Single Page Websites: Advantages and Disadvantages
With more digital experiences than ever fighting for the user’s attention (I know you’re peeking at that notification in the other tab), a concise, focused single-page website can set you apart from the crowd and boost conversions. In the era of the smartphone, users have adapted to new web browsing habits that have rendered previously proven strategies ineffective. With the average reader’s attention span clocking in at an astonishing 15 seconds, every moment counts in the digital world. You don’t want your readers to spend those precious few attention-grabbing seconds battling an interface that is ill-suited to your content. Although single-page websites aren’t the be-all-end-all solution, they are the perfect way to present simple content and create clean, effective landing pages.
- Familiar, Mobile Friendly Navigation: Like it or not, we’re glued to our phones. Mobile web browsing now accounts for over half of all traffic, so ignoring smartphone users with desktop-optimized design is no longer an option. Clicks are old news, and scrolling is king. Touch screens are training users to become accustomed with scrolling as a primary means of navigation more than ever before, so arranging your content on a single, long page provides a second-nature browsing experience that is equally suited to both mobile and desktop users.
- Linear experience: With their straightforward structure, single page websites are particularly well suited to linear, narrative-like experiences. This continuous form of navigating content guides users through a clear beginning, middle, and end, making them more likely to follow through on a call-to-action than if they had to interrupt their browsing to click links.
- Below-the-fold Engagement: Borrowed from the term for the content on the top half of a folded newspaper, the “fold” in web design refers to the content that can be viewed without scrolling. Although it is still considered best practice to position important headlines and calls-to-action above the fold, users will spend, on average, over 65% of their browsing time below it. When combined with the scrolling-based nature of single-page sites, this means users will spend more time engaging with your content and less time navigating.
- Higher Conversion Rates: Single page versions of websites have been found to have as much as 37.5% higher signup rates compared to their multi-page counterparts, some studies have found. The reduced user tension in navigating a smaller, more direct website pays off!
- Scalability: Obviously, single page websites are not well suited for websites that require large, complex, and varied content. While a single page site might be perfect for conveying information about a single product or service, you’ll want to take a more traditional approach for any information beyond that. That doesn’t mean single page design can’t work to your benefit, though. Simple landing pages can be used within the context of a larger, more complex website to direct users to specific call to action or area of your website.
- Load Times: In the cases of content that warrants a substantial amount of media such as photos, videos, or large audio files, load times may suffer. Although this is true of any media-rich website, having all that content on one page alone can significantly impact page load time.
While not the best solution for complex content, single-page websites and landing pages are a fantastic, sleek, and proven way to boost user engagement and conversions for your simple products and services. Get to scrolling!