The right type of website can be tough to decide on.
There are so many types of websites to choose from! You must know what you need YOUR website to do, so you know which type of website to choose.
This decision is an important one, and it starts by understanding your business strategy. Once you know how your business will operate, you can develop a website strategy. As soon as you have a website strategy, you can decide on the type of website you will need to fulfill this strategy.
Here are 15 examples of types of websites: (Plus a sneaky bonus type at the end!)
1. A Business Blog
A blog is a great way to create interesting, relevant content for your customers. New website content gives your customers a good reason to return to your website. You can also share your website content across your social media channels. This will give you a much wider audience for the content you have so carefully created. You can also engage directly with your customers on your social media posts. Popular articles can go viral, which could get widespread attention for your business and brand.
2. An Informational Type of Website
These websites usually showcase a business’ products or services, tell visitors more about the company and the team who runs it, gives contact details, office hours, maps to business premises, and any other information a customer might need. A lot of businesses choose an informational site to give their companies a home on the Internet.
They include a contact form or a quote request form, so a visitor can communicate with the company and hopefully jumpstart the sales process. Often these websites include a business blog to entice visitors to return to the site.
3. A Business Portfolio Website Design
A business portfolio website allows you to showcase your work in the form of projects, using elements like galleries, sliders and customer reviews. These websites make it very easy for visitors to browse through your past work and learn more about the quality of service you offer.
4. An Online Shop (i.e. an eCommerce Type of Website)
An online shop allows you to sell your products, services or time online, and accepts immediate payment using a payment gateway. These ecommerce websites allow you to manage your inventory, shipping, taxes and users all from the same place. You can link this website to a bulk email service and send marketing emails to past customers, or include special offers in transactional emails to upsell and cross sell your customers.
5. A Membership Website (also called a Subscription Website)
A membership website is a closed off website or section of your existing website that’s only accessible to members who have paid your membership fee. In this private space, you can offer members special content, tools or services that aren’t available to the public. Often membership sites have tiered offerings and pricing, ranging from free information, to very expensive exclusive packages.
6. A Job Board Website
A job board is a website that deals specifically with employment or careers. They are usually designed to allow employers to post job requirements and applicants can respond to fill the position.
7. A Business Directory Website
A business directory is a website that lists businesses within categories. Businesses can be categorised by industry, location, activity, or size. This website type is often combined with the membership website and businesses pay a fee to belong to the site, in the hopes that potential customers will discover their listing and contact them. Bizcommunity is a great example of this type of website.
8. A Question and Answer Type of Website
You can run your own question and answer website like Quora or Stack Exchange. These websites allow users to post questions that other users can answer. An excellent way to build a like-minded and engaged community is to build a question and answer website site around a particular topic or industry or niche.
9. An Online Community Website
An online community website is home to a group of people with common interests who communicate with each other in a forum setting, to share ideas and knowledge. These websites often grow around a particular niche or topic, but can eventually encompass anything the users choose to discuss.
10. A Donations Website
A donations website allows you to receive online donations for your charity, NGO or NPO, using secure credit card transactions, instant electronic funds transfers, or direct bank deposits. In these uncertain times, more and more people are collecting money for the less privileged and automating this donation process makes it much easier for people to give to those in need.
11. An Auction Website
If you want to start your own version of eBay, then you need an auction website that allows visitors to bid on unique products and make payments online.
12. A Multilingual (or Multi-Currency) Business Website
You could build any website in any language, but you might also need the same website in lots of different languages or currencies. If that’s the case, then you need a multilingual of multi-currency business website. Your website could serve up the language or currency applicable to where your visitor is in the world when they visit your site, or you could allow them to switch between different languages or currencies at will.
13. A Knowledgebase or Wiki Type of Website
Knowledgebase types of websites can save your business a huge number of man-hours and a lot of money by making commonly asked questions easily accessible to your customers. This type of website can give your customers another way to find answers, manuals and how-to guides. If all this information is available on your website, they won’t need to phone your office all the time.
14. A Podcasting Website
A podcast is an episodic series of digital audio or video files that someone can download and listen to. On a podcasting website, you’d usually offer these episodes for a subscription fee. New episodes would be automatically downloaded to the user’s own computer, mobile app, or media player. These websites are great for building communities online, around a central topic.
15. A Photography Website
A photography website design focuses on displaying photographs beautifully, primarily to showcase the work of photographers, but could be used for any application where exquisite photographs are the main source of information. Here you would make use of galleries, albums, titles, captions, lightbox pop ups and slideshows.
The BONUS type of website: A Lead Generating Landing Page
This is typically a standalone, one page website. It could also be a page on your existing website that doesn’t link to any of the other pages on your site. (This is done so visitors don’t get distracted by links and move off your page.)
Lead generating landing pages are specifically designed to capture the personal information of your visitors, like name and email address, etc. This is done using a form that the website visitor must complete and submit. Companies often encourage visitors to submit their forms with an incentive like a free ebook, which would only be available for download once the form has been submitted successfully.
Don’t forget that whatever website you choose, you will need to update it regularly so you visitors always have something new to read. Google also loves new website content and updated sites are usually ranked higher than stale sites!