With web design, you have a lot of choices. Should you use a fixed menu? Should you utilize a left or right sidebar? Should you opt for a dark web design? While these are all important design choices that need to be made, the most important choice rests in what type of website you will create from the start. Will it be an infinite scroll website or a multi-page website?
Pros and Cons of Infinite Scrolling Websites
Infinite scroll websites have gained traction over the years, thanks in part to social media sites like Twitter and Pinterest, so it’s a popular choice for many websites now.
One attraction this design has is that you could potentially hold a website visitor’s attention longer. When all a website visitor needs to do is scroll down instead of clicking away from the main page, it makes it easier for them to linger on your site and keep scrolling.
In fact, a new way to utilize infinite scrolling for blogs has recently appeared. Where infinite scrolling would traditionally have one page with the same URL, blog posts can now automatically change URLs each time a reader scrolls to a new post without making the reader leave the page. Again, this is another way to keep visitors on your website longer.
Unfortunately, because infinite scrolling became popular rather quickly and many websites began (and continue) to adopt it, it’s not as unique as it once was. No matter how many innovations come out and how quickly others try to find new ways to utilize infinite scrolling, this particular design choice could quickly become outdated or seem overused from the perspective of site visitors.
Another drawback to infinite scrolling is that many page elements are contained on a single webpage, which can make it difficult for search engines to crawl your website effectively. Google has said that if you plan to use the infinite scrolling design, you need to set your website up correctly to make sure it has the best chance to be found more often in search engine results.
Pros and Cons of Multi-Page Websites
If you’re looking for a more traditional website, consider a multi-page website. These sites have been around since the Internet first opened to the public. Because of this, users are much more adept at understanding how these websites work and where they can find what they’re looking for.
Since user experience plays a big role in keeping visitors on your website, a multi-page website could work in your favor. There won’t be much confusion as to what they’ll find on the homepage, where to go for blog posts, and how to find your contact information. It’s simple, and the way these websites look is consistently being innovated by the designers creating them.
Traditional websites are also easier for search engines to crawl. With more pages for search engines to find, you have the chance to target more keywords and phrases that can help your website appear more often in search engine results, which could also mean higher page rank.
But there is a drawback to more pages on your website. When you create unnecessary pages, the possibility of duplicate content is higher (which search engines don’t like). You might also leave some pages blank or forget to update them after long periods of time. When this happens, your attempt to get found more often could backfire, as search engines could either leave these pages out of search results entirely or because pages won’t be indexed again unless they’re updated.
Deciding which design is best for your business, especially when both options are popular, can be a difficult decision. While you may want to stand out from the crowd and garner consumer attention by having an infinite scrolling website, a multi-page website is inherently easy for consumers to follow. Do your research before settling on a design and understand limitations. When you do, you could end up with a better website than you hoped for.