Single page vs multi-page websites: which is right for you?

Craig Greenup 19/12/22, 09:56

Single page vs multi-page websites: which is right for you?

When building a new website, one of the first decisions to make is whether you want a single page website or a multi-page website. Each website structure has its own merits and suitable applications, the type of website you choose will depend on your business and objectives.

Single page websites

Single page websites are exactly what you think, everything is contained in a single page. Traditional website navigation menus are removed or work by anchoring to specific parts of the page, and instead the user scrolls down or across the page to view more information.

Single page sites are most suited to businesses that wish to tell a story through their website. Portfolios for artists suit this style of website very well, the artist can tell the story of their work as the user scrolls through the page.

Benefits of single page websites

The main benefit of a single page site is the ability to take the user on a journey and dictate the information they see and in what order. This website design can also be cheaper and easier to code, less content over fewer pages means less maintenance and potentially fewer issues. However, this isn’t always the case, some single page websites use complex scrolling and interactive elements which can be harder to develop. They are also great for mobile use, users simply need to scroll to work their way through the site.

Drawbacks of single page websites

A single page website is much harder to optimise for search engines, unless the business only wishes to focus on a few keywords. Single page websites also make it a little more challenging to measure website interaction and can take longer to load if they contain a lot of content and images. It can also be difficult to show users specific and targeted information, every user will have the same experience as they enter the website through the same page.

Multi-page websites

Multi-page websites are much more common, you are likely to visit many multi-page websites everytime you browse the internet. Multiple pages allow a business to display information in sections of the website. This approach helps users to find the product or information they are looking for quickly and easily through the navigation.

Benefits of multi-page websites

Multi-page websites are often much better for search engines, each page of the website can focus on a keyword users are likely to be searching for. This improves the businesses visibility in Google and other search engines, resulting in more site traffic. Users are also able to find the information they need quickly using the navigation, as long as the website is well designed with users in mind. Multi-page websites are incredibly versatile and familiar to visitors, the majority of businesses should opt for a multi-page website unless they are specifically aiming to take users on a very specific journey.

Drawbacks of multi-page websites

The main drawbacks of multi-page websites are the cost and complexity of the design and build. More content, pages and information require additional design, development time and management. Having said this, the benefits of having a multipage website outweigh the potential negatives in the vast majority of cases.