What Type of Website Do You Need?
The type of products or services you offer helps shape your website structure. How you wish to transact and communicate with your website customers also determines what type of website you need. Your business may need two or more websites to fit your growing needs and customer base. It is also determined b. For example, a company that sells jackets may sell exclusively online with no retail or wholesale locations. A company that sells new automobiles might show the cars online, but may not actually sell them online. The clothing retailer needs an eCommerce website with the ability to manage products in a database. The customer completes the entire transaction online. The auto dealer uses a company information website with contact information.
Blog or Personal Website
Blogs are personal websites where the writer shares information on a personal level. Blogs are written in first person. The writer can talk about absolutely anything but frequently they are giving their opinion on products, services, or simply sharing experiences. Many authors keep a personal blog site to give a more personal experience to their audience. Many writers, called bloggers, make money from their blogs through affiliate marketing programs. One of my websites, Pintalk.net website, is a blog site.
Portfolio websites are image intensive versions of a blog. While blogs are generally mostly text with images to support their writing. Portfolio sites are mostly images, with photos, drawings or graphics. Artists use the portfolio sites and models to show off their work, get bookings, or find work.
Informational or Websites
Informational websites are like online business cards or brochures. Informational sites may be about a product, event, or any facts the owner wishes to convey. Although informational sites may only have one page, they usually have contact information. Informational websites are usually static pages.
Company websites provides information about your business identity and branding. It may also include description, information and photographs about your products and services. If you have physical locations, the company website includes hours of operation and locations. Large corporate websites provide Board of Directors biographical information. Publically traded corporation websites include financial data and stock prices.
Knowledgebase / Wiki Websites / Support websites
Knowledgebase websites provide additional pre or post sales information to customers. They include Wiki style sites. Corporate knowledgebase sites are called a customer support, or simply support sites. They may also be collections of data and information that educate the reader on any topic from do-it-yourself home improvement, to computer programming, to nutrition data. Knowledgebase websites exist to inform the reader and may or may not have anything to do with selling a product. Knowledgebase websites are frequently dynamic sites that are managed with an online database that organizes the information. Because they contain so many resources – blog posts, studies, surveys, images – these websites can be unwieldy to organize with static pages. Support websites can improve customer relations if they are resourceful and easy to use. A corporate support website provides online service, communications, information about product usage and installation, troubleshooting, updates, and news. Support websites answer questions and address service needs.
Directory Websites seem similar to wiki sites, but directory sites are lists of data with not nearly as much explanation as a wiki site. Directory sites can include lists of local businesses, services, job boards, items for sale, or any other information that is best displayed in list form. Craigslist.com is a great example of a directly website.
eCommerce websites sell goods online. Customers can view and buy products without ever speaking to a sales person. The eCommerce website marketing may or may not have a shopping cart (some websites sell only one thing, like a single book). Users can pay for orders with credit cards or apps like PayPal or Apple Pay. eCommerce websites are the most complicated and expensive to build since they require data security and services to handle inventory and monetary transactions.