The last post covered basic concepts and terms related to the World Wide Web. You may also have some basic knowledge about HTML. Before going on to build a new website, first we need to know about the different types of websites found on the Internet. The type of website determines how a particular website is built. Also, different types of websites have different purposes. In this post we’re going to explore the types of websites (both content-wise and user experience-wise).
Blogging sites are one of the most common types of websites found on the Internet. A blog is a website which contains publicly accessible content published and maintained by a single person or a group. Contents are published separately as posts, which includes an author name, date and time of publishing, a specific category to which it belongs, and an optional comment system. Two types of people interact with these sites – the author, who edits/publishes the posts using some text and image editing tools, and the reader, who can view/read the published posts, but cannot edit the contents. Some blog sites also allow readers to post comments on the published articles.
There are different types of blog sites. Personal Blogs are usually maintained by a single author and is usually created as an online journal talking about day-to-day activities of the author. News blogs, like The Huffington Post, publish news related articles and are usually updated very frequently. Technology blogs, like us [7labs], publish technology related articles.
These websites provide information about something in particular. It may be a product, a college or university, a travel website, etc. These websites are not frequently updated, except for minor updates in case of any special events or advertising any new feature (in case of product related websites). Informative websites usually contain a large number of pages and provide detailed information about the subject. For example: www.stanford.edu, www.apple.com, etc.
Wiki is a website which lets users to add, modify or edit the website’s content. These websites are community based and usually contain project related documentation or research based information. Examples are Wikipedia, WikiLeaks, etc.
A forum is a website where a number of users interact with each other in a conversation-type interface popularly known as threads. Users can post their queries regarding specific topics, or can reply to other user-queries. Each new topic is created under a new thread. When a solution is obtained for a specific query, the thread is usually closed and marked as “[SOLVED]”. Depending on the user’s privilege, some users can only post replies, create new thread, or even terminate a live thread. Forums generally have an owner and one or more moderators who control and manage forum activity. They can move a particular post to a new topic or thread, modify or delete other user-posts, or ban users from the forum if they violate any rule. Forums are active websites and their contents are always subject to changes. Examples of forum type websites include CNET Forums, Microsoft Forums, etc.
These websites make it possible to connect users from all over the world. Users have a public profile so that everyone can see their basic information and communicate with them, if they want to. To keep in touch with a particular individual, a user may request them to be their “friend”, or add them to a “circle”. Users can share information (including photos, videos, status updates, etc.) among their friends. Users also interact with their friends privately via chat or messages. Examples of Social Networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc.
These websites allow users to carry out money transactions online. Depending on the website’s subject, e-commerce websites include online shopping websites, banking sites, online bill payment, travel planner websites, etc. A major portion of these websites include the payment gateway, in which the user proceeds to make the payment for a corresponding order (for example, bill payment, product purchase, flight booking, etc.). The user is then directed to a portal where they has to enter the account information. After the user is authenticated, the purchase/order amount is automatically transferred from the user’s bank account to the seller/service provider’s account. Examples of these sites include eBay, FlipKart and Amazon.
Service Oriented Websites:
These websites offer particular utilities for the users. These sites include particular services which help individual users to find out what they are looking for. There are different service oriented websites depending on how users interact with them. Examples of these sites include Gmail, YouTube, etc.
Static websites are made up of webpages that display static content. All the information presented in these websites are hardcoded in the files and are stored as-is in the server. When a browser requests a page, it is directly fetched from the server and sent to the client without any modification. Static websites display the same content everywhere in the world. It does not store any user information on the server and does not maintain any database. Static websites feature limited (if at all) user interaction and that too by running client-side code (like movable objects, drag and drop features). But since no data is stored in the server, users are unable to save any changes and the page would reset after reloading. User login is not supported in these types of websites.
These websites offer better user interaction and store user information on the server. Users can login to such websites and are presented with personalized pages that differ from one user to the other. An additional tier is added to the website architecture – the database. These websites feature data-driven personalization, which means users can save their personalized settings and access them later. Dynamic webpages are first executed on the server after the client makes a request for it. Dynamic pages vary from user to user because the rendered information directly relates to the user data stored in the database.