Your website should be your home base for your digital presence. It’s a great way for your audience to learn more about you, connect with you, and eventually, buy from you.
Your website should be your home base for your digital presence. It’s a great way for your audience to learn more about you, connect with you, and eventually, buy from you. While a website isn’t necessary to do business online, it goes a long way towards:
building authority in your niche
growing your list and
establishing your brand
It’s basically the place that all roads, like your different social media profiles and your YouTube channel, should lead.
So what are the five types of websites you should have as an entrepreneur to grow your business?
A website is a great way for your audience to learn more about you, connect with you, and eventually buy from you.
Type One: The Branding Website
The first, and easiest to establish, is a Branding site. Popular examples are Disney and Coke. Branding sites exist primarily for establishing your brand in your niche; they are a great way for your audience to learn more about you.
A Branding site is easy to set up and only needs these elements:
who you help
who you are
what you stand for (your values and your beliefs) and
your contact information
If you’re a coach or consultant, it also helps to include badges of trust like testimonials and features.
The Objective of a Branding Website
A Branding site’s primary objective is to elevate and validate your brand.
This type of website relies primarily on outbound marketing efforts; it does not usually contain content that would attract high levels of organic traffic.
Furthermore, there’s usually little reason to change a Branding website once it’s been established. Therefore, you’ll want your website on a tool that you can set and forget.
Deploying a Branding Website
Website builders are a great choice for branding-type websites.
They usually offer an array of simplified templates that are very aesthetically pleasing.
Pertinent widgets, like maps and scheduling plugins, are also usually included.
By using one of the many templates available, you can be up and running in an afternoon; with very little technical know-how required.
WordPress is at its best with Publishing/Blog websites (which we’ll discuss below). However, it can also be a great option for Branding websites.
If you choose a capable managed WordPress host, you can mitigate some of the downsides of WordPress.
With a managed host, you won’t need to worry about keeping your WordPress core, themes, and plugins up-to-date; a good thing considering how often WordPress websites are maliciously targeted and how tedious keeping everything updated can be.
A managed WordPress host will help you to significantly improve your website’s security without additional effort on your part.
Another great low-cost option for Branding sites (especially if you have or need Adobe CC anyway) is to use a website template in conjunction with Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver is a WYSIWYG builder, which makes editing a website template a breeze. In need of a simple template with excellent page performance that has everything you need for a Branding website? Head here to get one free from Build Your Biz Online. If you choose this option, you'll also need a host. Thankfully, one of the best hosts around has a great deal for new customers. You can get a years worth of hosting from Ionos for only $12. In fact, Hello Entrepreneur and Build Your Biz Online are hosted with Ionos (you can check out how Ionos stacks up against HostGator, Bluehost, and DreamHost here).
Type Two: The Lead Generation Website
Lead Generation websites are essential for entrepreneurs for both on and offline businesses. This is because a Lead Gen site’s primary objective is for growing a business’s email list; one of the most important assets you can have in your business.
This website type is simpler in form than a Branding website but is much harder to create.
It’s because the main job of a Lead Gen page is to convert.
This means that the copy, the design, and the user experience, must all work and flow together; encouraging visitors to take the action you want them to take.
Usually, this is an exchange of information; like their email address for a checklist or a guide.
This makes Lead Gen sites perfect for Coaches and consultants who can use Lead Gen sites to schedule discovery calls or fill seats for live conferences and webinars.
Lead Generation Websites Rely On Outbound Marketing
Since a Lead Gen website’s primary objective is to convert traffic, you don’t need to optimize for search engines.
This means excellent page performance or oodles of searchable content is not necessary.
It’s the copy and call-to-actions that are the most important components of Lead Gen sites.
Even aesthetics are lower in priority. There are plenty of examples of plainly designed landing pages converting extremely well.
So your best online tools will get you started with landing page templates that are designed to convert. They’ll also allow you to a/b test so that you can discover your best-converting page.
Best Online Tools for Creating a Lead Generation Website
Publishing/blog websites are similar in nature. The only difference between them is that a Publishing site usually has multiple authors or even a staff of writers. Whereas, a blog is typically maintained by one author.
Publishing and blog sites are great for establishing your authority in your niche. They are also very easy to implement.
And since each post adds potential to rank, Publishing/Blog websites are great for attracting organic traffic.
However, they can take a considerable amount of time to establish.
Best Type to Generate Revenue
Plenty of people have used these types of websites to build up passive income.
First, a lot of search engine-worthy content is created. Then, display ads are added to the website. It’s also common for affiliate links to be included in the monetization strategy as well. Then finally, revenue is generated indefinitely as traffic is driven to the website continuously.
Organic vs. Paid Traffic
A paid traffic generation strategy can quickly generate readers, ad revenue, and conversions. It usually involves paid advertisement and other outbound marketing efforts. You can also use it in conjunction with an organic strategy as well. Choosing this route can allow you to better your marketing skills too.
If you plan to generate traffic through search, expect to put in considerable effort before you see rewards.
I’ve done a lot of research in this department.
I’ve found that regardless of niche, most blogs take at least 6 months to make their first $1.
The good news is that for every blog that I studied, income rose exponentially for those who didn’t quit.
