Web Design

One-Page Sites: The Pros and Cons

Anna Veitch
Author
Anna Veitch
Published
21st September 2021
Length
2 minute read

Over recent years, an increasing number of individuals and businesses have been opting for one-page sites, also known as “parallax scrolling websites”. Whilst web designers of the staunchly traditional stock might find this to be a perplexing shift in design trends, we feel as though there is actually a good deal of reasons to take the one-page plunge, so to speak. After all, the main aim of a single-page site is to remove unnecessary clutter and drive attention to only the most relevant, most engaging content, and who could really be disparaging about that, huh?

Of course, there are always two sides to every coin, which is why we’re here today. So, let’s get into it!

 

 

 

Firstly, what exactly is a one-page website?

Well, whilst the term “one-page website” may sound self-explanatory, single-page sites are a little more complex (or at least, can be a little more complex) than simply websites revolving around, literally speaking, one page and one page alone.

Contrary to widespread belief, one-page sites do not necessarily have only one page. Parallax scrolling websites do indeed revolve, fundamentally, mostly around one homepage, but they can also have a blog, too. This means that an area of the site can offer a space within which more detailed and developed content can be linked to.

 

So, what’re the pros?

Boosting user engagement

In this day and age, it’s no secret that the attention spans of most people are ever on the decrease. With phones, emails and social media feeds constantly vying for our attention with their endless notifications, it’s pretty safe to say that most of us spend the majority of our time decidedly overstimulated. As a result, plenty of people can only hold their attention on any one thing for a limited amount of time.

It’s therefore very important that your website can keep your visitors engaged. One-page sites make a pretty good go of this by consolidating all of the most important information into one place where users can scan quickly and find whatever is most relevant to them. For many, this could be a stronger option than spreading your information over a considerable number of pages.

Simplicity and ease of navigation

On a standard, multi-page website, users switch from page to page, picking and choosing which information they consume and in what particular order they consume it. As a result, visitors to your site may not really experience it in the way that you intended.

With a single-page site, you have the advantage of being able to take charge of the order in which visitors consume your content, streamlining user experience and tapping into higher conversion potential. Plus, with a simpler site, your content is far more likely to be consumed well by mobile users.

Greater potential for creativity

One-page sites, whilst growing in popularity, certainly aren’t the norm. As a result, the experience of browsing on one can prove refreshing for users, particularly if they’re designed in an interesting and engaging way.

Seeing as though single-page sites are relatively left field, the developer behind a one pager is often likely to be a little more outside-of-the-box in their thinking. Limiting a site to one page pushes designers to be clever and creative with the way they organise information and create visual queues. As a result, the finished website may be more engaging and more unusual than if its developer was working from the basis of a more typical website format.

 

 

BUT IT CAN’T ALL BE ROSES, RIGHT? WHAT ABOUT THE CONS?

 

SEO setbacks

One of the major and most widely referenced pitfalls of one-page sites is their incompatibility with staple SEO tool Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a great resource for collecting information on which pagesyour website users are most interested in and engaged with. On the flip side, this also means you can observe which pages aren’t doing so well, too.

The thing is, with a one-page site, you can’t retrieve that information as there is, ultimately, only one page to visit. Identifying which areas of your content require attention is therefore not entirely straightforward.

Luckily, there is an easy solution to this problem. Plenty of websites – such as hotjar – now offer heatmap tracking tools, which are of great use if you want to get some data regarding how users are interacting with your one-page site.

Scrolling overload

Visitors of one-page sites may be required to scroll the entire length of the site in order to find the information they’re looking for. If the site lacks engaging content and a streamlined design, this can be a frustrating experience for users and can result in them ditching their efforts and exiting the site.

Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions to this. Many platforms such as WordPress offer themes designed for single-page sites. These themes can include options to create more streamlined user experiences, such as the option to include a sticky menu that can be utilised by visitors to drop down quickly to certain sections of the homepage. A “scroll to top” button can also be helpful, too!

Loading delays, zzz

Having all of your content on one page can make way, way to longer loading times. This means visitors may have to sit and wait for everything to load before they can browse your site, meaning they may even jump ship before your website wakes up. Even worse, sites with longer loading times can perform poorly in Google rankings as a result.

If you want a hack to get around this, however, you can opt to make use of “lazy loading”, which reduces page weight and allows for quicker loading times. Ace!

 

 

That’s a wrap!

 

So, that’s the lowdown in regard to the pros and cons of single-page websites. We’ll let you decide for yourself whether you think a one-page design could be a suitable option for you, as of course they don’t necessarily fit everyones needs. However, if you’re looking for a more paired down, simpler site with a bit of a quirky edge, we think they’re definitely a valid option to consider.

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