The purpose of a website varies depending on the needs of the website owner.
It could have multi-faceted purposes with many different website goals and objectives in mind, or it could have one singular purpose and one singular purpose only.
Let’s discuss what the most common purposes are for different types of websites.
What Is A Website?
A website is whatever the website owner wants it to be.
It could be informational, educational, divisive – you name it.
A website is essentially a platform for an individual or business to express themselves and utilize in whichever way they choose.
Below are some of these such ways.
1) Make Money
The most common purpose of a business website is to make money.
Nowadays, the whole world is coming online.
Consumers have become more comfortable inputting their credit card information and buying things online.
Where consumers are is where businesses go.
Since consumers are spending most of their money online now, businesses have begun to build websites to target these buyers.
2) Sell Products
One of the most common ways to make money online is to sell a physical or digital product.
By making the customer journey as easy and seamless as possible, businesses have begun making millions online from selling products to online users.
And this is exactly what e-commerce companies do.
They create a website that has built-in functionality to accept and process credit cards online.
By doing so, they can turn a simple website visitor to a purchasing customer without the user ever having to leave the comfort of their own home, making business faster, easier, and more convenient for everyone.
Affiliate websites sell other companies’ products online.
“Affiliate” marketing is just another way of saying “commission-based” salespeople.
It is where you sell a product on behalf of another company, and receive a commission for doing so.
Technology has become so advanced nowadays that affiliate websites allow the website owner to be completely hands-off once it is earning a substantial income.
This essentially removes the owner, thus creating a semi-passive stream of income.
The purposes of most affiliate websites are for just that – for the website owner to earn a passive income.
3) Sell Services
Alongside selling products comes selling services.
This is where the website is used to generate awareness, leads, and sales online for a service that will be rendered by the business that owns the website.
At the end of the day, these websites are used to sell their services.
Whether it’s a small, local business, or a large multinational corporation, the purpose of these business websites is to increase their top line.
4) Save Money
On the other end of the money-making spectrum is the money-saving spectrum.
Today, websites are extremely cheap and relatively easy to create.
The return on investment for creating a business website can be huge, and save you money in the long run on overhead, salespeople, office expenses, and more.
5) Build An Online Presence
As the saying goes: “if you’re not online, you don’t exist.”
The vast majority of consumers research a product or service online before they every make a buying decision.
As a small business owner, if your business can’t be found online, you will potentially be losing out on HUGE amounts of money.
A website is used to mitigate this risk and establish an online presence for your small business.
A website is the hub of your business.
With this in mind, most businesses use it as a way to further establish their branding.
They can add pictures, videos, stories – anything they want.
It is a great way to further enhance your brand and communicate to your audience what it is that you do and what it is that you stand for.
7) Showcase Authority And Establish Trust
With branding, comes showcasing your authority.
Your audience needs to know that you’re an authority figure in your industry that they can trust.
Providing customer testimonials, reviews, and case studies is a great way to communicate this authority to your customers.
Websites can be used as a way to show your customers that you can be trusted and that they should do business with you.
Awards And Recognition
Awards and recognition add to your authority.
Having a proven track record tells your website visitors that you know what you’re doing and have the results to back it up.
This is one of the major purposes of a business website.
8) Generate Leads
Marketing has changed in 2020 and beyond.
No more do businesses have to rely on expensive television, radio, and print ads.
Instead, the internet has changed the game.
It has become cheaper and easier than ever to generate leads for your business online.
And it all starts with a website.
9) Nurture Sales
Nurturing sales and bringing your customers down your online sales funnel is essential in the customer journey.
A website is perfect for this, as it creates another important touch-point for your customer.
When designed properly, a website can dramatically increase your sales and closing rates.
There has been a lot of talk about the purpose of a business website, but there are also many purposes of websites that have nothing to do with business at all.
Informational websites are an example of this.
These are websites where the purpose is simply to provide information to the end user.
Wikipedia is a great example of this.
The television revolutionized the way we seek entertainment.
Now that we all have a portable television in our pockets, it makes sense that our entertainment shifts to these devices.
There are websites such as 9gag that are used purely for entertainment purposes.
12) Online Education
Online education is becoming a massive industry.
With college tuition putting college graduates into tens of thousands of dollars of debt, students are looking for cheaper alternatives.
Many platforms and website portals are now popping up that are strictly purposed for online education.
13) Social Media And Social Networking
Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat.
These are the websites on the internet that get the most use, traffic, and engagement.
We are social animals that live in a digital world.
Thus, websites that are really just social media platforms are seeing the most success today.
Instead of journaling, many internet users are turning to blogging.
Simply having a website where you can vent and get whatever it is you need to get off your chest and onto a screen has been found to be very useful to many people.
In fact, there are millions of blogs on the web today.
Blogging is a huge use case for websites today.
15) Express Creativity And Originality
As you can probably tell by now, the main purpose of a website is to have the ability to express yourself however you want.
Both businesses and individuals value this.
It is why businesses use it to grow their brand and individuals use it to bring their personality to their own safe space online.
16) Build A Relationship With Your Audience
Websites allow you to build a relationship with your reader.
They allow you to tell stories and bring your audience into your world.
If you seek a deeper connection with the people you’re trying to reach, creating a website is highly advisable.
Should I Create A Website?
All-in-all, there are many reasons to create a website.
Whether you want to generate more leads for your local business online, sell products in an e-commerce store, or build an online presence for yourself – a website can be a great idea.
In fact, there aren’t very many reasons not to create a website.
However, whether you decide to build a website for yourself or not, we hope this article helped answer your question:
“What is the purpose of a website?“