One Page Website Small Business Guide

one page website small business

One page website small business solutions are becoming increasingly popular as a remedy for cluttered and unwelcoming websites. A cluttered website can appear unprofessional and drive potential customers away, with statistics showing that 55 percent of users spend only 15 seconds or less on a site before losing interest.

This brief engagement results in lower traffic and fewer conversions, which is particularly detrimental for businesses that depend on digital revenue. By adopting a one page website, small businesses are streamlining their online presence to capture and retain user attention more effectively.

What is a One Page Website?

one page website small business

The term ‘one page website’ is exactly what it sounds like — although in order to properly develop and deploy one, you do need to put quite a lot of consideration into what you’re doing and how you’re going to achieve it.

Simply put, a one page website is a single page website that utilizes just one HTML page. Most one page websites do have menu bars like your average, run-of-the-mill website.

Yet rather than transport you to different HTML pages, selecting a menu item merely drops users down to a predefined HTML anchor somewhere on the site’s single page. This is typically achieved through JavaScript, CSS3, Ajax and jQuery.

A huge number of creatives have recently adopted the one page website — although larger multinationals have also begun to implement temporary deployments of one page websites as preview pages and placeholders to kick start promotional activities prior to a big launch.

Why Do Businesses Like One Page Websites?

one page website small business

The benefits of deploying a one page website are clear from a user’s point-of-view — but a lot of business owners benefit from their use, too.

First and foremost, creating a one page website is nearly always going to be faster than taking the time to create a larger website filled with smaller pages. The design process normally takes a bit longer when crafting a one page website, because the HTML is a bit more complicated.

But in the long term, it’s usually a quicker option. One page websites are also far easier to maintain when content needs updated, because it’s all in one, easy-to-find location.

Many business owners also find drafting copy for a one page website to be a useful exercise in learning to be more concise in their product and service descriptions.

Because one page website are design-driven, it’s advisable to keep copy as minimal as possible – and fickle customers consequently go on to appreciate receiving the cliff’s notes of who your company is and what it does. When in doubt, if you can say it less words, do it.

How Do I Create a One Page Website?

one page website small business

If it sounds like a one page website might be appropriate for your small business, you’ll be pleased to know they aren’t very difficult to create. Although they are typically more complicated in terms of HTML coding, there are plenty of dynamic generators and free template providers that streamline the process. If your site is uses WordPress, you can even transform your cluttered site into a one page site in a matter of minutes.

Alternatively, freelance web developers will often be able to churn out a bespoke one page site in a matter of days.

Here’s a more detailed look at the steps for creating a one-page website for your business:

  • Purpose & Goal Setting: Before you start, determine the primary goal of the site. Is it to showcase a portfolio, detail an event, or provide company information?
  • Content Creation: Draft the content you wish to display. Ensure it’s concise and purposeful.
  • Design & Layout:
    • Header: Usually consists of a logo and a navigation menu (which would jump to different sections on the page).
    • Sections: Organize content into clear sections, possibly using different backgrounds or dividers.
    • Footer: Include contact information, social media links, and any legal information.
  • Tools & Resources:
    • Dynamic Generators: These can help you set up a one-page design without diving deep into the code.
    • Free Templates: Numerous providers offer one-page website templates for platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and others.
    • WordPress: If you already have a WordPress site, there are plugins and themes specifically designed for one-page layouts.
  • Optimization:
    • Responsive Design: Ensure the site looks good on all devices.
    • SEO: Optimize your content, meta tags, and images for search engines.
    • Speed: Compress images and use caching to improve site speed.
  • Testing: Before going live, test the site on different devices and browsers to ensure compatibility and functionality.
  • Going Live: Once satisfied, purchase a domain (if you haven’t already), choose a hosting provider, and launch your site.

Design Principles for One-Page Websites

Visual Hierarchy and Layout

The key to a successful one-page website lies in its visual hierarchy and layout. It’s essential to strategically use design elements to guide visitors through your content effortlessly. A well-thought-out visual hierarchy helps in highlighting the most critical sections, such as calls to action, key services, or products.

