One page website, multi page website: your heart sways between the two...
One page websites are trendy: they make navigation easier, and make message delivery more efficient.
But be careful, they are not appropriate in all cases, or for all situations.
Multiple page websites offer more possibilities: multilingual versions, better Google ranking, more information...
So, one-page, multiple-page, which format is better?
Before making up your mind, and starting your one page website design, or your multipage website design, let’s explore the question together.
Let’s see the advantages of both options: what are the benefits of a one-page website, in which cases is it better to create a multipage website?
It is not always easy, before building a website, to choose the best format.
Here are some prejudices, either confirmed or challenged, that you may have about this topic, and that will help you get a clearer picture.
Yes and no.
By creating a one page website, you have to condense your information and make it organized and clear.
It may seem easier and faster to develop such a website. This is not necessarily the case. Indeed, making a one page website requires condensing information. You should sum up your content, make it much shorter, by only telling the most important parts. And above all, you will have to design a complex layout, in order to make sure it remains clear and easy to read. Thus building a one page website requires additional efforts to be effective.
In the same way, one can think that one page websites are easier to update. This is not so obvious: indeed, every time you have to add some information to your one page website, it can be difficult, because it might break the overall consistency.
It is true that on a one page website, visitors are guided along their path on your website.
Thus a one page website is ideal to create a narrative pattern (storytelling), with a lot of visuals.
This kind of design is fun and entertaining for your visitors. Who doesn’t like being told a story?
But a one page design is also useful, if you have a specific message to deliver: professional, sports, charity or cultural event, promotion of a new product, fundraising for a non-profit, etc.
However, even though you have a multi page website, you can still use a landing page connected to your website, in order to obtain the same result.
In the same vein, your one page website will be perfect to create a purchase process, if you have specific marketing goals.
To do so, place your CTAs strategically, and (this is our secret tip) guide your visitors with cues (icons, shapes, images…), used as references.
Vertical scrolling is commonly used in mobile navigation, and is particularly suitable for one page website navigation.
When we know that more than 90 % of the internet users use their smartphones to browse the internet, maybe we should keep that in mind.
Indeed, it is easier for visitors to scroll down than to click from one link to another.
Using the scroll wheel of the mouse is easy, we use it without even thinking... Whereas a very large website can seem a bit labyrinthine, and it may confuse or discourage your visitors.
Which can possibly increase your website bounce rate, and affect your Google ranking. And nobody wants this… Especially not you!
A multiple page website can contain more information.
If your website must contain a lot of information, or if you want to make a blog, a forum or an online store with many products, you will find it useful to create a multiple page website.
It is much easier to add content, in a segmented way, to a multiple page website.
If you need to update your website on a regular basis, or if your business is likely to grow, it may be useful for you to have a multi page website. You will be able to easily add your content, page by page, depending on the information you want to deliver.
Whereas, as we have just seen it, adding new content to a one page website requires rethinking the whole structure of your website. So you’ll have to think more about it and spend more time doing it.
Lastly, multiple page websites allow you to use more competitive keywords, or many long-tail keywords, by dividing the topics among your pages, and by using different URLs.
So in which specific cases should you create a one page or multi page website?
In some cases, creating a single page website is the best option:
👉 Product launch
When you launch a new product, you have a specific message to deliver, you also need to convince your prospects that your product is the one they need.
In this context, and if you have specific marketing goals, a 1 page website design is perfectly suitable.
👉 Event planning
Regardless if it is a private or public event, a one-off or recurring event... , a single page website design will be perfect for organizing any event (such as wedding, anniversary, festival, birthday party, sports event…).
Your visitors will easily find, in one place, all the basic information they need.
👉 Landing page
As they tell a story, one page websites are particularly suitable for landing page design. Indeed, visitors are engaged and follow a marked out path on your website. That way, they perform the actions you want them to.
Landing pages aim to explain the benefits of using your products or services. Single page websites are particularly appropriate to develop your argument, and achieve results.
A showcase website is like a digital ID, gathering all information about your business.
One page designs are particularly suitable for this type of website.
💡 If you want to create a showcase website, feel free to read our article about the best examples of showcase websites, in order to get some inspiration.
👉 Portfolio website
On a one page website, visitors will have an overview of the content in one quick glance, and will easily find what they search through your website.
If you create a single page website, pay attention to the structure of your website: your content must be divided into sections, ordered and classified, by using visuals and with good information management practices.
A single page website that is cluttered and not structured correctly may confuse visitors. Therefore it is quite difficult and requires some effort to make a one page website that is effective.
WesHenry presents a single page website in black and white that is very simple. It is a communication agency that works on brand marketing, and the website showcases their work.
This agency called “Made By Ritual” has a one page website that is fully customized down to the last detail. This website is full of animations, but is nevertheless very simple.
Instabridge is a one page website with a colorful design. This website is very simple regarding navigation and it showcases only one product.
For most of the situations, the classic multi-page format is more appropriate to create a website. Pick that option if you are in one of those cases:
👉 You have a lot of content
Especially if you have a lot of images… Because loading a single page with a lot of images can be very long. And as we all know there is nothing more irritating than a page that is slow to load.
Keep in mind, however, that you should condense your information as much as possible. You should prioritize your content, and always remember that a simple message is much more effective.
👉You want to improve your SEO
As we have just seen, a 1 page website is difficult to rank on search engines.
So if you have a lot of long tail keywords to target, in addition to the main keywords you want to rank for, you should use subpages to work on the long tail.
👉You offer different types of products/services
In this case, you will need to have a lot of entry points to your website.
It is possible that a user has a specific query related to one of your products/services and does a specific search for it: in this case, it is better if they can directly access the page they want.
👉 You use social media a lot
If you are a “Facebookaholic”, or if you use instagram to promote your website, be aware that it is much easier to share links to specific pages (product descriptions or blog articles) on social media.
👉 You need to create a blog
If you want to create a blog, to animate your community and share your expertise, you will need to build a multi page website.
👉 You need to analyze your website statistics
You will find it easier to use Google Analytics and adjust your communication strategy consequently, with a multi page website.
👉 You have an online store with many products
In this case, obviously, you will need several pages and different categories, to showcase your products, in a clear and attractive way.
👉 You have a corporate website
If you have created a corporate website, or any other kind of website that requires adding content regularly, you will need a more flexible website design, that you will be able to progressively enrich.
Cuberto is a modern and graphic multiple page website. It is very sleek, with its fine fonts and it is customized down to the smallest detail.
Memory is a website with pastel colors and simple visuals. This minimalist style makes it very pleasing and its animations give it a dynamic feel.
Harpoon is a blue colored website with a modern minimalist design. The website maintains a design consistency across all pages, which makes navigation very smooth.
✅ Pleasing navigation
✅ Good choice if you only have little content
✅ Attractive effect
✅ Smoother navigation
✅ Less expensive
❌ Slow loading
❌ Poor ranking
✅ Good for SEO
✅ Lot of content possible
✅ Appropriate for large companies
✅ Allows to offer many products
❌ More knowledge required
❌ Higher cost
Generally speaking, if you have a specific message to deliver, or if you have a specific marketing goal, creating a 1 page website will meet your needs.
On the contrary, in most other cases (if you have a lot of content, if you want to create an online store or a corporate website, if you want to focus on SEO,…), it is more recommended that you build a multiple page website.
Anyway, before starting your website design, whether it is a single page or a multi page website, you should first think about your needs and objectives: how much content do you have? Which format will be best for user experience? What kind of information do you want to display?....
Thus you will easily define which format (single or multiple page) be the most appropriate, and you will be ready to get on the success highway!
Last update: May 31, 2021