Types of WebSites: How Do You Decide?

Types of WebSites

Many site owners don’t think far enough ahead before building an online presence. They often throw up a web site that doesn’t have enough flexibility for growth then waste money getting it redesigned.

Types of websites

1. Informational

This is where you just want to convey information about a product or service without selling anything. It could only be a few pages or contain hundreds of pages. For a small site of 5-10 pages I recommend building a static html website. This means the pages mostly remain unchanged because they are evergreen (timeless content). To build a large content website I recommend a content management system that uses software such as WordPress or Joomla. It enables you to add as many pages as you like (stored in a database) plus they can easily be updated by logging into a backend administration panel.

Affiliate website
This type of site sells products for other companies. Typically you sign up as an affiliate who provides an affiliate link to place on your website. When a visitor clicks on that link they get redirected to the company website to make their purchase. You receive a commission every time someone buys from your site. With your affiliate website your goal is to provide enough valuable content to pre-sell the visitor so they are motivated to purchase from you.

2. E-commerce

If you wish to sell something online you need an e-commerce website. This type of site is much more involved. You’ll need a shopping cart, payment gateway, SSL certificate for secure transactions and a merchant account. You’ll also need to calculate the tax and shipping fees for each item you’re selling. One of the easiest methods for accepting online payments is using the PayPal Shopping Cart.

PayPal Shopping Cart
PayPal takes care of the whole transaction process without purchasing each of the services separately. You simply pay a small fee to them for each transaction. Read more at: How to Build an Ecommerce Web Site Using the PayPal Shopping Cart

If you’re only selling an ebook or a few items I suggest using PayPal. You can easily create “Buy Now” buttons. For a large number of items use the PayPal Shopping Cart.

Large online store
If you’re selling 100s or 1000s of items I suggest hiring a professional to build it. Zen Cart is one of the best free shopping carts for building your online store. It enables you to create search engine friendly pages, use PayPal or any of the main payment processing companies such Authorize.net and it’s free. Your main costs will only be to hire a professional web designer that is familiar with Zen Cart.

Sales page or landing page
A sales page is usually reserved for selling ebooks or software. It consists of a long web page with payment links scattered throughout the page. A landing page is primarily used for selling items with Pay Per Click Ads such as Google Ads. It usually is a one page site that contains affiliate links or your own product. Read Landing Page Design – 7 essential elements

Brainstorm what types of products or services you’ll be selling or information you’ll be conveying before deciding on the type of website you want to build. It will make the process much easier and faster to finish.

Need to design an informational or e-commerce website? Please visit:
Portfolio of Web Sites Designed by iSiteBuild.com

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of http://www.iSiteBuild.com


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