Types of Websites to Consider
A n e-Brochure website, as the name implies, is a web-based variation of the popular tri-fold brochure. It conveys who the entity is, background, qualifications, services, contact info and the like.
Once published, the content generally is fairly static and therefore the site may not have an administrative backend built in. It’s appropriate for a wide range of entities such as doctors, lawyers, service providers, restaurants, and many small businesses.
The content may include graphics, images, slide shows, video clips, audio, in addition to text and a contact form.
Search Engine considerations can be very basic, i.e., sound SEO practices pertaining to titles, descriptions, and keywords focusing on organic searches. Alternately the SEO strategy may be more aggressive to include paid ad campaigns that pay for each click and or views.
While a CMS may appear like any other website to the casual viewer, it is quite different in three ways:
Intrinsically Dynamic – It is built using PHP (which generates HTML allowing for background processing to take place in response to viewer interactions
Includes a Database – Content like blog posts, images, data, subscribers and more, all reside in a database maintained by you without coding in HTML
A Dashboard for User Control – A backend user interface to add media,posts,pages, and users, along with a whole host of website management tools
WordPress is by far the CMS of choice. It can serve an individual hosting a blog or a small group like a condo association showcasing their building. Larger organizations like municipalities use CMS to host the large stores of data they want to make available to the public.
An e-Commerce website requires a few more components:
e-catalog – comprised of a database containing elements like sale items, images, prices and stocking levels.
Shopping Basket – a viewer specific list of shopping items that may persist accross multiple visits.
Sales Transaction Functionality – a method and facility to consummate the sale by accepting some form of electronic payment.
Post Sales Support – this can involve shipping initiation, inventory tracking, sales statistics and more.
Backend support tools that enable a non-technical business operator to manage an e-Commerce site are key to a successful implementation. An e-Commerce site also tends to require more aggressive SEO strategies. Higher volumes of visits and transaction may also require more focused server resources to maintain responsiveness.
The functionality of websites can be augmented through any number of extensions. Some popular examples include:
- Blogs – (a web log) is a discussion or informational site containing discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order. Each post may include a thread of comments from viewers. The blog may be a separate site with a link-back or it may be part of the site itself.
- e-Mail Campaigns – These can include tools for the composition of e-mail content, its forwarding to a list recipients, along with some form of outcomes tracking. The content can be anything the author intends such a sales campaign or a simple newsletter.
- Security – Website content can be limited to subscribers only. An example is a Condominium Association website that has “public” content available to all viewers and “private” content available only to registered condo owners.
- Special Forms – The contact form is the most common form found on most websites. All manner of forms can be developed to aid in information gathering, sales, subscriptions, service requests, and much more.
- Maps – Interactive maps are also a common extension used to display the locations of an organization as well as providing navigational tools.
350 Linden Ave.
Wilmette, IL 60091