One page websites are definitely a growing trend; so let’s jump on the continual scrolling website bandwagon and find out why they’re so popular.
They work best for companies that offer a single product or service (e.g. Apps or photographers portfolio), for information about an upcoming product or event (e.g. new movie release or promotion), or a small business without too much content. Do your research as to whether one of these streamlined sites is really right for you.
We will discuss the many pros but also the cons and things to think about before designing a one page website.
WHAT IS A ONE PAGER?
It sounds simple, but there are lots of different types these days. Some just require you to scroll to find all the information on the site, while others may have what looks like a menu but are just anchor links which then scroll down automatically to the corresponding section on the one pager. And then there are sites which look like a one pager on the homepage, but have links that take you to another page (this type of site requires clever design so that the user doesn’t get confused when trying to navigate through the site).
Their popularity has grown for a number of different reasons but one is that now with the majority of internet usage happening on a smart phone it is easiest and ingrained in users to just scroll. Thank Facebook and Instagram for this.
The main aim of a one pager site is to provide you with just enough information in order to act, whether it be to purchase something or to watch a video, they aim to reduce clutter and focus the user’s attention on the most important information only.
“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler” – Albert Einstein
There are of course, lots of benefits to building a one page website:
Simplicity – If you can simplify your site down to one page then that is the ultimate, no need to direct users to other pages or have a gigantic menu with sub-menus. Everyone knows how to scroll so there is no learning curve for navigation.
Slightly faster browsing – Having all your content and information on the one page means that users can browse the site faster and are not able to get lost in pages and pages of content and links.
Quality Focus – A one page website doesn’t have space for rubbish, it’s all about a simple and quality message. By focusing on what matters and not getting caught up with the fine print, a one page website can give you a much higher conversion rate.
Higher Conversion Rates – With a one pager you are able to tell a story and lead users on their buying path. By carefully planning each section and the sequence in which people read them you can improve your conversion rate. This is one of the main reasons why most landing pages use a single-page design.
Ease of management – With only one page to update and edit, managing a one page website is a breeze.
Mobile Friendly – Single page websites are of course, much easier to adapt to mobile devices, as there is essentially just the one page. Their design can stay mostly the same and will look great on mobiles, desktops and tablets.
Faster to Build – Take this point with a grain of salt, as every website no matter what size can end up taking much longer to complete than first anticipated. However, once the design is complete, coding can be much quicker.
Reduced bandwidth – A smaller site, means less server space is needed, so you may be able to go on a cheaper hosting plan with your provider. Also, your users will appreciate this if they’re on a limited data plan.
While there are a lot of positives to having a one page website, they’re definitely not appropriate for every business, so have a look at the cons too:
Potentially Longer Loading Times – This is a key factor in users clicking off a site that takes too long to load. And with a one pager your whole website has to load at once, so make sure that your code is as clean and simple as possible and test your load speed regularly. Remember that a slow load time will not only affect your site’s visitors but it’s Google ranking too.
Require a lot of Design Creativity – A one pager just has the one opportunity to engage its users so design is incredibly important. Hire a designer/developer with a lot of experience designing one-page websites and don’t be afraid to ask for examples of their work.
Hard to Scale – Adding more content to a one pager can be limiting compared to a traditional site where it’s as easy as creating another page. Consider how much your business will grow (in the short-term at least) and if you’d in turn need to add more content/information to your site.
Hard to Share – Nowadays we communicate information through the use of sharing. Whether it be on Social Media or texting the link of a website to a friend, your information needs to be shared easily. This is the limitation with one pagers, as you cannot just share a snippet of information, it will send the user to the beginning of the webpage.
Search Engine Optimisation – Search engines thrive on content and one page websites don’t have that much of it making it much harder to rank highly for more than a couple of keywords.
Meaningful Stats – It’s much harder to analyse the performance of a one pager than a full website with multiple pages. It’s difficult to figure out how to reduce your bounce rate or determine at what point a user clicks off the site. Not having this information makes it much harder to put together a good digital strategy.
Your other options
Take the Hybrid Approach – Make the best of both by utilising a one pager look and feel for your home page but still include a small menu in your footer or a hamburger menu that’s not too imposing to provide links to secondary information on the site. There are some huge companies that take the hybrid approach for their websites, including, Uber, Vimeo and Airbnb.
Utilise Lightboxes – Lightboxes are great when not used too liberally on a website. They’re usually used to show a zoomed in image or a product description. They can help to add a bit of interactivity to the site and depth to an otherwise flat design.
In conclusion, one page websites definitely have their place and purpose, but weigh up the pros and cons before just jumping at the trend. For most businesses, a scalable website with multiple pages is the best option.
If you’re looking to update your current website or start a new one from scratch, give the friendly Fireworks team a call today on 1300 660 160.