In a day and age where websites make the money go round, has the thought of establishing a professional web presence to enhance your image been on your mind? If you already have one but aren’t convinced by the level of impact it’s having on your business, it’s sure to have had you deliberating lately too. Before you go ahead and enlist a premium web development agency, it is helpful to know what the different options are in advance of your consultation.
To quickly get you up to speed, we look at 10 of the most popular types of websites and the kind of business operation they typically benefit the most, in the following article.
If you’re choosing products, placing them in a basket or cart, and then paying for them online, it’ll be an e-commerce website you’re using. Some brands only sell via the internet and don’t have a physical presence. However, lots of big brands that started out as high-street shops or department stores now also have e-commerce shops on their websites. As such, when you decide to sell a product or service direct to your customers online, you’ll probably want to look at setting up an e-commerce site.
Examples of e-commerce websites: Amazon, eBay, and Asos.
For businesses that just want to create an online presence for their brand, a brochure website is often a popular option. This type of website is fairly simple and does not usually contain a lot of pages and sub-pages. It’s a way to inform people that you are there and to showcase what you do or sell as well as providing contact information for your company. A brochure website is good for promotional purposes but you can’t sell directly to people through it. However, if you don’t need to change or update the information you’re putting out on a regular basis, then this type of site might be the right choice for you.
Examples of brochure websites: graphic or interior designers often have brochure websites. This is because each project is different and so the site is designed to give an overall impression of their work.
Blogs are pretty much the opposite of brochure websites when it comes to content. Whereas brochure sites are not updated all that much, the whole purpose of a blog is to keep your audience in the loop. The subject matter can be anything from your travels around the world to what’s happening on the stock market. The most important thing is to regularly provide fresh, original content to keep your readers coming back for more.
Examples of blogs: Guido Fawkes (political), Slummy Single Mummy (lifestyle), and CaughtOffside (football) are some of the most popular blogs around at the moment.
4. News/Entertainment Websites
Like blogs, news and entertainment websites are updated regularly – very regularly. While a blog might post once a day or a few times a week, media sites will often post dozens of pieces of content daily. These might be articles, opinion pieces, images, or videos. Big news websites – for example, those attached to mainstream television channels – might also have a live news section where you can stream direct from the channel.
Examples of news and entertainment websites: everything from BBC and CNN to Digital Spy and TMZ.
Business websites are often a mixture of a lot of different elements from various types of websites. For example, if you are a small local business you might want a brochure site just to have an online presence. However, when you also provide services that are accessed by appointment, you might need booking software too. In addition to this, an online chat feature might be something you’d look to add, if you receive a lot of queries from customers. Basically, this type of website can be a Jack of all trades and depends very much on the individual business.
Examples of business websites: national hairdressing chain Toni & Guy have a business website. While there are elements of a brochure site to it, you can also find your nearest salon, book an appointment, and buy a limited range of products in their online shop.
6. Online Booking Websites
Companies that provide products or services that require advance booking tend to set up this type of website. If the booking side is only one part of what you do, then you’ll more likely go for a business website as discussed above. However, for some companies, booking is everything. Think third-party hotel websites that match holidaymakers with local accommodation. Or airlines and rail providers selling tickets for flights and train journeys. These are typical online booking websites.
Examples of online booking websites: Ryanair, Booking.com, and Trainline.
Businesses that make their living by collecting opinions on something typically turn to a review website. This type of site usually requires people to sign up for an account so that they can post reviews. The topic for review could be anything from blenders to holiday destinations. Some sites specialise – for example, only hotels or restaurants – whereas others might review a wide range of products and services. You might want to have an overall star rating system or a pros and cons list. Users can also usually leave detailed comments to explain the reasoning behind their ratings.
Examples of review websites: TripAdvisor, Trustpilot, Glassdoor.
8. Content Library
This type of site collects content from various sources and gathers it all in one place. You might want to put together a collection of images for people to view and share. Alternatively, you may hope to pool educational resources or how-to guides for product users to access. In any case, if you’re looking to draw together a lot of content on your website for your visitors to view, watch, read or download, then you probably need a content library website.
Examples of content library websites: Getty Images, edX, Open Library.
There are countless educational websites out there, many of them accessible free of charge. Organisations that want to provide knowledge or resources rarely look further than this type of site. Educational websites are popular if you’re uploading video tutorials, articles, downloadable course material, webinars, or basically anything that’s aimed at learning. Some educational websites are interactive, meaning users can also contribute their own knowledge or resources to the site. Some are targeted at specific age ranges – for example, children between the ages of 5 and 11 – and others are accessible for all ages. There is often an overlap between educational and content library websites.
Examples of educational websites: Coursera, Wikipedia, HowStuffWorks.
10. Portal Websites
Portal websites are doorways to lots of different internet pathways. Want to check your email? Wondering what the weather’s going to be doing today? Need to find out your team’s latest result? Looking to catch up with the latest news? Often you can find all of these things and more on a portal website. They gather numerous points of interest in one place for user convenience. Local organisations often use this type of site, providing material such as regional news, weather & traffic information, and guides to what’s happening in the city.
Examples of portal websites: MSN, Yahoo, local area, school and university websites.
These are some of the most popular types of websites, but this is not an exhaustive list. If you’re thinking about setting up a website – or revamping your existing one – but you’re not sure what to go with, then feel free to reach out to us for some professional guidance. We’ll be happy to discuss your unique requirements and help you decide which type of website will work best for you.