Updated: Aug 21, 2022
What is a Website?
‘A website is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server’.
To understand this further, let's imagine a website to be a book that provides information about a particular subject. This collection of pages is identified as a book because the pages of this book are bound together in a single cover, in a particular sequence and provide content related to a particular topic. Similarly, a website is a collection of web pages. These web pages are bound together by a common domain name, are organised in a certain navigation order & provide content related to the same topic.
It is important to note here that although all the web pages in the website are linked to the same domain name, each has a different URL (Uniform Resource Locator). A URL is a link that opens a particular webpage. For example, when you open www.omemy.com, this is the webpage you see, i.e. the home page:
However, when you open the section on Blogs, the screen changes to the next web-page. If you notice the section encircled red in the top ribbon, the URL has now changed from www.omemy.com to www.omemy/blog.
So, each webpage in OMEMY website runs on the same domain, i.e. www.omemy.com but every page gets its own extension (in this case /blog) so as to provide it a unique URL. Thus a URL is the unique identity of every webpage in the website.
What do you need to build a website?
Web server- help you publish your website so that customers/viewers can find your website on the internet. You can compare the web server provider with the land-lord who rents out shop space in the market. Similarly, you need a web server to ‘host’ your website to make it visible on the internet. Usually, the services from where you buy the domain name or the website builders that you use to develop your website, offer ‘hosting’ as part of the package.
Domain name- It is the name that needs to be typed in the browser to be able to open the website. Usually the name of brand/venture is purchased as a domain in .com, .in, .co, .uk or other extensions to ensure relatability and avoid redirection to other sites with the same name. So the domain name for this website is www.omemy.com. Thus, the website owner has solo rights to create a website in this name as well as other extensions that have been bought, for ex. www.omemy.in . It is a common practice to buy the domain name with more than one extension to avoid mushrooming of fake shadow websites.
Webpages (interactive and static) - As discussed earlier, content of a website is organised under different web pages across the website. Most of these webpages would be static, i.e. they are passive providers of content (text, pictures, videos etc.), like https://www.omemy.com/video-tutorials . However, some pages in a website are interactive, e.g. https://www.omemy.com/contact . Interactive web pages, let the audience interact with the content by playing games, sending messages, leaving comments etc. Adding interactive web pages improves customer’s confidence in the website as it becomes a mode of mutual communication. Also, it helps in improving the SEO of the website.
Audio visual content - videos, photographs, Giffs increase the attractiveness of your website. It breaks the monotony of text and helps the audience focus for longer durations of time. Also, audio-visual content helps in understanding the content better. However, refrain from uploading extremely heavy picture, video or audio files to a webpage as this might lead to increased load time per page. This would result in slow loading of content on the website and contribute to audience frustration and drop-out rates. Thus audio-visual content needs to be optimised for smooth website experience.
Social links- Create brand accounts on relevant social media platforms and link all these channels with your website. This helps in completing the online identity of your brand and instills confidence in both, audience & Search engines.
SEO- Search Engine Optimisation is a set of actions you will need to take to make your website search engine friendly and increase its SERPs (Search Engine Result Page Ranking)
What are different types of Websites?
Personal Website- Celebrities and famous personalities create personal websites where they keep updating latest information about their projects, lifestyle and other activities. These websites are their online identity and become a major link between them and their followers apart from social media handles.
Resume Website- similar to a personal website but used for displaying and enhancing looks of resumes and CVs. Resume websites are a creative way to present resumes embedded with audio-visual evidence of your skills and work experience. Light platforms like Google Sites provide good self-builder platforms that can be quickly converted into resume websites.
Topical Website- a site containing relevant information on a certain topic. Wikipedia is a good example of topical websites where each page provides information about a certain person or topic.
Event Website- Event websites are usually temporary websites that are put up for a limited duration of time to promote a certain event. These are then taken down once the event is completed. Websites for Marathons, live musical events etc. are good examples of events websites.
Promotion Website- used to promote a brand, product, or service. These could be websites dedicated to a particular product or brand. One of Nestle’s most popular brands ‘Maggi’ has its own website where URL maggi.com & goodness.com/maggi , both direct to the same website. It is a common practice in MNC’s to have separate websites for different brands so that one doesn’t get overshadowed by the other. These websites might or might not sell the products they are promoting, but post blogs, contests, trade enquiry form and other information for promotion of the said brand.
E-commerce- sale of products/ services. These are the most commonly known websites on the internet. These websites provide end-to-end commerce solutions where a customer can select a product, place an order and complete payment as well are categorised as e-commerce websites. Of all the websites mentioned above, e-commerce websites essentially have a payment gateway to facilitate payments on their portal.
Step-by-Step Guide for making your own DIY Wesbite
How to design a good website?
Keep it simple- don’t clutter the designs: A website design is like your shop display. Organised, customer-friendly display attracts more sales as customers are able to easily locate products/services they are looking for. Similarly, websites should be uncluttered and simple in design so that there is minimum confusion and customers can easily locate products/ services and complete the transaction in minimum possible time. Simple, uncluttered websites provide a hassle-free shopping experience and ensure repeat customer visits.
Consistent- keep a common theme on all pages: While moving from one webpage to another, a customer should not feel that they are moving between different websites. A consistent design through all the pages of the website helps in providing a seamless experience and better confidence to the customers.
Easy to navigate: Customers should be able to navigate easily between different pages of a website and should be able to quickly find their way back to the pages visited before. Confused, lengthy navigation leads to customer frustration and increased drop-out rates.
Easy to change: one should be able to adapt the website easily when needed. If a website stops changing, it’s on life-support. Infrequent but regular updates in website’s content and design renew customer’s interest and send positive messages to the visitors as well as search engines. Therefore, the wireframe of the website should be such that it should be easy to make minor modifications regularly. Also, you should be able to modify some parts of the website without affecting other sections of it.
Keep improving it- the best websites are always improving and evolving to the match the public sentiment and needs