Websites come in different types, each serving different functions. This section will guide you through the process of deciding which type of website you should create for your organisation, based on what you are trying to achieve.

Some different types of website are:

Business card websites

Much like an actual business card, business card websites supply your name, contact details and maybe a logo. They may also provide some product or service information.

You might want this type of website if you are looking for an economical and quick way of creating a basic online presence.

Folio websites

Folio websites are quite simple, like business card websites. The difference is that they include a folio section that showcases your body of work as a professional or organisation.

You may want this type of website if you work in a creative industry and need to convey the breadth and depth of your body of work.

Brochure websites

Brochure websites allow you to put your range of products and/or services online for customer browsing. This type of website does not allow customers to buy online.

You may want this type of website if you have a shop or your practice a trade that produces products, but do not need to sell online.

e-Commerce websites

If you want the capacity to sell products or services online, then you may want to invest in a website with an  e-commerce platform. With an e-commerce website you will be able to accept payment (via credit card, PayPal or otherwise) for your products or services.

e-Commerce does not have to be more complicated than opening a store on an online marketplace like eBay or Etsy. If you want a customised online shop, then you may need to spend more time and money to get it.

You may want this type of website to supplement your physical—offline—shop, or as your sole point of sale.

You may also want to include extra features in your website like:

Blogs

Running a  blog can be an excellent way of driving traffic to your website. Also, making regular blog posts may make your website more visible to search engines. This means that people will be able to find your website more easily.

For more information on  search engine optimisation, see the ‘Improve your search ranking’ section of this website.

Online community engagement

Engaging with your community fosters brand awareness and loyalty. Increasingly, people expect to be able to talk directly to businesses. With this in mind, reaching out to your customers makes your business seem modern and human.

Online community engagement can be achieved by:

DigitalIQ tips

Do I need to create a standalone website?

If you are a small organisation or a sole trader, then you may able to achieve your goals by creating a presence on an existing website instead of creating a website with your own web address.

Create a simple online presence

Creating a pagelink on Facebooklink and/or putting your business on Google Placeslinkcould suit you if you do not want to do anything much more complex than getting your contact details online. It also allows you to promote your organisation in an online space.

Professional networking sites

Joining a professional networking site like LinkedInlink or Viadeolink could be a good option if you are working as a freelancer and you do not need a complex website. You can  upload your resume and list contact details. You will also have the opportunity to network with peers and employers.

Online shopping sites

Setting up a store on a site like eBaylink or Shopifylink can be very straightforward. These e-commerce platforms provide a way for you to sell your products online and can provide you with a range of features like inventory management and  analytics.