What’s a ‘Single Page Website’?
Before we properly start on this, a single page site we are talking about here is not one of those pages that is just a ‘splash/holding’ page. These kinds of pages tend to be very fast to setup, logo perhaps, contact details, maybe a full-screen background image and social media links.
What we are talking about here is a website where the entire site is on page long single page. We are writing about this today as we have had a few enquiries lately about websites done like this, and we always veer away from them.
Single Page Navigation
Let’s talk about the Navigation of a single page website. Usually you have a menu at the top (or the side), and you hover over the menu and click the link. Simple. But what happens is that you click it and it ‘shoots’ or ‘whizzes’ down the page at speed… and the customer is thinking “cripes what’s going on?”. Plus, not all browsers accept this format, so you might click it, and it goes nowhere.
What about on a phone? Same issue, but WORSE. Because everything is condensed down, the page ends up being longer, and so when you tap the Menu icon, then your link… it whizzing further. It’s actually a bizarre experience and if we had the means, we’d put a little demo on here. Best way to try it, is on THIS page, or another one, flick the page up or down… it does that… with no flicking. Quite strange.
We have in fact also seen these types of websites where there is no top menu on a phone. We frankly don’t know how the customer is meant to find anything – as they now have to slide… and slide… and slide.. to find things. Not smart.
Single Page SEO on Pages
You want to be found on Google (unless you are a little strange). So if you provide Boiler Repairs, and your website is all about various aspects of Plumbing, then you need a page for Boiler Repairs.
But if you have one long page as we describe here, having that term down the bottom of the page, or anywhere really, it is fighting with the other keywords on that page. It’s not an exact science, but Google cannot rank those ‘sections’ as individual pages, so you won’t rank for Boiler Repairs nearly as well as you would in the standard fashion.
Page Load Size
Let’s say you have 8 or 9 sections in your menu. That means there are 8 or 9 large areas down your page, with images, content, forms etc. It’s quite possible your homepage (and only page) is now 5-15mb in size. It can be controlled a little bit, but unless done properly, a 15mb page is wholly incorrect for good SEO. No page should be more than 3mb, even Commerce websites.
A good designer will veer you toward multi-pages, for the reason.
Google does rank on a great many things. but customer experience is actually one of them. So if you visit a site and the Contact area is 3/4s the way down the page, it could be bad. If there is no navigation, or tapping it ‘whizzes’ you down that page, it’s debatable if that is a good or bad experience. We showed this type of system to someone and when they tapped it on their phone, their response was “whoaaa what was that?”.
In our view of over 15 years in this field, individual pages are always better. Improved SEO. Easier to manage. Far better experience. Faster load times, an actually, more fun to work on.
For us, having a great looking website, and one the customer can enjoy, makes for a much happier life. So if you are unsure, or want to migrate your WordPress site to us, no problem. Let’s make it happen and improve your performance, SEO, and hosting experience.
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