September 17

How to Create a One-Page Website: A Complete Guide

A one-page website acts as a virtual business card.

It’s simple and to the point.

You don’t need a lot of technical know-how to build them. In fact, there are many tools and resources that can get you set up in a couple of minutes.

Here’s how to go about creating a single-page site…

Why One-Page Websites Rock

One-page websites gets you to trim the fat and keep only the best details. You’re putting the valuable information front and center. It’s not cluttered, complicated, and distracting. 

You can create a single-page website for any number of projects:

  • Online portfolio
  • eCommerce
  • Lead generation
  • Events

…and really anything that you feel could benefit from having everything on one page.

A one-page website example showing a simple web portfolio design

The main site elements to strive for include:

  • An enticing headline
  • Attractive body copy
  • Eye-catching media
  • A strong call-to-action

If done well, you’ll reap the same benefits as you would a well-optimized landing page. In this regard, we’re talking about a near 10% conversion rate! That’s massive when paired with a valuable outcome such as scheduling a sales call or directly selling a product or service.

Here’s the other neat thing:

You tend to get creative when confined because it forces you to maximize what’s there.

You’re also not overwhelmed by so many options that you give up frustrated. This is huge when it comes to building a website since simplicity can soon turn into bloated projects.

Alright, let’s get to it…

Building a One-Page Website

There are a few ways to go about building the thing:

  • Using a one-page website template
  • Using a one-page website builder
  • Using a site developer or DIY

We’re all about reducing friction when it comes to projects. Whatever gets you closer to your goals faster — the better. So, this means either using a template or a builder.

Building With a One Page Website Template

Start off by choosing a one-page website template that meets 90% of your vision. The other 10% will involve tweaking it to get it to that final design in your mind.

There are a few places to buy one page templates — like:

Prices vary but most templates run about $30 to $90 depending on complexity, design, support, and all the little bells & whistles that come extra.

Higher-end templates may include:

  • Drag and drop capabilities
  • Platform compatibility or compliance
  • Refined SEO elements
  • Included images & media

If you don’t need these features then you can choose something cheaper. Don’t let the price fool you, either, because the designs on the $10 – $20 templates are truly stellar! It just means you’ll need to do a little more in terms of editing.

One-page Website Themes

Okay, so, you’ve got a template picked out.

The process for setting up is largely the same as any basic website:

  1. Buy a domain name and site hosting
  2. Link the domain to the hosting or setup the all-in-one account
  3. Upload the one-page template to the server

If you purchased a simple template built using HTML/CSS/JS then you can upload the template directly to your hosting. There, you can then begin tinkering with the main file.

If you bought a one-page site template that works as something like a WordPress theme then you’ll need to install that platform onto your server. This can be done during the initial setup, or you can complete it later from your hosting dashboard/backend.

Here’s a great tutorial on uploading and/or installing a theme on WordPress:

The theme installation process is essentially this:

Once logged in to your WordPress site, you’ll navigate to the Appearance -> Themes section of the site, and then click Add New at the top. On this next page, click Upload Theme, navigate and select the site template file, and then follow the prompts.

Activate your one-page theme and viola! You’ve got the barebones of your single-page site!

Next, you’ll start editing the page elements (more on that later).

Building With a One Page Site Builder Tool

If you’re not one to mess around with domains, hosting, and all that, then a one-page website builder is the better choice. You can have an operational site for a few bucks each month through one of these providers (some offer yearly subscriptions at discount, too).

There are the usual contenders you’ve likely heard of:

But there are also niche site builders like:

Any of these will suffice so it comes down to your budget and technical know-how. Each builder has simple editing features so you won’t need to touch a line of code. You can get a little under the hood if you want but that’s on you and how involved you’d like to go.

The one that stands out — for us — is Carrd.

Carrd is as close as you can get to the whole virtual business card concept. A lot of the themes are just small profiles and links to other properties + a contact form. This can be ideal if you’re wanting to stake your online presence, and start building your online reputation.

A one-page website example by Caard

The pro templates offer more screen real estate and are more aligned to a typical one-page site. You’ll get all those vital elements but with a lot more scrolling and design.

Alternatively…

The heftier site builders like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and the slew of others, have what you need to create a great website, too. The learning curve is higher because they give you greater control, but it’s something you can pick up on with a solid afternoon of tinkering.

Since you’re not stuck on the technical aspects outside of setting up the account – you can jump right into editing the site’s design. Drag & drop capabilities let you get creative with the one-page site layout, and live editing + collaboration means you can quickly fill in the content and media.

Pushing It Live

Let’s say you’ve got to the point where you’re ready to push it live.

Here are some last-minute things you could do to add extra value and impact to the site:

Search Engine Optimization

Ranking a one-page website is challenging because there isn’t a lot to index. However, you should at least aim to optimize for YOUR NAME and YOUR INTENT. This helps the site appear when people search for you and at least associates a general query to your name.

Place your desired keywords in the title, meta description, headers, alt tags, and sprinkled through the body content.

Contact and Lead Forms

Site themes and templates come with limited contact features. We’d recommend expanding what they can do by integrating lead capture efforts. You can do this with lead generation tools. Or, as we like to do, set up Calendly so you can schedule meetings and kickstart sales calls.

Improve Site Speed

If your site setup allows, then doing a few speed optimization tweaks can go a long way with its presentation and engagement. Self-hosting gives the best opportunity since you can buy into better plans + use speed tools like CDNs and better site caching. However, you’ll likely find speed options and upgrades with site builder tools for a small price or monthly upgrade.

Keep Refining the Copy

Do your first pass and then come back several times to update and refine the site’s copy. Keep tweaking everything from the headlines to the call-to-actions. Remember: you’ve got limited space and user attention so maximize every pixel and word on the site!

Outside of these – it’s just a matter of coming back and updating things as time goes on. Maybe it’s sharing new things you’re working on, or a nice, new picture of yourself. See it a bit like your Facebook or LinkedIn where keeping it relevant keeps people engaged.

You Can Do a Lot With One Page

It’s pretty amazing what you can do with a one-page website.

The best thing is that you have a web property that’s directing people to you. There, you can start building an online brand, stir up some sales, promote a product or service, and more.

You don’t need a ton of technical knowledge to set up a one-page site, either. You could likely have one up and running in about as long as it takes to read this post. So, give it a try either with a template or through a builder, and see what you can come up with!

Want more tutorials like this but live and with an amazing community?

Come join us for our weekly Office Hours every Friday!

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Tags

Website Development


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