Single page website vs multipage website

Website battles: Single page website design vs multi-page website

15 MINS Team

10 years ago, choosing a format for your website would have been a straightforward choice. One-page websites were few and far between. To get eyeballs on your website, a multi-page website was the tried-and-trusted way to do it.

But things have changed. The internet grew and mobile devices became popular, changing the way we interact and use websites. Suddenly, everyone wants to consume information quickly and conveniently.

One-page websites offer both things and quickly became a hot trend in web design. And that’s where we’re at now: 

  • The trendy one-page website with its easy-to-consume design
  • The old multi-page master with its familiar layout and in-depth content 

Both options bring several benefits to the table, as well as some drawbacks. This can make the choice far from easy.

But that’s what we’re here for, so fear not! In this post, we’re putting them head-to-head. We’ll lay out the pros and cons of each to help you pick what’s right for your business.

Before we get into the good and bad, let’s talk about what one page and multi-page websites are exactly. 

What is a One-Page Website?

A one-page website is, as the name suggests, a website that includes everything on one page. It forgoes the need for separate pages, such as product/service, contact, and about pages. One-page websites are also referred to as “one page scrolling” or “parallax” websites.

Rather than having a navigation menu that takes readers to another page when clicked, the browser instead jumps to the specific section of the page. 

The Benefits of One-Page Websites

With everything in one place, a single page site centers the user’s attention on a topic or idea. Hence, allowing them to provide a better experience on mobile devices. Removing the need to click on links or tabs gives the mobile browsing experience seamless, which is crucial now that smartphones are more popular than desktops.

Upstate Laundromat is a great example of how to use the simplified format. Here, they give the reader everything they need to make up their mind about a business:

What is a Multi-page Website?

A multi-page website features more than one page. These are the sites you’ll be familiar with, where clicking on a link takes you to a new page. Think Amazon, eBay or Walmart:

Unlike a one-pager, the homepage of a multi-page site will provide an overview of what a business is about and why you should use them. This includes links, menus, and call-to-actions leading to pages that provide more information.

The Benefits of a Multi-Page Website

While a one-page website template is suitable only for certain projects (i.e., where everything a visitor needs to know can be explained on one page), multi-page websites are suitable for any business. They’re typically larger, more complex, and information can be divided into multiple subsections to provide greater depth on a subject. 

But being versatile doesn’t automatically make multiple pages the best choice. There are pros and cons to both that you’ll need to weigh up before deciding which option meets your needs.

The Advantages of a One Page Website

There is a time and a place for both one-page and multi-page websites. They both bring value depending on the website owner’s needs. So, let’s look at the advantages of a one-page website before we dive into its disadvantages.

Simple Navigation

One-page websites are designed for simplicity. The lack of links and various menu options on multi-page sites means users consume information in a linear pattern. Readers consume content from beginning to end, with only two options: scroll down and back up again.

If visitors are looking for specific info (e.g., contact details), they can go ahead and click on a menu option to jump to the section on that page.

Single page designs provide a clean and clutter-free experience. There are no distractions and no jumping through hoops to find relevant content.

Better Mobile Experience

Simple navigation makes for a better mobile experience. Scrolling is natural, and the absence of links makes browsing much more pleasant.

The fact that a one-page site fits in with how people use apps (using thumbs to scroll) makes it the ideal format to encourage people to stay on your website.

One-page websites can also utilize “lazy loading” for fast loading speeds and limited bandwidth usage. Lazy loading works by only loading the content that’s displayed on the screen, with extra content loaded as the user scrolls down the page. There are a couple of benefits to this for the user:

  • As only a portion of the content needs to be downloaded when the user opens it, they’re able to quickly connect. This is very significant because mobile users abandon sites that take over three seconds to load. 
  • Because only some of the images and code need to be rendered, the user’s device is able to conserve system resources. In other words, no potential freezes or crashes on devices with limited memory. 

Note: Multi-page sites can use lazy loading too. But as half of all website visitors only visit a single page, the feature is more beneficial on a one-pager.

Easy to Digest Content

One-page websites display all the information a user needs to know — the product or service, its benefits, cost, and how to get in touch with a company — on one page in clearly defined sections.

The page follows a linear pattern, which means you control how your users consume your content. It leads readers through the site towards a call to action without the worry of them jumping from page to page. This is ideal if you’re aiming to tell a story that guides your visitor to a specific outcome or conclusion.

A user can effortlessly glide from top to bottom, consuming the essential information (backed up by powerful imagery), without feeling overwhelmed.

This is where single-page design comes out on top — short, simple sections with carefully chosen content.

The Ability to Achieve Higher Page Authority, Faster

SEO is not a strong point of one-page website templates, but they offer the opportunity to build authority by acquiring links.

Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) are ranking scores used by Moz to predict how well a site ranks on search engines. The more people link to your website, the greater your authority score will be. Thus, increasing the chance of your website appearing in search results).

