While the term “website” seems pretty generic, you can create many types of different websites. Each can serve a specific purpose and may require different tools to build properly. In the past, website developers had to code each of them manually, but today we have a wide range of tools at our disposal.
The key to successfully creating your website is knowing the distinct purpose each needs to meet. In addition, some familiarity with the types of tools available can help you make the correct choices to ease your way.
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Below are 8 different types of websites you can create.
1. Portfolio Websites
Given how digital the world has become, every individual can have a portfolio website. These act as a public CV of sorts and are helpful whether or not you’re actively seeking a job. Portfolio websites are mainly to give visitors a good idea of what kind of your professional capacity.
Creating Portfolio Websites
Some portfolio websites can be quite basic and simply offer information about your skills and experience. However, certain occupations can benefit highly from portfolio sites – for example, web designers and artists.
Since they’re often simple, you can build portfolio websites in many ways. The easiest would be using platforms that offer portfolio site-building as a service. If you prefer more control, then a platform like WordPress will do just as well.
Here's our detailed guide to build an author portfolio website.
Sample Portfolio Websites
- Kristina Smolynar (Model)
- Mingfei Yang (Game Designer)
2. Personal Blogs
The lines between personal blogs and affiliate websites have become a little blurred. Many bloggers start out creating content that appeals to them. The ones that are successful and draw a large following eventually turn to affiliate marketing.
Creating Personal Blogs
Individuals typically build and operate these websites, wanting to share information on hobbies or other personal interests. There’s often little marketing to speak of, and most successful personal blogs are driven by organic traffic.
Due to the content-centric nature of personal blogs, many bloggers use the WordPress content management system (CMS). However, some platforms also offer bloggers an easy way out, for example, Blogger and Tumblr.
Check out our popular step-by-step guide to start a blog.
Sample Personal Blogs
- KYspeaks (Food and Travel)
- Love that Max (Health)
3. Business Website
Business websites are those created specifically to support companies. The range of features they contain varies depending on the needs of each business. The most basic business websites will contain information on products or services offered.
Creating Business Websites
Some may offer the use of tools as further support. For example, real estate websites may allow visitors to view properties for sale or rent via video clips or 3D interactive tours. Because of this variation, business websites are one of the most diverse categories of websites around.
Business websites used to be the domain of large corporations that could afford to hire or outsource web development. Thanks to website builders and apps like WordPress, businesses of all sizes can now run a company website.
Read more – The complete guide to create a real estate website.
Sample Business Websites
- Realtor.com (Real Estate)
- Nike (Sportwear)
- McDonald’s (Fast Food)
4. Business Blogs
It may sound like business blogs and websites are the same thing, but there is a difference. Many business websites today create a blog section as a standalone portion of their digital portfolio.
Creating Business Blogs
These business blogs serve a few specific purposes. The content published on business blogs helps the company increase organic reach by leveraging Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In addition, businesses use them to post information in greater depth than typically found on business websites alone.
How companies integrate business blogs with their website depends on how they created their business website. Regardless, the business blog segment is often run on dedicated CMS platforms like WordPress or Drupal.
Sample Business Blogs
- Kaspersky Daily by Kaspersky Labs (Internet Security)
- Estée Stories by Estée Lauder (Beauty)
- The Keyword by Google (Technology)
5. eCommerce Website / Online Store
There are several ways you can sell products online, and eCommerce websites are one of them. Sometimes referred to as online stores, these websites are highly product-focused. Essentially, you list things to sell, provide a means to pay for them, and ship products once sold.
Creating eCommerce Websites
eCommerce is increasingly popular since they allow companies to reduce the overhead incurred from maintaining physical retail stores. However, they’re slightly more complex to build and maintain than regular websites.
Several platforms like Shopify and Zyro offer a Software as a Service (SaaS) experience that includes the eCommerce website builder, hosting, and payments integration. You can also opt to build and host your store with applications like WooCommerce or Magento.
Read our tutorial to create an online store using Shopify.
