As a relatively “old-school” designer (having learned way back in 2003), the idea of a website having only a single page seems really weird. And yet, according to some folks in the webdesign world, it’s one of the hot new trends for 2014. It baffles me. I mean, a website’s supposed to be about content, right? And content needs to be divided up into pages, doesn’t it?
The answer: Not necessarily! There are actually several instances where a single-page site can serve you well. See the following examples:
Sites Which Work Well with a Single-Page Format
If, like most webdesigners, you choose to host your own portfolio page on your website, a single-page site should do well for you, since all you need for a portfolio page is your contact info, examples of your work, etc. And with a little careful page design, you can have a single-page portfolio where the user doesn’t even have to scroll much–thus, interested users don’t even have to click to see all they need.
App or Service Page
If you’ve made an app or are providing an Internet service, most times you won’t need a heavily-involved website. A small write-up (with screencaps) of what your app/service does, support/contact information, and links to download any necessary software, and you’re pretty much done. (Just make sure your single-page site is mobile-friendly if it’s for an app!)
Unless you just want a full-on site about yourself, your personal site can be more like a quick window into your life–your latest tweets, last listened tracks, and a small bio, for instance, or whatever you’d like for visitors to know about you. A single-page personal site can be tidy and still informative.
Small, Extremely Focused Fansite/Fanlisting
If you’ve made or want to make a small fansite or a fanlisting, the single-page format can work REALLY well. Think about it this way–it’s less pages to code and less for your users to click through. (This works best if your fansite/fanlisting has 10 or less pages of content.)
Sites Which Should NOT Be Made into Single-Page Format
Large, Intensive Fansites
If you have a HUGE fansite or topic site, a single-page format is definitely not the best idea. With a large site, you want to make sure your content is well-organized, which often means breaking it up into separate pages. That way, users can go right to what they want with a single click, rather than making them scroll for days.
Sites with a Lot of Topics
If your site has a slew of topics (like this blog, for instance), a multi-page website is better, both for content organization (as explained above) and linkage purposes. For instance, if someone is only interested in my Saturday with the Spark posts, he or she can simply bookmark my “Spark” tag page, rather than having to scroll through a ton of other posts to find the one or two desired-topic posts and read them.
Single-page sites can simplify your webdesign workload greatly. If you’ve already got a small site, give this kind of site organization/layout a try!