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Basic Website Types and What They Can be Used For

Different devices mean different viewer experiences

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As an Internet user, a website administrator, or a Visionary client, knowing the basic website types is key in order to pick the right one for your goals.

All websites are created equal, right? Not always. First off, there are two umbrella types of websites: static and dynamic.

• Static Websites

Static websites are mainly coded in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), which determine the look and feel of the website. Think of HTML as a website’s skeleton and CSS as the visual decoration.

Static websites never automatically update unless a web administrator or author edits the content and are best used for information that doesn’t need to change very often and will stay relevant for a long time.

Pages on these types of sites are easy to edit in a Content Management System (CMS), such as Visionary's Site OnCall and typically includes text, images, and sometimes video or audio files.

• Dynamic Websites

Dynamic web pages adapt based on the user’s interactions with the page. Dynamic web pages are also built with HTML and CSS but also utilize programming languages, such as Javascript, Python, PHP, or Perl. These enable the website to gather data about the user based on interactions with the site.

One simple example is a contact form. PHP is used to gather the data entered into the form and keep it in a database. Other examples include Flash games, interactive calendars or widgets, or a constantly updating weather application.

Note the difference between this and a static page: If you were to include a weather widget on a static page, you would need to manually update the content. The beauty of scripting languages is that they pull in information and update things for you.

However while there is a wider range of modules that can be included on a dynamic site, there is also a risk of complex technical issues and an increase amount development time.

Basic Website Types

• Classic or “Brochure” Site

One of the simplest and most popular types of websites is a classic or “brochure” site, which gets its name from standard printed brochures that often have about five or six informational pages. These are are often static and meant for providing only information about a company or organization.

The DJ Company of South Florida website is a great example of a brochure site. It has five pages dedicated to providing information and doesn’t take in any information. It is a static site that is comprised of text and images used for informing the viewer. To view more website examples, check out the Visionary Portfolio.

• Advertising/Organization Site

An advertising or organization site often crosses paths with the brochure site, but with some extra components and a few more pages than a brochure site. They are built around a very specific call to action, which could range from going to the advertised restaurant for dinner, joining an organization, or finding a new health care professional.

Some of these sites can be static, as they are often only comprised of only images and pictures. However, some can be dynamic. An example of this would be a restaurant website with an online reservation system.

A great example of an advertising site is Leaning Tower of Pizza. To view more website examples, check out the Visionary Portfolio.

• E-Commerce Sites

This term is thrown out quite often, but not everyone knows what it means. E-commerce simply means commerce that is conducted online – essentially selling products or merchandise. E-Commerce sites are for businesses that have an online sales component or sell exclusively online.

These sites are highly dynamic. They require a lot of data input from both clients and web authors. E-Commerce sites gather huge quantities of data through Javascript, PHP, and other scripting languages. Data includes credit card information, mailing information, manufacturer information, customer lists, customer data, and warehouse inventory.

E-Commerce sites are the largest and often the most complicated type of site to build. They require a lot of development and design time. However, for businesses, selling online can lead to massive profit and benefits for the company.

A great example of an e-commerce site is Angelo HYPERLINK ""CuoreHYPERLINK "" Handbags. To view more website examples, check out the Visionary Portfolio.

• Blogs

Blogs are very easy to create and very popular, even among people who don’t consider themselves to be particularly web-savvy. Blogs use a simple CMS, such as WordPress. These WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors can be edited using code, but don’t rely on the user knowing how to code, which is one of the great benefits of a blog.

Blogs are usually used as a publication tool for text, graphics, and videos. A blog generally focuses on a specific subject and is managed by either one person or a group of like-minded people. Politics, parents, and graphic design are examples of popular topics that are frequently blogged about.

Other functionalities associated with blogs, besides writing posts, are commenting on posts and sharing content on social media sites. Blogs are usually self-managed and require constant content updates to remain fresh and relevant.

An example of a blog site is the Smashing Magazine Blog, which is a graphic design and development blog. The news page on the Visionary site also has blog functionalities. 


So which type is right for you? Contact Visionary today to learn more!

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