What are the Different Types of Websites?

We've selected the 12 most popular types of websites and explained our top web design tips…

Some of the most common types of websites are blogs, ecommerce sites, online portfolios, and corporate or business websites, but there are several more. Knowing these different types of websites can help you understand which one you need for your business or project.

This article will show you the most common types of sites, explaining how they work and how to build them. We'll also recommend the best DIY platforms to help you design them, backed up by our independent research and testing.

Or, as an alternative, you should consider hiring a web designer to build your website, especially if you're short on time and are after something complex, bespoke, or truly original.

Simply tell us what you're looking for using our free web design service comparison tool, and we’ll match you with quotes from designers who can create a professional-looking website that's tailored to your needs.

Or, read on to find out about different website types, and which one suits your requirements.

We matched 1,500+ Expert Market readers with a web design service in 2021. Join them today!

1. Blog

You’ve likely come across blogs in your browsing experience, but for those who aren’t familiar, they’re online journals or informational pages that are regularly updated.

Typically managed by an individual or a small group, a blog can cover any topic – whether it’s travel tips, financial advice, or doughnut reviews. Blogs are often written in an informal or conversational style, but learning how to monetise blogs has become a popular venture for many writers.

For your first blog, we recommend trying Wix. It’s the most user-friendly platform we tested, making it really easy to build a stylish blog.

Wix gained the highest score in our ‘website features’ research (scoring 4.5/5) offering some brilliant blogging-specific tools such as performance analytics, a comments feature, and social bookmarking.

wix blog example

2. Corporate

Less than two-thirds (64%) of small businesses have a website. That’s an astonishingly low figure, given how important an online presence is for a company’s credibility. And luckily for you, this means you can build a website to give your business the competitive edge.

You may not sell directly through a corporate website, but you can use these sites to provide information about your business, and to let potential clients or customers know how they can get in touch with you.

Best of all, it doesn’t cost much to create a credible corporate website. With Wix, you can design an impressive corporate website – that is, a non-ecommerce business website – for just £9.50 per month on the Unlimited Plan (and market-leading ecommerce plans are also available.)

Corporate sites could benefit from professional web design

Enterprise businesses need slick websites of a world-class standard, which is why we would suggest they invest in web design services.

corporate website example

3. Ecommerce

An ecommerce site, otherwise known as an online store, allows you to take online payments for products or services. Stores can function as standalone websites, or be combined with a blog or corporate website.

For example, a purely corporate website without ecommerce functionality can still indirectly encourage users to purchase something, but cannot accept any payments.

If you’re looking to build an ecommerce store today, then we recommend trying Shopify’s 14-day free trial. It came top overall in our research, scoring 4.7/5 for ‘sales features’ and 4.8/5 (the highest score) for ‘customer score’, meaning our research participants really enjoyed using it.

There’s an even more affordable option. You can build a basic online store at no cost using Square Online, a platform that gained the highest ‘value for money’ score (4.7/5) in our testing. Square’s more restrictive than Shopify in terms of design, but it’s still very simple to use.

shopify website example

4. Portfolio

Just like a physical portfolio, these types of websites are used to display and promote examples of previous work. Primarily used by those in the creative industry, a portfolio website can be used like a CV, demonstrating your skills in order to impress clients, customers, or future employers.

We recommend using Squarespace to build a beautiful portfolio that helps your work stand out. Squarespace places emphasis on design, and has the most stylish templates of any platform we tested, letting you create a professional-looking site in a matter of hours.

Better yet, Expert Market readers can save 10% on Squarespace by adding the code EM10 at checkout.

portfolio website example

5. Brochure

Brochure websites are like digital business cards. Mainly used by small businesses, these types of websites are used to advertise services, and to display contact information, with just a few pages.

For example, a small plumbing company would build a brochure website with a homepage to display contact information, an ‘about us’ page describing the company, and maybe a few photos of their work. 

brochure website example

6. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from lots of different people. These types of websites are becoming a go-to resource for new startups. 

In the past, the only way to fund a new business venture was to seek large investments from only a few people (think Dragon’s Den). But these days, you can create a crowdfunding site with ease – you’ll just need to create a pitch video for your project, and then set a target amount and deadline. 

Internet users who believe in what you’re working on will pledge an amount of money to your cause. You can also offer incentives in exchange for donations, such as discounted products or VIP experiences. 

crowdfunding website example

7. News or magazine

News and magazine websites need little explanation. The primary purpose of a news website is to keep its readers up to date on current affairs, whereas online magazines will focus more on entertainment.

Are you a budding journalist looking to build an online presence? Then you can’t really go wrong with Wix’s sublime templates (there are over 500 to choose from).

