Single-page websites are a popular design trend. They’re fresh, speedy, and sit well with mobile users.
And then there are multi-page sites. They allow unlimited scalability — and for good reasons, suit websites that need more content.
The debate on which design is better is a never-ending one.
But when deciding between the two, list down your website requirements first. Think of factors like SEO and user experience.
All done? Now check out the pros and cons of single and multi-page websites below.
Single-page websites are becoming a trend in their own right. You can say they’re the head turners of the online space.
But how does a one-pager fare in this design war?
User experience: simplified and clutter-free
A single-page website elevates user experience in more ways than one:
A no-fuss linear experience
A one-page site is clean and simple. You get all the information in a linear layout: the beginning, middle, and the end.
Users will only need to scroll down to consume your entire site content.
The straightforward navigation also calls for fewer distractions — inviting visitors to respond to your call to action (CTA).
Great storytelling platform
Why do people get a website? In most cases, it’s to connect with their audience.
One effective way to do so is through storytelling. And a single-page website makes storytelling a breeze.
All your content is in one place, so it’s easier to capture visitors with a human-interest story. It doesn’t have to be your brand’s story — it can be your customer’s or someone else’s.
Check out how Frames Collection executes this captivating story.
Good for mobile
A mobile-friendly website is more important today than ever.
It lets you target mobile users and gets you on the good side of search engines.
Single-page websites display natively on mobile — so there’s no need for you to tweak its design.
Aside from that, single-page sites load faster than multi-page ones. And with people’s 3-second attention span, you need all the speed boost you can get to keep up.
Search engine optimisation
Here comes the downside.
A one-page web design limits your SEO opportunities.
Keywords play a huge role in SEO. But a single-page website only allows you to target a single phrase. The limited content length restricts your chances of ranking on Google.
Is this enough reason to turn down the pageless format? Not quite.
And if you’re not so keen about ranking on search engines, the one-page route is a great option to consider.
When to use it
You now know the pros and cons of a single-page website. So when can you use it then?
We recommend the following purposes:
- Portfolios — Just like you would a resume, bring out your best guns on the first page. In this case, highlight them in a one-page online portfolio.
- Landing pages — Landing pages are meant to capture leads, so you want to direct them to the CTA right away. A one-page website should do the trick.
- Events pages — A major event (or campaign or promotion) requires its own page. With a single-page website, visitors get to access the event and nothing else.
- Coming Soon pages — Is your website still under construction? Use your one-pager to keep your audience thrilled until your big site launch.
Convinced with a one-page website? Here’s what you should prepare for.
Since you have limited space for your copy, write it in a way that’s succinct and persuasive at the same time.
Remember — you need to get your point across on a single page, so don’t beat around the bush.
“But I have so much to tell!”
You can always put a large amount of content on your website. The more users have to scroll, the more frustrated they get.
Don’t worry — although optional, you can always add a navigation menu.
A multi-page website works well for businesses offering various products and services.
But really, it works well for everyone — and for good reasons.
Multi-page websites continue to fare well due to the familiar user experience it brings.
A lot of users still find traditional navigation comforting.
The interested user will look for a menu to look for products or information.
If they can’t find a way to go around your website, they won’t think twice about looking elsewhere.
Scale all you want
When it comes to digital marketing (and SEO!) — content is king. And you’ll need to add and update content if you want to grow your business.
For example, ecommerce websites need to add pages for new products or services. Bloggers need to post fresh consistent content. Freelancers need updated portfolios by adding pages for new projects.
There’s no denying that for these cases, a multi-page design is a clear-cut solution.
Search engine optimisation
With multi-page sites, you’re not limited to a single keyword. You can focus on a different keyword per page and up your chances of ranking higher in search engines.
And when you own a business in a competitive market, you’ll need all the SEO advantage you can get.
Multi-page websites can also boost your SEO game by:
- Getting backlinks. By having more pages, you get more chances of earning quality backlinks.
- Using internal links. Internal linking gives your website value and gives it an SEO advantage.
- Producing fresh content. Multi-page sites give you the freedom to add more quality content. This will urge search engines to crawl your site and display it on their SERPs.
When to use it
You can always use a multi-page website, but it’s the most preferred format for the following purposes:
- Top industry resource — If you’re building a niche resource site, you’ll need a multi-page website to organise your content.
- Ecommerce business — Online stores need several web pages for their products and services.
A website with a large volume of content can be a struggle to maintain. You need to add categories to make navigation as easy as possible for users.
Siloing your website is one way to do it. It also makes your site SEO-friendly!
Siloing is the process of grouping related pages together. You can either tweak your directory structure or strengthen your internal linking.
Webris does an on-point explanation on siloing your website for SEO.
Making a multi-page site responsive also requires more work compared to its single-page counterpart. But you’ll need to buckle down to keep up with the “mobilegeddon” — else you run the risk of losing to your competitors.
So which one should you get — a single-page or multi-page website?
The ultimate winner depends on your goals and requirements.
Consultancy websites that offer a single service can use a minimalist single-page design. If you’re all about producing regular content, then there’s no better way to go but a multi-page site.
You may need 50 pages, but that doesn’t mean others do. At the end of the day, it’s all about giving your target audience the best possible experience.
Ready to get started? Download our FREE website design brief here.