One page websites have gained popularity in the past several years, so much so that many large companies have utilized them to provide their customers with uniquely tailored and highly interactive experiences. These sites oftentimes make use of large photographic images, bold colours, and unconventional grid systems, giving them a more “handmade” look and feel when compared to their more corporate/static counterparts. That said, there are ups and downs to using a one page website and though they can be used to great effect, there are circumstances where their effectiveness is lost.
- Excellent for showcasing a specific product (or line of products). In addition to this they are also great for displaying portfolios or galleries.
- Can provide unique usability by experimenting with how the different sections of the site relate and interact with one another.
- Great for sites that put more of a focus on visuals rather than written content (this isn’t to say text doesn’t play a role, it’s just more subtle than in primarily informational or corporate focused sites).
- In general, one page sites allow for a good amount of creative development. Freedom to incorporate different animation techniques, as well as image layering, and other effects are prevalent in a lot of modern single page websites.
- Load times of single page websites with a significant amount of content and/or images can get slow. This can become very apparent when using mobile devices.
- Not always the best set up for content management or information heavy websites. Because of the site only being a single page, content needs to be succinct and thoughtfully planned out in order for the different elements of the site to interact appropriately. Large databases of information are not easy to manage with this setup.
- Not as easily editable as multi-page sites. Due to the fact that elements on single page sites are placed in very specific locations, the fluidity of content it somewhat limited. This makes content editing a little bit tricky because blocks of text and images tend to be sized according to the layout with little room for expansion.
In the end, single page websites definitely have a place in the world wide web. They can be used to make experiences on the internet more fun and intuitive; however they must be planned out extensively to ensure they provide the best result possible in terms of both load times and overall usability.