One page web design for the perfect one page website
25th June, 2015
We love one page websites.
And we’re not alone: check out One Page Love for hundreds of inspirational one page websites.
We’ve included four stunning examples proving why one page sites are so great - so have a look and see just how creative and appealing this simple site structure can be.
The flexibility of the infinite scroll and the rigour of the one page design makes for a heady, effective brew that kills page bloat, makes maintenance a breeze and can drastically reduce your bandwidth needs.
When done well they are also highly efficient lead generation machines thanks to their innate user friendliness and can even function as simple ecommerce sites that convert like a dream.
Why single page design works
Forget complex navigation and buried pages. Dispense with distracting ads trying to force new content into our scanning eyes path.
A single page is highly intuitive to use. There’s no need to think: just scroll.
What a relief!
A well-coded single page site is a breeze to maintain and fast to develop.
Maintenance becomes much more streamlined and, as long as you follow the ‘one page’ guidelines and keep it simplified and ordered, coding issues should not become a stumbling block.
A single page demands structure and flow: if it is going to work it needs to have sections clearly defined that flow seamlessly from one to the next.
Part of this discipline is the inherent need to simplify. With just one-page things need simplifying to their essential parts. You need to find your key point and say it.
No waffle and no getting side-tracked.
Think about it: with just one page to link to you can ensure all your quality inbound links are going to one place. One place that becomes increasingly important in the eyes of the search engine.
The best marketing doesn’t make messages: it creates stories. And it is the believable stories that we get swept away by.
The single page website has narrative flow built into its scrolling structure. It is perfect for telling a powerful story.
And what do trustworthy stories make?
They create the urge to action. The end of a great story is conversion. To be inspired is to act.
The reduced bandwidth of your one page site makes it perfect for mobile viewing and responsive designs are much easier for a one page site than those with more complexity.
How you can make your single page site work
Here are a few best practices for a killer single page site. Follow these and all the benefits outlined above can be yours.
Keep it simple
This is the number one secret of the successful single site.
If things are getting complex go back to the drawing board. Simplicity is the name of the game. If it’s not simple it’s not going to work.
Plan longer to make it shorter, more succinct and more effective.
Don’t be a purist
For the purist navigation links have no place on the single page site.
But why? If navigation to sections on your page will help the user you should feel free to use them.
The whole purpose of designing your site is for a user friendly experience, so do whatever achieves this.
Think in sections
Of course with the scroll comes the story.
Get your content divided up into sections and make sure the flow is right. More importantly make sure those calls to action fit into that flow.
Make the background work for you
The large backgrounds that characterise one page websites can help you, if you get creative with them.
Of course a plain background or a repeated pattern can work but wouldn’t it be more effective if you changed the background to help you clearly divide up your content?
Or simply let the background tell your story by using a series of images.
You can have your cake and eat it.
Many one page websites actually contain modal windows so they have the look and feel of a single page site but actually contain additional pages.
There is nothing wrong with this, but just make sure that you are not ignoring the need to simplify and be careful not to add unnecessary complexity to your site.
Einstein and one page websites
So there you have it: it’s all in the planning.
The simplest things are often the hardest to achieve, yet they are also the most effective.
Here are a few perceptive quotes from a rather clever man – sure they were not about one page sites but we think they fit the bill perfectly.
- “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler”
- “If you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough”
- “Creativity is intelligence having fun
Over to you: how do you want your one page site to look?