Single Page Websites – Benefits and Drawbacks?
Websites are changing from year to year and web design now is quite different now. In the past, designers used to create complex websites with a lot of content and pages even for a single product or particular service.
A few years ago, a new trend – single page websites – changed the web design, a trend that was dictated from the advances in the technologies and extensive use of mobile devices on the go.
Single page websites have their advantages but the question is whether such solution is suitable for your needs.
Let’s try to look into the benefits and drawbacks of a single page website and figure out when it is a suitable to resort to one for your business.
There is an extensive amount of research already done by different experts which aims to determine what are the advantages of adopting a single page websites.
Having all the content on one page, divided into different sections is surely beneficial for the user as there are less distractions and the required information is easily reachable. The information can be organized creatively with lots of visuals and small amounts of text.
Spieder Schneider from UXPin points out that “Single page sites immerse the user in a simple linear experience. There’s a clear beginning, middle, and end. In fact, the scrolling nature of single-page sites makes them well suited for mobile users who are accustomed to the gesture.”
Whatever solution you adopt for the navigation – toggle dropdown from the top or left/right menu slide – it cannot be easier than that as users are able to jump to the sections immediately.
Single page websites are mostly responsive and usually follow an established structure which means that look good on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones as well as on desktop devices.
Higher conversion rates
In a recent article AddThis states “Whatever your conversion metrics are—newsletter sign-ups, sales, subscriptions—single-page websites get the job done.”
In addition, UXPin quotes a research done by 37signals
who “… did a study of single-page conversions and found that a single long landing page leads to 37.5 percent more signups, compared to a multiple page version.”
Easy to update and maintain
Changing, adding or removing sections of content and visuals is dead easy. If you ask for flexibility, single page website is able to fulfill that requirement.
One major drawback can be the challenges with the optimization of a single page website. Search engines and particularly Google love content and one page websites do not have a lot of it.
Spieder Schneider makes a good point by saying that “As your categories of content increases (e.g. blogs, news, services, products), the more a single page site becomes less feasible. From a more technical standpoint, single-page sites are also less search optimized than multi-page sites. With tons of content and images on one page, they can also load slower.”
What does Google think of single-page website, have a look at the video below:
In terms of figuring out what is working and what isn’t is a bit hard as it can be quite difficult to analyze the performance of a single page website. Bearing that in mind, it is quite difficult to develop your strategy when you do not know where the problems are. When you have a multi-page website, it is a lot easier to track what is valuable and interesting for the users. You are able to update regularly the content and see the changes in their behaviour. With single page websites this is not possible.
What is right for you then?
AddThis suggests that if you do like the look of one page websites but you have a lot of content, then you should consider the hybrid approach. This is way to implement the beauty of the single page on your home page and “moving your conversion funnel there.” Separate pages for your blog, company info and FAQ can be created to add the additional content you are willing to have available for your users. “You can use sections of the homepage to drive traffic to those other pages.”
UXPin author Spieder Schneider also is in favour of the hybrid approach: “Make sure your site is appropriate for a pure single-page experience. If you can just barely fit everything into a single page, consider the hybrid site instead. If you know you need multiple categories, use a multi-page site.”
Most importantly, you should think about presenting a clear and simple structure and content. Being consistent always pleases the eye. Make sure that the whole experience is not frustrating for the users. Pay attention to the SEO and add fresh content so search engines are happy.
Photo via Visual hunt