Of course, everyone knows the term “website”, no question about it. But if you dig a little deeper, there is even more behind it: What is a web app, what is the difference between a landing page and a microsite, and when should I, as a company, rely on a blog or rather on a corporate website?
In this post, we want to introduce you to the six website types that fit the typical use cases. We look at the advantages and disadvantages as well as concrete example projects that we have implemented in this form.
THE RIGHT WEBSITE TYPE FOR YOUR PROJECT
To give you an overview right from the start, we made a nice infographic for you that easily guides you to the right type of website for your specific needs:
In reality, of course, the demarcations are not as clear-cut as the figure suggests. But it is enough for a good orientation to guess where the journey for your next project could go.
Of all the types presented here, the corporate website is the one that comes closest to the original term “website,” and that’s why we’ll start with it. A city or non-profit website also falls into this category, which is why we also call this type an informational website.
The websites in this category are often extensive and contain information about the organization itself, the products and services offered and various ways of making contact. In addition to static content, corporate websites often also contain dynamic elements such as news, contact forms or reusable content blocks.
The microsite is often simply a very small informational website. Microsites usually consist of only one to three main pages and have a relatively narrow focus on content. For example, a large technology manufacturer can set up its own microsite with an individual domain for an innovative product in order to be able to advertise the new product appropriately and creatively. But even smaller companies or shops such as opticians or hairdressers are often represented on the Internet with a microsite, which is perfectly adequate for this purpose.
In practice, the terms “landing page” and “microsite” are often used interchangeably, but strictly speaking this is not entirely correct. A landing page is characterized by the fact that it consists of only one main page and always works towards a very specific goal that the visitor should achieve: the so-called call to action (CTA). This includes, for example, the generation of lead contacts or the sale of a single product presented. Microsites, on the other hand, can only serve to provide visitors with information.
Landing pages are particularly optimized for search engines. They are usually actively advertised, for example via social media campaigns or search engine advertising (SEA). The campaigns are also tailored to specific target groups in order to be able to address these target groups as precisely as possible on the landing page. The effectiveness of the landing page is monitored and constantly optimized by analytics tools. So, as you can see, unlike microsites, landing pages are typically specialized endpoints for advertising campaigns.
BLOG / MAGAZINE
Blogs or magazine – style websites are a good choice if the main focus is on editorial content that is very up-to-date. These platforms are optimized to regularly provide new content, which can also come from multiple authors. In the case of blogs, the interaction options for visitors are particularly important in order to increase the reach of the posts, for example by commenting or sharing on social networks. The published content is also often multimedia, i.e. it consists not only of text but also to a large extent of images, videos or social posts. There is usually static content, for example with background information on the authors or the operating company, but this is of little relevance.
Overall, blogs and magazines are characterized by a much higher dynamic and faster changing content than corporate websites. The primary goal is not to inform the visitor about the company, but to present them with relevant and new content in order to create added value for them.
A real software application running in the user’s browser is called a web app . In contrast to the other types discussed so far, web applications are working tools for the user that serve a specific purpose. They work similarly to a desktop application, but can be used from any browser. Web apps are complex software products that are individually programmed.
It is easy to differentiate between online shops: the primary goal is the direct sale of products or services over the Internet. Shops are very complex because they have to map the entire ordering process (legally) securely and completely – this includes things like customer login, invoicing, returns or e-mail notifications. A connection to ERP or CRM software is often required. In most cases, they are therefore based on specialized software such as WooCommerce, Magento or Shopify, for which a suitable front end is designed and developed. Some shops also contain informational content, for example about the company behind it, but this is in the background