The Benefits Of A Single Page WordPress Website (And How To Create One)

Posted on September 7, 2014 by in Tips & Tricks | 35 comments

The Benefits Of A Single Page WordPress Website (And How To Create One)

As the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world WordPress is likely to be the first platform that many look to when considering a website. Whether the site is for them as an individual, business, non-profit or something else entirely, the WordPress community has most likely figured out a way to service all of their needs affordably and in a way that they understand (and can maintain independently)–even for brand new users. Which is a big deal! However, there is one consideration that may not be apparent to that same group of new users looking for a website, but which probably should. That consideration?

Do I really need a full website or will a single page website serve me better?

Oftentimes getting a new website and seeing all that is possible with WordPress brings to mind the old saying: it’s like being a kid in a candy store. There are so many theme options, plugins to extend site features/capabilities, and WordPress itself is becoming ever more powerful as a platform in general that just about anything is possible. It can go to your head. One second you’re thinking, “Hey, I’m a local business that gets asked just about every day what my hours are. I should create a website that people can visit to see our location, hour of operations and other basic info.” And then after an hour or two of looking at what is possible with WordPress you’re modeling your site off of some insanely complex multi-national business while concepting a full digital magazine based on your niche. It’s exciting, but it’s most likely overkill.

Instead, I’d like to suggest that for most people (especially those who do not plan on maintaining a blog) that a single page website will not only cover all your practical bases–but it’ll convert better too. To make my case, I’ve included a full list of benefits below.

The Benefits of a Single Page WordPress Website

single-page-benefits-[Converted]

When creating a website it is easy to get caught up in what is possible instead of focusing on what is necessary. What is your objective? What is the one action you would like someone to take when they land on your website? Is it to buy something? Book an appointment? Read an article? Whatever that thing is, your entire design should be focused on eliciting that response. Everything else, for all practical purposes, is a distraction. So how can a single page website help you accomplish your design objective? Let me count the ways…

1. It Uses Storytelling to Inspire Action. Just like in comic books, where a grid pattern of illustrated panels is used to propel the momentum of a narrative, a single web page using interactive elements in a grid layout is perfect for propelling the interest of your site visitors towards the objective you’ve identified.

2. Single Page Constraints Force You to Simplify Your Message. There is only so much room on a single page website. This reality forces you to consider what information is necessary and what is not. Just because you can do or show something doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Keeping everything to one page forces you to keep this in mind, which means you will most likely become a more effective communicator.

3. Scrolling is Intuitive. When on a website one of the single most intuitive behaviors is scrolling. It’s not an accident that Tumblr. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more all use something called “infinite scroll” to keep you on their platforms. It just makes sense. You scroll down, there’s more, so you scroll down some more. As I’ll explain in my next point, this process is easy to take advantage of.

4. Single Pages Convert. On a single page website there is only one way to go, and that is down. By carefully crafting the sequencing of your page elements and limiting the number of links or clickable objects, you can more easily guide visitors towards the exact action that you want them to take. This is why single page websites and/or what is commonly called a landing page convert so well.

5. There is Less to Manage. Many people shy away from getting a website altogether because they don’t want the hassle of having to maintain it or pay the expense of hiring someone else to do the same. With a single page website there is less information to update and only one page to build/maintain. You can more or less leave it be once you’ve got it the way you like it. Just so long as you check in often enough to update your WordPress core, themes and plugins of course.

So you’re sold. You clearly see the difference a one page website can make for the right project and your project is looking more and more like a perfect fit. So…what now?

Now, we look at some options.

Convertible: a Single Page WordPress Website Solution

single-page-convertible

Convertible is a landing page theme Elegant Themes created to provide a beautiful solution for single page websites–that convert! It comes with a simple to use drag and drop builder that allows you to use the storytelling power I mentioned above by creating and then arranging various page elements into the perfect order.

Features Include:

  • Unlimited Colors
  • Buttons
  • List Styles
  • Image Slider
  • Ribbon Headers
  • Large Quotes
  • Testimonials
  • Paper Callouts
  • Video Embedding
  • Toggle Content
  • Tabbed Content
  • Content Sliders
  • Box Styles
  • Lightbox Images

To see the full range of what is possible with Convertible, feel free to head on over to its details page. But first, you should probably stick around to check out our next option. It’s kind of amazing.

