Types of Websites
The web has evolved so much in recent years and there are so many different kinds of websites you can create.
On this page I will briefly tell you what's involved with creating many different types of sites.
Two Website Necessities
Before getting started, just understand every type of website needs a domain name and a web host.
The domain name is the address of your site and has an extension on the end. TopGardeningSite.com or PaintingsByAmy.net would be examples of a domain name.
A web host is the company that allows you to publish your web files to the Internet. Some web hosts provide web editing software and others just provide the access to publish your web pages.
Web hosts also provide your email accounts so you can have firstname.lastname@example.org. Most hosts allow you to have multiple email addresses.
I'm not going to go into specifics of the kinds of web hosts, as that's reserved for
If you want to learn more about the specifics of hosting you can view all that information on 2 Create a Website. However, I encourage you to read this page first so you at least understand what you need.
1) Personal Website
I define a personal website as a simple site with text, pictures and maybe even some video. Perhaps you want to post your resume or provide information about yourself, your family, vacations, etc.
To build a site like this I would recommend some basic web editing software. You can use a free editor like Komposer, or if you want to get more advanced and have the most flexibility for your site, you can use more advanced software like Dreamweaver or Artisteer.
Of course you can also code your site from scratch without using any software. This is the cheapest way to go, but requires you to spend time learning the various programming languages such as HTML and CSS.
W3Schools is an excellent place to start if you want to learn how to code without using any software.
2) Affiliate Website
An affiliate website is one that generates revenue by referring visitors to products and services. You link to various company websites via links that have been coded to track your activity. Any time a sale occurs as a result of your referral, you earn a commission.
Most affiliate websites are centered around a specific theme. For example, you could create a website on how to get clear skin. You would provide a lot of free information on how to maintain healthy skin. Then you'd earn money by recommending various skin care products to your audience.
For every sale your site generates, the merchant company will pay you a pre-determined commission. You don't interact with the customer. All you do is refer traffic from your site over to the merchant site and collect a commission if they buy.
To find affiliate programs, you could go to a site like AssociatePrograms.com and search the directory for programs that match the theme of your site. Most affiliate programs are free to join and once you sign up, the company provides you with the links and banners to place on your site.
These companies provide a searchable database of many different types of programs in multiple categories (health, entertainment, web design, beauty, education, etc.). Once you get accepted into the network, you are free to search and join the programs that best fit your site.
NOTE: You cannot join the above 3 programs until your website is live. So it's important to wait until you launch your site before trying to join.
Affiliate marketing is the only way I've ever made money online and it's a great option if you want to create a "how to" site and recommend related products. They're great if you don't have a product of your own to sell.
3) Make Money With Google Ads (AdSense)
Google AdSense is a program where you partner with Google and help them advertise by placing text ads on your pages. They pay you a percentage of the ad revenue every time an ad gets clicked from your site.
Due to Google's technology, the ads will match the content of your website, thus increasing the likelihood someone will click. The more relevant the ads are to your content, the greater chance you'll earn money.
Of course how much you earn is also dependent upon how much traffic your site has. So even if you want to go this route, you still have to spend time learning how to drive targeted visitors to your site, and lots of them.
The great thing about AdSense is that you can use it with almost any kind of website. Some people build websites with the sole purpose of making money from Google ads. Others use it to supplement their existing revenue.
Note: Don't apply for AdSense until your site has at least 10 pages. Be sure you check for spelling/grammar errors and broken links before applying.
4) Selling Your Own Product / Online Store
If you have a product you want to sell then you'll need to setup a shopping cart. Most web hosts provide shopping cart solutions you can buy and install, but you still need a method to collect payments.
If you don't want to go through the hassle of applying for a merchant account to accept credit cards yourself, you can always use a 3rd party solution like PayPal.
They provide you with the code to paste on your site so people can pay and they keep a small percentage of the transaction. This is really the easiest payment option to setup.
Using a self hosted shopping cart looks a lot more professional than PayPal, but you also have to consider the work involved with installing your own shopping cart and signing up for a merchant account to collect credit cards.
Many webmasters are finding PayPal is the best way to go, especially in the beginning. Once sales pick up, then you can look into setting up something more formal like a self-hosted shopping cart with an integrated merchant account.
Web Marketing Magic is also another tool you can use to create an online store. It can be added right into any website.
5) User Interactive, Social Networking Website
I consider a user interactive website to be anything that requires users to sign up, create profiles, upload pictures, video, chat rooms, etc.
Sites that would fall into this category would be auction sites, social networking sites and any kind of site that is dynamic and requires user accounts, memberships, profiles, etc.
Lots of people want to create sites like this due to the success of the sites like YouTube, Facebook, etc. While I don't want to completely deter you from going this route, you need to understand what's involved.
First of all Facebook, YouTube, etc. were created by highly skilled programmers.
You can't just create a site like this in Dreamweaver or any web editor. You need to understand web programming. Sites with memberships, profiles, member accounts, etc. are run by a series of customized scripts.
Content Management Systems (CMS) Option
So if you're going to go this route, make sure you select a web host that allows you to install these free CMS scripts.
Website Palace's regular hosting plans allow you to install Joomla and Drupal for free if you host your site with them. All you do is "install the application" from your account's control panel.
Don't Want Anything to Do With Development?
If you don't want to learn how to program or need a very customized site, be prepared to hire someone because there is a lot of work that goes into running a site like this.
Another thing about running these types of sites is if it gets to be very large, you should not use a regular $3/month web host. You will need a dedicated host to handle the traffic, etc. Dedicated hosting costs hundreds of dollars per month.
So if you plan to take on a big task like this, be sure you understand what you're getting into. I think a lot of people think they can just open a web program and find a template for "MySpace" and duplicate it with ease.
There are a lot of technical details that go on behind the scenes that are too advanced for the average wannabe webmaster.
Try a Smaller Scale
Maybe you don't want to create the next MySpace. Maybe you want a smaller site for a group of people. Let's say you have a church group and you want to create a site where the members can log on and interact with one another.
You could set this up with a regular $3/host. Just understand you will still have to setup the interactive functionality yourself. Web hosts do not build features for you. They may provide the scripts, but you have to set them up and install them yourself through your account.
Should You Hire Someone to Build Your Site?
If setting up an interactive site scares you or you know you don't want to learn how to do any complex programming, you can still outsource the programming part through a site like vWorker.
You would hire someone to do all the hardcore programming for you and then you maintain your site going forward. If you want to create a complex site with user profiles, networking, video uploads, etc. I'd highly recommend outsourcing the programming part.
Just understand you still have to learn how to maintain and even troubleshoot sections of your site. If something goes wrong, chances are the coder that you hired is not going to be available. So it's still important you have a basic understanding of how your site functions.
So if you are going to hire someone, go ahead and buy your domain name and web hosting first, then head on over to vWorker to hire a programmer.
If you can absorb the preliminary information on this site, you will have a huge advantage because most people rush and don't take the time to plan and educate themselves before they begin.
If your goal is to make money with a website or blog, absorb the content on this site like a sponge.