8 Different Types of Websites and How To Use Them For Your Business

There are 1.86 billion websites online in 2021. That’s more than the population of North America and Europecombined.

If you’re working on anything in the 21st century, you need a website. But with so much variety out there, it can be tricky to figure out what kind of website best suits your needs — the last thing you want is customer confusion.

But never fear: we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that covers all the different kinds of websites you should know about. And by the end of the next eight minutes, you’ll know exactly which one is right for you. Let’s go!

Eight Different Types of Websites

We’re going to go over some of the common types of websites you’ll see online:

  • e-Commerce websites
  • Business websites
  • Portfolio websites
  • Non-profit websites
  • Brochure websites
  • Blog websites
  • Entertainment/media websites
  • Membership websites

Let’s take a closer look at each one:

eCommerce Websites

eCommerce (or electronic commerce) is a rapidly growing industry — 16.8% in 2021, to be precise. If you run a business where you can sell goods online, you must join this $4.9 trillion market.

Your ticket to the e-commerce train? A snazzy e-commerce website, of course! We’re willing to bet $1 million you’ve already run into one. Okay, not really, but the point is this: online stores are some of the most popular types of websites around.

Here’s what makes them unique:

  • Use Case: for businesses selling products and services.
  • eCommerce websites must be able to sell goods, consultations, art, etc.
  • A shopping cart feature is a necessity.
  • Payment gateways that allow for sales through the site.
  • Company branding throughout.

Most businesses you’re familiar with have an online store. Let’s look at Levi’s:


Notice the CTA to ‘Shop Now’, the shopping cart icon in the top right, and product photos on the home page.


Business Website

A business website may sound like an eCommerce store, but there’s a reason they’re two different sections. Business websites are designed to showcase and represent businesses online.

Suppose your business specializes in bespoke products and services that require consultation or customization. In that case, a business website may be the way for you to give customers a peek into what you do and your past work.

Here’s how you can identify a business website:

  • Use Case: Businesses selling bespoke products or services.
  • Displays testimonials, product descriptions, and content about the company culture.
  • Its branding is consistent with the company.
  • It links back from all the corporate social media.
  • There is some kind of CTA — filling out a form, sending an email, signing up for a newsletter, etc.

Take Deloitte as an example, a consulting firm that works with large corporate clients:


The site prioritizes the company’s content and messaging, Deloitte’s signature green is visible everywhere, and the CTA in the top right leads to a phone call, not a purchase.


Portfolio Website

One of the most creative types of websites you’ll see is the portfolio website (or the personal website). The days of running around with a dossier filled with bent headshots and scattered documents are gone — enter the online portfolio.

This kind of website is meant to showcase your (or your agency’s) past work and accomplishments. Your goal with a portfolio website is to let your work speak for itself. (If your website is only for you, it’s a personal website).

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Use Case: Displaying creative and visual work from past projects.
  • Lots of visual and written content describing previous work in detail.
  • Client testimonials or interviews.
  • A contact CTA.
  • Links to other social media.

The portfolio website is an ideal choice for creative businesses and people. Let’s take a look at branding agency Collins’ website:


Collins has a rotating carousel of all their most recent projects. Their work speaks for itself: big clients like Mailchimp, Spotify, Sweetgreen, and Match Group make a feature. Also, notice the Contact CTA in the upper right.


Nonprofit Website

Nonprofits need websites for the same reasons businesses do: establishing a digital presence, having a platform to distribute their message, and most importantly — a way to collect money.

If you run a non-profit organization, it’s critical that you have a well-designed, professional-looking website for potential donors and volunteers to trust you. Here are some of the features you can expect from a non-profit website:

  • Use Case: Sharing information about the organization and collecting donations.
  • Messaging and stories about the nonprofit’s impact.
  • CTAs include donating or signing up for a newsletter.
  • Should be able to accept donations through an on-site payment gateway.

Let’s look at Feeding America as an example:


All the prominent CTAs are about donating or getting involved, and the first content on the homepage is about Feeding America as an organization. In the navigation bar, they also have an entire section dedicated to the problem they’re solving, hunger in America.


Brochure Website

If you’ve ever walked around a small business neighbourhood, you’ve probably been handed a brochure. Most brochures are very simple: two or three pages, a few photos, and some social media or contact info about the business.

Brochure websites are very similar. They’re handy for small businesses who only need an online presence, not a fully-fledged store or lead generator. Here are a few things most brochure websites have in common:

  • Use Case: A digital business card for SMBs.
  • A minimal number of pages.
  • CTAs are typically singular and direct.
  • Lots of contact information: location, phone number, email, etc.
  • If it’s for a restaurant, the brochure may just contain the menu.

