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Corporate sites differ from electronic commerce, portal, or sites in that they provide information to the public about the company rather than transacting business or providing other services. The phrase is a term of art referring to the purpose of the site rather than its design or specific features, or the nature, market sector, or business structure of the site operator.
Nearly every company that interacts with the public has a corporate site or else integrates the same features into its other websites. Large companies typically maintain a single umbrella corporate site for all of their various brands and subsidiaries.
Corporate websites usually include the following:
- A homepage
- A navigation bar or other means for accessing various site sections
- A unified look and feel incorporating the company logos, style sheets, and graphic images.
- An "about us" section with some or all of these:
- A summary of company operations, history, and mission statement
- A list of the company's products and services
- A "people" section with biographical information on founders, board members, and/or key executives. Sometimes provides an overview of the company's overall workforce.
- A "news" section containing press releases, press kits, and/or links to news articles about the company
- An "investor" section describing key owners / investors of the company
- A list of key clients, suppliers, achievements, projects, partners, or others
- Pages of special interest to specific groups. These may include:
- An employment section where the company lists open positions and/or tells job seekers how to apply
- Investor pages with the annual report, business plan, current stock price, financial statements, overview of the company structure, SEC filing or other regulatory filings
- Pages for employees, suppliers, customers, strategic partners, affiliates, etc.
- Contact information. Sometimes includes a feedback form by which visitors may submit messages
The arrangement of these features, and terminology (see the "synonyms" section below) varies considerably from site to site.
Corporate sites sometimes but do not always include the following:
- A splash page as an entry point that directs users to the site's home page
- Embedded search engines allowing users to search pages from within the website, or external searches of the Web
- A site map
- A blog with news and commentary about the company, its products and services
- "Community" pages describing the company's environmental / sustainability, charity, corporate citizenship, and other policies as they affect the public
- A "store locator" or similar feature used to find nearby retail locations of the company or where the company's products or services can be found
- A "downloads" or "media" section for users to obtain web tools, free or trial software, software patches, company demos, promotional material, and the like
- A calendar or events section
- A "links" page with hyperlinks to consumer-oriented or other websites, or information about specific brands or subsidiaries of the company
- A FAQ section
Terminology used for site navigation is far from standardized. Following are some lists of terms used interchangeably for corporate site navigation:
- People, the team, employees, biographies, executives
- About us, contact us, about the company, history
- Community, our values, corporate citizenship, standards of conduct
- Employment, jobs, careers, join the team, join us
- News, in the news, press, publications, brochure
- Contact us, send a message
- Investors, ownership
- Downloads, media, library
- Store locator, find a store, find our products, locations