There are many different types of websites and it can be extremely overwhelming if you don’t know much about digital marketing. This quick guide will give you the information you need to make informed decisions on the different types of websites there are in 2019 and how they impact your business differently.
Landing Pages – Sales Funnel or Informational, Single Page
Service-based Business Portfolio
Normally for a service based business, this type of website can consist of many different things depending on the type of business and it’s niche. It usually contains a few pages about the company, it’s processes and achievements.
Website Created on a Content Management Solution (WordPress, Drupal, Etc.)
Small-Medium Size Business
Landing Pages, E-Commerce, WordPress, HTML
An E-commerce website is an online shop where people can order goods and make payments from the comfort of their own homes. If you have products to sell and would like to enjoy the benefits of not having to run a traditional bricks-and-mortar shop with things like overheads to consider, then this is definitely the way forward.
2 Blogs and Personal
Personal websites have been a favourite for families and people who wish to document the big occasions of their lives such as weddings, new babies or their travels. These days, the modern alternative; blogging has become an extremely popular. Blogs are usually updated frequently and older posts can be viewed through archives.
Information websites are particularly helpful. People no longer have to visit libraries and take out books for basic information. Any question that comes into someone’s mind nowadays is often swiftly followed up with a quick search on Google to find their answer. A great deal can be learned online and many people are now researching and self-teaching with online tutorials, hacks and tips from such websites.
4 Online Community
Community forums are a great way to get in touch and share ideas with people with the same interests or from similar backgrounds through the Internet. This interactive feature can be the main focus of the website, or just a part of it so that visitors can discuss what the site is about.
5 Photo Sharing
Websites such as Pixabay.com allow people to upload and download photos for free. You can get paid with advertising on a photo-sharing website or by selling good quality high resolution images that people will want to purchase, perhaps for commercial purposes.
Much better than just listing your skills on paper, an interactive online resume showcases who you are, not just your qualifications, giving you much more control over your first impressions with prospective employers.
Ideal for showcasing your work, everyone from landscape photographers to fashion models have an online portfolio these days to show off their talent to potential employers.
8 Catalogue and Brochure
If you have a product or a service that does not require payment online, then an online catalogue or brochure will enable you to display what you have on offer and attract potential clients. Spreading the word about a business used to be limited to television, print or radio, however a website gives a much wider reach. Online brochures are a great idea for dental surgeries, hair salons, holiday destinations and manufacturers.
9 Business Directory
Instead of flicking through the pages of a massive phone directory to find services and businesses, in this day and age we use online directory websites. They can be dedicated to a specific location, topic or industry. Directory websites serve as useful lists of resources.
Authors and writers have their own websites which include their biography, a catalogue of their works with reviews and comments, as well as links to their social media, blog and places their publications are being sold online. This is especially useful in the world of publishing and establishment of a fan base.
People took the words Web Logs and shortened it to Blogs—online diaries, journals, or editorials, if you will. My, how Blogs have taken over the Internet. A person used to be outdated if he/she did not have a website, now having a blog is de rigeur. A blog owner will log-on daily, weekly, or whenever, and write about whatever is going on in their lives or business, or they may comment on politics and news. How wonderful the Internet is! Now anyone who can afford a blog can be self published and allow their thoughts to be read by anyone in the world who has online access.
Community Building Websites
Social Websites, Forum Websites, and Sharing Websites.
These websites build online communities of people who want to interact with other people socially or meet people who share their interests. The best known website of this type is probably facebook.coom .
For sharing and discussing mutual interests, there are online forums for practically any subject you can think of. These Forum websites can be a great source of information and help for the small business person. (I’m sure there is a forum dedicated to your type of business. Just do a web search for something like real estate web forum.) Now you can see this is where we start to get into the idea of “hybrid” sites.
Photo Sharing and other forms of sharing sites might also be considered community building sites, much as Blogging sites are. Can Dating Sites be considered Community Building Sites, or are they E-commerce Sites. All that’s up for discussion.
A personal website is simply a site created to share information about yourself, your family, or an event. An example of this would be an online diary or a wedding website. Most people who create this type of site create it on space available for free via their Internet provider or another free site.
