I think the following statement will probably cost me many followers, but this is my personal view and I feel strongly about it.
In the internet world there are only two types of websites. Those that work and those that do not. My opinion is that if websites are not designed with the customer in mind, they are definitely doomed and will more than often fail to deliver what the client requires.
However those that do work can be broken up into a few different types of websites. These are brochure type websites, more commonly referred to as static website, dynamic or content management websites, eCommerce websites, community and directory listing websites, portal and search engines.
In this article I would like to review the first three, as these are the most commonly used, where as the later two are used to either list actual websites or to search for websites.
I do not like to refer to websites as static websites, but would rather see them as brochure or informational websites. These are the most basic websites which are used to provide the customer with information on your business services or products and would at a bare minimum consist of a home or landing page, contact page and then one or more pages describing your services or products. These websites require a web development company to do all the web development work and the publishing of the content and also any future changes or additions to the website.
Dynamic or content management websites are those that allow the owner and / or customers to dynamically add or change the content of the website. There is still a portion that would require web development, especially the initial setup and some of the ongoing technical changes, but as the owner becomes more and more comfortable, even some of these technical actions can be done by the owner.
For clients that would like to either provide more detailed information on their products or services or that would like to actually sell their products or services online, an eCommerce website is the answer. Here you can either create a catalog type website, without any shopping cart or payment functionality. This will allow the customer to browse, search and obtain more detail about every product without the option to purchase. An addition to this is where the owner of the website allows for online purchases, immediate secure payment via credit card, PayPal or EFT and products are then dispatched via the back office functionality provided within the website.
So, even if you only want to promote yourself, your business or if you want to have a fully automated online business, there is a website for everyone's requirements.