One page websites or, to get fancy for a second, parallax scrolling websites, are sites with a single flow of content on one page rather than multiple pages to navigate through. Still not sure what we mean? Take a look at this perfect example on the ‘Doggo For Hire’ one page site.
One page sites have their pros and cons, often depending upon the purpose of your site. Like any style, it works best for certain forms of content and information. We wanted to examine exactly why you would choose, or not choose, to use a one page site as well as some of the best practice for using one (SPOILER: parallax scrolling isn’t just for dog CVs). The choice is often dictated by UX and an honest approach should be taken to judge whether parallax scrolling adds real value to your site or is being done solely for style/visual purposes.
- It is great for graphics and visuals. Particularly if you are primarily wanting to showcase your skills as a visual company, parallax scrolling puts the background visuals centre stage. Birch (the aforementioned ‘Doggo for Hire’) becomes the star of his page, which is perfect for its purpose. One page sites are seen as being more design oriented and provide that ‘instant wow’ for a bigger initial impact.
- It capitalizes on the native platform and benefits/opportunities rather than reflecting historic print styles of ‘page based’ sites. It gives your site a modern feel with a fluid UX.
- It can lead to a longer time on site and a lower bounce rate. There is very little to become confused about and no overwhelming options. Images keep users engaged and moving through the content whilst seamlessly blending in. Your visitors are more likely to scroll through and discover new content.
- It’s UX focussed; the user moves through a ‘journey’ as they go through the content, leading to satisfaction in completion. Storytelling is key to the modus operandi of a single page site. It invigorates the core value of the site and focusses on the key message.
- It is not always good for SEO purposes. Currently one of the main benefits of separating sites out by topic is that each page can be separately keyword optimised. This makes it easier to attract customers or traffic to your site if you have a mixed offering and wish to attract search traffic for multiple topics.
- Parallax scrolling can mean slower load times on a single page, particularly if it is content heavy. Slow load times often increase the rate of drop off, particularly for mobile and this is where the Google algorithm updates won’t favour it. Mobile experience is diminished (again, bad for SEO) and this is something that Google is now prioritising as the mobile audience traffic percentages overtakes desktop usage. This being said, the singular scroll instead of multiple clicking is guaranteed to work across all platforms so the mobile experience could paradoxically be improved.
- Not great for blog centred sites or any sites which are word heavy. Users will not want to scroll through endless reams of blog or articles to find what they want or to ‘complete’ the page. On a similar vein, sharing specific content is problematic. Where individual blog pages or articles can be shared across social media to gain traffic, a one page site must be shared in its entirety.
Our key takeaways for best practice when using a one page site are to really focus on the user and what they need from your site (as well as the reaction you want from them). Don’t make it boring but do keep it simple and clean. Importantly; don’t overload the page with content. This slows load times and clutters the page, detracting from its’ beauty.
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