The world is digital, with more people online than at any other time in all of humankind’s history. Over 5 billion people are active internet users, with a big percentage of these primarily using it to gather information, shop or communicate. As a result of technological advancement, websites have grown to include many different types that also serve different functions. Depending on the purpose of the website, i.e. eCommerce, spreading information or generating leads for certain services, the website layout will vary, with different functions being highlighted over others. Key to consider when choosing a type of website is what purpose the website is going to serve. Here are different types of websites that are commonly created;
The homepage represents your site’s main hub and serves as the first introduction to your brand. Your homepage assists website visitors to access different areas of the website and can also serve as a conversion funnel. Because the homepage is a visitor’s first impression of your brand, attention must be paid to the design stage.
A homepage can take different forms, but when designing, it is vital to remember the purpose of the homepage as the primary navigation and point of interest for site visitors. Details about the business and its unique value proposition must be made clear immediately just by looking at the homepage. You must also establish the site’s hierarchy and navigation structure on this page. Like a story being told to your target audience, your home page should feature your brand’s colour palette, logo, images and other aspects that ought to be associated with your brand.
Magazine/ News websites
Due to the advancement of technology, magazines and newspapers went from being purely print and transitioned to digital publishing. A magazine website is a type that features articles, photos, and videos that might be educational or informational. The magazine website type works well for informational websites, especially publications from universities and organizations.
As you embark on building a magazine website, begin by creating a basic framework. Key to keep in mind is the fact that your website ought to be optimized and easily viewable on different types of screens, i.e. desktops, smartphones, tablets and others. Users should see a similar layout regardless of what day they choose to visit your site; it also goes without saying that each article must also have a similar layout and navigation.
An eCommerce website allows customers to purchase products and services online. An active and well-designed eCommerce site makes it easy for customers to browse for products, filter by categories, highlight special sales, and make purchases.
Ecommerce sites are easy to create, especially when using platforms like Shopify or Squarespace. Your team can easily update online inventory, catalogue new products, offer discounts on listed products, and more without needing technical knowledge. E-commerce sites are typically interconnected, making it easy to have different functions like sales and logistics up to date on the high ticket items. When it comes to design aspects, e-commerce platforms offer different templates that are sure to match the needs of a wide variety of businesses.
A blog is a website that features regularly updated articles, photos, and videos. Historically, blogs started with more casual and personalized content but have since adapted to feature more serious and abstract content. For example, a company selling shoes might publish a regular blog about shoe care. Adding expert content to a blog helps improve the general credibility of a company or individual.
Despite all its advantages, a blog can be quite challenging to update and maintain regularly, needing an entire team and strategy. It might be better not to have a blog than to have an outdated blog.
With a portfolio website, a creative can easily showcase their best work and grow their clientele- Artists, writers, designers, filmmakers and other creators can use this website to increase their leads and advance their craft. Therefore, a portfolio website is more creative in style and function with unique layouts and exciting features.
A landing page is a specific type of website created solely for a marketing campaign that induces visitors to take a specific action. The content on a landing page is typically limited and specifically designed to get visitors to take a specific action. A good rule of thumb is to allow plenty of white space around your CTA and save other unrelated elements for other pages.
Social media websites
Nearly 2.77 billion live out their lives on social media, updating statuses, tweeting, reposting and sharing. Regardless of your target audience, you’re likely to find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Linkedin. Although you have to adhere to the already existent design aspects and features, the platforms carry plenty of fantastic features that allow you to create and publish your content easily.
When It comes to social media, it’s a great idea to apply a consistent look, feel and tone across your different platforms, so your loyal visitors can instantly distinguish your brand from any other in the marketplace. When creating content for your social media, focus on things with high “share-ability”, or things that are likely to grab the highest amount of attention, such as entertaining videos, infographics, memes, in-depth reports and the like.
Brochure websites can be compared to digital business cards. Small businesses typically use these to advertise services, contact details, and other select information that they deem essential for their target audience to know.
Crowdfunding refers to the process of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a wide range of people, typically across the internet. These websites are heaven-sent for certain startups looking to fund brand new and unique ideas that might not be able to secure funding in the conventional ways. This type of website might also be well-suited to startups with a strong social element.
TV or Video streaming
Streaming sites such as Netflix, Now Tv, Apple Tv and others have changed how the world consumes television. During the pandemic, the streaming site type saw its numbers grow by leaps and bounds, therefore popularizing this type of website.
Educational websites are designed to relay information on specific topics, using interactive games or engaging designs to keep the visitor fully occupied. When setting up this type of website, it’s important to incorporate fun games and quizzes throughout the site.
Portals are typically used for internal communications within businesses, schools and other institutions. These websites often feature login processes, allowing students to access the school website or granting employees access to their confidential emails, alerts and files all in a single place.
Wiki or community forum
A wiki website makes it possible for different people across the globe to collaborate online and write content together. The most popular example is Wikipedia which allows any informed person to amend, add to, and assess the content of each article.
Now that you know the website types available to you, you have to consider a few important factors even as you embark on the journey to building your website.
The fact that you’re thinking of getting a website is an indicator that you might already have this part figured out. As seen from the information above, different website layouts serve different purposes; therefore, the goals you wish to achieve with this website must be crystal clear. Despite the fact that it is possible for goals to change down the road, it’s less costly and more time-saving if you already have clarity of purpose.
If yours is a service-based business, your website must clearly communicate what services you offer. At the same time, if it’s a product-based business, your goal is to have as many people as possible purchase your product. Your goal might be to start a goal about an interesting topic and connect with like-minded people. Whatever the reason, your website design will be greatly influenced by what you aim to achieve.
Your website name should ideally be in line with the purpose behind starting it in the first place. If it’s a website meant to sell products, it should be the same as your business name. Blogs, magazines and educational websites have leeway when it comes to the interesting names they can be given. Do your best to select a unique name that will be easy to remember and one that communicates the purpose of the site, If possible.
When selecting a website name, you will have to search available domain names to ensure the one you want isn’t already taken.
In recent times you can buy a domain name and pay for web hosting from one provider or at least quickly get it on your own. Although selecting a domain name can feel intimidating, with a bit of guidance on choosing the right hosting plan, you’ll be well on your way to having a fully functional website.
Your content is your ticket to higher engagement, increased sales and loads of site traffic. For those who feel creating regular website content would be too daunting for them, you can hire a professional website copywriter to lessen the load. Professional website copywriters know the right words, image positioning and other incentives to get visitors to stay and engage with your content longer.
Digital Marketing Plan
Some of the most complex parts of creating a website are the finer details- how it will be run and updated. Your digital marketing plan guides you on how content will be published, in what frequency and what other channels or sites will feed into the website. You’ll have to consider the different online marketing tactics that will enable you to drive traffic to your site.
Google Analytics can help you determine whether your marketing efforts are yielding the type of results you want or whether you should consider other strategies. Setting up google analytics is both easy and completely free and yet, at the same time, an invaluable resource for anyone running their website. The tool provides valuable insights into how much traffic your getting, what they’re most interested in and what channels are driving them to your site.
Building a fully functional website can seem like a stressful ordeal, but with the proper guidance, you’ll get your website up and running in no time at all.