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FREE Guide to Website Design

Types of Website

EcommerceChoosing which type of Website best suits your business or personal needs, including your current and future needs as well; can be a tricky decision.

There are basically three main types of Websitestatic Websites, dynamic Websites and Flash Websites.

Static Website

A static Website contains Web pages which have fixed content. Each page is structured using a computer language called HTML and displays the same information to every visitor. The content on each of the Web pages does not change unless it is manually altered by a webmaster. This works well for small Websites, but it can make larger Websites difficult and expensive to maintain. Static Websites are generally the most basic type of Website, easiest to create and therefore, cheaper to build.

Dynamic Website

Pages of a Dynamic Website are generated on the fly depending on the user’s needs. A dynamically-generated Web page would recall various bits of information from a database and put them together in a pre-defined format for the reader in a coherent way.  The Website takes note of the user actions and/or preferences and displays content which they have requested.  A dynamic Website tends to be more expensive to build than a static website because they require databases and programming [usually PHP or ASP]; however, many are cheaper and quicker to update than static Websites.

Flash Website

Flash is a versatile technology for adding interactivity and flashy moving graphics to a Website. Flash is a technology developed by Macromedia [now part of the Adobe corporation] which is used to create visually stunning Websites with high levels of user interactivity. One of the major advantages of Flash Websites is that they display the same in most browser types; however, there are concerns that their content is not as accessible or as search engine friendly as content in the other types of Website.

Below are examples of more specific Website types which fall under these three broad categories.

Content Management System [CMS]

CMS Websites are referred to as dynamic because they are database driven. This means that, unlike a static Website, they do not have content embeded on set pages. Content is store in databases and is retrieved at the reader's request. A CMS is ideal for Websites with many pages and allows non-technical users to make changes to a Website with little training. Content Management Systems are explained in greater detail later in this guide.

Ecommerce Website

An ecommerce Website is intrinsically an online store that has shopping basket [checkout] facilities and which processes financial transactions. Many ecommerce Websites have automated control stock and include a content management system.

Informational Website

Informational Websites plain and simply displays information.  They tend to be one of the easiest types of Website to manage because all you need to worry about is that its content is current, creditable and up-to-date.  Many informational Websites encourage readers to add and edit it’s articles.  A good example of a informational Website is wikipedia.org, which is an online encyclopedia.

Blog & Forum Website

Blogging is the latest craze in Websites which allows people with similar interests to converse with each other.  A Blog Website usually tasks the form of an online journal or editorial (Web Log) where readers respond by writing comments on the posted messages.  The forum style of Website (commonly known as a chat room) is incredibly useful if you want to find something out or have a question answered on a specific subject.  Forums are typically used as either a message board or as a customer support tool.

Social Networking Website

Social Websites are another type of Website which has exploded in popularity recently; where people who share a common goal or interest meet and interact with each other.  This type of Website includes community and dating Websites where the most common and well-known are Facebook and match.com.

File sharing Website

File Sharing Websites do exactly that; they allow their users to share files such as  music, photos and videos with each other.  Space is allocated to each member [registered user] so that they can upload files for other members and visitors to enjoy. There aren't many Internet users who are not aware of YouTube.  YouTube is today one of the biggest file sharing Websites around where over 3 billion videos are viewed every day

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