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18 June 2024

Converting a One-Page Website into a Multi-Page Website: Pros, Cons, and Best Practices

Expanding a one-page website into a multi-page one can feel like a big step, but it’s often necessary as businesses grow and their content needs evolve. Having recently gone through this process for a client, I’d like to share my experiences, the challenges I faced, and best practices to make this transition smooth and effective, and worth it.

The Pros and Cons of Expanding Your Website

Pros:

  1. Improved SEO: Multi-page websites offer more opportunities for on-page SEO. Each page can target specific keywords, allowing Google to index more content and understand your site better. This is a sure way to up your GoogleTrustRank. 
  2. Better UX/UI: You can easily keep your site visitors happy by allowing them to find information more easily without scrolling endlessly. Properly structured navigation enhances the user experience.
  3. Scalability: Adding new services, products, or information becomes easier with a multi-page layout. 
  4. Professionalism: Multi-page sites often look more professional and comprehensive. 

Cons:

  1. Increased Complexity: Managing and maintaining a multi-page site is more complex and time-consuming.
  2. Content Requirements: You need enough quality content to fill each page without duplication or fluff.
  3. Consistent Design: Ensuring a cohesive design across multiple pages requires careful planning and execution.

Best Web Design Practices for Expansion

Planning Your Content

When converting a one-page site, the first step is to assess your existing content. Two main challenges often arise:

  1. Not Enough Content: You might find that your single page doesn’t have enough content to populate multiple pages. In this case, consider expanding your content by delving deeper into each section. For instance, a brief overview of services on a single page can be split into detailed service pages.

  2. Too Much Content: Conversely, you may have an overwhelming amount of content that needs to be organised into logical sections. This is where a clear content strategy comes in handy. Break down large sections into smaller, more manageable pieces that fit into a multi-page framework.

Splitting Long-Format Sections into Posts using Post Types.

A great way to manage large volumes of content is by splitting long-format sections into different post types with categories and subcategories. For example:

  • Service Pages: Create a post type specifically for services. Under this post type, you can have categories for each service group (e.g., Design, Development, Marketing). Within each category, create subcategories explaining individual services (e.g., Web Design, Graphic Design under Design).


    Another example could be:

  • Knowledge Base: Develop a knowledge base post type with categories like “Getting Started,” “Troubleshooting,” and “Advanced Tips.” Each category can have subcategories with specific articles that address common questions or provide detailed instructions.

  • Its important to look at what you are offering to your customers and to find the best way to arrange your products, services or information. Looking at competitor websites is a great way to see what to do, and sometimes, what not to do. 

Google and On-Page SEO

Google prefers well-structured content, and moving to a multi-page layout can significantly improve your site’s SEO. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

    1. Content Structuring: Ensure each page has unique, valuable content. Avoid duplication or as Google may penalise repetitive content.  Avoid hiding information in pop-ups as Google may penalise hidden content.
    2. Internal Linking: Use internal links to connect related pages. This helps Google crawl your site more effectively and improves the user experience.
    3. Meta Descriptions and Tags: Optimise each page with relevant meta descriptions, title tags, and headers.

UX/UI and Navigation

Transitioning from a single-page scroll to multi-page navigation can be tricky. Here are some tips to make it seamless:

    1. Logical Layout: Plan the hierarchy of your content. Main categories should be easily accessible from the homepage in a well laid out section. This section should be as close to the top of the page as possible, allowing for the user to easily find what they are looking for.
    2. Consistent Design: Maintain a consistent design language across all pages. This includes fonts, colors, and layout styles. 
    3. Responsive Design: Ensure your site remains responsive and looks good on all devices.

Personal Experience: Overcoming Challenges

In a recent project, transitioning a one-page website to a multi-page format presented several challenges:

  1. Content Distribution: We initially struggled with not having enough content for some pages. By conducting interviews and gathering more detailed information about each service, we were able to expand our content effectively.
  2. Excessive Content: On the flip side, we had to break down large sections into digestible parts. This involved rethinking the layout and ensuring each page had a clear focus.
  3. SEO and Pop-Ups: Many sections in the single-page layout relied on pop-ups or linked sections, which aren’t as effective in a multi-page setup. We had to redesign these elements to fit logically within the new structure.
  4. Increased SEO Work: With more pages, there’s more on-page SEO to manage. We used this as an opportunity to target a broader range of keywords and improve our overall SEO strategy.

Personal Experience: Overcoming Challenges

Converting a one-page website into a multi-page site is a substantial task, but the benefits often outweigh the challenges. By planning your content carefully, focusing on SEO best practices, and ensuring a user-friendly design, you can create a scalable, professional website that meets your growing needs. Whether you’re a business owner considering this transition or a designer looking for tips, I hope my insights have provided some valuable guidance.

If you have any questions or need assistance with your website transition, feel free to reach out. At The Design Furnace, we’re here to help you forge a path to digital success.

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