Your Internet Service Provider or Domain Registrar may offer you free server space for you to create your own website that might include some family photos and an online diary. Usually these will have a web address (URL) looking something like this: www.your-isp.com/~your-user-name/. This type of site is useful for a family, teenagers, grandparents, etc. to stay in touch with each other. This type is not advisable for a small business because the URL is not search engine friendly and the limited server capabilities your hosting company offer may not be sophisticated enough for a small business website.
2. Photo Sharing Websites
These types of website are cropping up like fleas on dog. There are web sites like, Flickr.com, Photosite.com, and Google’s Picasa. There could easily be over a hundred such sites that offer free photo sharing paid for by their online advertising. Also, many digital cameras and photo printers now come with software enabling mere mortals to create digital photo slide shows and upload them to the web. Most smart phones have apps to accomplish the same ends.
3. Writers / Authors Websites
Writer’s and Author’s websites are part of what’s known as the Writer’s or Author’s Platform in the publishing business. The platform includes, a website, a Facebook presence, blog, Twitter account, and the old fashioned mailing list. Many publishers will ask a prospective client about their platform. In other words, “If we publish your book, what sort of a reader base do you already have that we can count on to buy your new publication?” Fairly weighty request, wouldn’t you say? For now, let’s concentrate on the website part. A writers website would include a biography, a catalog of published books and works, perhaps excerpts from some works, links to publications on sites like Amazon.com, a link to the writer’s blog, reviews and comments on the author’s publications. You get the idea, and that is to build a following, a fan base to which future publications can be directly marketed.
4. Community Building Websites
Social Websites, Forum Websites, and Sharing Websites.
These websites build online communities of people who want to interact with other people socially or meet people who share their interests. The best known website of this type is probably FaceBook.com. There’s also Linkedin.com, and let’s not forget the old MySpace.com just to mention a few.
For sharing and discussing mutual interests, there are online forums for practically any subject you can think of. These Forum websites can be a great source of information and help for the small business person. (I’m sure there is a forum dedicated to your type of business. Just do a web search for something like real estate web forum.) Now you can see this is where we start to get into the idea of “hybrid” sites.
Photo Sharing and other forms of sharing sites might also be considered community building sites, much as Blogging sites are. Can Dating Sites be considered Community Building Sites, or are they E-commerce Sites. All that’s up for discussion.
5. Mobile Device Websites
The use of mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, watches, etc.) has become ubiquitous. One problem is that standard websites are difficult to view and sometines take a long time to download on some of these devices with their small screens and wireless connections. Websites whose pages are narrower in width and take up less bandwidth work much better for mobile devices. A new domain designation has been created to identify websites that are “mobile friendly”. That is .mobi, as in www.xislegraphix.mobi, if I had such a site. If you have a small business that would benefit from being viewed on a mobile devise, you should consider investigating the possibilities of creating a mobile friendly site.
6. Blogging Websites
People took the words Web Logs and shortened it to Blogs—online diaries, journals, or editorials, if you will. My, how Blogs have taken over the Internet. A person used to be outdated if he/she did not have a website, now having a blog is de rigeur. A blog owner will log-on daily, weekly, or whenever, and write about whatever is going on in their lives or business, or they may comment on politics and news. How wonderful the Internet is! Now anyone who can afford a blog can be self published and allow their thoughts to be read by anyone in the world who has online access. How important is blogging to the small business person?
Read more about blogs and find out…
7. Informational Websites
A major informational site is wikipedia.org, the online encyclopedia. And it is unique, because it allows members to contribute and edit articles. Now your small business may not want such a comprehensive site, but if you have information to share or sell, an informational website would fill the bill. Suppose you have a landscaping business. You could create a website that lists plants with their definitions and planting and caring instructions. This would be helpful to people, and you would use it to lead people to your nursery. Of course you could “hybrid” this site by adding an e-commerce feature, a forum, or even photo sharing.
8. Online Business Brochure/Catalog Websites
In the days before the Internet, we used the print, radio, and television media to spread the word about our businesses. Now we can cast a large net, reaching literally millions of people al over the world with just one website. With your online brochure or catalog, you can show anyone who looks for and finds your website, photos and descriptions of your products or services. To some this may sound like an E-commerce Website, but there are many businesses that deal in products or services that are not sellable over the web—think hair-stylist, dentist, or day-care center.
9. Directory Websites
Just as we used to use the printed Yellow Pages in phone books to find services and businesses, today we have website directories. The Yellow Pages has one, YP.com. Directories can be dedicated to a certain topic or industry, or they can encompass geographical areas. Search Engines, such as Google.com and Yahoo.com can be considered directories, but since their databases are so large, rather than searching alphabetically, one enters a search term in the search field.
10. E-commerce Websites
You can sell direct to customers online. There are 2 technology available – Magento and Woocommerce