10 popular types of websites and what they include

10 popular types of websites and what they include

There are approximately 1.88 billion websites online, and Aridane.Marketing has designed about half of them (just kidding). So it is normal that there are multiple variations and types of websites designed for specific purposes. Whether you are a business owner or a web designer, you should be aware of the most popular types of websites that are present on the market and know what differentiates them. So let’s take a look at the 10 most common types of websites online!

Type 1: E-commerce (or eCommerce… whatever)

Electronic commerce, commonly known as E-commerce, is a type of website that has revolutionised the way people buy and sell products and services in the digital age. This category of websites has become a key component of the online business world and has experienced exponential growth in recent decades.

E-commerce websites share several features that make them effective in selling products and services online. These elements include detailed product catalogues, shopping cart systems, secure payment options, product reviews and shipping options. Visitors can browse products, add them to the shopping cart, and proceed to checkout with ease. In addition, most online shops offer advanced search options and personalised product recommendations to increase sales. Moreover, security is a primary concern, so data encryption and privacy are common elements in E-commerce sites.

The primary purpose of E-commerce websites, as the name suggests, is to facilitate the buying and selling of products or services online. For the owners of these sites, the goal is usually to generate revenue by selling their products or services to a global or targeted audience. E-commerce site owners or managers can range from small entrepreneurs operating from their homes to large corporations with an international presence. Some companies use third-party E-commerce platforms, such as Shopify or WooCommerce, while others develop their own customised solutions. Managing an E-commerce site involves constantly updating the product catalogue, tracking inventory, providing customer service and optimising the user experience to maximise conversions.

An estimated 2140 million people buy goods and services online each year (according to Amazon). So it is a fact that E-commerce allows companies to sell their products on a massive scale and reach more customers around the world. However, large companies such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Rakuten, or Walmart dominate the ranking of the most visited online shops.

Type 2: Business website (corporate website)

Business websites, also known as corporate websites, are a fundamental tool in today’s business world. This is one of the most popular types of websites and serves as a window to the digital world for companies of all sizes, from small startups to large multinational corporations. These are important to establish a strong and effective online presence to communicate with customers, business partners and other stakeholders. Business websites provide a platform to present information about the company, its products and services, corporate values and provide a means of contact for interaction with the public.

Business websites share some key characteristics. Firstly, their design and content are usually oriented to reflect the company’s identity, including its brand, logo and corporate colours. These sites often include sections such as About Us, Our Services/Products or Our History, as well as contact information, customer testimonials and, in some cases, corporate blogs. In addition, usability and intuitive navigation are essential for visitors to find the information they need efficiently. Multimedia elements, such as high-quality images and institutional videos, are often used to enrich the user experience.

The primary purpose of a business website is to establish a strong online presence and communicate the identity and values of the company. These sites play a crucial role in building trust among customers and business partners, as well as in acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. In terms of management, business websites are maintained and updated by in-house marketing and communications teams, or in some cases, outsourced to specialised web design agencies. Management involves constantly updating content, monitoring usability, tracking performance metrics and optimising the user experience.

The websites of companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, or Nike are always in the world’s top 100 most visited websites.

Type 3: Personal website

Unlike business websites that focus on promoting products and services, personal websites are a digital corner where individuals can express themselves authentically and share their uniqueness. These websites are a digital reflection of the person represented and offer the freedom to be creative and showcase their interests, experiences and personality.

These types of websites are highly personalised and stand out for their individuality. Owners have the freedom to design and structure their sites in any way they wish. These sites often include elements such as personal blogs, portfolios, photo galleries and links to social networks. In addition, they can reflect a wide range of interests, from writing and photography to music and art. In terms of design, the options are varied, ranging from minimalist styles to more extravagant designs. Creativity is the norm for personal websites.

The fundamental purpose of a personal website is to showcase who you are and what you are passionate about, although it often contains elements of E-commerce. Through these platforms, people can share their personal thoughts, projects and experiences. Personal websites are often managed directly by their owners, who regularly update their content to keep it fresh and relevant. Some people use these sites to establish their online presence and demonstrate their expertise in a specific field, while others use them as digital diaries to narrate their daily experiences and thoughts.

