Yep another seemingly strange question and yep, another good one to ask yourself as you plan out your website strategy.
There are lots of different styles, shapes, configurations and colors to choose from but we are going to focus on a few of the man types here: Blogging, Online Brochure, eCommerce, and Membership sites.
Type 1: Blog Site
If you are just getting started, a fancy dancy, multi-page website with tons of bells and whistles does not make sense.
A blog site is usually built on the WordPress platform and features your content in the form of blog posts on the home page. Blogging comes in many different forms such as photographs, written content, video, and podcasting and all would work and function well on a blog style site.
Usually a blog site is going to include at least 2 more pages such as “About” and “Contact”. As you grow you can easily add new pages and functionality to your site.
Blog Site Examples:
Type 2: Brochure Site
For a service based business this is a great place to start. You are not necessarily selling your services online but you do want your target market to be able to find you and learn what you are about and what you are offering.
It is now a necessary part of your marketing strategy. Your audience is not looking through the yellow pages anymore they are going to their computer, tablet and phone to look for resources and recommendations.
This type of site I geared toward a business that offers services and is needing to build the know, like and trust factor with their target market. It may or may not include a blog page but it will definitely need pages that describe you, what you are offering and contact information. Pages like Home, About, Services / Solutions, Contact are definite musts.
Brochure Site Examples:
Type 3: eCommerce Site
When you are ready to start selling your products and services online, your site will need to include a shopping cart and payment options.
You may have a lot to sell or maybe just one or two items, either way you will need to have the tools and functions on your site that take the customer through a secure purchase process. This type of site will also include information and pages such as Home, About, Contact that help to describe what you offer and how to purchase.
eCommerce Site Examples:
- It could be a simple sales page with one item to start with like this: www.SelahReflections.com/be-still-calendar
- Or, have multiple products for sale like: www.RockinHFarmToys.com/store.
Type 4: Membership Site
As a coach or consultant you may have a training program or a group coaching program for sale and you will need a way to sell the program and the tools to interact with your members.
Membership sites are a mishmash of features and functionality including eCommerce and sometimes blogging. But, you also need to add on member management and content protection to your site. Most of the pages and content will be behind password protection but will probably include about, contact, support, forums, training content on posts or pages.
Membership Site Examples:
There are of course hybrid sites. TrailGuideWebWorks.com is both a blogging site and on online brochure. My 2nd site SelahReflections.com is currently a blog site and soon I will have a new store page with eCommerce functionality added.