More and more often we visit a website, click to view what looks like a page on that website only to realise that we are simply being taken further down the same page. In a world where websites appear to be getting more complex, there also seems to be an increasing number of single page websites out there.
A single page website does make for a different user experience, as we have got used – certainly on a PC – to clicking around and accessing different pages. Website visitors are able to enjoy a fairly typical journey through sites, so this new way of doing things can take a little getting used to.
However, there are a number of advantages to a single page website. If you’re a business which simply needs a presence on the internet – just a holding page really – then a single page website would probably suit you well. Conversely, if you’re a large organisation with a raft of products and or services, then a single page website would simply not deliver. Also, if you’re running an online store, you’ll need multiple pages.
Put simply, if you have lots of content or share or sell, then you’ll need pages to put this on.
However, a single page website does have advantages. In theory, it is much quicker to develop and launch – so if you want a presence on the internet quickly, then it’s worth considering a one-page website. Moving forward, it will also be easier to maintain, as everything is on one page – so it’s more straightforward to fix, add or remove content.
In many ways, being easier to navigate, a single page website can boost user engagement – because you won’t potentially lose visitors as they click around trying to find information. There is only one page so, in theory, a quick scroll should lead them to your key information, any call to action and contact details.
The ability to scroll up and down also makes a one-page website more mobile friendly. In many ways, a single page website is very much like the popular social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, where we are used to scrolling, rather than clicking around.
Having said all of that, a visitor looking at a one-page website on a PC might find this additional scrolling rather frustrating and get bored before they find the information they are on the look out for. To solve this, it is possible to put a menu at the top, which will jump you down to where you want to be. This means that many people don’t even realise they are on a single-page website, until they start scrolling.
Read up about single-page websites and some people will tell you that they are quicker to load, while others will suggest they take longer… It really depends, as ever, on what you put on your page. If you treat your page like a whole website in one page with heaps of photos, links, video and content, then it is going to take a longer time to load. As we’ve spoken about in other blogs, load time is really important – visitors will quickly get frustrated and leave if a page doesn’t load promptly, while Google is likely to penalise you as well.
One area in which single page websites fall down is arguably when it comes to SEO. If you’re talking to most SEO experts they will tell you about the importance of creating different landing pages – which obviously isn’t possible if all you’ve got is a one page website. With more pages there’s more opportunity to update and add content, which Google likes. If you’re looking to include keywords on your website, then having a single page will limit this.
If you are looking to make the most of the tools within Google Analytics, then a one page website probably isn’t for you, as you won’t be able to track the behaviour of visitors and whether they gravitate towards one particular page etc.
Both multi-page and single-page websites have their pros and cons and it depends on your business and what you what your website to achieve, as to which option you go for. That said, if you start out with a single-page version, the potential is there to build on it at a later date.
If you want to talk to us about where a single page website would work for your organisation, then contact Lake Solutions today.