Type 4: Social Media (Social Networks)

When talking about social media, most people actually refer to social networks. And yes, a social network is also a type of website. This category has transformed the way people connect, interact and share information online. Unlike other types of websites, social networking sites focus on communication between users and the creation of online communities. These websites have experienced explosive growth in popularity over the last decade and have become an integral part of everyday life for millions of people around the world. And if you don’t believe it, answer this question: when was the last time you watched a viral video or received a meme?

Social media share key characteristics that distinguish them from other types of websites. These platforms allow users to create personal profiles, connect with friends, family and colleagues, follow other users and post content in the form of text, images, videos and links. Real-time interaction is essential, as users can comment, “like” or share other users’ posts. In addition, social networks often incorporate notification systems to keep users informed about the activities of their connections.

The main purpose of social networks is to facilitate interaction and communication between people. These platforms are used to keep in touch with friends and family, follow the interests and activities of others, share personal experiences, and in many cases, promote businesses and brands. Management involves maintaining the technological infrastructure, ensuring the security of user data and developing additional features to enhance the user experience.

Social networks are managed by large companies that own the platforms, such as Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp…), X (formerly Twitter), Google (YouTube, My Business), TikTok, WeChat, Telegram, LinkedIn… among others.

Type 5: Educational website

Educational websites, specifically online learning platforms, have radically transformed the way people access education and knowledge. These platforms represent a revolution in teaching and learning, providing access to a wide range of courses, resources and educational tools via the Internet. Their growth and adoption has been particularly remarkable in recent years, democratising education and giving learners around the world the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills.

Online learning platforms generally offer courses in a variety of formats, such as videos, lectures, interactive exercises and assessments. In addition, they typically provide a learning management system (LMS) that allows students to track their progress, interact with instructors and classmates, and access additional resources such as discussion forums and supplementary material. Flexibility is a distinctive feature, as users can learn at their own pace and from any location with Internet access.

The main purpose of e-learning platforms is to offer accessible and flexible educational opportunities. These platforms are managed by online education companies, academic institutions, or even individuals who wish to share their expertise. The range of subjects and disciplines available on these sites is vast, ranging from formal academic courses to tutorials and personal development courses. Managing these platforms involves developing and maintaining high-quality content, interacting with learners to provide support and feedback, and constantly evolving to keep up with educational and technological trends.

Some of the most renowned platforms are Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, MasterClass, or even Google Learning.

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Type 6: News website

News websites are an essential source of information in the digital age, playing a key role in how people stay informed about current events and global developments. These websites range from online newspapers and digital magazines to independent news portals and often provide up-to-date and relevant news in a variety of fields, such as politics, economics, technology, entertainment and sports, to a global audience.

News websites have some common characteristics that make them effective in delivering current information. These include the presentation of news in the form of written articles, often accompanied by images, videos and multimedia elements. The organisation of information into thematic categories or sections facilitates navigation and allows readers to choose the news of interest to them. In addition, frequent updates are essential, as news events are constantly evolving and readers expect timely information.

The main purpose of news websites is obvious: to inform and educate the audience about current events and relevant issues. These websites are often managed by teams of journalists, editors and media professionals who research, write and edit the news. Management involves gathering information from multiple sources, fact-checking, editing content and publishing online. In addition, interaction with the audience through comments, social media and other channels is common to encourage participation and debate.

CNN, BBC News, MSN, and The New York Times are good examples of news websites.

Type 7: Blog

Blogs are a popular form of online expression that has given a voice to millions of people around the world. These websites, while not as heavily as other types of websites, have multiplied in number over the last decade. They focus on publishing regular, personal content, and vary widely in terms of subject matter, style and approach, making them a versatile platform for communication and creativity. This versatility (and also its SEO advantages) has led many other types of websites to include a blog section.

The main characteristic of a blog is the regular publication of content in the form of posts or articles. Topics are diverse, ranging from fashion, technology and cooking to politics, health and travel. Bloggers often stamp their personality on their writing, which creates a unique connection with readers. Blogs often include interactive elements such as comment sections that encourage audience participation. Platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr or Ghost, have greatly helped the proliferation of blogs.

The primary purpose of a blog is to share information, experiences and opinions with an online audience. Blog authors can be individuals, experts in a specific field or even companies seeking to establish their authority on a topic. Running a blog involves regular content creation, interacting with the audience through comments and social media, and promoting the blog to increase visibility.

