Not all multipurpose websites follow a definite pattern. They can be a combination of website types with a central unifying theme. This type of website is often spawned from a existing site which branches out from it's original mission to include some supporting material to further enhance the visitor's experience.
Business sites are the most likely to support this concept of multi tasking. Often a commercial website will offer more than just product information. They might include a section devoted to the latest news or provide discussion groups/forums that are geared to a particular subject related to their industry.
Another combination might be a news site that sports a section for the entertainment of their visitors such as games and/or jokes. Also, many websites have a feedback area to allow visitors to voice their opinions and comments. This is often in the form of a forum or discussion group centered around the main topic of the website.
Designing a multipurpose website
Should you decide to develop a composite website it is important that you stick to a combination that enhances your main theme and avoid digressing into unrelated material. The following list gives a few examples of multipurpose website types that go together well;
Hobby tips and tutorials - This is a natural for webmasters who are involved in certain activities that your visitors might find of interest.
Travel tips and photos - Where you go and what you see tells a lot about you. Share these things with the people who visit your website.
Games and downloads - Share something with your visitors that will entertain them and keep them coming back.
Forums and discussion groups - The world is growing smaller and people want to share their views with each other and comment on current events.
Latest fads and trends - Technical advances, clothing trends and celebrity lifestyles are subjects that most visitors will find interesting.
Polls and political commentaries - Provide a means for your visitors to provide feedback on important issues.
School supplies and teaching materials - Incorporate reviews of available teaching and learning aids or the latest product offerings to enhance the learning experience.
Tutorials aimed at explaining related subjects - Teach your visitors something that will help them to better understand your main topic.
Articles provided by you and your visitors - Articles are always a hot item on just about any website. Solicit them from the people who visit your site and write some yourself.
Latest celebrity news - Every celebrity has fans and they want to know everything they can about their favorite heros.
Fashion trends - What to wear and what not to wear is on the minds of most socially active people.
Links to celebrity websites - Offer a selection of links that will take people to the websites of people in the news or famous movies stars.
When creating a multipurpose website use a combination of website types that will complement each other. Stick to your main mission and design your site around it. Use every means at your disposal to convey the message you are presenting to your visitors. Combining various website types can help you to do this.
Gene DeFazzio is the webmaster and author of the Rocketface(R) Workshop http://www.rocketface.com/ - A website for beginning webmasters and home of the webmasters tutorial “How to Design a Website".