Divi: the Ultimate Single Page WordPress Solution?

single-page-website-divi

Divi is one of those rare WordPress themes that sort of boggles the mind. In a good way. It is so smartly designed and beautiful in appearance that it, more than any other theme available, lives up to the name Elegant Themes. And no, that is not hyperbole. It’s true.

Divi does everything. And it does so using a simple backend drag-and-drop interface that anyone can learn to use, which makes it an incredibly empowering tool. Personally, I’ve begun using it for every new WordPress project I take on.

Want a large site with lots of optimized pages? Done. Want full-width video backgrounds, section backgrounds, beautiful calls to action, parallax, embedded galleries, videos and more? Done, done, and done. And all in just a few clicks, no coding required. It’s the same story for single page websites using Divi.

By using Divi’s drag-and-drop page builder all you have to do to create a single page website is add a new page, go to load layout, and select any of the pre-made page templates you see as a starting point for your own customizations. There is a pre-made layout for corporations, landing pages, sales pages, etc. Once you have the basic layout in place, you can make personalized modifications that best present your message, tell your story, and meets your objectives.

single-page-divi-load-layout

A good tutorial to brush up on during that process would be one we published recently called How to Design for Conversion Using the Divi Theme. And of course you will probably also want to poke around the Divi demo to see all of the pre-made layouts in action.

In Conclusion

A single page website is much more than a design fad or gimmick. It’s a smart design decision that comes with a lot of benefits when used for the right project. A few things to keep in mind when creating your own single page WordPress website are: A well crafted single page WordPress website tells a story, it has a simple but effective message, it takes advantage of the intuitiveness of scrolling, it’s optimized for conversion, and it gives you more time to run your business as opposed to working on your 5,000 page website.

At Elegant Themes there are two beautiful options for creating a single page website that are available to every member: Convertible and Divi. With these two tools at your disposal anyone from a complete novice to a seasoned WordPress professional can make a single page website to be proud of.

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35 Comments

  1. From my past experience, in Terms of SEO “single page” is not good at all. Google prefers websites with many pages. Even if i agree that Divi is excellent for any single page, as you can organize your page like a dream for the surfer, and convert more easily.

    • You are assuming that SEO is part of the strategy. SEO is one of those things that almost everyone thinks they must have, but what you must realize is the purpose of your website and is there even a SEO market available? Plus, in most cases, SEO should be one of the last things you’d want to implement as part of your promotion strategy as it requires a lot of investment in terms of time and money, and a high converting page plus other sources of traffic like paid search or email will typically do more for a business’ bottom line.

    • Just because a site is predominately a One-page site, does not mean it has to forfeit the power of SEO. You can setup the main “page” as a one-pager to be used as the main conversion funnel, and then have as many other pages or posts that can be used and optimized for SEO that are not linked to by the home page or menu but used to funnel traffic to the main one-page homepage. (I’m a pro at run-on sentences.) 😉

      This actually is a super-powerful way to setup a one-page website for SEO purposes. You build the main homepage of the site as a one-page geared to convert traffic into sales or calls. Then, you put all your SEO efforts into other pages or posts on the site (which are “ghost” pages within the site) with your varying keywords, backlinks, etc and then selectively link to the homepage from within those sub-pages which will pass along the “seo-juice” to the main page.

  2. I too think that in terms of SEO a single page site will not be good. That is why I have never used this feature.
    It would be interesting to hear what other commenters have to say about this.

    • Yes, it is not good for SEO, but there is a solution: You can create onepage website with many websites about your products/services subtly linked from your homepage (under the same domain). 95% of your clients will stay on your homepage (they will find all required information there), but google bot will penetrate all pages and give you high “page rank” for the content.

  3. I like One Page layout and Divi is great for that!

    I just finished today a new website with this layout for a customer, check it on: http://droneng.com.br

    The Theme I used? Divi of course! Just a few CSS tricks and voilá!

    Did I mentioned how much awesome is Divi?

