will ensure our site is user friendly and effectively fulfills its purpose.
Just because your site doesn’t have multiple pages, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to visually separate the various elements, so that they can be distinguished one from another, and so that our user can easily scroll up and down the sight without getting lost.
This means that you should try to implement clearly defined sections. This can be done though big header elements. They will help to capture your visitor’s attention and give them a landmark to which they can fall back to if they decide to scroll further up or down. For example, a user might open up your site, and may want to scroll right down to the product information section, instead of reading your introduction at the top. By placing large headers, they will be able to navigate to the content they’re looking for without frustration.
You can make text easier to read by leading visitors down your site with different header styles, background colors, bullet points and negative space.
Consider adding custom scrolling effects and visuals. This will give your page some flair. If you’re not well versed in coding these visuals, you can always look for a freelance web developer who has some expertise in this area.
Remember to keep your file size as small as possible, while still maintaining the purpose of your site. This will ensure that load times stay short.
Visitors will be navigating through your website by using their scrollbars. There are ways to make this more interesting for your visitor. Add an alternative method of navigation by letting people jump to the section they need by using sticky menus. This is especially useful if your site is long.
Finally, you should utilize the strength of your one-page website by setting a clear call to action at the end of the page. You are taking your visitor through a journey. Visitors are scrolling down your website and learning more and more about your business until they reach the inevitable end of their journey. This is where you should include your call to action. Make the call to action stand out and let the experience of finally getting to the end of the site be rewarding, so that they are more likely to take action.
When appropriately designed one-page websites can be incredibly effective for your business. Here are 5 examples of well-designed one-page websites.
Let’s start off with something simple.
Here is a simple one-site. In this example the site serves to highlight Dave’s designing abilities, while also providing links to his social media. It’s very simple but effective. You or your business could easily get something like this up and running as placeholder while designing your actual website.
Next up, we have McAfee.
Here we can see the top of McAfee’s website. Take a look at those visuals and how the space is used. On the left side we have a bright stunning visual, the darkness and empty space on the right allows us to more easily see the text.
As we scroll further down the website, we are given just a few more details about the product. This happens after the initial product offering that we see. Once again, there is a lot of empty space in order to avoid color. Small images are used that highlight each of the product’s benefits.
Finally, towards the end of the web page, we see our call to action. Find out which plan is right for you. After scrolling through the webpage, the visitor is invited to choose a plan.
Next, we have Hypnax. This is an example of a single product page.
Hypnax is taking advantage of the visuals. Their product is on full display here for you to see as soon as you load up the page. Immediately, you know what the product does and how it helps by having one large image, and the simple line; Stop snoring by sleeping on your side, which accompanies it.
As we scroll further down, we can see our call to action. One simple blue button. BUY NOW FOR $49. Note how color contrast is used here to bring your attention to the call to action. Placed right underneath this button is an FAQ to ensure that any hesitant customers have their questions answered.
Next, we have an example of webpage that has more unique features, to show you what you can accomplish with a single-page site.
Formationstone.com offers products that benefit greatly from having a one-page website. Note those menu elements at the top, they redirect you further down the page, so that you can get to the section you want without scrolling. They offer stunning stone and tile designs, and they prove it to you upfront with their first visual.
In this photo, you can see how they implemented an interactive product panel. You can scroll over each of these various materials or click on them to be redirected to a product page off the website. More than anything, this site actually serves as a catalogue or brochure for Formation.
Here is another feature added to the website. Instead of navigating to a different page, you can use the arrows to look at a variety of different stones. Formation is using the power of the one-page site to tell a story about their product.
Finally, we should take a look at flatguitars.com
While this website isn’t being used to sell anything, as it is a visual illustration project, it still serves as an example of what can be achieved with one-page websites. Upon entering the site, the user can scroll through 69 guitars with their scroll wheel.
However, if you look at the bottom right, they are given another option.
This takes them to a catalogue view of each guitar, WITHOUT taking them off the page.
When it comes to implementing and creating your own one-page site it is now easier than ever. You have a variety of options to choose from. Even if you don’t have a domain name yet, you can still start designing your webpage with some of these popular website builders.
These website builders are easy to use, customize and optimize. They offer you the complete solution to your online presence and design needs. You don’t need in-depth coding knowledge to implement some of the design considerations mentioned above on these website builders. They have easy to maneuver drag-and-drop site building tools that will enable you to easily build your one-page website and have it up and running in no time.