The internet is a big place. I mean, sure, technically the whole internet weighs about the same as a strawberry, and, sure, a strawberry is not the largest fruit in existence, BUT you’ve been on the internet. If you’re reading this, you’re on the internet right now.
And it’s a big place.
Back in the aughts and the early 2010s, the internet was a Wild West Wasteland. Anything went. Movies were uploaded to YouTube in 20 five-minute increments, and not a single ad ruined your viewing experience. Netflix only mailed DVDs. Facebook was only for college students, and businesses were only just starting to build up an online presence.
A few decades have passed since then, and the internet is different. More streamlined for profit. More refined. While a little part of me mourns the loss of the simplicity and rugged beauty of those Wild West Web days, that very refinement is where you can find the tools to help you grow your business or brand.
One of the best tools to have in your arsenal is a well-built website. According to this article, “It’s thought that as many as 380 new websites are created every minute. That’s over six websites every single second!” So how do you make your little strawberry seed of a website stand out? By making sure your website is built to fit your needs.
There are 15 types of websites, and they break down into roughly four categories.
Several types of websites fall into the “business” category. These are the web pages used for building revenue, either via online sales, by providing info about a brick and mortar store, or detailing a product or service available from a small business. They break down like this:
E-Commerce Websites – “Any website that includes a shopping cart and a way for you to provide credit card information to make a purchase falls into this category.” (hostgator) These are the websites where you skip the store. Think Amazon, eBay, thriftbooks.com, sites where you purchase the product online.
Corporate/Business Websites – These websites can be e-commerce, such as walmart.com or target.com, but on the whole, the point of a Corporate or Business website is to get details and information about your business in one easy location, provide contact information, and potentially generate interest and leads for your business.
Brochure Website – A Brochure website is similar to a Business site but simplified and scaled-down. These work especially well for small businesses, as they are mainly used to provide details about the business and contact information, but do not need to be regularly updated.
Nonprofit – “Similar to business websites, but encouraging visitors to assist with any given cause.” (websitebuilderexpert.com) These websites are a great way to make information about a cause easily available and make it equally easy for someone to donate or volunteer.
Crowdfunding – These websites are similar to nonprofits, but are built on a slightly different model. These webpages are solely for raising funds for a cause, and generally only need a single page created on a host site like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. Great for raising funds for everything from creative projects to natural disasters.
Infopreneur – In this article from Hostgator, Infoprenuer pages are described as a type of online business that:
“create and sell information products. That could be in the form of courses, tutorials, videos or ebooks…. Infopreneurs normally create a mix of valuable free content and premium content they charge for. The infopreneur’s website serves as the central location for both things – the free content which serves as a marketing tool to get people onto the site, and the paid products that account for their profits.”
If you are someone with a business, a great idea, or a good cause, these are the types of websites you need to build to set yourself up for success.
Make It Personal:
This next category is about “personal” website pages. Now, these websites can generate money, or have the potential to grow into a sort of business, but are mainly used for personal reasons, such as searching for jobs, sharing thoughts, and connecting with people who share similar interests.
Portfolio – Portfolio websites are a must in this age of job searching. From freelancers to those fresh on the job market, having your portfolio online is the best thing you can do for yourself. These websites are built to show who you are and what you are capable of creatively. Perfect for artists, designers, and writers.
Social Media – These types of websites are good for everything from connecting with family and friends to promoting business. Almost everyone has at least some sort of social media profile, and it’s becoming increasingly more common for a business to have a whole arsenal of social media accounts. Having social media pages, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., helps spread your account via word of mouth, and gives current and future customers or followers a convenient place to find info and updates about your business.
Blogs – Blogs are the perfect way to get your thoughts out there. These can serve as a sort of public, online diary, and (if enough people like reading your thoughts and opinions) can boost your personal brand and potentially lead to revenue generation through merch and ads. Blogs can also be useful in providing fresh content for business sites. This article from 99designs.com issues this warning:
“However, a blog can also become cumbersome for smaller companies. Make sure you have a team and strategy in place to keep content fresh before you consider launching one. It’s actually better not to have a blog and instead offer a few videos or guides, than to have a hopelessly outdated blog.”
Personal – These websites are like portfolio websites, and can serve as an online resume to showcase your work experience and skills. Personal websites can also be used to build your personal brand, or can just be fun. Or weird. Find the Invisible Cow, anyone?
Wiki or Community Forum – These pages are built to gather info about specific subjects, and can often be a place where people with similar interests can discuss subjects like TV shows, movies, literature, comics, etc. If you are well-versed and passionate about a particular subject, this might be the kind of site you need to build.
These websites are for the job seeker, the dreamer, and the people looking to connect, and when used wisely, could lead to potential revenue.
The Movies and The Magazines:
These are the websites we come on the internet for. Yes, we go online for business reasons and shopping, and ordering food straight to our door, BUT…to quote Dead Poet’s Society, “…medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
And so we go online to watch movies 🙂
Entertainment – These are websites like Buzzfeed or The Onion. They constantly turn out fresh content, usually humorous or centered on entertaining subjects like sports, current affairs, movies, and TV, etc, and earn most of their revenue through ads. If you want to curate your own array of constant content, this would be the website to build.
Media – These websites are usually an online presence for a physical newspaper or function as a source of news themselves. A perfect fit for the budding journalist (though it may take a while to earn your credibility).
TV or Video Streaming – These websites need a bit of fancy coding to build from the ground up, but with everyone cutting the cable cord, now would be the time to try and get a slice of the streaming pie. If that sounds too ambitious, YouTube, Vimeo, Tiktok, and other similar sites are perfect ways to get your video content in front of people’s eyes.
These are the websites for the banks, the schools, and the dole-ers out of information. The websites you need a login for.
Educational – This one is pretty self-explanatory. These websites are used to educate. They are either provided by schools and universities, or can be built to inform on certain subjects, but in any case, these websites are used to teach.
Portal – According to this article on ExpertMarket “portals are primarily used for internal purposes within businesses, schools, or institutions. These websites often involve a login process, allowing students to access the school website, or granting employees access to their emails, alerts, and files all in one place.
Web portals are quite complex when it comes to design, so we’d recommend hiring a web design expert (like us!) to handle the tricky web development process.”
The websites in this category generally utilize sophisticated coding that is necessary to a bank or school. Are you a bank or school? You probably already know if you need this.
So there you have it. Those are the fifteen types of websites. By building the best website for your needs, you give your business or brand the best chance it has to succeed on this great, big strawberry we call the internet.