With a single page, every link will point to one URL rather than multiple pages. This can quickly increase DA and PA scores.

Low Maintenance

One-page websites require zero links to other pages and limited content. They also remove the need to constantly update pages with fresh content. This makes one-page website templates easy to use and manage. 

While platforms such as WordPress will require updates from time to time, you can essentially upload your website and forget about it. And should something go wrong — well, you have only one page to worry about. This makes finding and fixing a problem a whole lot easier and cheaper.

Higher Conversion Rate

The narrow focus makes one-page websites great for generating customers, leads, and subscribers. This is why they’re the number one choice for landing pages, too.

It’s much easier for you to keep a visitor’s attention and sell them your offer without distraction.

One-Page Website Disadvantages

While that was a thorough list of advantages, one-page websites, like most things, have their disadvantages as well.


A one-page website will struggle to compete when it comes to SEO performance. And that may be fine if SEO isn’t a priority.

While there are certainly some SEO benefits to one-page websites like mobile-friendliness, the core components of what Google wants are inherently lacking. For example, a lack of content will be a problem for one-page sites, even if they’re detailed.

So, if SEO is important to you, there are some significant drawbacks to using one-page websites:

Inability to target multiple keywords

Single pages are built around a single concept and one or two keywords that describe your business. This means missing out on visits from people searching for similar terms. For example, if you’re targeting the keywords “New York plumber”, you might not show up in results for people searching “boiler repair Manhattan” or “Queens shower installation company.” A multi-page site gives the opportunity to target other terms.

Lack of in-depth content

The ability to go into detail on a particular subject gives you the chance to get links and rank for keywords that boost page authority and search presence. But if you stuff a single page with too much content, you risk losing a visitor.

Lack of fresh content

Fresh content lets Google know that the page is up-to-date, and your site is relevant. Without it, your visitors will perceive your site as outdated. The static nature of single pages means falling behind larger sites that publish regular blog posts and news articles.

Only one URL to work with

Where multi-page websites have multiple entry points, a one-page website only has one. While this is good for building up a decent Page/Domain Authority, it only gives you one result in search results and one link to share across social media. This reduces the chance of generating more visitors. 

Difficult to Scale

If you’re planning to expand your product range or service offering, the inability to scale a one-pager means it can only ever be a short-term solution. Before choosing between one and multi-page website templates, think about how you plan to grow your business. 

Multi-Page Website Advantages

The wide array of advantages that multi-page websites offer is more apparent considering the disadvantage of one-page sites. So, let’s check it out starting with SEO.


The biggest drawback of one-page websites is the biggest benefit of multi-page sites: targeting multiple keywords. With a multi-page site, every page gives you the opportunity to target (and rank for) a new keyword.

To use the New York plumbing business example again, your homepage could target the keywords “New York plumber,” while you can use additional pages to target other popular terms, like “licensed plumbers NYC,” or “emergency plumber NYC.”


The ability to add a blog to your website plays into what Google is looking for: fresh content.

While there’s nothing stopping you from creating a blog and linking from a one-page website, publishing posts on the same domain brings traffic directly to your website. That’s where visitors can click through to other pages and learn more about your business.


This means organizing your website into categories and subcategories so that you can go into detail on a topic and answer the questions visitors have.

Sites that use this tactic well are able to rank in search engines for various keywords and subjects. 

Measuring performance

With tools like Google Analytics, it’s easy to see how a multi-page website is performing. You’ll see which pages are gaining the most traffic, which content is generating the most clicks, and where visitors are losing interest.

You can then use this data to tweak pages and content to improve performance. This is a big advantage over one-page sites, where it’s hard to tell what readers are not interested in.

Traditional Navigation

Long before we were using our thumbs to scroll down pages, we were clicking on links and menus. 

There’s a lot to say about traditional navigation. People are used to it. They know how it works and what they’re supposed to do. A multi-page site gives that familiarity.

However, you need to be careful about how many items you add to a menu. The larger the navigation menu, the more “screen real estate” it takes up. This makes it difficult for a visitor to find their way around.

Easy to Scale

You can scale multi-page website templates without limitation. You can even add or remove pages with the click of a button, allowing your site to grow alongside your business.

Greater Marketing Potential

With multiple pages and blog posts, driving traffic to a multi-page website is much easier. Through social media posts and advertising on search and social, it’s possible to create content around target keywords. You can target different customer segments to generate visitors to specific pages.

For example, Petri Plumbing can use one set of ads to attract people interested in new boiler installation, while another set focuses on people searching for home inspections. More content to share equals more attention for your business.

Multi-Page Website Disadvantages

Again, nothing is perfect, not even multi-page websites. Here’s why you may still want to opt for a one-page website.

Constant Maintenance

The larger the website, the more demanding and time-consuming it is to maintain. This includes keeping on top of elements like:

  • Content
  • SEO
  • Plugins and integrations
  • Security
  • Internal links
  • Clean code
  • Optimized images
  • Individual product pages

These are all things you’ll need to keep on top of for a user-friendly website.

