The online world is a gigantic place. There are literally billions of websites online today, all competing to attract customers, fans, followers, and other people their way. If you're thinking of carving out your own space on the web, then one of the first things you'll need to do is decide what kind of website is right for you.
Although all websites may start off looking basically the same, there are a lot of different categories of site to choose from, and they all attempt to accomplish very specific things. When you're building your own site from scratch, it helps to carefully consider what kind of site is best for you. Here are just 7 options to consider.
1. An eCommerce Website
An eCommerce site is a website designed for showcasing and selling products. You've probably used sites like this yourself in the past. Many big brands and small companies have their own eCommerce websites, complete with shopping carts and payment gateways. If you plan on setting up an eCommerce website, then you'll need to make sure that you have a few initial components in place. For instance, it helps to have an SSL certificate that allows your customers to pay for their goods securely. Some eCommerce sites also have a blog to take advantage of SEO traffic and content marketing.
2. A Business Website
A business website and eCommerce store aren't always the same thing. Sometimes, your business website doesn't sell anything, and it's simply there to tell people more about the company that you run. Your business website might include landing pages, an "about" page, and even a signup sheet where people can agree to hear more about you through email.
Pretty much every business, large and small has their own website today. In fact, people expect businesses to have a website. If yours doesn't you could be missing out on potential customers.
3. Portfolio Website
If you're a creative professional or a freelancer that wants to show the kind of work you can do to future clients, then you can always create a portfolio website. The aim with these sites isn't to sell anything but show clients the quality of work you can produce in a professional way. Photographers usually have portfolio sites, but other professionals can too, including graphic designers and even freelance writers. Anyone who needs to showcase their work in a structured way can benefit from an online portfolio.
4. A Social Media Page
A social media page is usually something that companies create alongside a business website or eCommerce site. However, if you're a very small local company, then you might find it easier to simply build your own social presence, rather than working on an entire website straight away. You can consider a host of different channels, including Twitter pages, Instagram profiles, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest pages.
5. Media Websites
The aim of a media website is typically to share trending information and the latest news. Media websites collect relevant stories, usually for a specific niche, and curate that content into stories for their customers. These sites can also include opinion blogs and other pieces for entertainment purposes. Most media websites will make money by showing advertisements on their sites.
Today some media websites and online newspapers have begun to experiment with premium and gated content that customers can only access when they pay for a special subscription. There has been some controversy around this business model in the past.
6. A Personal Blog
While plenty of companies include a blog as part of their website, there are people out there who specifically create blogs for their own reasons. The entire website is dedicated to providing useful information and entertainment linked to a specific subject. Sometimes, people can make money from their personal blogs by showing advertisements on their site.
Alternatively, if your blog becomes popular enough then you could consider setting up an affiliate partnership where you make money by sending people to other sites and encouraging them to purchase certain products.
7. Educational Websites
Finally, while a lot of websites can be educational in nature, educational websites are specifically designed to provide customers with an ongoing and professional education in certain topics. These sites generally include things like eBook downloads or webinars that customers can subscribe too. There are plenty of different types of educational websites out there. Some are free, and work on an ad-based model, whereas others charge for the education that they provide.