.12 Popular Types of Websites You Can Create
The web is vast. As of now, there are billions of websites online, all competing for some share of the attention people give to their online browsing each day. When you’re starting a new website, it can be overwhelming to think about all the other websites out there.
But it’s helpful to remember that within that huge number of websites, you have a lot of different categories of types of websites trying to accomplish different things. As you consider how best to build your own website, carefully consider what type of website you want it to be. When you can narrow down the goals and setup you have in mind, you can more easily identify the other websites in your category to look to for inspiration.
Here are twelve of the most popular types of websites you’ll see around the web. While there’s some overlap between the different categories, in general, each type of website has certain goals to achieve and its own set of best practices. Which one will your website be?
An eCommerce website is a website people can directly buy products from. You’ve probably used a number of eCommerce websites before, most big brands and plenty of smaller ones have one. Any website that includes a shopping cart and a way for you to provide the credit card information to make a purchase falls into this category.
If you’re learning how to start a website for your business and plan to sell your products through the site, then this is the type of website you need to build. There are some specific steps you have to be sure to include when building an eCommerce website, like investing in eCommerce software and getting your SSL certificate to ensure your customers can pay securely. And you’ll want to make sure your web design and copy are all crafted with the site’s main goal in mind: making sales.
2. Business Website
A business website is any website that’s devoted to representing a specific business. It should be branded like the business (the same logo and positioning) and communicate the types of products and/or services the business offers.
By now, every business out there should have a website. It’s a widespread expectation. Every potential customer you encounter will just assume that if they Google your business looking for more information, they’ll find a website. And if they don’t, it makes the business look less professional or legitimate.
E-commerce websites are business websites, but it’s also possible to have business websites that don’t sell anything directly, but rather encourage visitors to get in contact for more information (a lead generation website) or come to a storefront if they’re interested in becoming customers.
3. Entertainment Website
If you think about your internet browsing habits, you can probably think of a few websites that you visit purely for entertainment purposes. They could be humour websites like The Onion, webcomics like xkcd, or just websites with fun or interesting content like Buzzfeed. Most of these websites do aim to make money like business and e-commerce websites do, but usually through the advertisements that show up on the page rather than through selling specific products or services.
If you want to start an entertainment website, you’ve got a lot of options for formats that can take. You could make funny or informative videos, write entertaining blog posts, draw comics, or create fun quizzes.
Since there are so many entertainment websites out there, you should anticipate it taking some time and work to find an audience that connects with you (and even more time and work to start making money, if that’s your ultimate goal), but if you’ve got ideas for content to create that you think people will find entertaining, and entertainment website is one of the best ways to get that content out into the world.
4. Portfolio Website
Portfolio websites are sites devoted to showing examples of past work. Service providers who want to show potential clients the quality of the work they provide can use a portfolio website to collect some of the best samples of past work they’ve done. This type of website is simpler to build than a business website and more focused on a particular task: collecting work samples.
5. Media Website
Media websites collect news stories or other reporting. There’s some overlap here with entertainment websites, but media websites are more likely to include reported pieces in addition to or instead of content meant purely for entertainment. This category includes sites like the Washington Post website, Slate, and Inc.
6. Brochure Website
Brochure websites are a simplified form of business websites. For businesses that know they need an online presence, but don’t want to invest a lot into it (maybe you’re confident you’ll continue to get most of your business from other sources), a simple brochure site that includes just a few pages that lay out the basics of what you do and provide contact information may be enough for you.
7. Nonprofit Website
In the same way that businesses need websites to be their online presence, nonprofits do as well. A nonprofit website is the easiest way for many potential donors to make donations and will be the first place many people look to learn more about a nonprofit and determine if they want to support it.
If you have or are considering starting a nonprofit, then building a website for your organization is a crucial step in proving your legitimacy and reaching more people. You can use it to promote the projects your organization tackles, encourage followers to take action,
8. Educational Website
The websites of educational institutions and those offering online courses fall into the category of educational websites. These websites have the primary goal of either providing educational materials to visitors or providing information on an educational institution to them.
Some educational websites will have advertisements like entertainment and media websites do. Some offer subscription models or educational products for purchase. And some serve as the online presence for an existing institution.
9. Infopreneur Website
Infopreneur websites overlap a bit with business and eCommerce websites, but they represent a unique type of online business. Infopreneurs create and sell information products. That could be in the form of courses, tutorials, videos or ebooks.
Whatever form it takes, infopreneurs need their website to do the hard work of building up a knowledge brand — convincing visitors that they know enough to make their educational products worth buying — and the work of selling those products.
To sell information products securely, they’ll need some of the same tools of an eCommerce website. Including an SSL certificate and a merchant account. Those with a lot of knowledge of products should also invest in eCommerce. Software to make it easier for visitors to select and purchase the ones they’re interested in.
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. Building a good website is therefore crucial for this type of business model.
10. Personal Website
Not all websites exist to make money in some way or another. Many people find value in creating personal websites to put their own thoughts out into the world. This category includes personal blogs, vlogs, and photo diaries people share with the world.
Sometimes these websites can evolve into something that makes money if they become popular enough. And the person who started them wants to make that shift. But they primarily exist as a way to share your feelings, insights. And art with any friends and strangers that might be interested.
11. Web Portal
Web portals are often websites designed for internal purposes at a business, organization, or institution. They collect information in different formats from different sources in one place. To make all relevant information accessible to the people who need to see it. They often involve a login and personalized views. For different users that ensure the information that’s accessible is most useful to their particular needs.
12. Wiki or Community Forum Website Development
Most people are familiar with wikis through the most famous example of one out there: Wikipedia. But wikis can be created on pretty much any subject you can imagine. A wiki is any website where various users are able to collaborate. On content and all make their own tweaks and changes as they see fit. There are wikis for fan communities, for business resources, and for collecting valuable information sources.