- Typically does not have a registered domain. Instead of MyName.com, the address is provider.com/freespace/~myname
- Not a good choice for businesses as the name is harder for search engines to discover and customers to remember.
- Free space is usually very limited, so the site will need to remain small.
There are also services that allow you to create a site for free in this manner, such as Wix.com and WordPress.com for a blog.
On the other hand, a corporate website typically has the sole purpose of promoting a business. This type of site is customized and tends to have the following features:
- Custom domain name, such as CorporateWebsite.com
- Custom design that shows the company logo and personality of the company
- Products for sale on the site
- Information about the company
- Information on how to contact the company
The building method for a corporate website can vary, but the purpose is to have an online business presence.
Photo Sharing Websites
According to the Pew Research Center, 54% of adults online post photos and videos online to share with others. 47% repost photos they’ve found online on sites meant specifically to share those images with others.
It’s easy to see why photo sharing sites are popular. Some examples of photo sharing sites include:
- Instagram (app used via smartphones)
- Facebook (most popular)
Websites for creative types tend to have a couple of unique features. First, the personality of the artist is front and center. You’ll likely see the author or artist’s photograph and bio front and center. Other features of the site might include:
- Large images of artwork or book cover
- Samples of work
- Where to order the book or artwork
There are also sites that compile info on many different writers or artists in one place. An example of this is on Amazon.com, where artist bios are posted for readers to browse. These bios link to the author’s work that is for sale on Amazon so that people can easily order the product offered.
Community Building Sites
A community building site is usually built around a common interest or purpose. These sites tend to:
- Offer information on a particular topic
- Provide a way for users to interact with one another via a forum of some type
A good example of a community building site would be LowCarbFriends.com. This site is aimed at people who wish to eat low carb. It provides information in the way of articles and recipes and also has an active forum area where users can interact with one another.
Mobile Device Sites
Google recommends that web developers make their websites mobile friendly. This is vital as more and more people are accessing the Internet online. A mobile device site is quite simply the same thing as your website, but with some adjustments to make sure the site is sized for mobile devices.
Not sure if your site appears correctly on smaller screens? You can test how your site looks on mobile devices via Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test feature.
Blogs and Online Diaries
Blogs and online diaries tend to be built on WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) platforms, such as WordPress or Blogger. These platforms are very simple to update because posts are created in a form that works very much like a popular word processing programs that users are already familiar with.
- Blogs can be about any topic
- Can be monetized to create a money-making strategy
Some examples of popular blogs include the Huffington Post and Perez Hilton.
Social Network Sites
Around 76% of Americans use social media sites today. Social network sites are highly popular. It is simply a site where you connect with others by “friending” or “following” the person. You can then share thoughts, photos, videos and memes with one another.
Examples of social network sites include Facebook and Twitter.
Professional Networking Sites
A professional networking site is started with the express purpose of allowing professionals to network with one another. The site might be focused on a particular industry or more general in nature, such as LinkedIn, where business professionals from many different industries can interact with one another.
In addition to sites specifically for networking, many professional organizations offer networking within their members only areas of their websites. Only those who are members can access this section of the site.
Informational and Reference Sites
Another purpose for a website is to create a depository for information or reference. These sites can be on nearly any topic you can imagine, from a site about how to play golf to an online dictionary. These sites tend to be free from products for sale, but there is no set rule against selling items on them.
Some examples of these types of sites include Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica online.
Affiliate Type Websites
An affiliate website can take one of two forms. First, it can be a site that lists different affiliate opportunities. Second, it can be a website where the user is promoting their affiliate links to try to earn money.
An example of a site that offers the opportunity to sell their products would be ClickBank.com.
On the other hand, if you plan to set up a site simply to drive traffic to your affiliate links, it’s a good idea to make sure you are offering something of value to the reader, such as unique content.
