Updated: Aug 3, 2019
When it comes to Multi-Page vs. Single Page web design, I get asked this a lot, "Which one is better?" And the answer I always give is - it depends.
There's no right or wrong choice, but there are pros and cons between the two. Let's dive into the reason and use case for each as well as talk pros and cons so you can decide which layout is right for you.
Multi-page design is the design we've all come to know and love (or maybe hate). But either way, this has been the "standard" layout in web design for a long time.
The typical Multi-Page site has 5-7 pages, some may be sub-pages:
✅ Pros of a Multi-Page Website
Since you have more than one page on a multi-page website, you have the opportunity to write more SEO driven content on each page. Meaning there is more "room", literally, to include more keywords.
There are also more pages to index for Google, meaning you have more opportunities for your different pages to show up in search results.
Since you have multiple pages on the site, it's easy for people to click the navigation option in the header menu. It takes them right to where they want to go. They don't have to scroll endlessly down a single page to find what they're looking for.
Like I mentioned before, people are used to seeing this type of layout. So they already have a basic understanding of how to navigate the site. Nothing new for them to learn here.
❌ Cons of a Multi-Page Website
Depending on if the navigation is executed well or not can also make this a con. If you have unclear menu options, meaning you've named it something "cute" to try and be unique, the user may get frustrated and leave. Or if you have tons of sub-menus under each main menu, people might feel overwhelmed.
While people are used to this layout, this can also be a potential con. Since you have the freedom to use multiple pages, there is a higher chance the layout can create problems. If the site is too busy, has too much text, or your message isn't clear and concise on all pages - you might confuse visitors.
With a multi-page site, there is a lot more content to update. Or if you change your branding with different colors, fonts, images, etc. these changes will need to be reflected throughout the entire site.
Multi-Page websites can be used for any project. From eCommerce to blogging, to small business.
Multi-Page sites are also great for growing brands or if you're just starting out because you can always expand the site to fit your needs.
Single-Page Web Design
Single-Page websites seem to be all the rage right now. I think they're gaining traction because of the clean and simple designs they embody. And they're also not overwhelmed with content.
They feature a long page scroll with a dynamic layout. The navigation menu at the top is simply a way to "jump" to a specific section on the page - versus navigation to an entirely different page. In Wix, we use "anchors" to create this jumping effect.
✅ Pros of a Single-Page Website
Since this layout only features one page, users don't need to navigate through different pages to find what they're looking for. They can also click a navigation menu option at the top and be automatically taken to that section of the page. Pro Tip: be sure to use a "back to top" button on these sites. This allows users to quickly jump back to the top of the page.
Updates are much easier on a single page website since there is only one page to update. Designing and maintaining the mobile version of the site is also a lot easier.
You have much more control over the user experience. This also forces you to be more concise in your content.
You also have the opportunity to create more conversions. The single-page site can act as a funnel, the more they navigate down the page the more they learn about your company and your offer. Then a few times throughout you have different calls to action and a final call to action at the end.
❌ Cons of a Single-Page Website
Unfortunately, single-page websites are not great for SEO. There is only one-page link for Google to index, meaning you don't have multiple pages showing up in Google search results.
A single-page website can also hurt your conversions. With this design, you have to be very concise and it's recommended you don't have more than one offer. Multiple offers on a single-page design could confuse and overwhelm users
Site load time can take much longer on a single-page website. Photos (especially that aren't compressed), videos, and animations can slow down your page load time. This happens with a multi-page website too, but since all of these elements are packed into a single page - it can take them much longer to load.
This one is kind of up for interpretation. I personally don't like the way single-page websites navigate, so I might be a little biased. I find it annoying to have to scroll all the way through a single page to get to what I want or scroll all the way back to the top to get back to the navigation menu. (Which is why I recommended you use the back to top button).
Single-Page websites are best used as landing pages. Think event promotions or brand launches.
You can always start out with a single page site and build out from there as your brand grows. This is super easy to do in Wix too!
So which one is right for you?
There are many factors to consider with each layout. The best place to start is to have your user in mind. Think of your brand and what you offer and what you're trying to get users to accomplish. Will all of that be better suited for a Multi-Page site or Single-Page?
There isn't really a "right" or "wrong" answer, simply base your decision off of your users and how you can provide them with the best experience.
Until next time...Hang Loose! 🤙🏻
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