Parallax websites are one of the most talked about design trends in the last few years.
Starkly different from websites of days past, they shy away from the idea that scrolling is bad – that it hides content and turns off users.
Instead, parallax sites embrace scrolling. They turn a single homepage into a veritable hub of information, allowing the customer to view everything simply and easily in one place.
But are parallax sites for everybody? More importantly, for your company, what’s best? Parallax websites or traditional sites?
To help you decide, we’ve taken an in-depth look at both below.
Comparing Parallax and Traditional Design
Before you hit the ground running with your web design (or redesign), it’s important you know exactly which type of site is going to work best with your brand.
What will best deliver your content and imagery? What will offer the most powerful selling tool for your company? And most importantly, what will speak to your customers best?
Parallax websites and traditional sites are hugely different. They offer completely unique experiences, and they differ greatly in layout, navigation and usability.
Let’s take a look at a few of the key differences now:
Navigation – A confusing, complicated or poorly designed navigation menu is one of the biggest turn-offs for web users. It can confuse and frustrate potential customers, and essentially turn them off for good. With a parallax site, you don’t have to worry about complicated navigation at all. Users can simply scroll down, and see each unique snippet of information all in one, central place. It removes the potential of this barrier altogether. On a traditional site, bad navigation has a much higher probability. If you opt for a more traditional website, be sure to pay careful attention to the design and configuration of your menu, or it could affect your site’s lead-generating and sales abilities.
Simplicity – Most users prefer not to be inundated with information. They want to go to a website, find the information they’re look for, and be done in as much time as possible. The best parallax sites make this extremely easy. All users have to do is log on, scroll down a little, and they’ll get all the info they need quickly and succinctly. Traditional websites require navigating menus, clicking buttons and scrolling through until you find the information you need, and they’re a lot more work for users. Generally, users are going to prefer these least time-consuming, simplest option (which is a parallax site!) The only exception would be if your company has a number of distinct services, complicated offerings or just tons of content. In which case, a parallax site may not be the best option. A traditional site may offer you a more organized way of delivering your content and reaching your customers in a way they expect and are used to.
SEO – The word is still out on how parallax-style sites perform from an SEO standpoint, but one thing is known for certain: they do offer a lot fewer opportunities for ranking improvement. Because they have less pages, there are fewer meta tags, URLs and chances for keyword usage on the whole. These may affect SEO negatively, although parallax sites are so new, there’s not much real data on it yet. Search engines are certainly more adept at crawling multi-page sites, and the assumption is that you’ll have a higher shot at SEO success with one on your side.
Loading times – Because parallax websites house all information and imagery on one single page, it’s crucial you keep your images and content to a minimum. The more you add, the longer your site is going to take to load, and that can kill your conversion rate. Most users don’t want to wait more than 3 seconds tops for a page to load before they navigate a way. If you expect to have a ton of high-res imagery or lots of content, then a traditional site may be the better route to take.
Design appeal – In a general sense, parallax sites have a simpler, cleaner and more modern aesthetic. They’re great for tech companies, cutting edge brands and brands with lot of voice. More professional, buttoned-up type brands may enjoy the look of a traditional site better. These offer users the expected web experience they’re accustomed to.
Mobile responsiveness – Parallax websites are often a little difficult to design responsively, simply because of the intricate coding they require. Many times, you’ll need to invest in a separate mobile site in order to ensure your smartphone and tablet visitors are able to view the site correctly. Though this isn’t a huge deterrent, it should definitely be a consideration. Traditional sites are much more easily made responsive, so they fit all screen sizes and devices.
Deciding between parallax and traditional design can be difficult, as they both have their merits. Fortunately, it is possible to have the best of both worlds. You can opt for a parallax-style homepage, and still have a minimal number of other pages on your menu bar. You can also simply opt for parallax landing pages, and target each one toward a specific customer or product.
Learn More About Parallax Websites
Want to learn more about parallax website? Want to see if one could work for your brand? Contact Steadfast Creative today. Our expert designers can help you craft the perfect web experience to reach your customers, cultivate leads and generate sales.