One-page websites are very frequent nowadays and it seems that Internet users are extremely satisfied with this format. A one-page website is one that is constituted from a single webpage and usually, the user must scroll to visit the entire website.
Usually, these are flat based and any transition between webpages is realized using a jQuery sliding effect. Somehow, we may say that a flat based one-page website was the typical website build last year. Overall, it’s a nice approach that is highly appreciated by both designers and users. Altogether, there is a question: are these websites just a passing trend or one-page will become a very common format for the next years?
It’s childish to say that there are pure black and white colors, the entire world is a great variety of grey. It means that it is impossible to have a 100% sure answer, but you should know that one-page websites weren’t invented in 2013, these were online way before. In conclusion, one-page websites were just rediscovered in the last period of time, there is nothing new! Also, I am sure that these will continue to exist in the future!
Anyway, there are customers asking for one-page webpages and a good designer should be prepared to create such projects. A one-page format has many advantages, but at the same time, it shouldn’t be used in some situations. We made an extensive research and created for you a complete overview over the pros and cons of creating a one-page website. Of course, you are welcomed to bring your own contribution- the more, the better!
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→ The advantages of one-page websites:
#1: Visually appealing
No matter if we are or we are not adepts of one-page websites, we must admit that these look good. It’s true that the talent of the designer plays its role, but a one-page website offer something different than a “common website”. Paradoxically, the users are eager to scroll, even if a year ago, the design community considered that the Internet users simply hate scrolling. Probably, by having an attractive design, it made people curious and scroll to find out what’s still hidden. Maybe you are not very sure about the beauty of one-page websites; don’t worry, check these websites and no doubt that you will start to appreciate them.
#2: Less cluttered experience
A one page website doesn’t offer enough room for extra-information, everything is to the point. It means that the website creator should synthetize the content as much as possible and it’s not a simple job. Fortunately, many designers founded the perfect ratio of content per website and the users benefit from a less cluttered experience.
This format let the viewer focus on what’s important, on the content. Discretion, subtlety and “wise simplicity” are key features of a good one-page website.
#3: Better suited for handheld devices
It may be possible for responsive design to contribute to the success of one-page websites. These websites suit better to mobile browsing and this fact is very important in the actual context. Still, there is an important trap. A one-page website is enjoyable for smartphones and tablets users because it loads faster and there is no separate webpage that need other seconds to load when accessing it. Altogether, a too complex one page website would need a considerable time to load and it’s not a very appreciate situation by the users.
#4: A more efficient format for conversion
This advantage is frequently neglected, but in fact, it has a capital importance. A one-page website converts better the potential customers. The idea is simple: the customers don’t get lost on various webpages. Less clicks means less chances of losing clients, doesn’t it?
→ The disadvantages of one-page websites:
#1: It may be a trend
Nobody said that one page websites were discovered in 2013, but their moment of glory started in that year. Could someone guarantee that few months later, one page websites would still be the favourite of the users? I doubt it…
My humble personal opinion is that in this year we will have many new interesting one-page websites, but it’s just a simple opinion. Many designers consider that is better to design for “classical websites” instead of one page approach that may disappear in the near future.
#2: Some information should be “sacrificed”
Very few one-page websites have heavy content, everything is light weighted. Unfortunately, it means that the complex projects can’t be successfully “converted” into one-page websites. The single possibility is to “sacrifice” the content and leave only what is vital.
#3: Difficult to update
Well, some designers or clients insist on launching complex websites, as blogs, using this website format. Definitely, it’s not a good idea because the maintenance would be a real hell. In conclusion, there are projects that match perfectly the one-page format, but some specific projects aren’t compatible with it!
#4: One page format isn’t the best choice for SEO
SEO is a very important aspect no matter how cool is the design or the content. There is a single rule: a less optimised website won’t have a considerable traffic! One page websites are very hard to optimise and this fact is a very important downside for this kind of website.
In the end, which is the conclusion? Are one page websites a good approach? As you probably deduced, it depends of the type of the project. This format has its special beauty and the design community should let the users benefit from it.
Personally, I think that one page websites will attract the eyes of the viewers for many years. The big issue is the fact that the respective project must be compatible with this format. If you want to represent a story, to present important events or to create a cool and original portfolio, yep, one page format is a good solution. Of course, there are other many situations when one page format is recommendable.
Still, there are some specific cases when this format isn’t a good idea such as blogs, very complex websites or huge online stores. In these situations, one page approach is dangerous.
I hope that you enjoyed this post. If you liked it, please share it with your friends, it’s a great reward for our endeavours. Also, get involved and tell us your opinion about one page websites, do you like them?
– Written by Daniel –