One-page web design: Cutting costs or cutting corners for small businesses?

March 9, 2024

Learn why a one-page website might not be your best option for a small business website - as we consider SEO, user experience and more to help you make an informed decision.

For businesses seeking cost-effective web design in Hobart, one-page websites often appear as an attractive option.


While they may offer a quick way to establish an online presence without the upfront expense, the long-term success of a digital marketing strategy must also be considered.

Our main point is that relying on a one-page website may lead to additional costs down the line, whether that be from expanding the site to include more pages or rectifying potential negative impacts on SEO.

Thus, it's crucial for businesses to weigh the immediate cost benefits against the potential need for future investment or their wider online goals.

Can't be bothered reading? Here's our summary on one-page websites:

  • One-page websites are good for cost-effectiveness, but can face significant SEO challenges, limiting keyword diversity and content depth.
  • The user experience can suffer due to the scroll-heavy layout, potentially impacting professionalism and accessibility.
  • Despite their initial appeal, one-page websites may require future investments to address scalability, SEO limitations, and user engagement issues.

Wait, what is a one-page website?

A one-page website, also known as a single-page website, is a type of website that condenses all its content into one long scrollable page.

Unlike traditional websites, which have multiple pages dedicated to different topics or sections like "About Us," "Services," "Contact Us," etc., a one-page website integrates all these sections into a single page.

You'll notice a common factor is that navigation typically involves scrolling through the content or clicking navigation links that jump to specific sections on the page.

screenshot of one page care advice 2 u website
Care Advice 2 U website is an example of a one-page website.

Do you develop one-page websites for Hobart and Tasmanian businesses?

Here at Wakeford Digital, the long story short is no, we don't usually offer one-page website design for businesses.

With a more detailed breakdown below, we believe that the benefits of multi-page websites in terms of SEO and usability out weigh one-page website design.

There are some examples, such as the above CareAdvice2U website, where a one-page is a great solution - but where projects can allow for it, we don't advocate for one-page websites.

With that said, let's dive in...

Four reasons a one-page website may not be best for your Tasmanian business:

Reason 1 - They Limit SEO Opportunities

One-page websites can face inherent challenges in SEO, primarily due to their inability to target more than one keywords effectively.

One-page designs are inherently restrictive when it comes to SEO best practices, which typically involves targeting a specific keyword or topic per page.

This limitation significantly narrows the scope for visibility in search engine results as it caps the range of queries your site can rank for - something that could be detrimental in Hobart's often highly competitive digital landscape.

Dom says, "When it comes to thinking about digital marketing for small businesses in Hobart, a consideration towards SEO (or optimising your website to give it every chance to be found in top positions through search engines) can be easily overlooked."

"We feel that only being able to properly focus on one keyword can place one-page websites at disadvantage that limits their ability to attract a diverse range of traffic."

Here's an example: 

Let's consider a dental practice in Hobart - while a one-page website might target a primary keyword of 'best dentist hobart', this keyword would be highly competitive.

There's likely also specific services that people might be searching for, such as 'emergency filling hobart' or 'teeth whitening hobart'.

By targeting these sub-keywords through additional pages, this will provide a better chance to a) more easily rank for these secondary keywords and b) likely help your efforts to rank for the primary keyword.

Furthermore, search engines like Google value content depth and relevance when ranking websites.

A one-page website, constrained to a single theme or keyword, struggles to demonstrate the breadth of expertise and authority that multi-page sites can. This can result in lower search rankings and reduced visibility to potential customers.

TL;DR - The restricted SEO capabilities of one-page websites limit their ability to rank across a broad spectrum of keywords, potentially impacting their online visibility and effectiveness in attracting diverse traffic.

diagram showing SEO differences in one versus multi-page webdesign
SEO opportunities can be limited by a one-page website.

Reason 2 - They Often Have A Lower Content Depth

The compact nature of one-page websites also limits the depth of content (i.e. how much content can be provided).

This can affect both user engagement and SEO performance.

This is a fine balance however, as to address this you might have a one-page website with heaps of content - but then this effects usability and means visitors are constantly scrolling to find the content they need (see reason three below).

We all know in the realm of digital marketing that: content is king. Thus, detailed and informative content not only aids in SEO but also helps in establishing a business as an authority in its field.

One-page websites, with their limited space, often struggle to provide comprehensive information on services, products, or company values.

This limitation can leave visitors with unanswered questions and drive them to seek information elsewhere.

TL;DR - The inability of one-page websites to delve deeply into topics or services can lead to a lack of comprehensive information, potentially driving potential customers to look elsewhere for the details they need.

screenshot of retreats tasmania services page
A multi-page website can enable you to have dedicated information, such as services, on a dedicated page.

Reason 3 - There's The Risk of Overwhelming Visitors

As mentioned above, packing a wide range of information into a single page can easily overwhelm visitors, detracting from their experience and engagement.

One of the significant challenges with one-page websites is achieving the right balance of content.

