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Type of Websites: Marketing Sites, E-Commerce Sites, and Web Applications


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I have always had a hard time figuring out how to explain my business.  I have been to networking events and I did some impromptu pitches but I never got good reception.  I finally realized that I have to teach a little about the different types of websites, their goals, and how to identify them before I could go into what I do.  Here is the most receptive explanation I give everyone.   There are 3 Type of Websites:  Marketing, E-commerce, and Web Applications.


First Type of Websites:  Marketing Sites


The first type of website is your standard Marketing site.   This is probably the type of website most of you are familiar with. It usually consists of 5 to 7 pages that tell about your services, the company, how you can help others, and why you started the company in the first place.   It can be identified by the standard Contact Us or Locations links in the navigation.  It can also be identified by call to action buttons on the site that direct a user to the Contact Us page or to Find a Location.  The main goal of a marketing site is to have users visit your place of business or contact you through either the phone, an online chat, or the Contact Us form.  


alt="Fresh Lines homepage - marketing type of websites"

Figure 1 - Marketing Site -

Figure 1 is an example of a marketing site.  Notice the Contact Us link on the right side of the navigation.  The rest of the pages tell about the services we offer, case studies, and a little bit about us.  Also notice there are “call to action” buttons on almost every page reminding users to contact the company. 


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Figure 2 - Call to Action At the bottom of the page -

Notice in Figure 2 the eye catching Contact Us button at the bottom of the page.  Our next example Figure 3 is a marketing site that is trying to get you to visit their place of business.  Notice that instead of a Contact Us button they have a Locations button in the top right.  Ultimately the goal here is to visit their place of business.  


alt="Chuckie Cheese homepage - marketing type of websites"

Figure 3 - This site wants you to visit their location -

Marketing websites do not usually have a mobile app accompany it, in favor of just using a mobile friendly design for their site.  The reason for this is that they are found through Google, Bing, and other search engines.  Not through any of the mobile stores.


E-Commerce Sites


Our second type of website is called an E-Commerce (Electronic Commerce) site.  These sites sell a company’s products. They usually contain a large Search box at the top and the navigation usually categorizes the type of products they sell.  An E-Commerce site can also be identified by a Shopping Cart image somewhere in the top right of the screen.  They contain teasers, discounts, and relationships for products to get the user to commit to more purchases.  The goal of an E-Commerce site is to get the user to easily find what they are looking for and easily checkout after selecting their products.  


alt="Bass Pro Shops homepage - e-commerce type of websites"

Figure 4 - A great example of an E-Commerce site -

An example of an E-Commerce site is Bass Pro Shops (Figure 4).  Notice the large Search field at the top and the navigation directing the user to the target category.  Notice the Shopping Cart link in the top right.   An E-Commerce site does not usually have a mobile app accompany it in favor of just using a mobile friendly design for their site.  Most people search via a search engine to find their products.  Big E-Commerce sites such as Amazon and Bass Pro are the exception to this rule. They have enough product that an app can be warranted.  


Web Applications


Our third type of website is a Web Application.  This is a site that solves a problem for a user.  You can identify a web application because they are trying to get the user to register, login, or download their app in order to use their product. There are two goals to a web app.  The first goal is get users to register for your app. This is a marketing component similar to the marketing site I mentioned previously.  The second goal is to perfect usability of the app and keep the users coming back to use it after registering.   There is almost always a mobile app accompanying the web application. Some examples of web applications are Facebook and Pocket. Notice when you go to these sites there is just a registration form or a way to login.  Then once you login you use the app to solve your problem.  For facebook the problem solved is communicating with friends.  For pocket the problem solved is to save articles so you can come back and read them at a later date even if the original article is deleted.  


alt="Pocket homepage - web applications type of websites"

Figure 5 - Web Application, Marketing Component -

Figure 5 is an example of the Pocket web application.  The initial screen shows the marketing component.  Here they want the user to register for the app.  If you scroll down you will be given compelling reasons why you should use the app.  


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Figure 6 - Web Application, App Component -

Our second screen shows the app once you are logged in.  It displays a list of the articles you have saved.  This app also has a browser plugin.  When visiting any article you just click the button in the top right and it will save the article for you to keep you coming back for more.

I hope I have enlightened you on the 3 different types of websites, their goals, and how to identify them.  The marketing sites’ goal is to convert users to contact the company or visit their location of business.   The E-Commerce sites’ goal is to have users select products and checkout.  The web applications’ goal is to have a user register and keep using the product.   Now you’ll never look at a website the same way again.

Fresh Lines is a Web and Mobile Development company that can help with Web Applications, Mobile Applications, Marketing Sites and Voice Services.

Contact Fresh::Lines Today!