Websites come in many different forms, sporting a variety of themes and designs. Read on to find out more about them.

1. E-commerce website

An eCommerce site, otherwise known as an online store, allows you to take online payments for products or services. Stores can function as standalone websites, or be combined with a blog or corporate website.

You’ve probably used a number of eCommerce websites before, most big brands and plenty of smaller ones have one. Not to be confused with a business website, with an eCommerce website you can add products or services into your cart, and pay for them through the site.

2. Business or Corporate Website

A business website is any kind of website that represents your 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. Catalogue and Brochure Website

When categorising websites by functionality, a ‘brochure’ website is the simplest type. Brochure websites typically only have a few pages, and are used by small businesses that need a simple online presence. They effectively act as an online brochure, giving an overview of what the business is, and how you can get in touch. The content on these websites is generally pretty ‘static’ – that’s to say it’s rarely updated.

For example, a small plumbing company would build a brochure website with a homepage to display contact information, an ‘about us’ page describing the company, and maybe a few photos of their work.

4. News or Media Website

Media websites contain regularly updated content on current affairs, weather, sports and entertainment. The content on media sites is dynamic, meaning it’s updated regularly. Big media sites will publish multiple articles and videos every single day.

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 CNN, the Washington Post website, Slate, and Inc.

Media websites generally make money through either advertisements that show up on the site, subscription models, or some combination of the two. Many media websites are the online branch of media properties that often exist in other forms, like TV channels or print magazines and newspapers, but some are online only.

5. Portfolio website

Ideal for showcasing your work, everyone from landscape photographers to fashion models have an online portfolio these days to show off their talent to potential employers. 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.

This type of website is most common for creative professionals and freelancers that are hired based on demonstrated skill and can be a more efficient alternative to a business website that serves a similar focus.

6. 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 humor websites like The Onion, web comics like xkcd.com, or just websites with fun or interesting content like Buzzfeed.com.

7. Personal Website

You might have heard the phrase ‘personal brand’ bandied around, and having a website can form a huge part of this. 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.

8. Crowdfunding Website

Crowdfunding is the modern way to fund your idea. It is the practice of funding or venture raising small amounts of money from lots of different people. These types of websites are becoming a go-to resource for new startups.

In the past, the only way to fund a new business venture was to seek large investments from only a few people. But these days, you can create a crowdfunding site with ease – you’ll just need to create a pitch video for your project, and then set a target amount and deadline.

Internet users who believe in what you’re working on will pledge an amount of money to your cause. You can also offer incentives in exchange for donations, such as discounted products or VIP experiences. Popular crowdfunding websites include Kickstarter and Crowdcube.

9. Informational Website

Information websites are particularly helpful. People no longer have to visit libraries and take out books for basic information. Any question that comes into someone’s mind nowadays is often swiftly followed up with a quick search on Google to find their answer. A great deal can be learned online and many people are now researching and self-teaching with online tutorials, hacks and tips from such websites.

10. Directory and contact pages

A directory or contact page is a place where users can connect with you or others.

This type of website works well when you want to list a repository of businesses or people within an organisation. For example, a local restaurant directory features eateries in the area with menus, price ranges, phone number and reviews.

The nature of an organisation creates an opportunity for a directory website. For example, an association of local dentists in a city might list each member, their area of expertise and their contact information. Keep this design option in your back pocket for clients.

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