Gone are the days when small businesses could get by without an online presence. Given the extent to which we live our lives online, today’s consumers expect every company, no matter it’s size, to have some sort of website. It’s important to put some thought into the type of website you want to build before pulling the trigger on actually building it.
All Websites are Not Created Equal
Wait, what do we mean “types” of websites? Aren’t all websites essentially the same?
Not at all.
Which means that choosing the correct type of website is a key to ensuring its success. Different types of websites come with different user expectations, and nothing tanks faster than a site which fails to meet them. Whether it’s the look of the site, the way it functions, or how it’s navigated, we expect one thing if we’re searching for an acquaintance on social media and another when making a purchase from our favorite online retailer.
What is the Purpose of a Website?
The purpose of a website will ultimately determine which type you should build. So, before you hire a website design company to create your new site or mobile web app, take some time to consider why you are building it in the first place. This will help your developer by giving him or her some initial direction, and it will help you by giving you a framework within which to work.
6 Common Types of Websites
How many different types of websites are there? More than we can list here, that’s for sure. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some pretty common uses of websites in general. Chances are your site will wind up being one of the six main types of websites we’ve listed below. Read on to learn about each and how they function.
1. Business and Non-Profit Websites
Perhaps the most common type of website is one that communicates information about a business or a non-profit. At the very least these sites provide information about the organization represented as well as products and services offered. Business and non-profit sites also function as marketing tools since potential customers or donors will almost always do a little bit of research before choosing to fork over their hard-earned money. It’s safe to say that every organization should have at least a basic website in today’s world.
2. E-Commerce Websites
An e-commerce site is a website that allows users to make purchases over the internet. Think of it as an online shopping destination where customers can browse product and service offerings before making a purchase. A well-executed e-commerce site makes it easy for shoppers to learn about products, compare options, make a choice, and then check out – just like they would at a brick-and-mortar location.
E-commerce sites can be businesses in and of themselves. Or, they can complement retail locations by offering a larger variety of products than a physical storefront. WooCommerce and Shopify are two well-known platforms for today’s e-commerce sites, and they are both geared towards the needs of online retailers.
Originally called WebLogs, blogs essentially started out as online diaries written by individuals or small groups to document daily happenings and experiences. Blogs quickly gained popularity as a tool for expressing opinions and conducting outreach.
Today, blogs are used in many different capacities. They can be used as personal diaries, to share one’s expertise, showcase hobbies, build a community, improve SEO rankings, and so much more. Regardless of their purpose, blogs feature regularly updated content and are the types of web pages users find engaging, entertaining, helpful, or (ideally) all of the above.
4. Educational Websites
When we think educational websites, we might initially picture the website of a school system or university; however, these types of websites tend to function more like a business site with the goal of communicating information about the system or institution. An educational website is one that actually provides educational content to its users. This can be in the form of video or written content, and usually includes a combination of both.
5. Entertainment Websites
Like an e-commerce site, an entertainment website can be an extension of an established entertainment company or the site can be all the company offers. For instance, NBC’s website mainly consists of content which is already shared across its television stations. Netflix, on the other hand, is an end in itself.
Other than these, what are the different types of websites used for entertainment? They include online magazines, news sources, and video platforms to name a few. Regardless of the type of site, one thing remains consistent among entertainment pages – the content is dynamic (i.e. consistently refreshed) and relevant to its users.
6. Social Networking Websites
It’s safe to say that most of us are familiar with social networking websites. While we might think of the world in terms of “staple” sites such as Facebook and Twitter, there are new social sites launched all the time. The goal of a social networking site is to connect individuals based on their commonalities – whether that be friends, interests, hobbies, career type, political views or anything else one can imagine.
Combining Different Types of Websites
In reality, most websites are some combination of two or more of the types of websites listed above. A business site might include some e-commerce options for customers to make purchases (or a non-profit site could include the same for donations). E-commerce sites may include a blog page to boost SEO while building a reputation for being an accessible expert. A blog might function as an entertainment site.
The possibilities and combinations are endless. But before you start to develop your website, it’s important to home in on its main focus. Is your goal to sell product, foster a community, market your business? Design your site around your main goal and build in ancillary functions from there.
Determine Which Type of Website is Right for You
Want to take your business to the next level but feel unsure about which type of website you need? Not only will Hungry Media’s unique approach and years of experience help you make that determination, but our professional developers and designers can make your website vision a reality. Contact us today for more information!