Why I love the one page website

I’m currently in the middle of redesigning wam.wpengine.com. It’s been nearly three years since we’ve thrown up something new, and a lot has changed in our company since. The one thing we aren’t changing is our commitment to the one page website.

I love sticking with one page — particularly as a rule for building a company site, a personal portfolio site, or a product offering site. Here’s why.

One page debunks the “above the fold” myth.

I’ve never thought that putting the right things above the fold was really all that important. Everyone knows how to scroll using a scrollbar. Using a scroll-wheel, or scroll-ball, or flicking your finger over your mobile app is just common practice. My dad is far better at scrolling a mouse wheel than he is at double-clicking. Myth debunked.

With a one page site, it’s even less important. It’s one page. The only option you have besides leaving the site is to scroll. I’m happy, you’re happy, and your usability expert can only shrug.

One page helps you focus on design.

Designing is often about momentum. When you build large sites with tiered navigation and a sitemap, you’re forced to carry design elements over to these sub and sub-sub and sub-sub-sub pages. Often times, those tertiary designs look uninspired. All the good energy was spent on the homepage or a particular sub-page. There is no “just throw the same header style up with that same masthead that looked nice on that other page” design strategy in a one page design.

You’ve got one page. There’s no room for fading inspiration when you don’t have to design a page 4 levels deep.

One page let’s you decide what’s really important.

Our new site has 4 parts: An introductory blurb, a list of our product offerings, a gallery of recent work, a small profiles of the seven of us, and a simple way to contact us. That’s it.

If you really want case studies, detailed solutions, special announcements, articles, news, resources, or our thoughts on canned tuna, just email us.

One page lets you learn a lot about a little, not a little about a lot.

With a one page site, a user can scan the entire site in seconds. You can’t scan when you’re clicking through multiple levels of navigation. While we may only be able to fit 50% of everything we want someone to know about We Are Mammoth in a single page, most of that is going to get read.

With a 50-page site, most of those pages will go unnoticed. I’d rather have a user see a little than miss a lot. As a user, I’m more motivated to focus on the details when I know there’s just one page to look at.

We expect to launch the new wam.wpengine.com before the end of the year. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, let this be the inspiration for your one page site.