Types of Websites
Websites can be divided into two broad categories - static and interactive. Interactive sites are part of the Web 2.0 community of sites, and allow for interactivity between the site owner and site visitors. Static sites serve or capture information but do not allow engagement with the audience directly.
There are many varieties of websites, each specializing in a particular type of content or use, and they may be arbitrarily classified in any number of ways. A few such classifications might include:
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|Type of Website||Description||Examples|
|Affiliate||A site, typically few in pages, whose purpose is to sell a third party's product. The seller receives a commission for facilitating the sale.|
|Affiliate Agency||Enabled portal that renders not only its custom CMS but also syndicated content from other content providers for an agreed fee. There are usually three relationship tiers. Affiliate Agencies||(e.g., Commission Junction), Advertisers (e.g., eBay) and consumer (e.g., Yahoo!).|
|Archive site||Used to preserve valuable electronic content threatened with extinction. Two examples are: Internet Archive, which since 1996 has preserved billions of old (and new) web pages; and Google Groups, which in early 2005 was archiving over 845,000,000 messages posted to Usenet news/discussion groups.||Internet Archive, Google Groups|
|Attack site||A site created specifically to attack visitors computers on their first visit to a website by downloading a file (usually a trojan horse). These websites rely on unsuspecting users with poor anti-virus protection in their computers.|
|Blog (web log)||Sites generally used to post online diaries which may include discussion forums (e.g., blogger, Xanga). Many bloggers use blogs like an editorial section of a newspaper to express their ideas on anything ranging from politics to religion to video games to parenting, along with anything in between. Some bloggers are professional bloggers and they are paid to blog about a certain subject, and they are usually found on news sites.||WordPress|
|Brand building site||A site with the purpose of creating an experience of a brand online. These sites usually do not sell anything, but focus on building the brand. Brand building sites are most common for low-value, high-volume fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).|
|Celebrity website||A website whose information revolves around a celebrity. This sites can be official (endorsed by the celebrity) or fan made (run by his/her fan, fans, without implicit endorsement).||jimcarrey.com|
|Click-to-donate site||A website that allows the visitor to donate to charity simply by clicking on a button or answering a question correctly. An advertiser usually donates to the charity for each correct answer generated.||The Hunger Site, Freerice, Ripple (charitable organisation)|
|Community site||A site where persons with similar interests communicate with each other, usually by chat or message boards.||Myspace, Facebook, orkut|
|Content site||Sites whose business is the creation and distribution of original content||(e.g., Slate, About.com).|
|Classified Ads site||Sites publishing classified advertisements||gumtree.com|
|Corporate website||Used to provide background information about a business, organization, or service.|
|Dating website||A site where users can find other single people looking for long range relationships, dating, or just friends.||Many of them are pay per services such as eHarmony and Match.com, but there are many free or partially free dating sites. Most dating sites today have the functionality of social networking websites.|
|Electronic commerce (e-commerce) site||A site offering goods and services for online sale and enabling online transactions for such sales.|
|Forum website||A site where people discuss various topics.|
|Gallery Website||A website designed specifically for use as a Gallery, these may be an art gallery or photo gallery and of commercial or non-commercial nature.|
|Government Site||A website made by the local, state, department or national government of a country. Usually these sites also operate websites that are intended to inform tourists or support tourism.||For example, Richmond.com is the geodomain for Richmond, Virginia.|
|Gripe site||A site devoted to the criticism of a person, place, corporation, government, or institution.|
|A site that lets users play online games. Some enable people to gamble online.|
|Humor site||Satirizes, parodies or otherwise exists solely to amuse.|
|Information site||Most websites could fit in this type of website to some extent many of them are not necessarily for commercial purposes||RateMyProfessors.com, Free Internet Lexicon and Encyclopedia. Most government, educational and nonprofit institutions have an informational site.|
|Media sharing site||A site that enables users to upload and view media such as pictures, music, and videos||Flickr, YouTube, PureVolume and Google Videos|