You’ll need to:
front load a lot of content
publish more content on a regular basis and
optimize each page of your website for search engines and mobile-responsiveness
You’ll also need the ability to create content easily while making sure your on-page and technical SEO is strong.
Unfortunately, few tools will accomplish both ease of content creation and out-of-the-box website speed and performance.
Hello Enterpreneur vs. Build Your Biz Online Case Study
For example, this website was created using WordPress with a theme that is optimized for core web vitals; however, it will still take some effort to fully optimize.
In addition, Hello Entrepreneur runs display ads and will eventually contain embedded videos using iFrames.
Components like those negatively impact a page’s performance significantly; which is why Hello Entrepreneur has a paid traffic strategy.
However, Hello Entrepreneur’s sister site is a publishing website that will rely heavily on search traffic.
This means page performance is important for Build Your Biz Online’s content to eventually rank (especially with Google’s latest update).
So instead of using WordPress (that tends to slow down a site), Dreamweaver was used to create it from scratch.
Choosing this route allows me to maintain complete control over how performant Build Your Biz Online is.
Build Your Biz Online’s Page Performance
Dreamweaver, with its option for a Wysiwyg editor and code editor, makes it the perfect solution for Build Your Biz Online. Just look at these page performance scores.
The moral of this story? You’ve really got to spend enough time deciding what your objectives are; those objectives will inform where and how you build your website.
Want a lot of organic traffic? Then reconsider display ads and embedded YouTube videos.
Want to use WordPress? Then plan to put in a lot of upfront work securing and optimizing WordPress to overcome its performance costs.
If you decide that WordPress is the best option for you, seriously consider a managed WordPress host.
They will handle many of your WordPress-specific maintenance; including updates, security, and support should your website become compromised.
Their servers are usually optimized to deliver WordPress websites as efficiently as possible as well.
Best Online Tools for Publishing/Blog Websites
A few good options for WordPress managed hosts are:
I’d also suggest that you pay for all of your themes and plug-ins. Free options have too many vulnerabilities.
The most common cause is the difficulty third-party developers have keeping up with the many WordPress core updates; with free tools having a lower priority than paid ones. An out-of-date theme or plug-in is an invitation for malicious bots; bots that have been designed to attack WordPress sites specifically.
So keeping your site up-to-date is of critical importance.
DiB is not a CMS but rather manipulates the Dom to deliver your content.
With just a few lines of code, Drop-in-Blog delivers your posts from servers in Google’s cloud.
Be warned though, DiB is rather expensive for what you get (currently $50/mo) and still adds some overhead.
But it could be the perfect solution if you already have an established website. DiB will allow you to add a publishing/blog area without requiring a significant redesign.
Type Four: The e-Commerce Website
A website qualifies as an e-commerce site if the purchase of a product can be completed on the site itself. They are great for entrepreneurs because they provide a way for audiences to buy directly from you.
E-commerce sites are hard to implement because of the security required to handle personal and confidential information. Thankfully, there are many tools available to help make creating an e-commerce website much easier.
Deploying an e-Commerce Website
Tools like Bigcommerce, Shopify, and WooCommerce make it very easy to set up shop. In my opinion, these tools are well worth their cost.
The objective of an e-commerce site is to showcase products, convert visitors and make the buying process super easy.
I’ve not deployed an e-commerce website before, so unlike the other tools on this list, I don’t have first-hand experience with e-commerce site builders.
Best Online Tools for Creating an e-Commerce Website
But based on the research I’ve done, I suggest you consider the following tools for building your e-commerce website.
ClickFunnels – great for creating and optimizing marketing funnels
Kartra – great for creating a community around your product offerings
With the vast number of tools available for building a website, deciding where to start can get overwhelming fairly quickly.
However, if you decide which of the five best website types for entrepreneurs is best for your business, you’ll be well on your way to launching a highly effective website designed to accomplish your business’s objectives.
Your Chosen Website Type Dictates the Best Tools to Use
If you need a Branding website, the best tools are those like Wix, WPEngine, and GoDaddy Builder. For a super low-cost option, you can pick up a free website template from Build Your Biz Online and use Dreamweaver to edit it (if you already have Adobe CC or plan to get it for other reasons, using a website template can cost you as little as $12 for the first year of owning your website if you choose Ionos for hosting).
For a Lead Generation website instead, tools like Hubspot, LeadPages, and Unbounce may be your best bet.
If you like the revenue generation possibilities of a Publishing/Blog website, Kinsta, WPEngine and Bluehost are tools you should seriously consider.
But if you need to sell physical products via an e-commerce website, then the features of Bigcommerce, Shopify, and WooCommerce make them the way to go.
And finally, if you need a little bit of everything to meet your business objectives, then you may want to spring for an all-in-one solution like Kajabi, ClickFunnels, and Kartra.
Your Website Type Will Dictate Your Next Steps
Once you’ve decided upon the best website type for your business, that decision will inform where you should build your website, which will in turn inform how you will build your website.
Gaining that clarity will make an overwhelming task actionable; getting you closer to your goals one step at a time.
Alana fell in love with entrepreneurship while getting her degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering; she has found that entrepreneurship and engineering complement each other quite well. When she's not helping entrepreneurs with the technical side of building and growing their businesses online, she's traveling the U.S.A with her partner and furkids in tow as a van lifer.