Significant examples of blogs include The Huffington Post or Medium, with totally different styles but covering a wide range of news and topics, the business blog Entrepreneur which offers interviews and business tips, or TechCrunch, a blog focusing on tech news and startups.

Type 8: Informational website

Informational websites, also known as reference sites or online resources, play a vital role in the collection, organisation and dissemination of information. Unlike news websites (which may have an ideological or political slant) these websites focus on providing verifiable data, facts and knowledge on a wide range of topics; this makes them essential sources for students, researchers and anyone looking for accurate and reliable information.

Informational sites are often structured in a way that makes it easy to search for and retrieve information. They may include databases, online encyclopaedias, tutorials, informative articles and educational resources. Neutrality and truthfulness are fundamental to these sites, as the accuracy of information is essential. In addition, many of them allow for the contribution of content by users, which further enriches their content.

The primary purpose of informational websites is to provide accurate and reliable information on a variety of topics, from history and science to technology and health. The management of these sites involves constant monitoring of the quality and veracity of information, as well as moderation of user contributions to ensure that a high level of accuracy is maintained.

The most significant example of an informational website is Wikipedia, a collaborative online encyclopaedia with a wide range of articles, which democratically discusses and explains concepts of all kinds.

Type 9: Entertainment website

Entertainment websites, as the name suggests, are designed to provide fun and entertain online users of all ages. These types of websites have also experienced a significant increase in popularity in recent years, reflecting people’s desire to find an escape in the digital world.

Entertainment websites are an endless source of engaging content, ranging from online movies and TV shows to music, games, viral videos and memes. Diversity is a central feature, as these platforms seek to appeal to audiences with diverse tastes and preferences. Interactivity is also very common on many entertainment websites, as these platforms have adopted social networking features. Users can follow their favourite content creators, like, comment and share content, transforming the entertainment consumption journey into a social experience. In addition, these platforms often include personalised notifications and recommendation features, enhancing user engagement and encouraging continuous interaction.

The primary purpose of entertainment websites is to provide users with a fun and enjoyable online experience. Managing these sites involves acquiring and distributing content, creating engaging user experiences, and managing the technology infrastructure to ensure the smooth delivery of entertainment.

The examples for this category are endless… from streaming platforms to video/music on demand (YouTube, Twitch, Netflix, Spotify…) to joke, quiz and/or meme websites such as BuzzFeed, CheezBurger or memes.com.

Type 10: Community website

Community websites are online platforms that allow groups of people to connect and collaborate in a digital environment. These sites focus on creating online communities where members can interact, share common interests and engage in meaningful discussions. These sites and platforms are a logical evolution as a result of the way in which people connect and build relationships in the digital age.

Community sites share certain attributes that encourage interaction among their members. These features include customised user profiles, discussion forums, thematic groups, private messaging and the ability to create and share content. Users can join specific communities that align with their interests, allowing them to interact with people who share their passions. Network building and active participation are common elements on these sites, contributing to the creation of meaningful online relationships.

The primary purpose of community sites is to provide a space where people can connect, share, learn and collaborate. Managing these sites involves ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for members, moderating content and facilitating active participation. In short, community sites play an essential role in creating online connections and forming virtual communities based on shared interests and goals.

Significant examples of community sites include “Reddit”, a platform that hosts thousands of sub-communities dedicated to a wide variety of topics, and “LinkedIn”, a professional social network that allows users to make business connections and share knowledge.

Bonus category: “Combo” website

The inter-connectivity and overlapping functions of different types of websites are increasingly common nowadays. Platforms such as YouTube exemplify this intersection, as while its primary focus is video entertainment, it also acts as a social network, allowing users to subscribe to channels, and interact through commenting and sharing content. Similarly, blogs, originally designed for self-expression and personal storytelling, often serve as trusted sources of information, covering a wide range of topics from technology to health.

In addition, social networks, such as Facebook, which initially focused on social interaction, have evolved to include news and entertainment functions, with the ability to follow pages and media outlets. Online learning platforms, such as Coursera, also combine informational and educational aspects, providing users with both knowledge acquisition and entertainment through the exploration of new topics. This convergence of functions reflects the interconnected and constantly evolving nature of the web, where the boundaries between web types are becoming more blurred, providing users with multifaceted and enriching online experiences.

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