There are many different types of websites out there on the World Wide Web today. However, in general, they all fall into one of two categories: static or dynamic. We’ll go over these two primary types of websites at the end of the article, though.
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For right now, we’ll explain a little bit about some of the common sub-types of websites that you will find.
Common types of websites
Many people and companies have their own personal websites, where they may show of their products or services, or otherwise promote themselves.
Search Engine / Directory
This type of website doesn’t usually have much of its own content. Instead, the bulk of its code is dedicated to helping you find content elsewhere on the Internet, based on key words and phrases, as well as certain other criteria.
Forum / Message Board
This type of website is usually based on a certain theme, and allows users to create sub-topics about that theme. Users can then post messages back and forth about a certain sub-topic to have a conversation about it. Many websites have this type of functionality built in, but others stand on their own.
“Blog” is short for “web log”, and it basically constitutes an online journal. People can write down their day-to-day thoughts; add pictures, videos, or hyperlinks; customize how their blog looks; and decide whether or not they want to share what they have to say with others. Websites that help people to create their own blogs include WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr.
A “wiki” is a special kind of website that is sort of a cross between a directory and a forum. A wiki often provides information on a particular topic, but this information is not necessarily controlled by the person who makes the website. Instead, anyone who wishes to can register with the website, and — as long as they play by the rules — add and edit any relevant information to any sub-topic on the wiki that they know about. Other users can also leave comments and start discussions concerning the validity of the information, or simply to ask questions about it. The most famous wiki is Wikipedia, which is a general encyclopedia, but there are many more out there dedicated to books, TV shows, movies, video games, and more!
E-commerce websites facilitate the online trading of goods and services by allowing users to buy or bid for products. Many of the most popular ones allow users to list and sell their own products. Common examples include Amazon and eBay.
A social network is a website that acts as a centralized place for people to find and connect with other people and brands that they know. It then allows them to interact with each other by sharing and discussing what’s going on in their lives, playing games, organizing events, commenting on news stories, and more. Two of the most popular social networks are Facebook and Twitter.
These types of websites facilitate the sharing of computer files between multiple people, either through direct transfers or a technology called BitTorrent (which allows the user to download different parts of a file from multiple different sources, thus splitting up the workload). However, these types of websites often do not have a comfortable relationship with many national and international copyright laws.
Static vs. dynamic websites
You may sometimes hear people refer to “static” or “dynamic” websites, or to “Web 1.0” or “Web 2.0”. Here’s an explanation of what they mean.
A “static” website refers to a website whose pages appear in your web browser exactly as they are stored on the server computer that you get them from. This generally means that, beyond hyperlinks, there isn’t very much that you can actually do on them; sometimes, there will be audio or video, but it will usually play automatically without your ability to control it. Static websites are mostly used simply to provide information, with the same information being given to every person who visits the website. Static websites are often associated with the term “Web 1.0”.
Examples of static websites include:
Promotion for the movie Jurassic Park: The Lost World — https://www.lost-world.com/ingen/index.html
C.N.N.’s “1996 Year in Review” — https://edition.cnn.com/EVENTS/1996/year.in.review
TravelASSIST Travel Magazine — https://travelassist.com/mag/mag_home.html
A “dynamic” website refers to a website with pages that can change themselves by running extra functions in the background. This can allow the user to make changes to pages on the website without having to go to another page or reload the current page every time a change is requested. A common example is that in many modern search engines, or websites with search functions, the search bar will suggest key words or phrases that you might be looking for while you’re typing in your search terms. You don’t have to wait to hit the “Search” button to see possible results, and the page doesn’t have to reload every time you type in something new in order to give you new suggestions. Dynamic websites are often associated with the term “Web 2.0”.