    • Darlan, nice one page site you have there! Good job!

    • Looks good!

  4. There’s only one issue I have with #3: there needs to be an end in sight to the “infinite scrolling.” I find when I’m on a page that just keeps going and going and going, I start to get irritated because I feel like there’s no end to the content.

    There needs to be a point to the page and I need to know it’s coming up soon. I want to be able to choose where I go and what I look at. If the page just keeps going, I feel like it’s wasting my time. While I appreciate creative sites like Pinterest, I hate when the page just keeps loading more and more options and information — I end up feeling overwhelmed and annoyed by the onslaught of information and click out.

    I feel some one-page sites end up frustrating more than tantalizing the interests of the viewer because of the excess scrolling. If a client is going to have a one-page site, I feel like it still needs to be organized and concise. It can’t keep going and going or you might as well create separate pages to give the viewer some control.

    Nevertheless, you’re right about the Divi theme. That theme is pretty damn cool. The Page Builder is awesome, the features are helpful and terrific, and the theme looks beautiful. For me, one of the only things it still needs is a text site title option for those clients who don’t have a logo. Then it would be pretty close to the perfect theme. 🙂

    • I’m in agreement with infinite scroll no end in sight frustrations. “Organized and concise” resonates well with me.

  5. This is a great article. I hadn’t considered all the benefits of a single page website before, and leading the visitor straight to the single call of action is a great idea. I don’t think a local business is looking for a ton of SEO-inspired traffic, and a single page website both meets their needs and the needs of the customer who just wants basic info. Thanks!

  6. Nice article. Not all sites need to have perfect SEO. For example, vanity sites or sites that generate traffic thru advertising, email marketing, video marketing,or social networks. Divi 2.0 is a perfect theme that allows easy expansion of a one page site over time as needed. There are several other similar WordPress themes such as Avada also. The key is using the right theme or template for your client or own website.

  7. As a web developer I have to say clients and people that purport to know a lot about marketing bang on about SEO a lot. It’s not something you control, Google controls it and it’s an industry with an industry that gets way more credibility than it should. I agree with Guy that is requires a lot of money and time. There are so many other ways to drive traffic and I would rather concentrate on and a one page site has many advantages over a multi page site. Simple clean site theme like Divi concentrates the mind and makes you design websites with a clear message in mind. Keep it simple.
    Number 5 “There is less to manage” is an excellent point Nathan. I have lost count of the number of complex sites I have built for clients (who have demanded numerous pages/posts and news sections and social media feeds) who then don’t bother updating 80% or so of their site. Less is more.

  8. Divi is a great theme and I really want to use it. However, I have tested the demo sites in GT Metrix and I wish Divi’s scores were as good as some of the other scores you have.

    Theme – PageSpeed – YSLOW
    Divi – 89 – 81
    Nimble – 92 – 86
    Vertix – 96 – 86

    I would love it if Divi’s scores were a little higher. If they were, I would choose Divi for sure.

    • FYI, we get much higher speed and performance scores by implementing good caching plugins, CDN’s and some special sauce. When we are done with our work, Google tends to love the sites for both mobile and desktop and gives 99% user experience. So we are happy. BTW, we don’t get 100% because it is an Elegant Theme issue we have shared with them.

  9. talk about seo in a singel page, i think it depends on the content and the structures (articles,navigation, link,etc) in a website not just how many pages in a website. Google read a website from a readable contents so the more you focusing keyword phrases in a page or post , the more you get targeting keywords and DIVI is a google readable themes – a newbie thought 😀

  10. The one page website capabilities that are in Divi is yet another reason that Divi is THE BEST WordPress theme today. I probably would never create a one page site for a main website. But to use it as a landing page, or a promotional type of case study is perfect.

  11. Informative post. I never create a single page WordPress website. But after reading its advantages, my mind completely changed. Thanks for the awesome share.

  12. II think that a Single page website is not a problem for SEO. I tested that many times. It all depends of other factors. Anyway, you still can create some extra pages with content specifically for SEO (I mean with real genuine content..) if you wish.

