A website is a very common entity in the contemporary times. As such, there is hardly an individual today who is completely unaccustomed to this entity. To put it in simple words, a website is a collection of related webpages which remain linked to a single and identical web domain. A website requires to be hosted on (at least) one web server. It becomes accessible through the World Wide Web (WWW) or a locally based LAN network. (The acronym LAN itself stands for Local Area Network.) Accessibility of a website is facilitated using an internet address, which is abbreviated as URL (Uniform Resource Locater).
In a truly broad sense, websites can be categorized into two sections.
- Static and
- Dynamic web sites
Static websites are those that have their webpages stored in the same format in which they are sent to a client web browser. A static website uses
- HTML for coding and
- CSS for controlling appearance
In fact, if audio and video streams embedded into a webpage are non interactive and start playing automatically, then they are considered as static component too. In short, these websites provide identical display of information to all visitors.
On the other hand, dynamic websites are the one that customize or change themselves frequently, in an automatic manner.
A Server-side dynamic webpage is generated ‘on the fly.’ In fact, dynamic webpage or a website is generated using a broad range of software packages. Some of the prominent ones, in this context include
- Java Server Pages (JSP)
- Active Server Pages (ASP) and
- Common Gateway Interface (CGI), etc.
In order to facilitate the process of generating dynamic websites or webpage, a set of web application frameworks and web template systems are widely available. These entities smoothly blend with general purpose programming languages like PHP, Python and Ruby, etc. which help in fast generating of complex dynamic web portals.
On the other hand, web portals can again be further divided into two more categories. These are
- Static and
- Interactive websites
Static sites either accept or retrieve information, but under no circumstance, these are capable to interact with users.
Interactive websites allow robust interaction and dialogue exchange between website owner and the online visitors. These are actually crucial components of Web 2.0 online portal community.
Barring these basic categorizations, there are multiple types of websites that one comes across these days. Some of the crucial ones, in the given context are as following
- Affiliate sites
- Archive sites
- Blog sites
- Brand building sites
- Celebrity web sites
- Crowdfunding sites
- Charity web sites
- Community sites
- Content sites
- Classified advertisement sites
- Corporate sites
- Ecommerce sites
- Dating sites
- Forum sites
- Gallery sites
- Gaming sites
- Gambling sites
- Porn sites
- Humour sites
- Media sharing sites
- Micro blog sites
- News site
- Personal sites
- Phishing sites
- Torrents sites
- Spiritual sites
- Product/service review sites
- Search Engines sites
- Social networking sites
- Web mail sites
- Wiki sites and
- Web portal sites, etc.
Let us now, get into brief introductions about each of the types of web portals mentioned above.
An affiliate site aims to sell a product that belongs to a third party and receives a commission for each sale it facilitates.
Archive sites preserve priceless content that are threatened with extinction. The matter is digitally converted into electronic content. In fact many museums have digitally converted ancient manuscripts and have those stored in various archive sites.
Blog sites are those which allow posting personal diaries online. These sites may – however – include discussion forums. Example is WordPress.
Brand building sites help various corporate entities to promote their brands online. Usually, these portals do not sell anything; they just focus on building brand value and are very common for various FMCG products.
Celebrity websites provide various information related to a given celebrity figure. These can either be officially endorsed by the celebrity individual or can be created and maintained by his/her fans.
- Officially endorsed celebrity website: www.diamirzaoffical.com
- Celebrity website hosted by fans: www.facebook.com/deepikapadukoneofficialfanclub
Crowdfunding websites are platforms to fund projects by pre-purchasing products. Example, www.microventures.com
Charity websites allow online visitors to donate to charity by simply clicking a button. Example: www.calcuttahope.org
Community websites are those where people with identical interests communicate among themselves. For example, MySpace and Facebook, etc.
Content sites commercially deal with creation and subsequent distribution of original and meaningful contents. Example www.slate.com
There are several sites that publish only classified advertisements, and are known as classified ads sites. For example, www.gumtree.com and www.craigslist.org
Corporate websites usually provide background information for business organizations. For example, www.nationalitsolution.com
At dating websites people find other people who are single and these sites facilitate long-term relationships among such individuals. For example, www.indiandating.com
Ecommerce websites offer various ranges of products and services for selling online and also facilitate online monetary transactions for such sales. Best example is www.amazon.com
Forum websites are those where people discuss various topics online. Example, www.websitebaker.org/forum
Gallery websites are exclusively designed to use as gallery. People using such websites usually upload photos and other art objects for the community to share with. These websites have both amateurish and professionals applications. Example, www.jalbum.net/en
Government websites are exclusively run and administered by governments. For example, www.westbengal.gov.in
Gaming or gambling websites allow people to play online. Example, www.addictinggames.com
Humour sites are there to serve people with amusements. And usually contain jokes, satires and witty comments, etc. Example, www.funtoosh.com
Informational websites are those that provide relevant information on given topics. Usually government and non-profit organizations launch such websites to provide some useful information to the public, for free. Example, www.thesaurus.com
Media sharing sites allow users to share files like pictures, music and video streams with one’s friends and peers. Example, Flickr, YouTube and Google Videos, etc.
Micro blog sites provide a simple and tiny form of blogging facility. It is limited to a certain number of characters, somewhat similar to that of Facebook status update facility. Example, Twitter
News sites exclusively provide dedicated and thorough updates on various political news and current affairs. Example, www.cnn.com
Personal websites are run by individuals and these portals dispense news about those individuals or about their respective families. Unlike the celebrity websites, these are small budget portals that sustain on marginal maintenance.
Phishing websites are used to acquire sensitive information like credit card details and passwords in dishonest ways, by falsely imposing as a trustworthy entity, (like Social Security Administration, PayPal, etc.) across the internet.
Torrent websites index torrent files and examples can be cites like, The Pirate Bay.
Political websites are usually hosted by political parties, conveying their views and strategies on various aspects related to the state. For example, www.inc.in
Porn sites display explicit sexual content for adult enjoyment.
Spiritual sites convey spiritual messages and teachings to promote positive inspiration in the society. Such a site is also related to propagate a particular faith among people. Example, www.sikhs.org
Review sites are dedicated to post reviews on various commercial products or services and those posts prove helpful for the public to form a preliminary opinion about the same. Example, www.yelp.com and www.rottentomatoes.com
Search Engine sites index information based on a search query on the internet, along with providing respective links to access respective information. Example Google and Bing
Social bookmarking sites allow users to share content from the virtual world of the internet and rate and comment on the same. Example, StumbleUpon and Digg
Social networking sites allow their respective members to communicate with one another and share media including pictures, video, blogs and music, etc. across the virtual platforms. Example, Facebook, Google+
Webmail sites provide email services across the virtual world of the internet. Example, gmail, Yahoo!
Web portals provide the gateway to access other resources across the internet. Example, www.msn.com
Wiki websites provide users the facility to edit contents in a collaborative manner. Example, Wikipedia, WikiHow
The above list covers almost all the varieties of websites that are relevant in the contemporary times. While browsing the internet, one hardly cares to consider what category of websites one is accessing. Google actually has made the aspect of online searches easier more than anything else. Simple and uncomplicated way of searching resources, on any given topic, which Google provides is genuinely praiseworthy.