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One-Page vs Multi-Page Website - Which Is Better?

Alekh Verma | February 7, 2023
one page vs multi page

There are all sorts of websites for different purposes.

They can be shops for eCommerce brands, with pages and pages of products and their descriptions.

They can be little archives with articles and useful information, available for people to read and inform themselves at all times.

Sometimes brands even create whole websites for a specific product, in order to promote it how they want and separate it from the rest of their products and services.

Despite many purposes that websites can have, they come in two shapes – single page websites and multi-page websites. If you’re building your own website or are planning to hire someone to make it for you, choosing between these two can be difficult.

So, we decided to write this article and provide you with some information to help you make the right choice.

Let’s begin.

Which One To Pick?

Choosing whether to have a one-page website or not can be tricky, because single page and multiple pages websites can both be a great option. In one case, you have a unified one-page experience, and in the other you can make sure that you have all the pages that you need on your website.

These two web design methods both have their unique advantages and disadvantages and if you want to know which is better for you, first, you need to figure out your business goals and the type of content that you plan to host on your website.

Perhaps you want to offer just precise information, a call-to-action, and nothing more, then a single page solution would be great for you. But, on the other, over time as your company grows so should your website. You may find out that your clients need more than what you envisioned when you decided on a one-page experience. Then you’d need to consider redesigning your property and implementing a multi-page website.

Furthermore, nowadays when making a new website, you have to do it with search engines in mind. And SEO for single page vs. multiple pages may also differ.

With that being said, let’s have a look at the advantages of one page vs. multi page websites and see which type you can choose to maximize the benefits for your online presence.

Single-Page Websites

As the name suggests, single-page websites consist of only one page. Have you ever entered a website and were confused by the lack of navigation, only to realize that all the information was on the homepage? This is exactly how single-page websites work.

If it sounds simple, it’s because it is. This approach is very minimalist and you won’t find it often, because most websites we visit have a ton of information and different pages they want to show us.

If you come across a single-page website, it will usually be the websites of an artist that features their portfolios, or it might be about a certain event, which doesn’t require a lot of information, and therefore, pages.

For years the multi-page website has been a safe structure that ensures familiar UX for visitors. However, with the advance of browser technology and content management systems improvements, single-page websites became a trend in the web development industry as well.

A one-page website is an excellent choice if you want to use the design as a preview, such as for a landing page or your portfolio. This means that this type of web design is not ideal for every niche and business.

So, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide whether you need a one-page website or not.

Benefits of a Single-Page Website

Because of its aforementioned simplicity, a single-page website is clean and comprehensible. If you’re trying to tell a story with your website, it will flow easily on a single page website, because the flow won’t be interrupted by the user having to click different pages.

This is why they’re good for portfolios – the visitor can keep scrolling through the artist’s creations uninterrupted, just like they would do in a gallery by just walking from painting to painting.

Another benefit of a single-page website is that it is simple, which makes it cheaper than a multi-page website. And since a single-page website is simpler than a multi-page website, it will be faster to build. By not having to code and come up with multiple pages, web developers can create single page websites much faster and more easily.

Additionally, a smaller amount of coding also means fewer potential bugs, which helps save time further and makes the process of building a website much easier.

Another benefit of a single-page website is the fact that it is perfect for mobile. People spend most of their mobile browsing sessions scrolling, which is the main feature of single page websites. Plus, they are easier to make responsive than multi-page websites.

Here are some of the top benefits of single page websites:

IT’S EXCELLENT FOR STORYTELLING

You have your website to help you communicate with your target audience. These people are your customers, prospects, partners, and everyone who is interested in what you offer. If you want to compel a user to take action on your site, you have to use every element on your page to tell a story and motivate them.

A single page website allows you to do this with style and consistency!

INTUITIVE TO USE

The average multi-page website has a hero image or slider, CTA, and side or top navigation. But, when you land on a single-page website, you immediately get straight to the point and obtain access to the main information at once.

The only thing the user needs to do in order to learn more is to scroll down, which is way more intuitive than looking for the right page to click on. This makes for a much more direct message compared to information that would be dispersed through various pages.

IT ENCOURAGES SHARING

With mobile technology, website and app scrolling on a small screen became the natural way to engage with content for users.

Responsive design is the norm today, and by incorporating a mobile-first approach into your single-page website, you can create an intuitive mobile experience for the users. This way you’ll ensure that your one-page design looks good on all devices.

Furthermore, this will contribute to your SEO efforts, as mobile-first indexing is now a thing.

Disadvantages of Single-Page Design

The simplicity a single-page website can possess comes with a cost – limited content and information. This is why you won’t find them as often on the internet.

Companies that sell a variety of products and have big eCommerce websites simply cannot have single page websites. They need pages that will tell people more about them, like who they are and what their mission is, and pages dedicated to every product, so the visitor can learn more about them and their benefits and uses.

The most vital disadvantages of page less design that can damage your conversion rate and online presence are:

  • Fewer SEO Opportunities – Optimising one page for all of your target keywords can be a challenging task because you won’t have the space and opportunities a multi-page design delivers.
  • Limited Content-Length – There’s not a definite rule for single-page content length but chances are that few people will scroll all the way down if you have tens of thousands of words. With a one-page website, you need to be concise and not overburden your target audience with content.
  • Single Focus – A narrow focus is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re targeting more niches with your products/services and with your content, a single-page design may not be the right choice for you.

What Are Single-Page Websites Recommended For?

