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Website Evaluation: Types of Websites

This guide will teach you the process of how to evaluate websites.

Types of Websites

Purpose:

  • to influence opinion or to persuade the reader to believe the sponsor or writer's viewpoint.

This type of website is sponsored by an organization who is attempting to influence public opinion to support their beliefs.  The URL address of the page frequently ends in .org (organization).

Examples of advocacy groups include the American Cancer Society, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party.

The follow are examples of advocacy websites:

When looking at these types of websites think about the URL address and its domain name.  Take your time when looking at these websites.  Look at the entire website when evaluating it.


Purpose: 

  • to sell or promote a product or business

This type of website is sponsored by a commercial enterprise (usually it is a website trying to promote or sell products).  The URL address of the website frequently ends in .com (commercial).

Examples of business and marketing groups include Amazon, Walmart, and numerous other large and small companies using the Web for business purposes.

Examples of business and marketing websites:

When looking at these websites think about the URL address and its domain name.  Take your time when looking at these websites.  Look at the entire website when evaluating the it.


Purpose:

  • to provide facts based on research.  This includes calendars, dictionaries, directories, reports, schedules, and statistical data.

This type of website presents factual information.  The URL address frequently ends in .edu (educational) or .gov (government) , as many of these websites are sponsored by educational institutions or government agencies.

Examples of informational websites include dictionaries, thesauri, directories, transportation schedules, calendars of events, statistical data, and other factual information such as reports, presentations of research, or information about a topic.

Examples of informational pages:

When looking at these websites think about the URL address and its domain name.  Take your time when looking at these websites.  Look at the entire website when evaluating it.


Purpose:

  • to provide current local, state, national, or international news.

This type of official news website provides extremely current information.  The URL address of the website usually ends in .com (commercial).

Examples of official news sources include USA Today, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and CNN.

Examples of official news websites:

When looking at these websites think about the URL address and its domain name.  Take your time when looking at these websites.  Look at the entire website when evaluating it.


Purpose:

  • A webpage where individuals may publish any kind of information.  They may or may not be associated with a reputable institution.

This type of website is published by an individual who may or may not be affiliated with a larger institution.  Although the URL address of the page may have a variety of endings (e.g. .com, .edu. etc.), a tilde (~) or percent (%) is frequently embedded somewhere in the URL. Blogs and wikis are interactive personal pages.

Examples of personal pages:

When looking at these webpages think about the URL address and its domain name.  Take your time when looking at these pages.  Look at the entire website when evaluating it.