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Single-page vs multi-page website; Which is better for my business?

single-page websites and multi-page websites with two fists showing vs

With the rapid increase in mobile search and social media influence, single-page websites have become a growing trend. So the question is; should your business follow suit or stick to the traditional multi-page site?

When deciding whether your business should use either a single-page or multi-page website, you can consider several factors to help best inform your decision. The most straightforward way to look at how to structure your website is to focus your web design around your content and how it is best displayed to your users. A website that requires a large amount of content or that may cover many key points is a simple sign your web design may need to follow traditional multi-page roots.

Single-page vs multi-page websites; The Single-Page Website

what should be displayed on a single page website

As it sounds, a single-page website has no additional pages such as the about, contact or services pages. Instead, all of the content is simplified and compiled into a singular, often longer page, commonly with a navigation bar allowing users to jump to key sections. Utilising this more fluid website journey turns the site into more of a landing page, providing only the necessary information, removing distractions, and helping users make a decision and act on it.

The pro's Of A Single-Page Website

1. It creates a simplified linear user journey.

Studies have shown that a single-page website can increase conversions up to 37.5% compared to multi-page sites due to users moving through the site journey faster and avoiding common distractions.

2. Mobile-Friendly

With 54.8% of all global traffic from mobile search, having a well optimised mobile site is crucial. With a single-page website, the worry of maintaining a consistent branding style over multiple pages is eliminated. Making design modifications far more straightforward. Furthermore, having a website that solely works off scroll makes for a better user experience when viewing on mobile or tablet.

3. Easier To Maintain

The more pages your website has the more maintenance that is going to be involved. It’s simple maths. Therefore having a site with everything condensed into a single page means making content and design updates a little less strenuous.

4. It could be more cost-effective.

Don’t rely on this entirely, as a single page website with 8+ sections could cost the same as a 3-page website. However, as a rule of thumb, less design work and less content should mean less cost.

The Con's Of A Single-Page Website

1. It’s Not Seo Friendly.

If your business intends on using organic traffic from search engine results, sadly, a single page site won’t help you. Due to the overall lack of content, none or only one page to target specific keywords, it’s going to be hard work getting your website to the top of the search results with just a single page.

A neat workaround for this is using expanding elements in your design to tuck away less important content but still reap the ranking juice from it.

2. Lacks Scalability

Having just one page means your site has to stay focused on a narrow range of content, leaving no room to scale. Having multiple pages may be more suitable if your business wishes to discuss various topics.

3. Harder To Track User Behaviour.

Using analytics tools like Google Analytics can tend to be more challenging to interpret when you only have a single URL to work with. Providing no ways to do simple conversion trackings through URL changes.

Luckily, a workaround for businesses willing to pay is Hotjar; this tool creates heatmaps and videos of users who visit your website—allowing you to make informed design and content modifications.

Single-page vs multi-page website; The Multi-Page Website

users pointer going through multi-page navigation flow

A multi-page website, yet again, is as it sounds. Containing multiple pages and subpages, all often accessed through the main navigation bar or search bar found at the top of the site. Unlike a single-page site, the user journey is not linear, divided up through links and buttons, allowing more content to be explored. The ability to hold a range of information and break it up means a multi-page site is an option for any business, from eCommerce, educational to service-based.

The pro's Of A Multi-Page Website

1. Unlimited Scalability.

With an unlimited number of pages, you can scale your website to provide more content becomes an option. However, ensuring you have a proven header menu or search tool can be the difference between more content and pages being a burden or blessing to your website when growing.

2. A Familiar User Experience.

One of the UX principles designers follow states users prefer sites that work similarly to others they frequently visit. With multi-page navigation being around since the 1970’s almost everyone is accustomed to the flow and design of a multi-page website.

3. Built With Seo In Mind.

With multi-page design being around virtually since the dawn of the internet, search engines have geared their ranking algorithms to favour multi-page websites. With the ability to have multiple pages, each ranking for independent keywords getting your website ranking for various keywords is easy. And more ranking keywords means more traffic to your website.

The Con's Of A Multi-Page Website

1. Harder To Update And Maintain.
Unlike on a single-page website, making a design edit to a page means modifying all other pages to ensure branding and design is consistent. Furthermore, with more pages comes more content and more content means more maintenance.
2. Distractions And Lost Users.
With links, a header menu and buttons all leading users to different pages across your site can disrupt the user journey and ultimately end up with users bouncing off your website rather than taking action (dropping bounce rate). Ensuring your sites internal and external links are relevant and only placed where needed is imperative to ensuring users have a direction.
3. Harder To Optimise For Mobile.
When optimising your website for mobile, many designers find themselves redesign key aspects of each page to fit. And obviously, redesigning multiple pages instead of just a single page means more time and more complexity.

So What should you use for your business?

confused cartoon man with questions around his head

Now armed with the benefits and drawbacks of both website structures, you should be in a position to decide which format will be most beneficial to your business. However, if you remain stuck, ask yourself these questions.

Does my business focus on one key topic, or does it cover several subjects and hold a large amount of content?

If your business offers a number of services like a plumber or wants to have a blog, a single-page website won’t cut it. However, a photographer showcasing his portfolio could easily provide all his most important decision-making content to his visitors on one page.

How will I intend on drawing traffic onto my website?

Seo is a vital part for most businesses looking to draw in new customers. If you just plan on using your website as a virtual business card, informing users to visit it via direct search, or looking to drive new visitors to your site through paid traffic, then you need not worry. But if you wish to get your business utilising organic traffic, a multi-page website is a must.

If you are still not sure, feel free to reach out. The team at Worcester Web Dev are always happy to provide their support and expertise.

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