|Mirror site||A website that is the replication of another website. This type of websites are used as a response to spikes in user visitors. Mirror sites are most commonly used to provide multiple sources of the same information, and are of particular value as a way of providing reliable access to large downloads.|
|Microblog site||A short and simple form of blogging. Microblogs are limited to certain amounts of characters and works similar to a status update on Facebook|
|News site||Similar to an information site, but dedicated to dispensing news, politics, and commentary.||cnn.com|
|Personal website||Websites about an individual or a small group (such as a family) that contains information or any content that the individual wishes to include. Such a personal website is different from a Celebrity website, which can be very expensive and run by a publicist or agency.|
|Phishing site||a website created to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business (such as Social Security Administration, PayPal) in an electronic communication (see Phishing).|
|p2p/Torrents website||Websites that index torrent files. This type of website is different from a Bit torrent client which is usually a stand alone software.||Mininova, The Pirate Bay, IsoHunt|
|Political site||A site on which people may voice political views, show political humor, campaigning for elections, or show information about a certain political party or ideology.|
|Porn site||A site that shows sexually explicit content for enjoyment and relaxation. They can be similar to a personal website when it's a website of a porn actor/actress or a media sharing website where user can upload from their own sexually explicit material to movies made by adult studios.|
|Question and Answer (Q&A) Site||Answer site is a site where people can ask questions & get answers.||Yahoo! Answers, Stack Exchange Network (including Stack Overflow)|
|Rating site||A site on which people can praise or disparage what is featured.|
|Religious site||A site in which people may advertise a place of worship, or provide inspiration or seek to encourage the faith of a follower of that religion.|
|Review site||A site on which people can post reviews for products or services.|
|School site||a site on which teachers, students, or administrators can post information about current events at or involving their school. U.S. elementary-high school websites generally use k12 in the URL|
|Scraper site||a site which largely duplicates without permission the content of another site, without actually pretending to be that site, in order to capture some of that site's traffic (especially from search engines) and profit from advertising revenue or in other ways.|
|Search engine site||A website that indexes material on the Internet or an intranet (and lately on traditional media such as books and newspapers)and provides links to information as a response to a query.||Google Search, Bing, GoodSearch, Ecosia, DuckDuckGo|
|Shock site||Includes images or other material that is intended to be offensive to most viewers||Goatse.cx, rotten.com|
|Showcase site||Web portals used by individuals and organisations to showcase things of interest or value|
|Social bookmarking site||A site where users share other content from the Internet and rate and comment on the content.||StumbleUpon and Digg are examples.|
|Social networking site||A site where users could communicate with one another and share media, such as pictures, videos, music, blogs, etc. with other users. These may include games and web applications.||Facebook, Orkut, Google+|
|Warez||A site designed to host or link to materials such as music, movies and software for the user to download.|
|Webmail||A site that provides a webmail service.||Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo!|
|Web portal||A site that provides a starting point or a gateway to other resources on the Internet or an intranet.||msn.com, msnbc.com, yahoo|
|Wiki site||A site which users collaboratively edit its content.||Wikipedia, WikiHow, Wikia|
Some websites may be included in one or more of these categories. For example, a business website may promote the business's products, but may also host informative documents, such as white papers. There are also numerous sub-categories to the ones listed above. For example, a porn site is a specific type of e-commerce site or business site (that is, it is trying to sell memberships for access to its site) or have social networking capabilities. A fansite may be a dedication from the owner to a particular celebrity.
Websites are constrained by architectural limits (e.g., the computing power dedicated to the website). Very large websites, such as Facebook, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Google employ many servers and load balancing equipment such as Cisco Content Services Switches to distribute visitor loads over multiple computers at multiple locations. As of early 2011, Facebook utilized 9 data centers with approximately 63,000 servers.
In February 2009, Netcraft, an Internet monitoring company that has tracked Web growth since 1995, reported that there were 215,675,903 websites with domain names and content on them in 2009, compared to just 18,000 websites in August 1995.
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