In today’s day and age, where we all have so many distractions - phones, social media, emails - it is safe to say that attention spans have reduced drastically. So anything that helps you capture your audience’s attention and ensures they focus on your content, is a good thing, right? Enter - Single Page Design.
What is a One Page website?
One page websites have become really popular over the past couple of years. Also known as parallax scrolling websites, they are fundamentally a one-page affair. You sure have come across this one-page website design. All of the content is on a single page — all you have to do to view more content is scroll.
More and more business owners prefer one-page websites to the conventional multi-page websites. This is primarily because single page website design strives to remove all clutter and drives attention to only the most relevant content. It is a simple website design that focuses on subtracting the obvious and adding meaningfulness.
Contrary to popular belief though, it’s not that the site has only one page literally. The homepage is usually all in one page - but the website can still have a blog area, with posts related to updates, news etc. just like any other website.
One Page Websites- Why everyone loves them!
Many developers are focusing their attention on one-page designs. However, as with anything else, there are several advantages and a few disadvantages too, of creating such sites as opposed to building multi-page websites.
So here are a few reasons to choose a one-page site:
Delivering Key Messages Effectively - Boosts User Engagement
You have developed a website because you have a message you wish to pass to your visitors. Unfortunately, people's attention span seems to be growing shorter. You have a maximum of 15 seconds to communicate with a web visitor through text. A one-page website helps you to consolidate all important information onto a single page. Content is easier to find and "scan" than when the same information is on several web pages. People no longer read; they scan. So you better make your content eye-catching, clear and concise.
Simple Navigation - Makes it Easier to Share Your Story
With a multi-page website, the visitors move from page to page and consume only the kind of information they want, ignoring everything else. Not so with a one-page site. Here, you have the advantage of being able to control the order in which a searcher consumes your content. A visitor cannot jump from page to page. You can quickly and easily lead your visitors to content with high conversion potential.
A One-page Design is More Mobile-Friendly than a Multi-page Design
Most websites today have a responsive design that makes it easier for users to consume content on their mobile devices. But searchers using small-screen smartphones may not enjoy content from pages as they would like. Fortunately, single-page sites are much better when it comes to optimization for mobile. Most people would agree that using Facebook — a one-page website — is easy and enjoyable. The one-page design allows you to give your visitors a pleasant user experience.
You Require Less Text on a One Page Website Design
Text-based content has always been a crucial part of websites, whether they are one-page or multi-page sites. A site with ten pages where each page has one paragraph will look like it needs a bit more content. Contrastingly, the same amount of content may make a one-page website appear a bit beefier. If you are writing the content yourself, you may not find it exhausting. Plus it might be cheaper to buy content for your site if you are using freelancers.
A one-page site may look like it carries a lot of content, but visitors find it easy to scan topics on it. A developer uses his or her creativity to make it easy for people to transition smoothly from page to page.
Single-page Sites are Unique
One-page websites have not been the norm. People are more familiar with the traditional multi-page sites. So when they see and interact with a one-page site, it may feel a little different. A developer working on only one page is likely to adopt a kind of out-of-the-box thinking. Such creativity may result in a more aesthetically pleasing easy-to-use site.
Works Well With Images
There are many ways to enhance a site's search engine optimization. Multimedia is an effective way to improve your website's SEO. Images, a component of multimedia, have the potential to enhance your ranking in Google's search results. Additionally, images add visual appeal to your site. A one-page site allows you the opportunity to post many high-quality photos on the same page.
One Page Website Design - Possible Pitfalls and Solutions
While this web design trend is relatively new, it has become a favorite for many because it's mobile-friendly, it has a modern appeal, and it's something different from what people are used to seeing on websites. However, in spite of its advantages, this new layout also has several disadvantages that web owners should consider before making a choice. Here are some disadvantages of a one-page design:
It's hard to analyze the Google Analytics data
Google Analytics is a great tool that can help make a website successful. It gives insight on the pages that visitors are more interested in, as well as on the pages where visitors are losing interest, among other things. With a one-page website design, there's no way to get that data because visitors only have one page to visit. Therefore, identifying what content is generating results, and what content needs improvement, becomes a difficult task.
Solution - you can use other tools that help you do heatmap tracking like Clicky or Hotjar - so this is not really a deal-breaker.
It takes longer to load
Having all of the content on one single page means having a longer load time. When visitors land on your website, they have to wait for everything to finish loading. This includes text, graphics, videos, and anything else that the site contains. If the site is too heavy, it can irritate the visitors and make them leave. Moreover, sites that have longer loading times are negatively affected when it comes to how Google ranks them.
Solution - Use lazy loading to make sure users don’t have to wait until the entire page is loaded - load as they scroll through the page.
Visitors have to scroll a lot
When landing on a site with a one-page design, a visitor is forced to scroll through all of it. While this isn't necessarily a problem if the site is interesting and keeps visitors engaged throughout the entire scrolling process, it can become a frustrating experience if the content is boring, or if visitors can't find what they're looking for. If they get frustrated and tired of scrolling, they'll end up leaving the site quickly.
Solution - Use a One Page WordPress Theme with Smooth Scrolling Sections - this way, users can simply click on the menu item and the site scrolls down to that particular section. The menu needs to be sticky too - so that the menu is visible at all times. Plus, a scroll-to-top button would make sense too.
Sharing content is difficult
With the rise of social media, sharing content across platforms has become increasingly popular. If people see a cool video, or if they read something interesting, they tend to share the link on their social profiles. A pageless design makes sharing a website's content difficult because there is only one URL that can be shared. If someone shares content from a one page site, the entire website will be shared - not just the intended section or content.
Solution - Create a blog with posts full of rich meaningful content. You can opt for a one page design only for your homepage and maintain multiple posts for your blog. There are many such One Page WordPress Themes that allow for a single page home page and support multiple posts / pages too.
While there are some disadvantages of using a pageless design for your website, there are enough reasons to use it. A pageless design may result in sites that are easy to use, more mobile-friendly, and more engaging while requiring less text. A competent professional can advise you whether a one-page site is suitable for your specific situation. And if WordPress is the CMS you are considering for your website, one page WordPress themes will make it easy for you to smarten up your one-page website.