Mobile Friendliness

Multi-level menus and multiple pages can make for a poor mobile experience, especially if the site isn’t optimized for responsive design.

When opting for a multi-page design, it’s important to choose a responsive theme that adapts to any display (regardless of size). It’s worth using a website builder that features multiple screen size options. Other website builders allow testing a template on different device screens to check how it would appear. You could also run it through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to see how the site performs on smaller screens.

User Distractions

Multi-page websites are built for exploration and visitors are encouraged to go off and learn more about a business through menu links and call-to-actions.

This is great for getting people to stay on your website, but less so if you’re trying to keep them focused on one topic or guiding them to take a certain action. Traditional navigation means you’ll always be fighting to keep a reader’s attention on a page.

Potentially High Bounce Rate 

Bounce rate is the term used to describe the percentage of visitors that leave your website after viewing a page. For one-page websites, this isn’t an issue, as there’s only one page to view. But for a multi-page site, a high bounce rate is a sign that something is wrong.

And the larger the site, the more potential there is for issues that can cause high bounce rates. These include:

  • Slow-to-load pages
  • Lack of time spent on pages with substantial content (a sign the content isn’t relevant or up to scratch)
  • Page content that doesn’t match the page title and/or meta description
  • Broken or blank pages
  • Bad links from other sites that are relevant to the reader
  • Poorly optimized content
  • Poor UX design

Given how easy it is to scale and add content to a multi-page website, bounce rate is something to keep a close eye on.

Which Site is Right for You?

Firmly sitting on the fence, the option that’s right for you depends on your business and its objectives. That said, taking into account the advantages and disadvantages, there are two main factors that can help you decide: content and marketing.


What do you offer and how familiar are people with it? Can you get your message across in a concise manner or do readers need educating and convincing about what you do? 

If you’re a wedding photographer or run a small business like a laundromat, for example, people immediately know what you do and you won’t need 10 pages to explain it.

However, it may not be a good fit if you sell various products or services that need their own descriptions. Things are likely to get messy if you try to cram all of that information into a single page.

Take a content-led approach. Work out what your customers care about. What do they need to see to make an informed decision about your business?

If you’re struggling to fit everything on one page or you need multiple categories, go with a multi-site template.


Where is your audience? If most of your customers come from word-of-mouth or social media and you’re not as concerned about search results, a one-page website will provide everything you need.

If you want to gain traffic through SEO and advertising, a multi-page site will make things easier. You’ll have the power of blogging at your disposal, as well as landing pages to target multiple keywords.

Research your audience. Ask them how they find you and check out your competition. Figure out why they arere ranking highly in Google. Or you can hire an SEO expert to do all that, so you stay focused on other business aspects.

Best Practices When Designing a One-Page or Multi-Page Website

When it comes to designing and building effective one-page websites, simplicity is key. Keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Craft a compelling and concise narrative that tells your brand’s story in an effective way.
  • Utilize clear and visually striking sections to guide visitors through the page smoothly.
  • Optimize the website for mobile devices to ensure a seamless user experience across different screen sizes.
  • Incorporate prominent call-to-action buttons to encourage conversions.
  • Take advantage of parallax scrolling or smooth transitions to add depth and engagement.

On the other hand, creating successful multi-page websites requires careful planning and attention to detail. So, remember these:

  • Design a clean and intuitive navigation menu to help visitors explore your content effortlessly.
  • Maintain consistent branding elements, such as colors, fonts, and imagery, throughout the site.
  • Focus on providing informative and engaging content on each page, addressing the needs of your target audience.
  • Implement clear and strategic internal linking to enhance navigation and improve SEO.
  • Pay attention to page load times and optimize images and code to ensure swift performance.

Regardless of the option you choose, always prioritize user experience (UX) and design. Keep the layout clean, use legible fonts, and create visually appealing elements. Test the website’s functionality on different devices and browsers to ensure compatibility. Engage with your audience by adding interactive features or incorporating social media integration. Avoid common web design mistakes that affect website performance and bring your business to greater heights online. 

By adhering to these design and UX considerations, you’ll create a website that not only looks impressive but also provides a seamless and enjoyable experience for your visitors.

Make Your Choice

Both single-page and multi-page websites bring a lot to the table. The question is: do the pros outweigh the cons? 

If your business has a narrow focus with a specific desired action and you can deliver your message concisely, a user-friendly one-page website design works best. 

On the other hand, if your company is eCommerce or offers multiple services, a multi-page design will grow with you. It also makes it easier to get more eyes on your brand through SEO.

We recommend you write down your goals and objectives. Work out what you’re looking to accomplish with a website and consider which option provides the most satisfying experience for your customers. Because what’s right for them is ultimately what’s right for you.  

At the end of the day, you need to build a website that serves the purpose of your business and its audience. 

  • Team

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