In order to know what types of websites to build, it’s important to know the different types of websites there are. Websites are classified into various categories. Below is a list of the different types of websites based on the content and features offered. However, content can be varied, and with this in mind, we have tried to make segregation as intuitive as possible. Please note that these categories of websites are not distinct and can overlap, sometimes to a large degree; we call this fusion sites.
1. Search Engines & Directory Types of Websites(Google.com)
These are some of the most popular types of websites in the world. Some search engine companies, like Google or Gigablast, prefer to keep their homepage simple and stress on only one service, while Yahoo! and MSN have a more “portal” look which many services are advertised to the user like email, news etc. The portal provides a broader platform for the company to promote their different services but it also fragments the visitors. Classified directories and yellow pages websites list businesses (both online and offline) segregated into different categories or geographic locations. These may also include an internal search engine that helps users quickly locate information.
2. Informational Types of Websites (CNN.com)
These are the types of websites which are dedicated to the purpose of providing information – whether free or paid. These informational websites might be catering to a niche industry or be wider in their scope because of which they can be labelled as “news portals”. Information website can also contain updated time tables, TV guides, reference material, sports data (like cricket scores), weather and stock data.
3. Personal Websites (Stallman.org)
With tons of tools and services available, creating a website is no longer rocket science. The astronomical number of personal types of websites one finds on the web is mind-blowing! Personal websites and blogs are the fastest growing types of web site. Unfortunately, with personal websites, comes misinformation, poor designs and provides a sense of false-security for the general public in proper website design. Personal websites can contain any kind of information and are usually administered by a single individual who can choose whatever content they would like to put online. Anyone can now create a web site using online free hosting accounts that might also offer pre-made templates that are like “ready-to-go websites”, or with free and commercial versions of WYSIWYG HTML editors like Frontpage, DreamWeaver etc.
4. Blogs & Online Diaries (HuffingtonPost.com)
Blogs are like online diaries (the irony is, though you keep your hardcopy diary under lock-and-key, you want more and more visitors to read the online one). Blogs can be created by anyone using free services like Blogger.com (Google) or Windows Live Spaces (Microsoft). You can also install blog software to your pre-existing website and start putting your thoughts online in a matter of minutes! Because blogs are so easy to create, manage and even earn from (there are a lot of profitable blogs online, if you didn’t know), the web has increased manifold. And it’s all thanks to the many free blog services and a strong enthusiasm by the ever growing blogging community who keep maintaining and updating their web space regularly. From ramblings of a wandering mind to detailed and specific information on technical fields, the content of blog types of web site can vary widely.
5. Company Websites (NorthAmerican.com)
Company websites are by far the most important. Company websites range from the very small to the very large and can be a non-profit or for-profit business. Company websites have pages of information on the business, its services and clients. Company websites are often “static”. In other words, they don’t change much or very often. These are more like “online brochures” However, with modern Web 2.0, interactions with users and websites are becoming extremely popular and lots of companies are integrating new types of services and features into their sites. These sites are called “fusion” sites.
6. Forums (AngiesList.com)
Forum types of websites serve as platforms and promote interactions amongst the users. Unless specifically blocked and requiring a special invitation, you can join any forum on the web. Most forums cater to a specific industry or a field. So, for example, you will find forums on printers, banking and finance, biotechnology, even people with phobias of butterflies. Forums on websites, typically, contain categories that further narrow down the subject. Registered users can post questions or start a topic which other users can reply or add to. A lot of valuable information and knowledge exists in online forums and we urge you to join and actively participate in online discussions with people that share the same interests.
7. eCommerce i.e. Online Stores (eBay.com)
The web is primarily used for communication and information search, but many companies have set up shops online. In fact, some companies like the popular Amazon don’t have brick-and-mortar shops – the entire buying and selling takes place online. Online shops are not restricted to selling tangible products; they can also provide services and a good example of this would be travel and matrimony websites. Furthermore, you can integrate payment gateways, like Paypal.com and moneybookers.com, in your online shopping mall and process the orders and receive funds.
8. Web 2.0 Types of Websites (WordPress.com)
Web 2.0 is an amorphous concept and primarily encompasses websites that offer a particular service. The purpose of these websites can be varied – information storage, communication etc. Sites like Flickr.com, Google docs, del.icio.us fall into this category. Imagine it like this, browsers have upgrades such as the new Internet Explorer Version 9, and the World Wide Web is transitioning from static webpages into an interactive, highly-personalized experience. This is Web 2.0: the next “version” of the web.
9. Social Networking (Facebook.com)
The new mantra on the web is social networking. These websites can be classified as Web 2.0 sites but their sheer number and popular demands we have a separate category. Facebook, Orkut, LinkedIn, Twitter have been the rage past couple of years. From helping you locate schoolmates and past colleagues to microblogging, these websites have a whole array of utilities and features with more being added each day. Dating websites have grown over the years and now offer services quite similar to those of social networking (the idea is basically the same) hence they are a good fit in this category.
10. File-Sharing (RapidShare.com)
As internet speeds have increased and more and more people are using broadband connections, the importance of file sharing types of websites has grown. Megaupload.com and RapidShare.com are two prime examples of such types of websites. You can not only find images, but also music (sometimes even full albums) and video (entire movies). These types of websites offer both free and paid memberships – the former is usually a cut down version of the latter. However, because of the huge number of files stored on these sites, it is almost impossible to find the file you are looking for unless you know the direct link. Websites like loadingvault.com provides a search engine that helps you locate files based on your query.