- Classifying website types
- Purposes of website types
Classifying website types
A home page is no longer universal. Now you can reach companies online via their brochure website. Schoolgirls brag about the latest fashion trends in blogs. Also, you can order a flower bouquet from the shop down the road online and have it delivered directly to a friend.
Websites have many purposes. They give us the information we seek, entertain and connect us. Websites come in all different types and sizes, just like shoes.
Why should you distinguish them?
Firstly, when creating a website, one needs to have a purpose in mind. Think about what benefits, information, and value the website will bring to people? This information will define your audience, your clients and your followers.
Secondly, mixing the purposes can make you look out of focus and irrelevant. Imagine, you sell bikes in your e-shop. One day, you decide to add a blog to that shop, which tells stories about your personal life, like your wedding. Consequently, your e-commerce site clashes with a blog, aiming to confuse. The purpose is unclear. Would you wear red cowboy boots to a financial business meeting? Probably not.
Purposes of website types
Let’s classify website types into their dominant purposes. Four different purposes all website types have in common are:
- making money
- aiding self-realization
Website types classified by purpose. The colored dots indicate how dominant the purpose is.
Websites for entertainment
Entertainment websites distract, amuse, and entertain the reader. These cover streaming websites, news, events, and community websites. Based on the content, blogs can be entertaining too. As blogs are versatile and have different purposes, you will read about them at the end.
Entertainment sites are dynamic. They are updated regularly. News sites, like the Guardian, update their articles several times daily. Netflix streaming platforms release new videos every week.
Exceptions are event websites that focus on one event, like wedding websites or a photography site that holds an exhibition once or twice a year.
Let’s concentrate on typical event website types you can easily create in a content management system (CMS), which are:
- Community websites
- Magazine websites
- Podcasts websites
- Events websites
The website for your local book or sports club goes beyond the entertainment factor, as it addresses hobbies and recreational activities. It usually involves the visitor actively by suggesting a membership.
It is not just the membership, but also the newsfeed in form of a blog page and possible event page, which make a community site an entertainment website. If you want to know more about how you can build your community site, we have the best tips summarized for you.
Podcasts soared in popularity. When spending more than 1/3 of the day in front of screens, podcasts are a spa to the eyes and a stimulus to our imagination.
Although podcast audio files are streamed using third-party services, like Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, or Deezer, they require a website as the main hub. One example of a podcast website is The Outlook from the BBC that brings extraordinary stories to you.
Reasons why podcasts need a website
- Descriptions on podcast apps are limited. A website lets you display episodes in the form of an image and more informative synopsis text linked to the corresponding audio for instance.
- Keep your listeners excited by releasing previews of your upcoming shows.
- Provide a glimpse behind your recording scenes to make your podcast site more interesting.
- With an additional podcast website, an audience coming from search engines will land on your podcast website first.
- If you are planning a podcast that includes merchandise or advertisements, a podcast website is an essential base.
- The app provides a backlink. Those who already are familiar with your podcasts will visit your related website out of curiosity.
Magazine & News
The magazine and news industry changed from print to digital over the last two decades. News websites keep the reader up to date on all current affairs. They can be entertaining as well as educational, whereas magazine websites focus more on entertainment. Unlike blogs, both concentrate on journalism rather than personal interests.
News websites can be quite popular for universities or schools, where they provide informational articles on specific topics, like the Oxford University Press site.
These website types have
- a clear ordered structure to highlight published content
- text and images laid out in columns with a muted background to draw attention to the content. As an example, the WMagazine leads the reader via images to the news on fashion, music, and culture.
If you are a journalist thinking of creating a news or magazine website, Webnode’s blog templates follow a newspaper style layout. Categorizing the blog articles into topics will establish the structure of your magazine website easily.
allow showing detailed information about any event. They include comprehensive itineraries, information about logistics and transport. One of the most popular event sites is the wedding website. Webnode provides templates for event websites, such as weddings, concerts, and art exhibitions.