Sample eCommerce Websites
- Kroger (Retail Food & Beverage)
- Dorothy Perkins (Apparel)
- Gamers Nexus Official Store (Brand Store)
6. Non-profit Website
Non-profit websites may sound a little odd since it’s an additional expense for organizations that should be minimizing non-core costs. However, a digital presence can increase the effectiveness of non-profits by opening new channels of potential funding or expanding awareness.
Creating Non-profit Websites
Having boots on the ground and asking for donations can be very limiting. A non-profit website not only expands reach but can open new payment channels to that broader audience. In addition, many digital service providers look kindly to certain non-profits and may assist with services or expertise.
Non-profits look towards budget-oriented solutions like WordPress. This platform also offers the advantage of modularity to configure the website easily to custom specifications. WordPress is easy to use, and everything can be do-it-yourself (DIY) basis.
Find out these best blogging practices for non-profits.
Sample Non-profit Websites
- Adopt a Love Story (Adoption)
- American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Animal Welfare)
7. Educational Website
Apart from providing potential students more information about the institution, educational websites can also serve many other purposes. For example, it can be the front of your internal communication platform or a full-blown digital education system.
Creating Educational Websites
Thanks to the many tools available, there are few limits to what educational websites can be. You can upload coursework digitally, have an online assignment and grading system, or even live-stream lectures or provide one-on-one facetime online to students.
How you create an educational website depends on the features you’ll need. Informational sites can be built using almost anything. For more focused features, look towards learning management systems (LMS) like Moodle.
Here's how to start and run education websites.
Sample Educational Websites
- Pluralsight (Technology Skills training)
- Harvard University (Formal Higher Education)
- Cakeflix (Baking and Decorating Tutorials)
8. News Portal
The days of leafing through dirty newspapers are all but over. In the US alone, the circulation of physical newspapers dropped by more than 50% over the past two decades. The digital space is where the action is now.
Creating News Portal Websites
From news portals to digital magazines, there’s a wealth of information online. If this is what you’re interested in, there are many great examples along with tried and tested tools. For basic news sites with advertising models, you can simply use a CMS like Joomla or WordPress.
If you prefer to run a subscription-based model, go for a plugin that can handle it or sign on with an all-inclusive service such as Nexcess WPQuickStart.
Sample News Portals
- CNN (General News & Opinion)
- CNET (Tech News)
- Medical News Today (Medical)
What to Consider When Building Your Website
What I’ve shared here is only the tip of the iceberg; many other website types exist. There are also a variety of methods you can choose to build yours. Much of it depends on specific needs, but there are several guidelines to keep in mind.
Starting a website typically involves a domain name, web hosting, platform and application you want to use. It’s essential to consider the cost of these elements on an operational basis since payments are recurring.
Read more – The actual cost of hosting a website.
How well your website does in speed and reliability is an integral part of its existence. Search engines and website visitors alike want a website that’s fast and always available. The web hosting partner you choose can play a significant role in your website performance.
Read more – Tips to speed up your website.
If you don’t have the technical skills to build a website, applications like CMS / LMS can be incredibly beneficial. These applications are pre-coded, and building a website with them can be as simple as choosing a template and customizing options.
Read more – Here's how to create a website using Zyro website builder.
Building a pretty website isn’t always the main thing on which to focus. Yes, it needs to be aesthetically pleasing, but more importantly, it must be easy to use. The way elements are placed on your website can also impact overall performance.
Read more – Check out these best personal websites design.
No man is an island, and neither can your website be. It’s needs associated with other reputable web properties, so be prepared to run an outreach program and build links. You may also need marketing tools to push content to your readers.
Read more – Ways to grow your website like a business.
What Type of Website Will You Create?
Although building a website is an excellent first step towards establishing a digital presence, be prepared to put in a lot of hard work. It’s not as simple as creating a website then sitting back and watch as visitors flock towards you.
Once complete, there’s more to be done to ensure you’re achieving the intended effects. Typically, that means analysis, marketing, optimization, and more. Once you get the process right, running a website can be incredibly advantageous.