Types Of Websites And Recognisable Designs

By: Owen Barron

Who among computer users hasn't heard of websites? They're the portal to cyberspace where information is shared more freely, where communication can take place without hindrance, and where we see evidence of advancements in IT.

Because we rely so heavily on the internet the number of websites has shot up to over 500 million today. That's a massive figure and gives you an idea of just how useful these virtual pools of information have become.

Now, more than ever, businesses, governments, organisations and individuals alike are turning to the Web to display core information, objectives, ads and much more. Since so many types of users exist, websites too have had to cater to these various categories. Here's a look at the types of websites today and the designs they typically feature.

Entertainment websites: Dedicated to the entertainment world, these sites host information on celebrities, the arts as well as game portals and similar interactive programs designed to stimulate and entertain. They're one of the most popular types of websites not because they contain such important information but because we as a species are attracted to entertainment and drama.

Informational websites: These are the more ‘serious' sites where information consists of particular topics useful for ordinary and professional researchers. Where entertainment sites are among the most popular, informational sites are the most common. They're also extremely useful and epitomise the original idea of public websites where information sharing was the objective.

Transactional websites: Transactional sites possess features to facilitate transactions. eCommerce sites are an example where products and services can be purchased online. Today, such sites have gained a strong foothold in the virtual world as businesses realise the importance of taking their offerings to cyberspace in a bid to connect to a larger customer base.

Community websites: Community websites centre on particular topics or figures and aim to bring likeminded individuals together. The topics could be any number of things and don't necessarily have to be subjects of extreme importance or even relevance. The point is to connect people with similar tastes and give them a platform to discuss ideas and express opinions.

Tried and trusted designs for different websites

Since different sites cater to different needs, appearance varies and is carefully chosen to reflect what a site stands for. So, entertainment sites will typically feature bright colours, large images, playful fonts or large headlines and similar elements designed to attract attention and make content seem more interesting.

Informational sites, meanwhile, have a cleaner look which is nevertheless far from boring. Colours are rich without being glaring, content is presented in an easy-to-read manner and offers, if any, are featured in such a way as to appear more subtle compared to the same offered by an entertainment site. Transactional websites, on the other hand, feature large images laid in a left to right, top to bottom manner along with text regarding price, size etc. A shopping basket figures prominently on the top right side of the page.

As for community websites, they can feature virtually any design but typically follow a theme. For example, a hobby site centering around collecting model cars will sport elements regarding cars as well as patterns mimicking popular liveries. The same principle applies to any chosen topic.

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