The essentials of event sites are
- a (booking) calendar
- a ticketing system
With these, people can get a quick overview of upcoming events, reserve a spot, and buy a ticket. A third-party booking calendar widget like Elfsight and ticket apps like TicketTailor simplify the implementation. Both are embedded as a HTML -Code into your website.
Websites that make money
Websites that primarily bring in money for your enterprise can be categorized into two sub-types such as:
- active income websites through a company providing a product or service they charge for
- passive income websites through advertising for other companies
The first sub-type usually is a business website. A business website is any kind of website that represents a business. It can be further broken down into the following website types:
These six business website types can be easily established with website builders. Perhaps, apart from the corporate website that usually includes different portals, similar to the Webnode Website.
According to an analysis by TopDigitalAgency, more than 2/3 of small businesses have a website. Among those who do not have one, 29% are planning one. Are you?
In case you do, have a look at the step-by-step guide to create a website for businesses.
Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) present themselves locally and country-wide through their websites. The sites contain pages introducing the firm, describing its services and/or products. In addition, a contact page or optional staff pages inform readers how to reach the company.
Small business websites can be a law firm, a local butcher, a wine producer, hairdresser, or a dentist. All have the goal to:
- present the business
- offer services
- provide reviews and gain trust
- gathering new clients
If you think a business website is a lot of work, certainly a brochure website is a simple alternative. It functions as your digital business card. This consists of a small number of pages (1-3) with the major goal to quickly:
- show what the business is
- advertise the service or product
- get in touch
Brochure websites show limited information, which is ideal for companies that do not sell products or services online. For example, a locksmith would create a brochure site with info about the firm and prices on the front page and an additional contact page.
These sites are very static and do not change their content. The only content the locksmith (in our example) may change is the prices.
Non-profit or charity
Non-profits do not make money for the business itself but raise money for others. They may not always be a business, but they still need a website. The guide to community websites, touches on the aspect of charity websites, in case you like to read more about this topic.
Non-profit organizations use fundraising sites too, but mostly in an embedded form on a single page within the non-profit website. Crowdfunding websites as stand-alone websites are often created by start-ups who bring a new product or idea to the market that needs funding to be completed. It is specifically there to raise capital.
As it is popular to introduce new products on crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter, creating a website to introduce your business idea and link it to the funding platform will make you stand out. It generates further traffic through backlinks from and to your crowdfunding website.
Like the brochure website, keep your content to a minimum. The main goal is to:
- introduce your idea / new product
- provide the link to the crowdfunding platform
If you do not have a business website yet or only have a brochure website, a crowd-funding website is essential to get your business moving.
Online shopping has become increasingly popular over the last decade. With more than 4000 sales per minute in the US alone (in 2019), Amazon is the most popular e-shop.
You can open an E-Commerce website and sell and ship products directly to your customers with a website builder. With Webnode, you can have your business website combined with your online shop. This guide helps you to establish it. Here’s a quick check-list to help you get started:
- Define your product range and classify its categories
- Select your audience and tone
- Advertise early for your products
Affiliate or niche websites
Are passive income websites that generate money for you, so that you can sit back and relax.
How does this work?
You create a website related to a specific topic, say a travel blog. In one of your articles, you talk about the difficulty to find a suitcase that fits comfortably into the tiny overhead locker of a Ryan Air cabin.
At this point, you advertise for the company that sells the perfect suitcase for the minimalist by providing a link to where to buy it. This form of advertisement is called affiliate marketing. Therefore, you are the affiliate of the company advertising their products. Companies pay commissions to those who lead visitors to buy products.
A blog can function as a passive income website. Pure affiliate websites, however, are advanced form websites that review and compare products or services only; often with the focus on niches in the market. Thus they are also referred to as niche websites.
A website that compares wireless earphones for example links to company pages selling the devices. Niche websites are not only making the buying decisions but also the purchase easier.
Become an affiliate
You introduce your activities as an affiliate and advertise for your top budget hotels or smoothie blenders using a website builder. Pay attention to:
- concentrating on one specific topic and thus one product range or service type only. This way you will be the expert people take advice from.
