There are over 2 billion websites that are in existence yet less than 400 million of those are functional. The first website info.cern.ch was published 29 years ago on the 6th of August 1991. It is quite astounding to think that since then there are billions of websites now. Did you know that roughly 400 new websites are developed every 60 seconds? Not all websites are created equal, especially those for businesses. Let’s discuss the different types of websites.
An e-commerce website is an online store. It is a website that showcases products. It goes further to provide a payment infrastructure that allows customers to choose products and pay for them through the site. We are seeing a surge in the number of e-commerce websites being developed. Fresh In A Box is a notable Zimbabwean example of an e-commerce website. Global examples are Amazon and Alibaba. In Zimbabwe, we still have plenty of room for as many e-commerce websites as possible.
This is a somewhat generic categorization because it is too broad and diverse. A business website is a website where one profiles their business. That is the most elementary function of a business website. However, you will notice that most business websites are hybrids that combine two or more website types or functions. Here is what I mean; you can find a business website that has a blog function and an e-commerce function. Anyways, I can still categorize one of the website types as a business website.
Social Media Websites
You are most likely familiar with social media websites. There are roughly 3 billion people active on social media in the world today. Social media websites are built in such a way that fosters social interactions between people from any location online. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are some of the most common social media websites. I once had an interesting discussion with someone on whether people can develop home-grown social media websites for Zimbabwe. In theory, it can be done but will they be able to topple the already established titans? What are your thoughts?
This is a website where relevant information is uploaded. The approach is like this, you have heard of encyclopaedias, right? An informational website is similar in function to an online encyclopaedia as it were. It can be any topic or any subject. A common example of such a website is the Wikipedia website. Anyone can develop an informational website. For example, you are a motor mechanic; you can develop an informational where you share relevant information on your subject area.
If you have ever been through the academic system in the past few years you would be familiar with this. These are usually websites meant for internal use to an enterprise or institution. For instance, it can be a students’ portal at a university or an employees’ portal at a company. Thus you will notice that portal websites tend to be for internal use such as the examples I cited.
This is yet another type of websites that are steadily increasing in number. These are websites that are developed for the sole purposes of raising funds from the public domain. Their form and functionality vary but the crux is the same. Usually, anyone can go on such a website and start a campaign where they request people to contribute funds towards a certain cause. Globally GoFundMe is one of the most popular crowdfunding websites. Locally we have a crowdfunding platform that was recently developed by Keith Mlauzi called Funded.
These are usually one-pager websites where one can upload relevant personal details. For example, one can simply upload their curriculum vitae (CV). It can simply be someone’s details such as name, brief bio, contact details, and so on. There are free personal websites that one can use for this – about. I am one typical example. Interestingly, blogs (that I am discussing in a moment) can be personal websites.
Blog websites are meant for purposes of content propagation. Content is mostly in the form of text used in conjunction with videos and images mostly. Blogs used to be done by people who would just be sharing experiences with interested readers. However, blogs have nowadays become a central feature of most businesses’ marketing strategies. Blog websites are typically characterised by creating content that is uploaded regularly. Blog are hugely used to lure and build up a loyal following – usually to drive conversions. Fun fact: blog came from ‘weblogs’.
These are the 8 most common types of websites. In whatever endeavour you might want to do online that requires a website anyone of the ones I discussed will be a fit. It is important to ensure you adopt the appropriate type lest you waste money on a type that will not be effective.