A single page and a spread are similar and different in many ways.
Two-page magazine spreads offer more room for creative photography approaches. Though photographers need to account for horizontal dimensions, there is ample space to visually experiment.
Readers tend to pay closer attention to spreads rather than single pages. Spreads break the monotony of page flipping. When readers land on a spread, they glance at the page longer, which is an advantage to advertisers.
If your message is complex, then a spread is the best choice. Remember to keep them simple because spreads fail when they display too many photos.
On the other hand, a single page in a magazine offers less room than a two-page spread. While many interpret this as a disadvantage, a single page is simpler and more direct. Readers can quickly digest a single page.
Since a single page has less space, it leaves less of a visual impact than a spread. While this is a negative aspect of single pages, they are the cheapest option. Less paper equals fewer printing expenses.
Also—remember to request your single page to appear on the right. As readers flip through the issue, the right is where they tend to look first.
Consider the context of the message when deciding between a spread or a single page in a magazine. Each format has their benefits and drawbacks, but only the best commercial photography will make them memorable.