Too much information on a single page can be overwhelming, making it hard for users to focus on what's important and this can lead to a poor user experience, with visitors leaving the site without taking any action.

Dom says: "We strongly feel that effective website design involves guiding visitors through a journey, with clear signposts and a logical structure."

"Multi-page websites excel at doing this, allowing for segmented information that users can navigate at their own pace."

This not only improves the user experience but also increases the chances of converting visitors into customers.

TL;DR - Overloading a one-page website with information can overwhelm visitors, making it difficult for them to engage with the content and take desired actions.

Reason 4 - Future Costs for Expansion or SEO Correction

The initial cost savings of a one-page website can be attractive, however future expansions or SEO improvements often incur significant expenses.

One of the appealing aspects of one-page websites is undoubtedly their perceived cost-effectiveness, especially for small businesses or startups in Hobart.

However, this short-term saving can lead to long-term costs.

As a business grows, the need to add more services, products, or content sections can necessitate a complete overhaul of the website structure, which can be both costly and time-consuming.

Additionally, addressing the SEO limitations of a one-page website often requires significant investment in SEO strategies or even transitioning to a multi-page format to improve search engine visibility.

These future costs can offset the initial savings, making it a less economical choice in the long run.

Looking for an effective SEO campaign for your business? Our SEO Hobart services can help improve your search engine rankings as well as drive more traffic to your website.

TL;DR - While one-page websites may seem cost-effective initially, the potential future expenses for expansion and SEO optimisation can make them a more costly option over time.

screenshot of rock electrical hobart solar
Adding individual, targeted service pages - as an example - can be more costly and have to undo other SEO efforts.

Bonus Reason - Analytics and Tracking Challenges

One-page websites may also present unique challenges in analytics and user behaviour tracking, limiting the insights businesses can gain.

We know first hand that these sorts of insights are something that a lot of businesses in Tasmania benefit from.

The ability to track user engagement and behaviour is crucial for refining marketing strategies and improving website performance.

However, one-page websites may complicate this process.

With all content located on a single page, it can be challenging to determine which sections are engaging users the most effectively or where they might be losing interest.

Compare this to a multi-page website which has clear, dedicated pages for each area thus helping visitors achieve their goal or meet their needs more easily.

TL;DR - The analytics and tracking limitations of one-page websites may restrict the ability to gather detailed insights into user behaviour, making it difficult to optimise and refine digital marketing strategies effectively.

Frequently asked questions on one-page web design:

When might a one-page website be the right choice for my business?

A one-page website could be ideal for businesses with a narrow focus or those looking to highlight a single product or service. They typically work well for portfolios, specific marketing campaigns, events, or small startups that wish to establish an online presence quickly and efficiently.

Can I transition from a one-page to a multi-page site without losing SEO value?

Transitioning from a one-page to a multi-page website can be done without losing SEO value if carefully planned and executed. However, we feel it's better to get this right from the start and a one-page website may not achieve this.

Why should I choose a multi-page website over a one-page website?

In our opinion, choosing a multi-page website offers more SEO opportunities, allows for deeper content exploration, improves user navigation, and supports scalability for business growth offering a more comprehensive online presence and long-term expansion.

In conclusion on one-page websites...

We feel like this post is a bashing of one-page websites, which isn't its intent!

For small to medium sized businesses in Hobart who are considering their online strategy, at Wakeford Digital we just strongly believe it's important to think about digital marketing with potential long-term considerations.

While one-page websites offer a straightforward and initially cost-effective solution, the limitations in SEO, content depth, user experience, and data insights can pose significant challenges.

We feel that by opting for a more flexible, scalable website structure, businesses can avoid future costs and limitations, ensuring their digital presence grows alongside their operations.

For those looking to enhance their online visibility and effectiveness, exploring Wakeford Digital's web design Hobart services can provide the expertise and solutions needed to achieve a balanced and strategic digital presence.

If you've been 'umming' and 'aaring' about a website for your Tasmanian business, always feel free to reach out to us also - we're more than happy to talk through any questions or concerns.

Thanks for reading!

profile image of dominic standing on timber board walk on bruny island looking
by Dominic Anastasio
Owner and Creative Director Wakeford Digital

More Posts

What Google's core update in March means for small businesses in Tasmania

Read post...

5 Essential Features Every Tasmanian Small Business Website Should Have In 2024

Read post...

What's new on the blog?

What Google's core update in March means for small businesses in Tasmania

Stay ahead in Hobart's digital marketing landscape with our latest insights about Google's 2024 core update, with tailored information for Tasmania's small businesses sector.

Read this post →

One-page web design: Cutting costs or cutting corners for small businesses?

Learn why a one-page website might not be your best option for a small business website - as we consider SEO, user experience and more to help you make an informed decision.

Read this post →

5 Essential Features Every Tasmanian Small Business Website Should Have In 2024

Unlock the potential of your small business with our guide to the top 5 essential website features for 2024, from fast loading speeds to voice search optimisation, learn how to stay ahead in the digital landscape.

Read this post →