Single page designs have the following advantages over multi-page sites:
- No page refresh when navigating the site (content is either in the page or loaded using Ajax)
- User experience can be improved because navigating through content is quicker and more responsive than having to go to a new web page
- Easier maintenance because you only have to maintain one web page
- You can design for quality over quantity — instead of having to design multiple page layouts for different types of site content, you can focus on just one solid and high-quality design
- Your Google PageRank applies to the whole site
- Higher core content density for search engine spiders
- Distinction from most other websites; single page websites are less common, and can thus leave an impression on your site visitors (and that’s why they are popular on portfolio sites)
- Easy solution for simple “brochure” sites that serve one product (i.e. iPhone app) or one purpose (i.e. a designer’s work)
- Preferred solution for web apps designed for the Mobile Web
- Most likely cheaper than Multi Page Websites
Is Single Page Websites for You?
The truth is that whenever you implement a specific design pattern, chances are that you will not be able to please everyone. While single page sites can be made to be 100% accessible and highly usable, there will be situations where a single page site is not a good option for you. For example, an e-commerce site such as Amazon.com wouldn’t be able to pull off a single page web design successfully because of its vast amount of content — and that’s fine because it’s better when these types of sites are multiple pages.
The great thing about the web is that it’s constantly evolving, and by principle, the way we build our designs will mould itself to these shifts in our audience’s tastes and needs.
The need for lightweight, compact, self-contained websites and web applications due to the Mobile Web will only increase the deployment of single page websites. All single page layouts can be made to look totally unique. While not to everyone’s taste, they are well worth a consideration in your web design projects.