In recent years, web designers have been developing “Long Page” or “One-Page” websites. The sites are made-up of one lengthy homepage. For the viewer to see the content, he has to scroll down and down. In its purest form, if the visitor clicks on a navigation button, it just takes the viewer lower on the homepage.
This type of website is great for some specific applications with little content. I do not believe this a good choice for most companies, but please be the judge and read the Good and the Bad...
Long Page Websites - THE GOOD:
1. A worthy example of this type of website is Bounty Bev
, which is an alcoholic drink site so you need to be 21 or older to view it. This site is fun and intriguing. Try clicking on a navigation button or scrolling down yourself. Cool, huh.
2. From Google’s point of view, like all other pages and websites, if your audience likes it and visits it, you are golden. Google isn’t going to punish a highly popular website that has lots of great inbound linking just because it has one page. For the most part, Google wants the web audience to just be happy. If the audience loves it, Google will love it. Google's Matt Cutts
said, "It’s going to depend on what your particular area is, what the topic is, and what kind of layout you come out with. But if it works for you and for users to have that all on one page, for the most part, it should work for Google as well."
3. For mobile phone users, it’s great. No clicking, no figuring out how to get somewhere. All you have to do is scroll ‘til you find what you want.
4. For designers or for a special project or restaurant, a one-page website is trendy and a great way to display work - like looking at a student’s science project at a science fair. The viewer gets the overall idea in seconds and can make a decision on whether they like it or not.
My work place, equaTEK Interactive
, is considering using a long page (homepage only) on a website for a new tool they will be launching in the near future. The new tool lives on a website. It has little written content with a lot of functionality. Ironically, after researching and writing about long page or one page websites and expressing that I don’t like them, I ended up recommending the concept to equaTEK. Life’s funny.
Long Page Websites - THE BAD:
For me, it’s mostly bad. And sorry to say, for Google it is probably bad.
1. Many experts question whether Google is going to send viewers to a one-page websites if the site initially doesn’t get a lot of visitors on its own (without Google’s help.) A one-page site doesn’t have individual pages that focus on specific subject matter, which Google favors. A one-page site doesn’t have lots of unique new content to entice viewers and Google.
"Single page websites can be great for new sites and special projects. I don’t recommend them as long-term solutions and, if you have a multi-page website, I do not recommend switching to a single-page site." -Search Engine Land, Tom Schmitz
2. It is difficult to find what you want or the answer to your question when you arrive on a one page site. First, the viewer has to scroll and scroll and scroll – deciding along the way what content to skip and what content to read. Second, the content is minimal – without significant substance – so answering a question you have is unlikely.
So buyers beware! Don’t get caught up in the cool look if it doesn’t suit your company. If you have an example of a one page website that you either love or hate, I would welcome the opportunity to take a look at it. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org