Employing contrasting colors for different sections, varying typography sizes, and incorporating high-quality imagery can draw attention to specific areas and improve the overall user experience.

The layout should be intuitive, with a logical flow from introduction to conclusion, allowing users to navigate the content without feeling lost or overwhelmed.

Engagement and Interactivity

To keep visitors engaged on a one-page website, incorporating interactivity and animation can play a significant role. Subtle animations triggered by scroll events, hover effects on buttons or links, and interactive galleries or sliders can make the browsing experience more enjoyable and memorable.

However, it’s crucial to maintain a balance – too much animation or overly complex interactive elements can detract from the main message and slow down the site.

The goal is to enhance the user experience by making the website dynamic and lively without compromising its performance or usability.

Alternatively, if you decide to enlist professional help for creating your one-page website, here are the main options to consider:

  • Freelance Web Developers: If you want a unique and custom design or if you’re not tech-savvy, hiring a freelancer can be a great option. They can create a bespoke one-page site tailored to your needs in a matter of days.
  • Agencies: Some digital agencies specialize in one-page designs. While this might be more expensive than a freelancer, you’ll likely get a comprehensive package including design, development, and optimization.

Creating a one-page website doesn’t have to be daunting. With the right approach, tools, and resources, you can have a streamlined and effective website up and running in no time. Whether you DIY or enlist professional help, the key is to keep the user experience at the forefront of your design decisions.

CriteriaDesigning Your Own One-Page WebsiteOutsourcing to a Professional
CostPros: Typically cheaper as you're not hiring someone for the design. Might only need to pay for hosting and domain.
Cons: Might need to purchase premium tools or templates.
Pros: One-time payment for a complete, polished product. No need to buy design tools.
Cons: Typically more expensive than DIY.
CustomizationPros: Complete control over design, can change whenever you want.
Cons: Limited to your own design skills and the capabilities of the platform or template you're using.
Pros: Professionals can implement advanced customizations and unique features.
Cons: Major changes after completion might come at an additional cost.
Time CommitmentPros: Can work at your own pace.
Cons: Might take longer if you have a learning curve with design tools.
Pros: Once you provide the requirements, the designer takes over.
Cons: Waiting time depends on the designer's schedule.
Technical Skill RequirementPros: Learn new skills in the process.
Cons: Requires some tech-savviness or willingness to learn. Can be challenging for beginners.
Pros: No technical skills required on your part.
Cons: None.
Maintenance & UpdatesPros: Immediate control over updates.
Cons: Ongoing responsibility to maintain and update the site.
Pros: Many professionals offer maintenance packages or guides on how to maintain the site.
Cons: May need to re-hire or find someone else for updates.
Unique DesignPros: Your design can be unique if you create it from scratch.
Cons: Using pre-made templates might resemble other sites.
Pros: Typically results in a more unique and tailored design.
Cons: None.
Quality & FunctionalityPros: Direct control over quality.
Cons: Might lack professional polish or optimal functionality, especially if inexperienced.
Pros: High-quality design with optimal functionality is more likely.
Cons: Depend on the expertise of the chosen professional.
SEO & Performance OptimizationPros: You have control over SEO efforts.
Cons: Might lack advanced knowledge to fully optimize the site.
Pros: Many professionals offer SEO and performance optimization as part of their package.
Cons: Might need to specify or pay extra for advanced optimization.

Do One Page Websites Have Any Downsides?

one page website small business

One page websites can be incredibly dynamic and refreshingly simple marketing tools with which to further your business – but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect for everybody.

Some developers argue that swapping a multi-page site in favor of a one page website can be harmful to a company’s online visibility.

This is because when all your company information is located on one page, you won’t have the benefit of being able to index several pages with different keywords and meta descriptions that could help your products and services appear in less obvious search engine results pages.

This is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) issue that isn’t guaranteed to affect every website or business, and can sometimes work to a company’s advantage by bolstering its page authority on a more finite set of keywords. But this risk can be a matter of trial and error, which is why some experts warn against relying too heavily upon one, single page website.

