Categorization of websites, or what types of websites exist.
While reviewing our latest articles, we’ve noticed that most of them concern technical details of website development. Meanwhile, this information might not be particularly important and useful for our clients.
That’s why this time we decided to focus on the major practical aspect, which usually emerges, when it comes to actual website development: website classification.
So, what is website classification used for? This classification covers all types of existing websites and identifies distinctions between them. Determining the type of your website will help implement the whole project successfully.
Of course you can find a lot of information concerning this subject on the web, but we have developed our unique approach to that and would be happy to share it with you.
It should be noted that there is no official website classification so far. However, over the last few years experts have developed general principles to determine the type of the website. It considers major website features, which we are about to mention:
1. Website Owners' Objectives
First of all websites can be classified according to the tasks they perform. Generally most of the websites carry on several functions both for the website owner and website user. Let’s categorize websites considering website owners' objectives:
1.1. Creating Awareness of the Company
These are web-based resources which provide information about the company and its products. In addition, such websites usually contain company’s news, history and other background information, which helps user get general idea of the company and its performance.
1.2. Increasing Brand Awareness
This category usually includes presentational resources which vividly communicate information about the company, brand or product. The objective of such sites is to catch users’ attention and present the promoted product at its very best.
1.3. Automating Business Performance
Such kind of sites simplify interaction between the company and its clients or partners. For example they may greatly improve such processes as: information exchange, orders placement, requests submission etc.
1.4. Establishing New Sales Channels
Lately the web has been placed among the most powerful sales channels, as it has several distinct advantages over other sales sources: generally requires less investments and allows to accurately track customers' behaviour, making all kinds of improvements.
1.5. Getting Profit from the Web Service
Nowadays, there exist numerous companies, for which the web is the main source of profit. It concerns not only big corporations: very often blogs of users, who have provided high-quality content, are sold for big money.
1.6. Collecting Feedback and Statistical Data
For many companies internet has provided the ability to source information about their target audience and receive feedback from it: reviews on product and service quality, customer complaints, suggestions and requests etc. Moreover, currently available tools (such as social networks) allow to identify customers’ hobbies, gender, age, geographical location and other important statistical data.
2. Users’ Objectives:
Such classification is probably the most commonly found online. In this case we are talking about users’ perсeption of the website.
The user might enter such website in the following cases:
- the user is looking for a supplier and this company is considered to be a possible one;
- the user is a current or potential customer and wants to find out more about company’s reliability and image;
- the user is a compatitor;
- the user is an applicant or a current employee of the company.
Generally, the purpose of the user is to get more background information about the company.
Basically, such kind of websites is complementary to the previous one. Promo-sites are developed for a particular product, vividly presenting its main features and competitive advantages.
Actually in this case the name of the category speaks for itself: entering such website the user is willing to purchase or order something. Besides, the user may also visit the site to get the following information:
- find out about warranty terms and conditions;
- get information about special offers and sales;
- learn about product delivery options.
Users join different social networks to establish new contacts, keep in touch with friends and access to all kinds of useful and useless information.
2.5. Web Service
Web services are web applications used to optimize different tasks. Among the most commonly used web applications are:
- document management system;
- ticket booking system;
- reservation system;
- personal notes application;
- music management system and a lot more.
2.6. Informational Resource
This type of websites includes portals, where the user can get information about:
- current news (news portals, blogs, etc);
- specific sphere or field (online cookbook, or portal about IT);
- legal framework of the state etc.
Access determines users' permission to view the whole website or its separate sections. According to this feature websites might be classified as:
3.1. Public Websites
In this case users have access to the entire website content except for administration panel. Most of news, business and promotional websites belong to this type of websites.
3.2. Restricted Access Websites
The users by default can access only some part of content. To get a full access, users need to register or subscribe for the website.
3.3. Private Websites (Intranet)
Such resources are usually located in the internal corporate networks and used for interaction between employees. In order to ensure data security such resources are not available online.
Monetization refers to the ways of getting profit from the website. In these terms we can divide websites into the following types:
4.1. Direct Monetization
Such resources are primarily used to get profit from the users. There are several basic principles of such type of website monetization:
To get access to certain sections of the website, the user has to subscribe or credit the account on the website.
4.1.2. One-time Purchase
In this case the user can purchase goods through the website or make a one-time payment to get access to particular website content.
We decided to separate this type of monetization, as in this case website owner gets profit from placing advertisements on the site, but not from the users. There exist numerous advertising systems to display advertisements on the website, but it's also possible to use your own one.
4.2. Indirect Monetization
This type of monetization implies positive influence of the web-based resource on profitability of other sales channels. For example, increase of sales volumes of the shop due to posting information about it on the web.
4.3. Public Projects
Such projects include resources which are mainly financed by charity donations from their users. A good example of such project might be Wikipedia, which is sponsored by readers from all around the world.
4.4. Without Monetization
This category includes private resources, which are created for purposes other than profit (like self-realisation, establishing new contacts etc).
Similar classification is used in the most website directories to classify all existing websites. Websites are categorized according to the theme, they are focused on. For example there might be distinguished the following categories:
- automobiles and so on.
We hope that our classification will help you more accurately determine type of website, which will best meet your needs.But if you still have doubts - contact us and we will provide you with any additional information specifically for your project.