what type of websites indeed

What types of websites are there?

By Amy
Last updated
12 August 2022

A website is not just a website!

A website has a job to do, and that job depends on your objectives.

You’ve may have ticked the “website done” box, but without clearly defined goals, it’s just a website drifting in the vast expanse of the internet.

Whether you are a business, public sector organisation, or a charity having a website is a requisite. A clear understanding of what you want to achieve is essential so a web designer can build the required functions and create a stunning design to find, connect and engage with your target audience.

What type of website do you actually need?

There are different types of websites and the one you need will depend on what your goals are. Your website isn't limited to one purpose and can wear many hats, for example an ecommerce site may also need information pages and a blog for SEO.

Here are some of the most common types of websites:

Information websites

Informational websites are as a resource to communicate information. These sites are usually based around include long form content and provide in-depth information to their audience. 

Effective website navigation tools such as multi-level menus and search facilities are essential for information websites. It's easy for users to get lost when your site has hundreds (or thousands) of pages, so a strong structure is essential.

Information websites are widely used by local authorities, schools, colleges, and government departments. 

 

Information website case study: Windsor Academy Trust

With twelve websites (and counting) Windsor Academy Trust is a family of schools covering education for children from 2 to 18 years old. They contain a vast amount of information about the schools, curriculum, policies, applications, latest news and job vacancies.

Windsor Academy Trust case study

Lead generation websites

As the name suggests, lead generation websites focus on generating leads for a service or product.

These websites are used by companies providing services such as financial, legal, or design – anyone who wants to generate leads for their business.

Lead generation also works for businesses who provide a “made to order” product that doesn't have a fixed price. For example, bespoke kitchens, furniture, or large engineering / construction products. Because they can't sell these direct, a lead generation website is needed to generate enquiries. 

A lead from your website can come in many forms; a phone call, email, enquiry form, online chat, booking an appointment or requesting a quote. You can also capture data through email newsletter signups and downloads to generate leads.

Tracking conversions of your lead generation tools is essential to understand which methods work best on which pages. 

Lead generation case study: Vincent Burch

Vincent Burch is a national mortgage broker who specialise in a range of products with expertise in buy to let mortgages. Positioning, straightforward messages, and clear calls to action were key to increasing lead generation and conversion rates.

Vincent Burch case study

Ecommerce websites

In its simplest definition, ecommerce websites and online shops are sites that sell goods and services to customers online.

Ecommerce sites are used by small and medium sized business, national and international brands to huge online marketplaces such as Etsy or Amazon. Ecommerce sites are usually either business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C).

Most businesses typically use an ecommerce platform such as Shopify or Woocommerce. These platforms are ideal for small businesses on a budget but are also used by big companies.

Ecommerce isn't limited to online shops though, it can apply to any online transactions. For example, you could use ecommerce to take subscription payments online, or set up your website to receive invoice payments.

Ecommerce case study: My Fish Delivery

My Fish Delivery is an online shop for wholesale fish merchants Brown & May, and is a perfect example of how a small business can sell online. 

My Fish Delivery case study

Blog website

A personal or business blog should inform, entertain, educate, and engage your audience.

When regularly updated, a blog with relevant articles, videos, and images not only is a great read, but can boost your website traffic and send quality leads to your website. Search engines love fresh content and blogging is the perfect opportunity to target your audience while demonstrating your expertise and knowledge.

Blog posts are also great content for email marketing and social media, and the perfect backbone for a content marketing strategy.

A great example of a blog website is The Hoot. It’s a niche blog aimed at School Governors, with regular posts help to inform and support their audience.

the hoot

The Hoot is a niche blog for school governors.

Membership website

A membership website is a site that includes members-only content. They are often used by non-profit organisations, clubs, associations, and businesses to "gate" content that only members have access to.

This offers additional value to the members and encourages others to sign up or become a member to access information.

The Association of Average Adjusters is a membership organisation and a good example of a membership site. It allows members to register and renew their subscription online, and book onto events and examinations. The members-only areas provide information around latest industry news and regulations, with different levels of access depending on the membership type.

average adjusters

The Association of Average Adjusters is a great example of a membership website.

What else?

We've covered the main types of websites, however this list is just the start. The web is a powerful tool and can do so much, for example Gmail, Facebook, and your online banking portal are (among other things) websites.

Don't think your website is limited to a few pages of information, a contact form, and some awkward mugshots. It can do so much more.

If you'd like to find out more about what you can achieve with your website, you can ask us anything.