Different types of websites play a big part in the average person’s life. Sites are there for you, whether you simply need to find a quick chocolate chip cookie recipe or to make a significant donation to your favorite cause or nonprofit. You can buy and sell products with a few clicks of a mouse, find quality educational or entertainment material, or even communicate with your neighbors using websites. Starting your website is a great way to make money online, but before you jump in, make sure you know which type of website would make the most sense for you.
Will it be an e-commerce website you use to sell products? How about a media website you use to broadcast news or opinions? A personal or portfolio website for showcasing your interests or professional work? Maybe even an educational website where you share your skills on the world wide web? Browse this list of types of websites with examples for inspiration.
11 Types of Websites for 2020
1. E-commerce website
If you’re looking to sell stuff online, you should try starting your e-commerce website. An e-commerce website could be a way for a brick-and-mortar business to generate extra income through selling products online rather than just in their physical store. It could also be a good side hustle job for generating some passive income on the internet. If you don’t have the time or skill set to establish your e-commerce website, you can buy one from the Exchange Marketplace and get started on your e-commerce business. Look at other e-commerce sites for inspiration before you get started on your own.
Paw Huggies is an example of an e-commerce website specializing in retail, specifically in the pet niche. It has features like product listings and a shopping cart, allowing customers to make online purchases.
2. Business website
The purpose of a business website is to represent your business online. Depending on the type of business, a business website can take on different forms. If your business is a restaurant, your business website will probably list menus, location, photos of food, contact information, and maybe even online ordering. If your business is a retail business, your site might show off the types of items you sell in your shop, and allow customers to purchase them online to be shipped or for curbside pickup. Business websites aren’t just customer-facing — if you run a B2B business, your website could still help you sell your products or services to other companies. From small businesses to enterprise companies, all companies can benefit from a website. If you want to create your business website, you’ll need to learn how to start a business first.
A good example of a business website is that of Time Being Tattoo. The site has information on the tattoo studio’s location, how to contact the resident tattoo artists for an appointment, information on residencies, and more. You can even fill out paperwork before your appointment using the website.
3. Nonprofit website
A nonprofit website is very similar to a business website, but instead of representing a for-profit business, it represents a nonprofit organization. If you run a nonprofit website or are looking to create one, think outside the box in terms of what the site could accomplish for your nonprofit. It could facilitate donations or membership, sell merchandise or tickets, showcase user-generated content, and more. Most importantly, your nonprofit website should provide visitors with your nonprofit’s stated mission, and the type of things it aims to accomplish. Consider hosting a blog on your nonprofit website to keep your nonprofit’s supporters updated on recent happenings and increase website traffic and SEO.
PAWS Chicago is an example of a nonprofit website. It serves many functions, including providing potential patrons information about adoption, listing pets for adoption, volunteer information, auctions, news, and more.
4. Stock photo website
Stock photo websites are essential tools for marketers, designers, writers, and more — pretty much any creative professional can benefit from access to a good stock photo website. The purpose of a stock photo website is to provide photography and designs that anyone can use without copyright. Some stock photo websites require a subscription, while others can be accessed free of charge. Others have payment tiers for businesses and individuals or require payment per royalty-free photo. If you want to start your stock photo website, you’ll need to collaborate with photographers and designers to purchase the images you’ll offer on your stock photo website. If you’re a photographer yourself, you can even sell your photos online.
A good stock photo website example is Burst, a platform that entrepreneurs can use to find royalty-free images for their websites or other content. You can also make money selling your original photography to Burst and similar stock photo websites. Using stock photo websites is easy — just use the search bar to find images related to your needs.
5. Media website
A media website can take many forms. It could cover hard news, from a global or local perspective, or have a stated angle and mission. Media websites are like print newspapers or magazines, but they present the information online instead. If you want to start your own media website, first decide on the type of news or angle you will be coming from. Whether your media website will mainly publish hard news or more opinion-based content, it can still have an angle. You can choose a niche from a political viewpoint or a type of media that bridges on entertainment or one that focuses on good news happening around the world.
The New York Times website is a media website for the well-known newspaper. The content is paywalled, meaning that you have unlimited access if you subscribe to the online paper, but have limited monthly access if you do not.
