Types of Web Sites

by Jason Vaughn

This lesson is designed to help you understand the different types of Web sites on the Internet. You will learn about content sites, promotional sites, portals and much more. It is recommended that you attend the class lectures to get a full understanding of this lesson.

Know your objective

It is important to know what type of site you are designing. First, you must understand your client's needs and wants. What's the site's purpose, who's the target audience and what's the product? Once you have this information in place, you will know your objective.

Not all sites can be a wild Flash™ animated site with cool sounds and streaming video. Some sites may not even be that attractive, by typical print design standards. However, you are designing for the Web. All of your print background will help in designing sites, but you will find that this will be your biggest drawback on keeping things simple and clean. The Web is a totally different medium than print. Even though design elements are similar, you will find out after time and research that things are drastically different.

Surf across the Web for sites you think are cool. Look for white space, navigation, colors and content. This will help you get closer to your goal of designing a great site.

Promotional sites

A promotional site represents the client's company, personality, product information and even their philosophy. Promotional sites are not limited to design firms or ad agencies. Promotional sites can be for many companies that want to talk about who they are and what they do. These sites are online brochures with more power. Promotional sites can have a more cutting edge personality -- such as animation, streaming video, unusual navigation and much more. The narrower your audience is, the more creative you can get. Visit for an example.

promotional site graphic design dallas texas


Content sites

Entertainment companies, online magazines and newspapers would fall under the content site category. Companies are providing content enriched sites for online readers and for those looking for entertainment. is a great example of a content site offering a large selection of short films and parodies.

content sites


Portal sites

Some search engines are a great example of a portal site. Yahoo and many others use this type of design. These sites mainly consist of searches, online directories, free email, shopping, and news. These sites are limited on graphics and produce a layout that consists of mostly text and tables. Navigation is important due to the amount of information these sites host. Enabling your audience to search and use the site without confusion is the most crucial part of designing a portal.

prortal site


Ecommerce sites

When developing an ecommerce site, you must always consider what product is being sold and how many variables each product has. There are several types of shopping carts, data driven back ends and many other aspects you must think about in advance. With an ecommerce site, you must do more than show a product. You need to sell them first, get them interested, and focus on the emotion of the audience. A great site example for this is This site does a hard sell on the home page, showing emotion with photos and displaying great deals offered up front. Always think about how you will promote a product. Just placing an image in a shopping cart will not sell the product.

silk flowers ecommerce site

Article posted with permission from:
Art Space Design