What is a single-page Website?
The definition of a single-page site is quite straightforward; it’s a website which uses only one HTML page. When all site content is put on a single page, click on a navigation link forwards users to an HTML anchor on this single page.
When to use a single-page website
One-page sites are responsive and provides better mobile UX, but they are not SEO-friendly. You won’t be able to index several web pages with various keywords and meta descriptions, which will negatively impact organic traffic performance and your site’s online visibility.
Single-page site design brings both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, this site type gives UI/UX designers independence in terms of layouts and visual results. But on the other hand, many users might not be impressed with single-page design solutions because of complex navigation they aren’t accustomed to.
The list of single-page website pros and cons can be continued; the thing is, business owners should outline their long-term objectives and predict their target audience’s web design expectations before opting for a one-page site.
A single-page Layout can be used for:
- Personal sites
- Resume pages
- One-time events
- Landing pages
- Single-product websites
- Best design practices for single-page sites
- Break text into sections
If you’ve decided to go for a single-page site, probably you do not have much text to display; differently, you’d go to get a multi-page option. But, having a small number of textual content doesn’t automatically prevent you from overwhelming users with advice. You still have to come up with clear and easy-to-follow visual structure. Lead your visitors through the story by dividing your content into sections by way of different header styles, background colors, overlays, etc. Reinforce well-written texts with well crafted visual effects to ensure that your site visitors don’t stop scrolling until there’s nowhere to scroll.
Work on a visual hierarchy
We’ve already covered ways to effectively organize UI content in one of our previous articles. To recap, among visual hierarchy tools used for web design are size, color, contrast, proximity, and repeat.
It’s generally believed that the F-pattern is more applicable to a large amount of textual content, while the Z-pattern matches pages which are not so heavily focused on a copy. Since a single-page website comprises numerous sections, try to use both of these patterns for various sections to be able to diversify the website structure. But don’t overdo it with patterns; let the elements on your webpage breathe. With negative space, you are able to draw people’s attention to the elements that ought to be noticeable.
The thing about single-page visual hierarchy is that it should be concise yet reassuring. Think again before you go for one or a different page arrangement and bear in mind that there’s just one page to scroll.
Depending upon your site character and conversion goal, or lack thereof, you may or may not benefit from parallax scrolling. Here’s a list of factors you should consider before employing parallax into a one-page website:
Picture layers and animations slow down page loading. Are your site visitors patient enough to wait until the webpage is loaded or would they rather leave it and look for better options?
Many people don’t find sites with parallax effect user-friendly. Avoid applying this design trend to informative and selling pages. Especially if you’re expecting repeat visitors or aim to convert.
Parallax isn’t generally recommended for mobile sites. Needless to say, developers can do tricks with it or just turn it off on mobile devices but the question is if you really need to make this effort.
You may ask why parallax is still among our best practices despite this list of disadvantages. Well, because you may still benefit from this design technique if you use it carefully. And to accomplish this, you really should know your audience. If you’re designing a web site for individuals that aren’t used to fancy layouts, you’d better stay away from parallax. But, it can be a great solution for portfolios, corporate sites, and some landing pages.
Add alternative navigation
Single-page websites are all about scrolling and sometimes about unlimited scrolling, making people feel on your page like they’re in the middle of nowhere. If your site has a complex structure and contains a whole bunch of blocks, you should think of alternative navigation. Let people quickly jump to the section they want with sticky menus: make them horizontal, vertical, slightly transparent, or replace them with icons. Use anchor links and a back-to-top button to keep the UX intuitive and pleasant.
Include a call to action
Single-page websites are perfect for calls to action. Because of their structure, bookmarking sites are more focused than with multi-page ones. If the website was originally created for one specific purpose (contact form submission, mobile app download or email signup), you should construct your design around it. Make the call to action noticeable in color and form and encourage users to perform the desired action.
Single-page site design heavily depends on business targets and target audiences. And before you go for any design practice, you need to find out who’s coming to your site and why.