A single-page designed works excellent for the following purposes:

  • Portfolio Pages – You can have separate pages for your projects on your multi-page website, but you’ll achieve greater effect if you place your most important portfolios and projects in a single page location.
  • Landing Pages – When you create a landing page, you don’t want to have anything that leads to another page and distracts the user from the CTA. Therefore, one-page websites make for a great solution for campaign websites, or when you want to focus on a single product, for example.
  • Event Pages –Just like for landing pages, why would you want someone to be distracted by another content when you want them to stay interested in the event.

With a single-page website, you can include only the most important information about the event organized neatly in one place, nothing else is needed.

Multi-Page Websites

Multi-page websites consist of many different pages and subpages. Because of this, they make up the vast majority of websites. The fact they are so flexible and are suited for many different purposes makes them equally appealing to people, brands, and companies.

You will find them everywhere – do you want to buy something online? The shop will have a multi-page website. Do you want to check your bank account? Your bank will have one, as well. If you’re looking to read the news or inform yourself on a topic, the website you visit will undoubtedly be a multi-page website.  

It is clear that they are popular and widely used, so let’s take a look at the reasons why.

Despite the trend of single page websites taking over the online experience, one cannot ignore the fact that multi-page websites have been with us since the beginning of the internet dot-com era and are still relevant today.

Furthermore, a one-page solution is simply not efficient for some businesses. When you offer many products and services and target different clients, a well-designed multi-page website can benefit your UX and conversion rate greatly.

So, let’s look at the pros and cons of multi-page websites.

Benefits of a Multi-Page Website

Multi-page websites are highly versatile – they are suited for any type of business and purpose. The fact they allow for multiple pages is their most important characteristic.

With a multi-page website, you’ll be able to have a homepage, where all the general information about your business will be, then a special page for your shop, a page that contains information about your business in more detail, and a page where through which people can contact you.

Multiple pages also mean lots of content and information, allowing for search engine optimization. Even better if you have a blog page as well. That way, you’ll be able to write articles related to your area of expertise and use keywords in them, too.

Search engines love websites that use keywords correctly, which will help you get a better ranking in their search pages.

Every multi-page website has navigation that is visible and easy to follow. It’s true that single page websites have a good flow because of their one page, but navigation shows the visitor the contents of your site right off the bat.

So, during the 5 seconds of them visiting your website, they can immediately see the pages that your website contains.

A multi-page website often comes with a search bar, as well, which enables for even better user experience on your website. Search bars are especially useful if you have an e-shop or post articles on your website, so people can find what they’re looking for more easily.

Here are some of the top benefits of multiple page websites:

LIMITLESS SCALABILITY

If you want to continuously shift your content strategy and expand the number of your pages, you need to have a scalable solution at hand. In that case, a multi-page web design is a clear-cut choice for you.

You can constantly add new blog posts, product pages, and portfolio pages, and provide fresh and valuable content to your customers. This can help you improve your digital marketing strategy and boost inbound lead generation.

UNLIMITED SEO POTENTIAL

With the ability to target multiple keywords on every page of your website, a multi-page design doesn’t limit your SEO efforts the way a single-page website does. This means that you’re able to experience more of the benefits of SEO to your business and improve your presence in the SERPs.

When it comes to SEO, single page vs. multiple pages is always a top question. However, while one-page sites have their advantages, multi-page is usually the winner when it comes to building an efficient strategy, and dominating the search engines.

BETTER USABILITY AND UX

Although single-page websites may look like an app and make it intuitive for users to scroll up and down, you can’t ignore the advanced usability and user experience of a well-structured multi-page website.

People are used to multi-page websites and navigation menus and know immediately how to get around if they land on a systematic and well-organized website.

Disadvantages of a Multi-Page Website

When it comes to design, they don’t lack in any way. But there are a few technical issues that can arise from having a multi-page website, especially if you’re building one for the first time.

Although multi page websites are awesome, they have some disadvantages as well:

  • Constant Maintenance – The larger your website and the more content you have, the more difficult the maintenance and updating process is. Furthermore, you will have more SEO chores to look after, including advanced technical SEO, on page SEO content optimization, off page SEO tasks, such as building a backlink strategy, and so on.
  • Distracting Users – When a user lands on a multi-page website, the distraction level is a lot bigger than on a single page website. The opportunities to click somewhere else are always present and if the core web vitals of your website are not optimized this can even lead to a Google penalty.
  • More Complex For Mobile – If you don’t use a CMS solution like WordPress or you have long multi-level menus for navigation, using the multi-page website on mobile can be a real drag for users. Mobile optimization is vital for SEO, you should make sure to get everything right.

Who Are Multi-Page Websites Recommended for?

In short, for everyone. The design is suitable for every type of business. A multi-page website is what most of the users imagine when they search for a topic online.

For example, if you want to create a go-to website as the top industry resource, you can’t be wrong with the multi-page design.

If you have an eCommerce business with multiple products, you must have product pages, front page, contact page, and blog pages.

And if you offer a SaaS product, for example, you need to include details about pricing packages, terms of use, feedback forms, testimonials, FAQ page, and all kinds of other information. Packing this in a single page website wouldn’t look too nice and this will hurt the user experience of your clients, as well as conversions and sales.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing between a single page vs. multiple pages website, the winner depends exclusively on your business goals and what you offer.

The plainness and minimalism of a single-page website can be excellent for your portfolio or a one-product eCommerce site. On the other hand, multi-page design can be your pragmatic choice if you want to produce more content or create an online store with more than one product.

One page vs. multi page SEO can also be tricky, because it all depends how large your operation is and on how many keywords you want to target.

Bottom line is to make sure that your website offers the best possible experience for your target users. Take a content-first approach, and understand what your users appreciate the most when it comes to brand experience, then use the design pattern that is more suitable for that.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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