When to use a one page website instead of a full one?
Next week I’m exhibiting at The Business of Food expo which is a business expo for food business starting up or wanting to grow. It is based in Melbourne & run annually by The Business of Food and I have been involved since they started 5 years ago.
This made me think about start ups and the topic that is often brought up – ‘should I get a one-page site or a full website to start with?’
A one-page website – also referred to as ‘landing page’ or ‘scrolling site’ is a growing trend – but when should you set up a one-page site instead of a full website?
It is important to think strategically as this solution is not for everyone and in some cases, it is a temporary solution.
To help you think strategically about this, here are some points / questions to ask before making the decision.
/ Are you clear about your products or services?
Start-ups often are not clear on the exact services they will offer – this is especially relevant to service providers / entrepreneurs consultants. They are clear about general direction but perhaps not on packages or target market. Often getting out there and testing the market is best but they still need a website. In this case a one-page site simply promoting their new business is a great solution as they can still have a professional web presence without committing to services, they can’t offer. This is often a temporary solution doe 12/18 months and can be developed into a full site when ready.
In the product sector this is also often the case – a handmade food product for example that is still refining the range and if they will go to retail or wholesale market is best having a one page site promoting the brand instead of setting up a full commerce shop if not set up for it.
Eat Sweet is a good example where Webby has set up a landing page for 18 months showcasing the nougat range and market dates. Once established a full site was developed on Squarespace with some products for online sale and some for special orders. This was based on the 12-18 months market experience and client avoided huge costs of setting up a full commerce store to start with as they learnt that not all products will sell online.
/ You already have a main site and need an additional to promote a branch of your business of a personal brand website.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs come up with new ideas all the time. Sometimes adding the new service to your existing site will not works – perhaps it is not aligned with your brand and is a branch of your business. In this case a one-page site promoting this offering and linking back to your main site will be enough.
Service providers also become well known in their industry after a few years and want to promote themselves as a brand and not the business name. In some cases, they go through a re-brand and become a personal brand site but in some cases the brand is also strong so setting up an additional personal brand site to work alongside the business is the right solution.
Example Peter Burgess that owns Process Culture needed to promote himself, therefore a personal brand one page worked well – we showcased his experience and integrated a blog to promote his personal brand. the personal brand landing page works well with the main company brand - with look and feel and there are links between the sites.
/ When you don’t have much content
Some business models don’t have much content to add to a full website – cafes are a good example as they typically include a menu, photos, social links and location. A one page for quick and easy reference is a great solution for them
/ When all you want is to blog
If the main goal of your site is to blog and post articles there is no need for multiple pages – all you need is a landing page showcasing who you are and feed to latest articles / posts.
/ when you are setting up a campaign (landing page)
Social media or digital campaigns often work best with a landing page - a one page scrolling site with no navigation - this is to avoid visitors navigating away from the call to action. In this case you might want to set up a one page site for a dedicated campaign - this can be as a sub domain or for a new domain.
read more in my post: Top Tips for Landing Pages
Some secondary reasons for a one-page site
(to consider if you already identified one of the main reasons above)
/ When majority of your clients are on mobile
A scrolling one page is excellent for mobile users as they will scroll through your page and act – no need to navigate. This is a good solution only if you have very little content as well.
/ SEO is not a big deal for you
This is not a ‘reason’ for a one-page site but important to consider if you are looking at one – SEO will not be the same as for a full site due to lack of content & pages. If all you want is to be found for your name it is okay and you can always integrate a blog with regular strategic content to help with your SEO.
/ You are on a tight budget
This is sometimes what effects the end decision – cost! A one page site is more affordable than a full site and sometimes start ups need to start small and grow. This should not be the main influence on your decision – it is important that strategically you already decided that it is a good short term solution for your new business.
In conclusion, don’t rush to make a decision, think about it strategically and get a plan that is right for you and your business. At Webby we offer web strategy 1:1 sessions - we can help you make the right decision and put together a shot and long term plan for your website.