Have you noticed the one page website trend? There are now even one page WordPress themes to make the build-out process easier. But, what is a one-page WordPress theme exactly, and how do you set one up?
A one page theme is designed specifically to meet the needs of a single page website. The main feature of a one page theme is that the majority of your content is all on one page. But you probably guessed that from the name!
Another key element is that if there is a navigation menu, the links scroll down the page to the appropriate location, rather than opening up a new page.
But why would you choose a one-page site over a multi-page site? One page sites are a great choice if you have a simple website that’s light on content. It can work really well for businesses because it acts like a landing page, guiding your visitors to take the action you want them to, with few distractions.
So, is a one page site right for you?
When to Use a One Page Site
Like any modern web design trend, the one page site is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You might find it too restrictive for your needs, and that’s okay!
However, consider choosing a one page site if:
- Your site doesn’t have much content anyway – condensing it into a one page site can make it look more substantial and adds a modern touch.
- You’re selling a single product or service. A one page site will act as your landing page and you can then optimize it for conversions.
Let’s examine the pros and cons:
Why You Should Choose a One Page Site: the Pros
A one page site is quite popular, and for good reason. Here’s why:
It’s user-friendly and intuitive
One page sites take away the need for decision making. Your visitors are confronted with one main option – scroll.
Scrolling is intuitive and irresistible, especially on mobile devices, and social media networks like Pinterest and Facebook have taken full advantage of this with infinite scrolling.
It’s good for businesses
A one page website is great for businesses. All your information is displayed on one page, so there’s no need for your visitors to dig around to find the important details.
A one page site should also be structured to guide your visitors to take action. Like a landing page, you should be optimizing your site for conversion.
A one page site is simple out of necessity. There’s limited space available, so you have to craft your message carefully. This can lead to a more impactful site.
One page WordPress themes have more than a little bit in common with landing pages or sales pages. Each element on your one page site should be designed and chosen to support your message (and sales if that’s your purpose). There’s no room for anything that doesn’t achieve these ends.
Why You Shouldn’t Choose a One Page Site: the Cons
One page sites won’t suit everyone. Some reasons you might not find a one page site a good fit:
It’s not the best for content marketing
A one page site is pared down to the basic elements. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for content marketing or social sharing.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do content marketing. Many one page sites have a blog that opens up in a separate page or in a modal window.
It might not give optimal results for SEO
There’s been considerable discussion about SEO for one page sites and whether one page sites are good or bad for SEO.
One theory is that because all external links are coming to one page, it’ll give your site a boost in rankings. However, the opposing view is that it would be difficult to rank for different keywords given that all your content is on one page.
If you’re considering a one page site, you’ll want to investigate other traffic generation techniques apart from SEO, like social media marketing or paid advertising.
To make the best of your one page SEO, UXPin recommend to use H1 tags for the heading of each section rather than H2. This signals to the search engines that the following content is distinct and separate from the rest of the page.
Load times may be impacted
With a ton of content, images, and effects on one page, you might find a one page site’s load time is less than ideal. And with Google now factoring site speed into its search algorithms, that’s a big deal if you want high rankings in the search engines.
From a user experience perspective, you might also find your readers miss your content if animations load too slowly.
What sections do you need for your business?
Now that you’ve decided to go ahead and build a one page site, you’ll need to decide exactly what sections you need.
Conventional websites usually have some, or all, of the following pages:
- Portfolio (depending on industry)
- Services or Product page
- Blog or Articles
- Team members
How do you fit all this into one page?
The key is to pare down each section to its basic elements.
Cut out wordy introductions for pages like your contact page, and place a contact form at the bottom of your page. Your visitors will have read about you and your offer as they scroll, so there’s no need to recap.
One Page Site Examples
Here are some examples of one page sites for your inspiration:
- Campaign Monitor 2016 Year in Review – This one page site focuses more on storytelling rather than sales, and it’s fun! It’s a bright, colorful site full of animations. There are pictures of real people and loads of interactive and engaging elements. Game of ping pong anyone? While this site isn’t created in WordPress, it shows you what’s possible.
- Ghost – This is a great example of how a one page site can be used to sell a service. Scrolling down the page introduces you to the business, their services, and testimonials. It ends with a call to action to contact them to talk business.
- Seven Tests for Managing Gaucher Disease – One page sites are incredibly versatile. This example shows how effectively a one page design can be used to clearly explain medical concepts.
These three sites are incredibly well designed and show the full extent of what can be achieved with a one page site. But, let’s face it, they’re a bit complex for the average user.
Here are some more examples that are a little more achievable. You’ll be able to create a site like this with a one-page WordPress theme without too much trouble.
- Jatex Inc – This is a great example of a product-based business using a one-page website. It’s a relatively simple site and makes an impact using white space and quality photographs rather than animation.
- Electric Pulp – This example shows how a one-page site can be used for a service-based business. Though technically, some of the links in the menu open up new pages.
- Christoph Kulmer – This example has a few more animations than the previous two examples, however, its core function is quite simple. This site is an excellent example of how a one-page site can work for an entertainer.
How to Set Up a One Page WordPress Site
There are many ways to set up a one page website. It’s actually possible to use any theme; it’s simply a matter of learning a few lines of code.
But if you’d rather leave coding to the developers, choose a theme like Venture that’s specifically designed to create a one page WordPress site.
How to Use Venture to Create a One Page WordPress Site
Venture is a theme intended to make it easy to create a one page website. It has all the options you need built right into the theme.
Here’s how to set up a one-page site using Venture:
1. Install Venture theme on your WordPress site.
2. Navigate to Appearance > Customize. In Frontpage Row Order, you can change the order the sections appear in to suit yourself and in each section, you’ll be able to customize its appearance. Feel free to remove any sections you don’t need.
3. Take note of the Navigation Menu ID for each section you want to use. You’ll need this to create the links on your menu.
Note that you can change the IDs if you choose. However, here’s a list of Venture’s default Navigation Menu IDs:
|Section||Navigation Menu ID|
|Action Row #1||action1|
|Action Row #2||action2|
|Social Media Section||social|
5. Navigate to Appearance > Menu > Create Menu.
6. Click on Screen Options in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
7. Under Show advanced menu properties, check the Title Attribute box.
Now let’s create our menu.
8. To add the section links, click on Custom Links.
9. In URL, enter the full domain address for your website and add # Navigation Menu ID. Here’s an example:
When clicked, this link will scroll directly to the Social section of the site.
10. Enter the Link text you want to display on your menu.
11. You can move menu items into the order you’d like them displayed. Click Save Menu once you’re satisfied with it.
12. After setting up your menu, use the Customizer and relevant Widgets to enter the content you’d like populated in each section on your site.
That’s it – once you’ve published your site, clicking on the links in your menu will scroll you to that section of your site. Easy, right?
A one-page site doesn’t suit all needs, but it’s good for businesses or products – especially in situations where you want to sell one thing.
While you can manually create a one page site with code, it’s far easier to use a WordPress theme like Venture that’s specifically designed for one page websites. Venture makes it easy to get a one page site up and running in no time at all.
Over to you – have you tried a one page WordPress theme? If you’d like to try one, why not take a look at Venture?