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single-serving site

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A single-serving site is a one-page, one-purpose website with a dedicated domain name.  

The oldest and perhaps simplest single-serving site is purple.com, which is an undifferentiated display of the color purple.  Many single-serving sites provide a function for the user.  For example, LMGTFY (Let Me Google That For You) creates a demonstration of how to conduct a user-specified Google search. Users can share links to the demos with people who ask them questions they could have just as easily researched themselves.  A number of sites answer a single yes-or-no-question, such as “Is it Tuesday?”, “Is it Christmas” and “Is Twitter down today?”

Here are a few other examples of single-serving sites:

  • Are You Tired? has a plain white background, the text “Are you tired?” and “Tell us why,” along with an email link so users can do so.
  • Am I awesome? provides randomly-generated positive responses to the question.
  • What is my IP? displays the user’s IP address.
  • Literally Unbelievable documents Facebook comments on stories from The Onion from readers who don’t realize that it’s a satire magazine.
  • Definitely informs visitors of the correct spelling of that word and lists all the common misspellings.  It is most vehement about the common misspelling of “defiantly,” which originated as a spellcheck or auto-correct error (also known as the Cupertino effect.)
  • Misanthropebook is a single-page, non-interactive parody of Facebook.
  • The Daily Nice is a picture of something that made the site owner happy each day.
  • Several websites claiming to be the last page of the Internet congratulate the user on reaching the end and exhort them to turn off their computers and go outside.

Jason Kottke, owner of one of the longest-running blogs on the Internet, created the term “single-serving site” in 2008 to describe what he saw as an increasing trend.

This was last updated in December 2013

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