One-page websites are making a comeback. It might have something to do with our diminishing attention spans. Or maybe it’s being driven by mobile-first design. Either way, one-page websites can be a great way to engage customers if you don’t already have a website or your current website isn’t helping you grow your business.
Compared to multi-page websites, single-page designs give you everything you need on one page. All visitors have to do is scroll down to view the content or click the menu to take you to the point of the page you’re interested in. If you’re not familiar with one-page or single-page websites, check out One Page Love. It features designs that are clean and uncluttered or image-rich depending on your looking for.
Clean and uncluttered designs tend to look more sophisticated, elegant, and work well on mobiles. Your design doesn’t need to be boring, there are different styles, layouts and design ideas to suit all business types and needs.
Before we move on, we need to make a small distinction. A one-page website for the purpose of this article, is not a landing page designed to convert traffic from an online campaign (although conversion rates tend to be strong on one-page websites). One-page websites represents your whole business where a landing page is typically created to feature one compelling message with a call-to-action.
As you might expect, one-page websites aren’t for everyone. Like all trends, they have their pros and cons. Ultimately, it depends on what you want to achieve.
Quick to Launch
Creating and launching a website can take a long time to build out and its usually the content to delays these projects. With a one-page website, you can keep your message short, sharp and to the point. By distilling your content down to your core messages, it can be far easier to pull together yourself or to brief a copywriter and have it done for you!
There is no need for elaborate menus on a one-page website. All the information is laid out in one place so you can guide visitors through a sequence of messages in the order you want them to follow. You can still have a simple menu at the top of the website however it will take them to the point of the page they are interested in. This gives you greater control of the user’s interactions with your website. In a multi-page, information rich website, your visitors will pick and choose where they click and what they read. It’s unlikely they’ll read pages in their entirety or follow a sequence you’d like them too. Visitors may become frustrated if it’s hard to find what they are looking for.
It can be difficult getting conversions on a multi-page website. There are so many distractions and moving parts. But a one-page website can help avoid confusion and prompt visitors to take action. That’s because it’s short, to the point, and doesn’t cloud the user’s mind with overwhelming information. Put simply, the entire page can lead to one logical choice, your call-to-action. This means you’re more likely to generate more leads and sales than you might on a traditional website.
People love to consume content on their mobile phones. If you don’t have a mobile-optimised website, it’s hard for visitors to engage with your content. Mobile-friendly interactions can be perfect on one-page websites. The content is all in one place, so there’s no need to click or tap or wait for pages to load. You just scroll up or down. It’s inherently mobile-friendly.
If you want to rank highly or be found on search engines for a broad range of terms, you need a lot of high-quality content. This can be difficult with one page. Multiple pages allow you to target a number of keywords which is important if you have a broad range of products or services.
If you’ve got a local or niche business, this might not be a problem. If you want to rank on search engines for a number of keywords a hybrid approach may suit you best. You can add a blog to your one-page website. Yes, it’s not strictly speaking a one-pager anymore however it gives you the best of both worlds – Simplicity and substantial content!
Too Long to Load
While one-page websites have less content overall, they can take longer to load if they’re not well built. That’s because everything is on the one page and therefore it all loads at the same time. If the page has a lot of graphics and photography, it can take a while to load. One way to overcome this is by using lazy loading, which loads content as people scroll. This means you don’t have to wait for the entire page to appear before you start seeing it. We also advocate clean, simple and sophisticated design which means limiting the imagery and therefore keeping the website loading fast.
Hard to Share Content
Because all your content is on one page, visitors can’t easily share a piece of content through social media. The URL will take people to the entire page, not the content they may have wanted to share. A great way around this is to add a blog. Blogs tend to be more informative and therefore shareable so they can give you the best of both worlds. Using a hybrid one-page website and blog allows you to have separate pages that can be easily shared through social media, email or messaging apps.
Should You Get a One-Page Website?
You’ll need to way up the pros and cons for yourself and make a judgement call. In a nut-shell, here are some reasons why a one-page website might be right for your business:
- Your business has a narrow focus and a simple call-to-action.
- Your business has very little competition and therefore doesn’t need a huge website to be found online.
- You want to showcase a simple portfolio of work.
Here are some reasons why a one-page website might not be right for your business:
- You offer a large range of products and services.
- You’re target-market responds better to more persuasive, long form copy prior to taking action.
- You want your content easily shareable through social media, email or messaging apps.
Before you invest in a one-page website, take some time to consider your needs and review your competitors. If you’re running a simple business, it’ll be a fast and affordable way to reach customers. If you run a more complex business, a multi-page website will provide you with more elbow-room and flexibility. If you’re just starting out and want to get online quickly, a one-page website can be a cost-effective way to spruik your skills (or products), engage customers, and drive conversions.
In many instances we think a hybrid approach is best. Blogging within your website is a great way to boost visibility, build authority, and reach a wider audience. We recently launched a hybrid one-page website with a blog for a small business in Ballarat, Premier Auto Wash. Since Ballarat is a regional Victorian town, we felt this strategy was the strongest approach to reach the local market. Their one-page website gives a summary of their car and dog wash, and the accompanying blog helps provide substantial content for those that appreciate it.