6. Portfolio website
In the same way that media websites are an online representation of the same type of content published in newspapers and magazines, portfolio websites are an online version of what you would typically put into a physical job portfolio. The purpose of a portfolio website is to showcase your best work. It doesn’t matter what your profession is — whether you’re a writer, designer, artist, or developer, there are plenty of advantages to creating a portfolio website. There’s no limit to the amount or variety of content you can put into it, from writing clips to website designs. The best part about creating this type of website is the ability to edit it continually. You can tailor your portfolio website based on a specific company or position you’re applying to so that the most relevant and best work is always featured.
Platforms like Shopify are popular options for hosting your portfolio website because they make the process of designing your portfolio simple. The great thing about Shopify is that you can sell anything on the platform. So if you’re looking to sell services, products, or designs that are part of your portfolio, you can do that with ease.
7. Personal website
While a portfolio website can help you express yourself professionally, a personal website can showcase your more unique or private, non-business-related interests. A personal website is a type of website that is just as unique as you are, and what it represents is entirely dependent on your interests. A personal blog is a good place to start when creating your own personal website. You can write about anything you want: music, travel, politics, fitness, recipes, and more. Your personal website can also function similarly to a Pinterest profile or a digital scrapbook you use to chronicle the things that inspire you. Look back on when you need that inspiration in the future. If your website is popular enough (i.e., you get a lot of traffic), you might even be able to make money from hosting advertisements.
Cookie and Kate is a recipe website with a personal angle. The author creates recipes inspired by her own life and personal preferences and shares them with the world via her website. With proper SEO and marketing tactics, she’s taken her personal website to the next level and published a recipe book.
8. Forum website
A forum website is like an online community. It could be a social media website like Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit, or it could be an online message board like those popular before the rise of social media. Even with so many social media apps out there, forum websites can still serve a niche purpose, whether discussing a niche topic or facilitating conversation in your neighborhood. If you want to start a forum website, think about the type of things you would like to discuss, and start conversations about these topics.
Nextdoor is a popular community forum website. From the website’s homepage, you can enter your home address or business location and join the conversation with other people in your neighborhood.
9. Entertainment website
The world wide web isn’t just there for work; it can also be used for play. An entertainment website is a type of website you can use for amusement or pleasure (or just for a distraction when you’re procrastinating on the real work you have to do. Entertainment websites can take the form of satirical content, online radio, video streaming, and more. Although some similar types of websites can be business-related, like webinars and professional podcasts, entertainment websites are meant to provide entertainment to their visitors exclusively.
NTS is an online radio entertainment website providing entertainment to and from music lovers around the globe. It features two separate radio streams that listeners can tune into, as well as recordings of previous shows, playlists, and other content that ranges from entertaining to educational.
10. Crowdfunding website
Some types of websites can incorporate fundraising or donations, but certain types of websites are created for the express purpose of raising money for users’ causes. Some examples of crowdfunding websites you may already be familiar with are GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo. These platforms can be used to raise money for just about any reason, whether that’s to generate capital for a product launch of a newly patented invention or opening of a new small business or to raise money for medical expenses or veterinary bills. Each crowdfunding website has its own stipulations regarding fees and how to claim donation money, so before you start a campaign, make sure you know the rules.
GoFundMe is a popular crowdfunding website that anyone can use. It facilitates donations as well as a conversation about the cause. An advantage of using a crowdfunding platform like GoFundMe is how easily people can donate to and share your campaign.
11. Educational website
Educational websites help facilitate children’s online learning or supplement what they are learning in schools. These types of websites are also where business professionals can go to learn new skills. Some educational websites provide free resources like e-books and educational videos, while others, like LinkedIn Learning, require payment in exchange for access to their many educational courses. Other types of educational websites can crossover as community forums for professionals. They provide resources on the trade and sparking conversation on issues and topics related to a specific profession, activity, or interest. An education website can even take the form of a blog within a business, nonprofit, or personal website if the content pertains to educational topics.
Study Hall is an educational website for media workers. In addition to hosting a newsletter and resources for people in media, it also functions as a public forum for those in the industry. There are different tiers of payment and free content, so visitors can choose which level they would like to pay for.
For most people, especially remote workers, websites are a big part of daily life. We go online for work, to learn or express ourselves, to engage with the arts or other nonprofits services, or simply to entertain ourselves. In many ways, we can live our entire lives on the internet. Now that you’ve learned about all of the different types of websites out there, you can start building your own website — your own slice of the internet. Whether you’re going to use your website as a portfolio, personal blog, crowdfunding effort, or community forum, you have the tools and website examples you need to get started.