There, I said it.
About three years ago, the “one-page website” started appearing. You know the type – a giant picture, scrolling text, different sections, three “circle graphics”, etc etc. All on one page. If there’s navigation at the top, it usually brings you down to one of the sections. And if you click on anything for more information, a brief bit of text appears.
In most cases, I hate these one-page websites, and I think they are terrible for business. Here’s why: They seem rushed, and untrustworthy. They are specifically designed to give you quick snippets of information, and not much more. There’s no meat to them, and scant little to read.
I realize you need to be “quick” on the internet. That’s nothing new. But to me, and what has always worked well, that means a good headline / subheadings; easy, descriptive navigation; and giving a general sense of what you are about quickly. Then, if the person wants to read more (and trust me, interested people will), you give them that.
These one-page websites do not do that. Instead, their message seems to be an impatient “just buy it already“. I can’t help but get a general sense of shadiness from these sites – it’s almost like they are trying to cover up that they don’t have much experience or values or similar. And that’s probably accurate – I notice most of these sites are for new products and new companies.
Let me tell you what works for websites, for companies old and new:
- Easy, clear navigation. Top is best, but side can work too.
- A nice picture on the homepage
- One headline/caption. Forget the silly slideshow. Nobody sticks around for slide three…
- Three boxes for your top three points
- For your interior pages, just a simple place for text and pictures.
Kind of like my site here. This is a battle-tested basic look that has delivered for years. It lets people easily see what the site is about, and it gives them the quick lowdown while also having plenty of room to give detailed information.
Scrap your one-page site. I’ll bet anything you can do better.