The world-wide web is constantly evolving along with the websites that compose it. This article provides a quick digest of the most common types of sites and how they can meet the needs of your organization.

At its most basic, a website is a collection of webpages that are served over a network. This simple concept that has transformed the world. Each website is housed on a decentralized network of servers that share a common communication standard called the world wide web. Websites are the most visible part of the global network we call the internet. 

Different Types of Websites and How They Can Work For You

When considering a new website, having a sense of the digital landscape will make you a savvy consumer. Websites come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, with four broad categories to consider:

- No-code websites. This is the most basic class of websites that is true to its name: individuals can create an account with one of the no-code providers and have a template-based website online in the course of an afternoon without writing a single line of code. The advantage of this approach includes the quick time to market. The disadvantage is the sacrifice of customization. This type of solution pairs well with campaign-driven projects that have a short shelf-life and tight deadlines. Learn more about No-code Websites.

- CMS websites. Any website with a content management system, or CMS, is included in this group. You can think of a CMS as a user-friendly database that stores and retrieves webpage content. Their hallmark has historically been monolithic design that bundles features like search, user accounts, authentication, e-commerce and a convenient theme layer in an all-in-one solution. This category of sites can be great for corporate identities, media properties and general purpose information sites without a lot of interactivity. These sites take technical expertise to set up and manage but reduce maintenance costs in the long term. Learn more about CMS Websites.

- Headless CMS websites. Some CMS tools have increasingly become more focused on their core function as content databases. In doing so they have removed secondary features including, in many instances, the interface portion of the application. This effectively makes these solutions 'headless'. At first this may appear counterintuitive - how could a website not have a user interface? The answer is that these cutting-edge solutions embrace the concept of software-as-a-service. Whereas traditional CMS websites bundle a collection of tools in a single package, headless options allow you to select a constellation of services that meet your project’s specific needs. The constellation is connected by  a custom user-interface. While these projects require more development effort up front they typically deliver better results by using the best  tool for each aspect of the site. Learn more about Headless CMS Websites.

- Custom websites. Custom experiences are typically paired with clients needing to build full applications. Startups, expansive government sites, and some corporate products need fully custom solutions. These sites are complicated to construct, take more effort to maintain, require extensive research upfront, and demand white glove product management to execute. Only experienced teams with clear expectations should pursue fully custom websites. Learn more about Custom Websites.

View our portfolio to read case studies that examine this type of development.