With the entrance of high quality coding tools and the vast availability of the technical schooling for coding, websites and other interactive items we encounter everyday are just evolving dramatically. There are but more than enough designers now, and not to mention as well, the great number of developers that should be ready to help you when you want your own version.
I’m talking about websites here, and among the most commonly talked topics is, should you go for a single page website design? This may be a trend already to many, and we have observed it majorly in artists or freelancers showing their own portfolios. Would it be ideal or not? Let’s try to dig some more information.
Advantages of Single page Websites
Single page websites exist because they work at least to a fraction of those who are into it. There’s no doubt it can be another face of a success story, and the same goes when we are talking about failures. Here’s an example:
Check out below what a single page website can do:
- It eliminates the need for more pages, hence they are simpler.
- With no much room to navigate around, navigation is a lot easier.
- According to some experiences, it can be optimized to fit other devices quicker and easier.
- There’s no need for the page to refresh every time just to jump to another piece of content.
- With the entrance of advanced coding techniques like the use of jQuery and Ajax and even the latest CSS3, navigating around the single page can be more exciting because of what these languages can do.
- Since there are no other pages to be indexed by search engines, you enjoy the whole of a good page rank.
- More condensed contents mean better intelligibility especially for search engines’ crawlers or spiders.
- For developers and designers, one page websites encourage and would even demand a bigger chance to getting more creative and critical, and the results—especially on the end of aesthetics—can be very obvious.
- Easier, more focused page maintenance to website owners.
Disadvantages of Single page Websites
Yes, you may already have that thought of starting one and call for your programmer to get their plane tickets ready, but how about you check some precautions below?
- Limited room for content means you should always keep archiving old contents to give room for the fresher contents.
- …or you may just don’t want to load your page that much content at all.
- Navigation can be a lot easier, but unless you made it absolutely clear without letting your visitors make theories and experimentations, navigating on a single page can be tricky.
- While you put a lot of creativity in it, chances are your site will be subject to a longer page load time. This involves loading all the codes, the graphics especially, and even the ‘remote contents’ that are under the control of AJAX for swapping contents, for example. (Tip: some are creative enough to design their own loading pages, so you may want to have one if your page is loading like forever.)
- Google promises they are getting better and better especially when handling more codes and content in a single page site, but this is not yet equally working to everyone.
- The complexity of using different mark-up languages to make animations and effects (transitions work) requires a real amount of knowledge and effort, and may even force you to hire a real good professional (you’ve got to spend!).
- One page websites are so far regarded to be unfriendly to SEO purposes. Having some more pages allow more room for using other essential keywords to be used, more chances of being indexed, and more ways to be seen like using appropriate headings, meta titles and descriptions, etc. If you have a lot of keywords, obviously you cannot fit all of them in one page.
- For everything to work properly, you really need to make sure that your code is perfect (i.e., without flaws or bugs). Besides, all programming languages used must be optimized and minimized for faster interpretation.
- The complexity of the modern this design may make it difficult for you to expand like adding more products or other contents.
When should you use a Single Page site?
Knowing all these edges and limits to using one page websites, we can finally arrive at a certain point where such sites would be ideal with:
- Freelancers, personalities, and agencies like designers and photographers who would want to showcase a portfolio and be contacted immediately.
- Small businesses and e-commerce sites with not that much products or things to talk about
- Separate websites for promos, announcements, menus for cafes or restaurants, splash pages or welcome pages, etc.
- Surveys, forms, and other communication stuff like chat rooms and forums.
Last Few Tips
So, to end this conversation, you may want to consider some few tips for your site to work properly and end up according to your expectations, just in case you insist on having one:
- Be direct to the point. If you sell a line of products, already showcase your best product. If you want somebody to contact you at once, include a call-to-action element like contact form. Remember: scrolling down and below can be boring.
- Get navigations clear. Even if you are using a one page site, a huge chance for visitors would be, they end up wanting to go directly to somewhere else. Even if you are just using anchors or transitions, these cues must be visible and intuitive enough.
- Catchy. Get the best design as much as you can. Minimalistic designs do well also, but always remember that, for your visitors to continue scrolling, they must get hooked to something. In short, keep them engaged and wowed. You may want to involve more interactive elements to make your visitors feel important.
- Don’t overload text. Regardless if you are more into typography, remember that visitors won’t regard your page as a regular newspaper. Balance everything up from animations to base graphics and to texts.
- Use hierarchy. Especially if you want to use the old scrolling fashion, you must order your sections according to importance.
- Use page breaks. To make your sections clearer, you may want to use different backgrounds for each of them. Sometimes, inserting a big graphics or a catchy word art can ‘break the ice’ especially when the scrolling and reading gets tough.