The Pros and Cons of Single-Page Websites

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By Boris Dzhingarov

Single-page websites come in three main types; landing pages with long-form content, parallax scrolling pages, and pages where more content is loaded as your visitors scroll down. Instead of your designer concentrating on making different websites look great and unique, they only have to concentrate on a single page. Although they have been catching on in some circles, it is important to weigh their pros and cons to see if they would be beneficial or harmful.

Controlling Flow of Information

There are instances where you want people to find information in one place instead of navigating from one page to the next. In these instances, a single-page website can be very useful, with parallax being used to ensure they are done with one section before moving on to the next.

Better Link Authority

Link authority is often determined by the number of links that point to a specific page on your website. With a single-page website, it is easy to gain this authority because any promotions you do lead to that single page. It is also easier to focus your marketing and backlinking campaigns since you only have one page to deal with.

Better Mobile Experience

All marketers know that mobile visitors are becoming more valuable than desktop visitors because the number of mobile visitors has surpassed that of desktop users. Because of this, businesses and webmasters must concentrate on making their websites give mobile users a great experience.

Single-page websites are much easier to handle on mobile devices because there is very little navigation users have to contend with. Additionally, mobile users are already used to scrolling on their devices on various other platforms, so it feels natural for them to do the same on a single-page website.

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Next, there is the issue of speed. Single-page websites load much faster because there is a lot less content on the page. All the other content loads in the background, but that first load helps keep people on the website.

Mobile speed and user experience are crucial for ranking, and single-page websites help you with both.

Better Conversion

People hate convoluted sales funnels. Many people want to purchase in as few clicks as possible. With a single-page website, you can put all your sales copy on the website and only redirect people to the checkout page once they are ready to complete their purchase.

This makes for a smoother and better experience than if people had to go through multiple pages before finally getting to the details page. Even after they enter their details, they still have to go to the final page to complete their purchase.

If there are too many steps in this process, you will see many abandoned purchases and carts. This is why you have to reduce these steps. A single page that redirects to just one other page for completing a purchase is a much better option.

Cohesive and Straightforward User Interface

The user interface on your website is crucial for engagement. Having multiple pages introduces the risk of some pages looking slightly different from others. This is unless you use a CMS that introduces complexities such as page management and higher load times, which impact SEO and user experience.

With a single-page website, you divide the page into smaller chunks that all follow the same UI blueprint. Such a simple design also allows you to remove all UI clutter, which results in better readability, retention, and information that is easily digestible by your audience.

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Limited Keyword Opportunities

A major drawback of single-page websites is that they limit keyword targeting opportunities. Most single-page websites are centered around a single topic or area of focus. This makes it much harder to target more than a few keywords. This is a major SEO drawback that can harm your discoverability and visibility.

Multi-page websites, by contrast, can target multiple keywords with each page focusing on three to five important keywords. If your business relies on online visibility and search engine discoverability, you need to rethink using a single-page website.

They Require That Your Visitors Scroll A Lot

Scrolling fatigue sets in when people scroll far down your website without finding what they are looking for. When this happens, they leave the website and may not return. While some people do not mind scrolling if what they are looking for is valuable enough, some people feel annoyed and aggravated if they have to scroll too far.

This is a serious drawback of single-page websites. To avoid this issue, you could run a few tests to see how long people are willing to scroll before they leave. Running A/B testing can also help you know where to cut off the content and give people what they are looking for.

Longer Load Times

Single-page websites can have great load times as discussed above, but that only happens if they are well-optimized. These are instances where a web developer will design the page to load all its content as soon as someone visits the page. If the page has a lot of content, say images, it will load slowly and that will cause an issue.

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Lazy loading is a great option, as is loading content as someone scrolls the page and is about to get to it. Just ensure your developer uses an elegant solution for this to avoid introducing bloat that will slow down the page.

Hard-to-understand Analytics

Analytics are crucial if you would like to grow your website and business. You need to know where your visitors are coming from, what pages they are interested in, and what type of content they are most interested in. With a single-page website, this is not possible because you only have data for one page.

You cannot identify what sections or information attracted visitors to the page and this can make your analytics useless. It will also make it harder to craft marketing campaigns because you will not know what to focus on and where you are losing traction, and everything will be under a single URL.

There are instances where you want a single-page website, such as when you need a landing or promotional page. However, even though single-page websites do have some advantages, they come with serious downsides that make it hard to recommend them for most use cases.