1. Perhaps the most important purpose of your website is to entice a visitor to give you their name and email address. As you will rarely if ever “sell” cold from a website, the email collection is the first, and most important, step in building a reservoir of people to market to, in the future.
Popular wisdom says that as soon as your reservoir is full of 1000 potential future customers then you will start to make sales as long as you keep topping up your fish stock level and keep your fish fed with high perceived value information (via a newsletter/ezine) and tickle them regularly about your products and services. If you have a very niche product or service, this figure drops to around 600.
2. The secondary purpose of a “website that works” is to stamp your unique personality on your site, to give your visitors a way to grow to “know, like and trust” you (while putting off the visitors that will never like you or buy from you – or who would just give you a hard time if they did). This is done via a blog. This can contain your own thoughts, articles, ideas OR feature other writers (with full accreditation of course).
3. The third purpose of a “website that works” is to contain all the information that a returning visitor will need to make a buying decision.
4. The fourth purpose of a "website that works" is to keep a visitor coming back to your site until a buying decision is made - the ezine and blog work together to do this.
5. The fifth purpose of a “website that works” is to make the buying process as automated and easy as possible.
6. The sixth purpose of a "website that works" is to generate enough traffic to be able to tell how the conversion of visitor (suspect) to ezine reader (prospect) is working. This is done using Google Adwords.
7. The seventh purpose of a "website that works" is to get picked up by the organic search results on the major search engines. This is done by a variety of methods, but your blog is key in this and it's essential that it's updated at least twice a week.
8. The eighth purpose of a "website that works" is to deliver meaningful statistics; unique visitors, conversion of unique visitors to ezine readers, subscribers to blog, conversion of ezine readers to sales, cost of acquiring each unique visitor, profit per unique visitor.
9. The ninth purpose of a "website that works" is to grow organically with your business, to be easy to update and change, to stay clear of gimmicks and distractions.
10. The tenth purpose of a "website that works" is to create passive income flows via Google Adsense income, eBay income (if appropriate), carefully chosen affiliate income from 3rd party products or services, sales of information products such as eprogrammes, ebooks, audio, video, home study courses.
p.s. I personally find this quite good but I have no idea who actually wrote it. So if you want to claim authorship, let me know.