You have surely come across one-page websites while browsing the Internet or after clicking certain ads or social media CTAs. One-page websites are, as their name clearly states, stand-alone digital online assets that are the poster children of minimalism. They encompass a modern web paradigm stating that everything you are and want to transmit can and should sit in only one place. But single-page web designs are not for all businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers, or organizations. So, who, why, and how should use them?
What Types of Single-Web Pages Are There and What Purposes Do They Serve?
How can one company or business attract users, increase their loyalty, tell their brand’s story, use SEO tools for better rankings, sell, and engage in CRM practices through only one web page?
When you build a single-web page, you need to decide if it serves your purpose.
The most common type of single-page website you probably encountered already is the almighty post-click landing page. This is a special place where you arrive after you clicked on an ad, an email link, a sponsored social media post, and so on.
With a very smart and modern combination of HTML5 and CSS3 design, Java, and more, a single-page website is not an endless field you need to scroll until the end of time, but a compelling, streamlined, highly converting asset that turns visitors into leads or clients.
When it comes to the architecture of a landing page that converts, many experts have many things to say about this issue. The general agreement is that a landing page should meet the following criteria:
- Contemporary template design;
- Responsiveness across all mobile devices’ types and screen sizes;
- Compelling headlines and secondary headlines;
- Bold visuals, including videos, animations, live demos and “how to” tutorials;
- Social proof;
- Highly converting CTA button, etc.
Landing pages serve best small businesses, entrepreneurs, or startups that showcase a product, a service, a piece of downloadable content, or any other asset.
Even a free website builder allows you to customize the template, pick a color scheme that serves your purpose, add photos and galleries, etc. For instance, the free landing page builder by Ucraft offers default mobile responsiveness, a myriad of drag-and-drop templates to build in your image, and plenty of other tools and products (SEO integrations as well, mind you) that you will find more than easy to use.
Personal Websites / Portfolios
If you are an artist, a photographer, a freelancer, or a journalist for instance, a single-page website can act as both your CV and portfolio. You don’t need to have coding skills or a fat budget to create such one-page portfolio website or landing page. Showcase your art, present your life, skills, and achievements, integrate contact details, and you are good to go.
A brochure website is a digital environment displaying a person’s or a company’s catalog, contact information, social proof, pictures, demo videos, “how to” animations, and more. With free website builders and dozens of templates available, creating an online one-page brochure is easy as a few clicks.
Advantages and Disadvantages of One-Page Websites
As you have seen before, there are a couple of situations when one-page sites may be more helpful than a multi-page website. Let’s see next their pros and cons and the instances when you should choose them over their more complex peers.
One-Page Site Advantages
- Linear, streamlined user experience. Since one-page website have usually a single purpose to serve, users will find it easy to complete the task they are there for, no matter if it is to contact you or buy a product;
- Undivided attention and engagement. One page means your users focus on one thing only, a strategy meant to increase user engagement with a brand, a product, or a person;
- Better conversions. A boost in user engagement means increased rates of conversion and this is what your single-page website needs to do in the end;
- Full responsiveness. Most Internet users are mobile users and the numbers grow. Single-page websites are naturally responsive and friendly with all types of mobile devices and screen sizes, especially if you choose the right template. Streamlined, hassle-free responsivity translates into increased conversion rates;
- Easier maintenance.
You should not jump that bandwagon yet, specialists say, because single-page websites come with their downsides, obviously. For instance, since the entire brand story or content of the website is condensed into one single place, you will need to invest more time and effort in the creative design of that page to convey the message you want to pass along.
In a multi-page website, you can tell your story, sell your products, engage with your audience, etc. across all pages and sub-pages of your website. In a single-page one, you have to put it all out there in a way that makes sense for the users.
And it is not the sole issue with one-page sites. Here are more downsides to them:
- Finding the balance between written content and visual content. It is way harder than anyone thinks, otherwise major websites and online publications would not refresh and revamp their digital assets regularly. Too many words and you have a poor post-click landing page, too many images and you risk your page to take too much to load. The chance of info dumps is huge.
- SEO with restrictions. A single-page website might be a good thing for the Google crawler to find, index, and rank your page. On the other hand, you have limited options when it comes to keyword optimization. Since you have only one page, you need to take a professional approach to SEO, as too many keywords represent spam and search engines penalize spam content. Moreover, you need to take your time to fine tune the title, headings, images alt-text, sub-headings, and meta of your page, because you have only one shot to do it right.
- No scalability. Third on the list but the most important one, scalability is a huge problem for startups and entrepreneurs. If you decide to change things to your business, add products, create inter-linked pages and articles, change the design, etc., you cannot. You have to build everything from scratch, design and all. On the long run, while one-page websites tend to convert better, you might end up paying more to build more.
Before you decide to get a full-page website or a single-page one, you should understand first how the two of them meet specific needs. Before you begin, calculate your time, effort, and money costs and see which of the two investments convert the best on the medium and long term.