- providing value to the user and give honest reviews through written text or videos.
By the way, did you know that you can become an affiliate with Webnode? Find out more on our affiliate pages.
These websites bring knowledge to the public. They can be a combination of games, articles, videos, images, and audio that contain the educating material. Well-known educational websites are online-learning platforms, like Coursera, or online presentations like TEDTalks.
Others, like School and knowledgebase websites you can make with a website builder.
Building a website for a school, you need to draw a plan for all your pages. Define the hierarchy, for example presenting all years on individual pages or dividing the pages by subjects thought at your school.
Highlight what makes your local school special. For example:
- Do you hold educational events or summer school classes? Then, present these on your website.
- Do you plan to prepare your students for tests in a different way? Quizzes on your website may motivate students, especially when the top winners receive a trophy.
With a school or college website, creativity is unlimited. Consider distributing tasks and maintenance to several website administrators to keep pages up to date.
Informational or knowledgebase websites act as a resource for people who want to know more about a certain topic. A typical knowledgebase website is an encyclopedia, like the Encyclopedia Britannica. Another commonly known one is WikiHOW.
There is no limit to generating your knowledgebase website with a website builder like Webnode.
A way to bring your knowledge and experience to people is to create an FAQ site. A single page could cover one topic, for example, “ultimate travel tips”. Some of the questions asked could be:
- How to travel on a low budget?
- What travel insurance is the best?
- How can to travel light?
By linking the questions to further pages with more detailed answers, your readers will quickly find help.
Another way could be to address one question that affects a wide audience, which has no short answer, such as:
- How to write your thesis (and have fun)?
If an answer can become an article or a series of texts, why not create an informative website about it? People search for these questions online. With the right search engine optimization (SEO) they will land on your knowledgebase website, happy to get advice and an answer.
Sites for self-realization
Websites types for self-realization can also be broadly classified as personal websites. A portfolio, a biography, and also a blog have the purpose to represent you and show others (and yourself) who you are and what you have achieved.
Portfolio and biography websites
Both can enhance careers. A biography (or short bio) is your resume that provides more background to your work experience and your character. It, therefore, gives the reader (or your future boss) more context to a classic CV in written form.
A portfolio presents you, your work, and what you can deliver without the chronological context of a bio.
Both types of sites supplement your CV or resume and showcase you and your work. They typically contain your name, or parts of it in the website address, e.g. ”julia-vintour-interior-design”.
Portfolios are popular amongst artists, photographers and freelancers. They are also popular with students who are about to finish their degree and wish to bring their skills and knowledge to the people.
Three reasons, why creating a portfolio or bio site can help your career are the following:
- supplement your other professional online profiles, such as LinkedIN or Xing
- provide a more vivid, clear and interactive reading experience than an A4 black and white resume with condensed content and the tiniest readable font possible
- bring additional information a CV cannot. Images, video, and short text will make you and your work visually appealing and more digestible.
Find additional information on how to create a successful resume in the related article.
The “can-do-all” blog started with personal casual content. Nowadays a blog can be part of almost any other website type as a blog page or can be a stand-alone blog website. Although businesses can have also their blog page, the blog website type refers to the stand-alone blog website.
A blog website is written in an easy laid-back style and updated regularly, but not as frequently as news websites. Photos, icons, or artistically designed images highlight and supplement the blog article text.
Blog websites ideally should
- represent articles of one broad topic (e.g. politics, fashion, baking)
- be in chronological order (with the newest first)
- present the blog article overview on the front page
- easy to navigate through blog categories and their articles
- consist of short concise text with optional additional images or even videos
- contain the option to subscribe to a newsletter, so that readers receive regular automatic updates on the newest articles
Writing a blog means developing yourself as well as providing information and stories to others. They can be entertaining, inspiring. or educational. This makes the blog an almost universal website type with regards to its purpose.
You now have an overview of the website types you can create with a website builder. The classification of website types into their purposes will give you an idea of what to focus on when you create your own website.
Do you want to build your own website using a website builder? Try the step-by-step guide.