CriteriaOne-Page WebsiteMulti-Page Website
User NavigationPros: Simple, linear navigation without much clicking around. Easier for users to scroll and get all the info.
Cons: Can become too long if there's a lot of content, making it cumbersome.
Pros: Organized content. Clear structure, with each page having a specific purpose.
Cons: Might become confusing if not structured well. Risk of deeper content being missed by visitors.
Content VolumePros: Forces concise and to-the-point content.
Cons: Limited space for detailed information.
Pros: Can accommodate a large volume of content and details.
Cons: Might lead to content dilution or redundancy.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)Pros: Focused keywords for the entire site.
Cons: Limited to optimizing for a few keywords or topics.
Pros: Multiple pages allow targeting a variety of keywords, potentially improving search visibility.
Cons: Requires more extensive SEO efforts for each page.
Load TimePros: Often faster due to fewer resources.
Cons: Can become slow if overloaded with content or heavy media.
Pros: Individual pages can be optimized to load faster.
Cons: Overall website might have more resources, leading to potential slow-downs.
Updates & MaintenancePros: Easier to manage and update a single page.
Cons: Changes affect the entire site's layout.
Pros: Easier to add new content or pages without disrupting the entire site.
Cons: More extensive maintenance required.
User AnalyticsPros: Simple analytics; easy to track user journey on a single page.
Cons: Harder to determine intent if there's only one page to view.
Pros: Detailed analytics on user behavior, easy to track which pages are most visited.
Cons: More complex to analyze and interpret.
Purpose & GoalPros: Excellent for specific campaigns, portfolios, or showcasing specific services/products.
Cons: Not ideal for complex businesses or multifaceted organizations.
Pros: Suitable for businesses with multiple services, products, or diverse information.
Cons: Might be overkill for simpler businesses or projects.
Flexibility & ScalabilityPros: Easy to scale design-wise since it's just one page.
Cons: Content additions might disrupt design balance.
Pros: Easy to add more content or new sections/pages as the business grows.
Cons: Design consistency might be a challenge with growth.
Engagement & InteractionPros: Continuous flow might keep users engaged.
Cons: Limited interaction points.
Pros: Multiple touchpoints and avenues for interaction, depending on site structure.
Cons: Users might drop off without seeing key content.

Challenges and Solutions for One-Page Websites

Navigation and Content Organization

One of the primary challenges of a one-page website is ensuring that visitors can easily navigate and find the information they need. Without clear navigation, users might miss important content or become frustrated trying to locate specific sections.

To combat this, consider implementing a fixed or sticky navigation menu that allows users to quickly jump to different sections of the page. Anchor links are particularly useful for one-page websites, as they enable smooth scrolling to various content areas.

Additionally, using distinct visual cues, such as separators, background colors, or icons, can help differentiate between sections and organize content in a digestible format.

Load Time and Performance

Given that one-page websites often contain all their content on a single page, they can suffer from longer load times, especially if they are media-rich or feature heavy scripts. To optimize performance, start by compressing images and using appropriate formats (such as WebP) to reduce file sizes without sacrificing quality.

Leveraging browser caching and minimizing the use of large JavaScript libraries can also improve load times. If possible, implement lazy loading for images and content sections that are not immediately visible on page load.

These strategies can significantly enhance the speed and responsiveness of a one-page website, providing a better experience for users and potentially boosting SEO rankings.

Designing a one-page website requires careful attention to visual hierarchy, engagement, and interactivity to ensure a compelling and user-friendly experience. Meanwhile, addressing challenges related to navigation, content organization, and website performance is crucial for maintaining the site’s effectiveness and achieving business objectives.

At the end of the day, only you know what’s right for your business. Just remember to do your homework before you choose to experiment with a one page website, and ensure you’ve got discernible aims and KPIs to decide swiftly and decisively whether a one page website is working with you rather than against you.

Sheet of Paper Photo via Shutterstock

Nash Riggins Nash Riggins is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and an American journalist based in central Scotland. Nash covers industry studies, emerging trends and general business developments. His writing background includes The Huffington Post, World Finance and GuruFocus. His website is