Since so much business happens online, the brochure website has fallen slightly out of style. However, its younger cousin, the landing page, has gained popularity. Landing pages are typically one-page destinations for marketing campaigns, and their sole purpose is to get people excited about one specific CTA. CashApp is a great example:


Notice the bold colouring, the product display, and exciting graphics. You can use Cash App on the web, but this website’s central goal is an app download. They make it easy by providing a QR code you can scan on your phone.


Blog Website

Of all the ones on this list, the blog is probably the type of website you recognize most. The simple ‘web log’ has been around since the early days of the internet, and it shows no sign of stopping: in 2021, you can find nearly 600 million blogs floating around the interwebs. Talk about staying power!

Blogs are among the easiest websites to start, so they benefit from lots of customization and diversity. Still, there a few features to always look out for:

  • Use Case: building an audience to read written content.
  • Articles are typically published on a predictable schedule.
  • CTA can be subscribing to a newsletter or leading back to a business/eCommerce store.
  • Content focuses on a central topic: travel, sports, finance, etc.
  • As far as search engines go, blogs are also a great way to rank for specific keywords and concepts.

One of the most popular blogs in the world is Wait But Why:


Tim Urban (the blogger) writes long-form posts about nearly anything. See how there’s a featured article bolded in the center of the page? Although the visuals may feel out of date, the blog’s email subscriber count speaks for itself. It makes sense, considering the prominent CTA for this website is subscribing to the newsletter.


Entertainment Website

Entertainment and media are some of the most popular types of websites. How often have you gotten distracted from work because you saw an article from the Onion or a BuzzFeed quiz?

Media websites can include all sorts of content: comics, videos, articles, podcasts. Like blog websites, they can generate revenue via ad placements or (as we’ll see soon) membership subscriptions. Here’s what you can expect from a media or entertainment website:

  • Use Case: Showcasing and distributing multimedia content.
  • Regularly updated posts and contributions.
  • Themed content; current affairs, comedy, business, etc.
  • CTAs can vary considerably: buying proprietary merchandise, signing up for a newsletter, etc.

New York Magazine is an excellent example of what we’re talking about:


The home page is plastered with different pieces of written content, New York Magazine’s specialty. While the CTA is hard to spot, it’s actually to subscribe to the magazine in the top right. That’s because NYMag is also a membership website, which we’ll discuss right now.


Membership Website

If your business runs a membership website, it probably means your website (or at least the content that lives there) is the product. Membership websites have paywalls between visitors and premium content — you’re probably familiar with video streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney Plus that do this. Paywalled educational websites also do the trick if you’re selling online courses or guides.

Membership websites generally have some of the following:

  • Use Case: Distributing premium content to a paying audience.
  • A subscription service that collects payments from customers on a monthly or annual basis.
  • Some content is provided for free to entice new subscribers.
  • Usually, the CTA is to subscribe or sign up for a free trial.

Skillshare is an educational website that ticks most of these boxes:


Some of Skillshare’s original classes on the carousel are offered for free. The website also collects payments and incentivizes sign-ups with a bright green free trial CTA in the upper right.


Choosing The Right Type Of Website For You

Let’s make one thing clear: you don’t have to pick just one. You could have a membership-based blog, an eCommerce store for media and entertainment, a landing page to collect donations — the possibilities are endless. But if you’re a business owner establishing an online presence, consider these two different types of websites most heavily:

  1. eCommerce store: Even if you don’t specialize in selling things online, a simple eCommerce website will do wonders for your business.
  2. Blog: A blog is a no-brainer. You can attach one to practically any website, they’re a great way to improve your rankings in search engines, and they can bring in new leads.

You can incorporate all the other websites’ elements into these two, and they’ll combine to make a killer digital footprint. Want to get started on your business’ web design journey? Contact our experts today, and we’ll get you started!

Let's get you going!

You can incorporate all the other websites’ elements into these two, and they’ll combine to make a killer digital footprint. Want to get started on your business’ web design journey? Contact our experts today, and we’ll get you started!

Frequently Asked Questions

What do web designers do?

Web designers are behind the planning and development of websites. They’re usually tasked with turning all the code, media, and content into a cohesive online experience for your visitors. A web designer will also help you with design, engineering, and optimization for your site.

What is a conversion-focused website?

Conversions are desired actions. For businesses and websites, these can vary: signing up for a newsletter, joining a free trial, following on social media, etc. A conversion-focused website is optimized for these kinds of conversions.

Why is visual design important in web design?

The right visual design can make your website feel professional, inviting, and trustworthy. Good graphic design immediately creates a positive association with your website in visitors’ minds. Bad design can turn away customers and hurt your business.