Which Website Style Suits You?

The complexity of your website depends on what you want the website to do for you. There are many configurations that you can consider, but we’ll look at four different types here. The one you choose needs to suit your budget, your type of business and your online goals.

Brochure Websites

Description: These are one-page static websites that have the same information that a brochure would. It may include some photos, a brief description of the products or service offered, contact and location information and hours of operation.

Objective: The purpose of a brochure website is to provide an succinct description of your business to potential clients or customers. You can think of it as a Yellow Page ad for the Internet but not nearly as boring. Just because it is a single web page, does not mean that it can’t be creative and compelling – you just need to be imaginative.

Selling/Marketing Impact: Low.

Maintenance: No maintenance required unless something fundamental changes like the location or the products/services offered.

Cost: Low – Medium
The cost will largely depend on how fancy you want to make it.

Static Websites

Description: These types of websites present pre-defined, static information to the visitor. Unlike brochure websites, this site contains multiple pages for the visitor to view. Each web page is focused on one particular topic (company background, contact page, services page, etc.) to keep the pages clean and uncluttered. To add structure and logical consistency to the website, the pages are usually grouped into like categories and navigated using a menu system. You will often find multimedia incorporated into this kind of site (videos, music and photo galleries to name a few).

Objective: To provide your potential clients or customers with a detailed description of your business. You can think of it as a marketing pamphlet that provides the type of information to sway clients to purchase your products and services.

Selling/Marketing Impact: Low – Medium.

Maintenance: Relatively little maintenance is required as the information on the website changes infrequently.

Cost: Low- High
Why the wide variation in cost? This is because the cost will depend directly on how many pages you want created (and each page needs to be created by hand). If your site is going to contain a lot of pages, then you should really consider a content management-based site, it will  save you money and make managing the site easier.

Content Management-Based Websites

Description: Websites that use a content management system (or CMS)  to store and serve web pages. These are typically referred to as dynamic websites, as the content changes or is customized frequently either through automation or user contribution. In addition to the usual pages containing company information, description of services and hours of operation, it may also have pages listing products for sale, and social networking tools like blogs, discussion forums and wikis.

Objective: The primary purpose of this type of website is to provide your clients with information. Information about your products or service, advice on how to use your product or services better,  or articles to help your clients to become more informed consumers. The social networking tools, such as blogs, discussion forums and wikis, allow your customers to interact with you and amongst themselves. This helps build a sense of community around your business and leads to brand loyalty.

Selling/Marketing Impact: High.

Maintenance: To be truly effective, someone will need to dedicate some time each week to properly maintain the site. This will include writing articles, monitoring discussions, and responding to any questions or concerns. Content needs to be frequently updated to entice your visitors to return. You can’t let a site like this stagnate, or you will never receive the proper return on your investment.  The key message here is:  Stay involved!

Cost: Medium – High.
The cost here mainly involves setting up the content management system and what services you wish to provide. As always, the intricacy of the design will also influence the price.

E-commerce Websites

Description: E-commerce websites are the sites that nearly everyone is the most familiar with. These sites typically utilize a content management system to make updating their products, services and prices easier. They also include a shopping cart so that customers can keep track of the items that they would like to purchase as well as payment options system in order to complete the sale. Product rating systems are usually a feature found on most e-commerce sites as they allow customers to rate their level of satisfaction with the purchased item.

Objective: To sell products and/or services online 24/7 in an easy to use and reliable manner that is convenient for your customers. Business owners can access markets that are outside their immediate area, possibly even internationally.

Selling/Marketing Impact: High.

Maintenance: This type of site will require a significant amount of maintenance in order to keep your product and pricing listings up to date (especially if you have a lot of items to sell). If you have weekly sale promotions, then this will add to the amount of time you will need to devote to the website. However, if successful, the increase in sales will increase profits and easily pay for the additional maintenance required.

Cost: High – Very High.
These sites tend to be very expensive to implement because of all the details that needs to be  addressed. These include, calculating taxes properly for different regions, incorporating delivery costs, linking to inventory systems, and updating customer records while ensuring everything is being done securely.


When choosing to create a website that is right for your business, you need to consider several factors, including the the type of business you are running, but also what your online goals are.  If money is tight and you are just starting your business, then a brochure website would be a good selection. If your business is already established but you don’t have the time to constantly maintain a website, then a static website would be appropriate. However if you want to expand your business and have resources to dedicate to your website (time and money), then an e-commerce or content management system based website will provide the best return on your investment.

Do you have any insights to share regarding running your own website? Please provide them by leaving a comment.