Thirty years after the very first website got published, the Internet is an endless universe of web addresses. While the exact number of websites keeps changing every second, there are well over 1 billion sites on the world wide web. Sure, this might seem overwhelming at first. But, whether you are a marketing guru, a designer or a shop owner, one thing is true – a website is a key to making your digital presence known. Nowadays, a lot of different website building platforms can help you create an awesome website in a heartbeat. However, you should know which type of website you need. Why? Because different types of websites have different purposes depending on the target audience.
To help you choose the best website option for your specific needs, we listed different types of websites to choose from.
Business Card Websites and Online Brochures
Business card websites are typically one-page sites that include info on what you do, social media profiles, and contact information. Regardless of whether you are an individual or a business, this type of website is a good start to help people know who you are and where they can contact you. Oh, and they are quick to build and super easy to maintain!
A brochure website is a little more complex than a business card site and it allows you to explain your offerings in greater detail. A brochure website is still a basic site, but compared to a print version, you can easily update it with new information. It has the same role as printed brochures (showing the products/services in a simple but attractive form) and should be easily manageable. A well-made brochure website is great for promoting your business.
However, unlike e-commerce websites, you cannot sell your products through a brochure site. But, it is great for all those who cannot dedicate a lot of time to their website. Oh, and don’t worry, the brochure website is both user-friendly and SEO friendly. Although, we’d advise you to have a strong social media presence.
At the mention of content websites, your mind went straight to blogs – right? Well, sure, blogs are a type of content website, but there are also other types worthy of mention. Whether you’re looking to publish one blog post per month or produce hundreds of news articles per week, the idea is the same: content websites usually involve adding content into pre-designed templates. They are a library of content and information built around a certain topic.
News and Online Magazines
While online magazines and news websites are different types of websites, both are run by an organisation or a company. Their primary goal is to provide information about the latest news and events, and there are more categories than we care to mention. While news websites or portals are wide-known, think of BBC or CNN, online magazines are usually thought of in terms of fashion (think Vogue). However, the magazine website type also works well for publications from universities and organizations to literary and science magazines.
On the list of different types of websites, blogs tend to be the most familiar. However, let’s give them space to shine anyhow. Blogs are more casual or at least they started with more casual, personal content compared to magazines. But since then, the lines have blurred, and now it’s extremely common for major brands and businesses to have their own blog. A blog can cover any topic – whether it’s travel tips, financial advice, or croissant reviews. When you have a lot to say or want to regularly share new content, a blog is the type of site that works best. And because that content lives on your site, it’s permanent, searchable, and can be linked to your social media channels.
Read more: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide on How to Start a Successful Blog
Might know them as e-business or electronic business websites, e-commerce has been around since the 1960s, but the first online shops turned up in the 1990s. The boom in the rise of e-commerce website occurred during the coronavirus pandemic. Just here at .ME we’ve witnessed the rise of 85.36% compared to the previous 12 years.
E-commerce knows no borders, so you can ‘catch’ a wider audience, regardless of where they are in the world. The other major benefit of building and maintaining an e-commerce business is the lower business costs. Also, they can be as simple or as complex as you need. Some people create single-page landing sites to sell a book with the click of a button. Others may sell hundreds or thousands of different products. The type of website your business needs depends on your goals, objectives, and your overall development strategy.
In case you were wondering should you be starting an e-commerce website or an online marketplace, here is the difference. Simply put, a marketplace is a place where multiple sellers can list their products. They let people sell their goods side by side. It’s less time-consuming. The platform is already there and you’re populating it with your images and products/services. Selling on an e-commerce store means you’re selling products or services on your own domain. You’re responsible for everything from web design to creating compelling content and managing SEO.
An online portfolio gives you the creative freedom to express your personality in ways that are not possible through your resume. Having your own website allows you to control what people will find when they search for you. We all know that employers and prospective clients will turn to google to learn more about you. What better way to show how tech-savvy and a great cultural fit you are than to showcase your personal website?
What are portfolio/personal websites? Well, your online home. It is an opportunity to highlight all the vital information, give a little intro to who you are and what you are capable of. Show your best work and create a catchy call to action for an added effect.
And before you try to find an excuse such as ‘I don’t have any coding skills’. Well, no need. There are plenty of website builders to help you create the personal website of your dreams.
Membership and Community Forum Websites
A membership site offers member-exclusive access to content as well as other members-only perks. Many businesses, nonprofits, clubs and associations have membership websites. While a forum is a message board where people can start new topics or discussions and respond to existing ones. There are so many different types of website forums. So much so, that we are unable to name them all. But, here are a few: general discussion forums, support forums for companies/organizations, question/answer forums, content discovery forum, etc.
Contrary to what you might be thinking, building a forum isn’t too difficult or expensive. Different website builders make it affordable to create a forum. If you’re looking for something a little bit more tailored to the needs of forum users and that can be integrated into just about any website, Website Toolbox might be what you’re looking for.
Social Media Websites
Fun fact, if you google the term “social media” you will find more than three times as many hits as for the term “emotion”. And that’s despite the fact that “social media” has existed in the English language for only a fraction of the time.
Although this might be the type of website you frequent the most on a daily basis, building a social network is no easy task. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest were all built from scratch and cost millions of dollars to develop and maintain.
Most of the methods you can use to create a social networking site are old, difficult and outdated. Luckily, there are some easier tools; web applications and software options like WordPress, BuddyPress, Ning, Peeopso Plugin, Socialgo and KickApps.
When you hear the word ‘wiki’, you most likely think immediately of Wikipedia, the famous online encyclopedia. Wikis are sites where users collaborate to modify the content directly within their web browser. This allows anyone to amend, add to, and assess the content of each article.
Fun fact: This term “wiki” actually means quick in Hawaiian.
The important part of wikis – what makes them different from any other type of website – is collaborative editing by the users. If you can read it, you can edit it. It seems simple at first, yet profoundly powerful in practice.
Because they’re online, wikis can make it easier for teams to cooperate on tasks, share notes and suggestions, and contribute resources. They can be set up temporarily, to support discrete projects, or developed over the longer term as ever-evolving archives of organizational knowledge.
One of the most popular wiki platforms on the web is MediaWiki. It’s entirely open source and lets you create a free wiki. For those who want a more straightforward way to create a wiki, there is SlimWiki. The wiki owners can choose who is able to change the content – other users can be editors or have read-only permissions. Other websites worth looking at are Wikidot and Tiki Wiki (with an impressive library of plugins).
So, What are the Different Types of Websites?
It’s safe to say that we didn’t even scratch the surface with the different types of websites you can build. Not to mention that we didn’t even touch upon the Search Engine Optimisation websites like Google, Bing, DuckGoGo and so many others. But, hey, if we did, this would be a book, not a blog post. So have some compassion for us.
But before you go it is important to say that websites can fall into more than one category. The key is figuring your website requirements and lining them up with a tool with which you feel comfortable. After getting acquainted with the different types of websites you can build you should now have some clarity on which one is the right type for you and your business.