10 Basic Types of
Your Internet Service Provider or Domain Registrar may offer you
free server space for you to create your own website that might
include some family photos and an online diary. Usually these will
have a web address (URL) looking something like this:
www.your-isp.com/~your-user-name/. This type of site is useful for a
family, teenagers, grandparents, etc. to stay in touch with each
other. This type is not advisable for a small business because the
URL is not search engine friendly and the limited server
capabilities your hosting company offer may not be sophisticated
enough for a small business website.
These types of website are cropping up like fleas on dog. There are
web sites like,Flickr.com, Photosite.com, and Google's Picasa. There
could easily be over a hundred such sites that offer free photo
sharing paid for by their online advertising. Also, many digital
cameras and photo printers now come with software enabling mere
mortals to create digital photo slide shows and upload them to the
web. Most smart phones have apps to accomplish the same ends.
3. Writers / Authors
Writer's and Author's websites are part of what's known as the
Writer's or Author's Platform in the publishing business. The
platform includes, a website, a Facebook presence, blog, Twitter
account, and the old fashioned mailing list. Many publishers will
ask a prospective client about their platform. In other words, "If
we publish your book, what sort of a reader base do you already have
that we can count on to buy your new publication?" Fairly weighty
request, wouldn't you say? For now, let's concentrate on the website
part. A writers website would include a biography, a catalog of
published books and works, perhaps excerpts from some works, links
to publications on sites like Amazon.com, a link to the writer's
blog, reviews and comments on the author's publications. You get the
idea, and that is to build a following, a fan base to which future
publications can be directly marketed.
4. Community Building
Social Websites, Forum Websites, and Sharing Websites.
These websites build online communities of people who want to
interact with other people socially or meet people who share their
interests. The best known website of this type is probably
FaceBook.com. There's also Linkedin.com, and let's not forget the
old MySpace.com just to mention a few.
For sharing and discussing mutual interests, there are online forums
for practically any subject you can think of. These Forum websites
can be a great source of information and help for the small business
person. (I'm sure there is a forum dedicated to your type of
business. Just do a web search for something like real estate web
forum.) Now you can see this is where we start to get into the idea
of "hybrid" sites.
Photo Sharing and other forms of sharing sites might also be
considered community building sites, much as Blogging sites are. Can
Dating Sites be considered Community Building Sites, or are they
E-commerce Sites. All that's up for discussion.
The use of mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, watches, etc.) has
become ubiquitous. One problem is that standard websites are
difficult to view and sometines take a long time to download on some
of these devices with their small screens and wireless connections.
Websites whose pages are narrower in width and take up less
bandwidth work much better for mobile devices. A new domain
designation has been created to identify websites that are "mobile
friendly". That is.mobi, as in www.xislegraphix.mobi, if I had such
a site. If you have a small business that would benefit from being
viewed on a mobile devise, you should consider investigating the
possibilities of creating a mobile friendly site.
6. Blogging Websites
People took the words Web Logs and shortened it to Blogs—online
diaries, journals, or editorials, if you will. My, how Blogs have
taken over the Internet. A person used to be outdated if he/she did
not have a website, now having a blog is de rigeur. A blog owner
will log-on daily, weekly, or whenever, and write about whatever is
going on in their lives or business, or they may comment on politics
and news. How wonderful the Internet is! Now anyone who can afford a
blog can be self published and allow their thoughts to be read by
anyone in the world who has online access.
7. Informational Websites
A major informational site is wikipedia.org, the online
encyclopedia. And it is unique, because it allows members to
contribute and edit articles. Now your small business may not want
such a comprehensive site, but if you have information to share or
sell, an informational website would fill the bill. Suppose you have
a landscaping business. You could create a website that lists plants
with their definitions and planting and caring instructions. This
would be helpful to people, and you would use it to lead people to
your nursery. Of course you could "hybrid" this site by adding an
e-commerce feature, a forum, or even photo sharing.
8. Online Business
In the days before the Internet, we used the print, radio, and
television media to spread the word about our businesses. Now we can
cast a large net, reaching literally millions of people al over the
world with just one website. With your online brochure or catalog,
you can show anyone who looks for and finds your website, photos and
descriptions of your products or services. To some this may sound
like an E-commerce Website, but there are many businesses that deal
in products or services that are not sellable over the web—think
hair-stylist, dentist, or day-care center.
9. Directory Websites
Just as we used to use the printed Yellow Pages in phone books to
find services and businesses, today we have website directories. The
Yellow Pages has one, YP.com. Directories can be dedicated to a
certain topic or industry, or they can encompass geographical areas.
Search Engines, such as Google.com and Yahoo.com can be considered
directories, but since their databases are so large, rather than
searching alphabetically, one enters a search term in the search
10. E-commerce Websites
Ever hear of Amazon.com? It's one of the grand-daddies of all
e-commerce websites. But you don't have to be an Amazon to sell your
products online. There are millions of small businesses who use
their e-commerce websites to sell their products over the Internet.
Just about anything that can be sold in a brick-and-mortar store can
be sold online—with much less overhead