    And make sure that you have a link somewhere that leads to this page, With Google it’s easy, you can use webmaster tools to submit new pages …

    I recently ranked a single page with almost no content for major keywords on Google. The reason why I’m performing it’s that I’m using an exact match domain name …. I optimized my meta tags and I have few keywords inside my single page…. and no incoming links at all.

    A well designed single page can perform well on search engines as long as it is used for a specific niche. And yes, it converts better than anything else.

  13. May be creating a single page website is not a good idea if you are looking traffic from search engine But if you Integrate a blog within it . It will be awesome and First page may be use as introductory home page about your blog, product and services.

  14. Thanks Nathan and I go with Nathan on this! Looking at the community (Nigeria) I’m coming from that love instant and fast information cum need to be guided to what actions to take with low internet connectivity, one-page site makes perfect sense. I’m on fourth site using Divi to build one page site and this site; http://deefrentng.com/wand earned my trust and my Boss asked if I can do same for our php-include static website and use the concept for other upcoming project (I hope Divi can furnish more tweaks and modules). No story, one page website convert more with her intriguing scrolling effects and other features incorporated into any given one-page theme.

  15. One thing that could enhance the one page web idea is to use links at the top with an anchor link to items below. A great tool that makes it easy on the novice is TinyMCE Advanced plugin. It integrates well with the page builder. See Insert > Anchor after installing the plugin and activating it.

    For the few that might not know how to do this you can refer to http://www.echoecho.com/htmllinks08.htm or many other websites. This site seemed to be simple for the beginner

  16. Great post. I love the one page sites. I have had a few customer say they don’t want one because everything needs to be above the fold. Can anyone suggest some good responses to the above the fold comment?

    • IMHO “above the fold” is ancient thinking that goes back to newspaper days and is held onto by people thinking that no one has the patience to scroll. But with mobile devices, everyone scrolls! They expect to do it when using apps, and they will do it on a site as well. Can you imagine the Weather Channel app trying to get current readings, daily forecast, 10 day forecast, radar and more all “above the fold”?

      I would also suggest to the client they develop a message that strongly entices the user to scroll to get the payoff for whatever they were coming to the site for in the first place.

      Finally I would encourage client to engage in some user testing to see whether the majority of people refuse to scroll when using their site.

      Good luck…

    • I have a great response for above the fold… above the fold only upside when people were accessing websites on computers.
      Now many more people are accessing websites on their iPads iPhones and droids etc. if you use these devices, you recognize that responsive sites with one page are more comfortable then clicking to other pages.
      Single page websites are important now because of tablet devices and advance smart phones. Perfect answer. 100% true.

      • Phillip and Krista-
        Thanks for your helpful responses.

  17. Everybody is chasing down page one of Google and totally forgetting there are other ways to market your business. SEO is great but what if you have a corner dry cleaning business? Location is clearly more important then SEO. If you have a strictly online business then SEO is important.

    I think a one page website would be terribly effective for A small business like a dry cleaner, asian restaurant etc. clearly your Google maps would be much more important than SEO. People have let SEO become so important that they forgotten how to run business instead.

    What about a one page website and a blog? Optimize the blog and do a few traffic tricks if you’ve got a dry cleaner etc.

    One page websites are terribly popular as lead capture pages. As a matter of fact I think elegant themes next Divi release should include a lead capture module.

  18. I have a great response for above the fold… above the fold only upside when people were accessing websites on computers.

    Now many more people are accessing websites on their iPads iPhones and droids etc. if you use these devices, you recognize that responsive sites with one page are more comfortable then clicking to other pages.

    Single page websites are important now because of tablet devices and advance smart phones. Perfect answer. 100% true.

  19. One page websites are great! It can be the perfect funnel if used correctly. I have created one page websites for my clients and it produces really high conversion rates and low bounce rates.

  20. Apparently, Divi does not create only one page websites

  21. After a quick look only, it seems to compete with Ultimatum.
    I would be curious with a comparison review

  22. Isn’t this also referred to as a landing page? Or is this something different again?

    • Typically a landing page is not the entire website. It’s a single page on a website designed to achieve one goal. Like sign ups or a sale.

  23. Hi I am Ranjan Raja This Article very nice and I got so much information on This blog.

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