Brochure/Catalog Type Websites
Businesses sometimes set up a brochure or catalog website to feature the products they have for sale. These sites may not even have a link to order them. Sometimes local businesses will offer these types of sites so customers can gather information before visiting a brick and mortar store. Types of businesses who might utilize this purpose include:
- Service business, such as a heating and cooling service, to get the word out to what they have to offer and how to get in touch
- Restaurant posting an online menu so customers can see what food choices are available or what hours they are open
Catalog sites that list products more likely also offer some online ordering.
Search Engines and Directory Sites
A search engine or directory site allows a user to type in a specific search term or topic and will return results based on which sites offer the best content related to that search. There are some pretty advanced equations (called algorithms) that go into figuring out which site matches the search phrase the best.
Examples of search engines include Google.com and Bing.com.
eCommerce and Auction Sites
eCommerce and auction sites offer a place or people to list their products and sell them, usually for a small fee to the website. These sites tend to attract a lot of traffic as registered users both buy and sell on these sites.
Examples of eCommerce sites include Amazon.com and Etsy.com.
Business Card Type Websites
A business card website is probably one of the simplest websites out there right now. This type of website is typically a one-page site and offers the person’s name, what they do and contact information.
- Typically, the business card will be a page that is part of a larger site
- The business card might also simply be in PDF so it can easily be sent to potential clients via email or attachment on social media
OrionGraphix offers an example of an online business card to show the products it offers.
Folio Type Websites
A folio type website is an excellent way to showcase what you’re capable of. Public relations professionals and those who do service work often create a folio site to showcase what they can do. A typical folio site:
- Features rich images that showcase what the site owner can do
- Offers additional information by clicking on those images
- Images are often arranged on the front page in a collage, slideshow, or boxes
There are also sites that offer the ability to upload a folio, such as if you are a photographer and want to put your work in front of other people. Some examples of these types of sites include FluidFolio.com and BigFolio.com.
Forum Type Websites
A forum website focuses on allowing users to communicate with one another or the site to contact its members. This type of site tends to be centered on a community of very active users and some moderators who understand the topic in-depth and can answer questions.
One example of a forum type website is DodgersList.com where people who have dogs with back problems join and ask for help, and the site moderators offer advice and feedback on crate rest, medications to ask your vet about, and other treatment options.
News Type Websites
A news type website tends to focus on a niche area and offers information in the same format it might be provided in a newspaper or magazine, but online. These sites tend to update frequently and offer both content and photographs.
Examples of news type websites include BuzzFeed.com and MakeUseOf.com.
Review Type Websites
Review websites focus on reviewing products or services. These sites can be more general in nature, such as Consumer Reports, which reviews a wide variety of products, or can be specific and allow customers to review items as well, such as GoodReads, which allows registered users to add their reviews and ratings of books.
File Sharing Sites
File sharing sites have become popular as more and more people are doing business globally. An entrepreneur in the United States can collaborate with a researcher in Germany on a report, and they can share information and files via sites that allow them to send quickly files back and forth.
Sites like Google Drive and DropBox allow multiple users to make changes and save them to the same file.
Event Sharing Sites
Event sharing sites are the perfect fit for people looking to share photos from an event or coordinate efforts. These sites tend to offer multiple features, including the ability to send out e-vites as well as upload photos and memories from the event.
They can also be used to share public events so that others can find out what is going on in their area on any given day.
Some examples of different event sharing sites include MeetUp.com, Eventbrite.com, and DropEvent.com.
Importance of Making Sure Your Type is Compatible with Mobile Devices
According to Smart Insights, mobile media usage, as of July 2015, is now a bit higher than desktop usage. This means that it is no longer a question of if you should make sure your site is compatible with mobile media, but it is a necessity if you want to continue to reach more browsers and grow your brand.
The only way to ensure your site will adapt to the changes in mobile device usage is to make sure your website is responsive. That simply means that if your site is viewed in a small window that the text adjusts itself to that. You may need to hire a professional website designer to ensure that your site is responsive based on the way the user is accessing your site.
Choosing the type of website to build is often a matter of budget. There is nothing wrong with starting small with a static, but responsive website design and eventually creating a more dynamic website as your business grows. The important thing is to find a designer that is functional for your company and that your users will find easy to use.