You can even install the News Page app to your business website, which will automatically feed and update your website with relevant news articles. And better still, with paid plans starting from just £6.50 per month, Wix won’t cost you the earth.

bbc news website

8. Social media

We all know Facebook and Twitter, but social media sites can take many other forms. These sites are usually created to let people share thoughts, images or ideas, or simply connect with other people in relation to a certain topic. Social media sites are also increasingly becoming the go-to destination for people to read up on the news. 

social media website example

9. TV or video streaming

Netflix, along with similar sites like NowTV, have revolutionised the way the world watches television. These video streaming sites have seen their popularity soar in recent years, with catch-up sites like BBC iPlayer and All 4 representing more traditional examples of this particular website theme.

Netflix home screen

10. Educational

Educational websites are also quite self explanatory. These websites are designed to display information on certain topics, either using interactive games or engaging designs to keep the user hooked. If you’re looking to build one of these websites, you should think about hiring a freelance web developer to create some fun tools, games, or quizzes.

educational website example

11. Portal

Portals are primarily used for internal purposes within businesses, schools, or institutions. These websites often involve a login process, allowing students to access the school website, or granting employees access to their emails, alerts, and files all in one place.

Web portals are quite complex when it comes to design, so we’d recommend hiring a web design expert to handle the tricky web development process.

portal website example

12. Wiki or community forum 

A wiki website allows people to collaborate online and write content together. The most popular example is Wikipedia itself, which allows anyone to amend, add to, and assess the content of each article.

wiki website example

What are the types of web design? 

You now know more about the different website themes out there, which can range from ecommerce and crowdfunding to portfolio and video streaming – but what are the different types of website design

In this section, we discuss web design in terms of content and mobile responsiveness.

If you want to find out which web design service you need to fulfil your requirements, and how much this will cost exactly, use our web design quote comparison toolIt's an 100% free service and takes just one minute to complete.

Dynamic content design

A website’s design will usually depend on how dynamic the page’s content is – that is, whether the content changes, updates, or remains still over time. 

There are two types of page content web design:

1. Static/fixed

Static (or ‘fixed’) websites are the most simplistic websites when it comes to design. The content on these websites doesn’t automatically change or adapt depending on the user, and is not regularly updated. 

Static websites are built using simple HTML code, and are usually there to provide information.

2. Dynamic

A dynamic website will display different content each time a user visits. This type of design is commonly used for blogs and ecommerce sites, or any website that is regularly updated.

Dynamic content design can also show different content to each user at different times of the day. The upside of dynamic content web design is that it creates a more personal and interactive experience for the user; the downside, however, is that these websites are more complex to develop, and may take slightly longer to load than static sites.

Optimisation design

Optimised design is when a website reformats its layout to clearly display the page on a different screen size. For example, a website that is mobile responsive will completely reshuffle its layout in order to fit on a mobile screen, keeping the user journey as smooth as possible.

There are three different types of optimised design:

  1. Static/fixed
  2. Fluid/liquid
  3. Responsive

1. Static/fixed

A fixed website is not optimised for screens of different sizes. The website will remain a fixed width of pixels, no matter which device it’s displayed on – whether that’s a desktop, tablet, or mobile.

When viewing a static/fixed website on a mobile, you’ll need to pinch, zoom, and swipe in order to see what’s written on the page. This results in a bad user experience, and means we would not recommend this design.

In fact, 73.1% of web designers believe that a non-responsive design is a top reason why visitors leave a website.

2. Fluid/liquid

A website built with a fluid or liquid design ensures that the website looks the same in terms of proportions no matter which screen it’s displayed on. Each element of the website, such as the navigation bar, will take up the same relative amount of space on every device, resulting in a simple user journey.

3. Responsive

Responsive design goes one step further than fluid or liquid. A website with responsive design will actually look different on each device – in fact, some less important elements will even disappear in order to fit on the screen, in order to minimise the need for zooming, pinching, or scrolling.

If your target audience spends most of its time on mobiles, then it’s absolutely vital that your website is mobile responsive. Luckily, website builders like Wix offer mobile ready themes, so you don’t need to worry about optimising your website.

an example of a responsive website

Next steps

Feeling inspired? Thankfully, getting a website of your own has never been easier.

Whether you need a website for your business dream, or a blog about your football team, we can help you find the right web design agencies to suit your ambitions. If you’d like to receive free quotes from the UK’s leading web design experts, then just tell us what you'd like from your website on our free comparison tool and we'll match you up with web designers to suit your needs. It only takes a minute, and the matching service is completely free to use.

On the other hand, you can build your own website using a website builder. These platforms are easy to use, letting you create killer websites in just a few hours. There are all sorts of brilliant options out there, so check out our roundup of the top website builders on the market today to help you decide.

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.