Best ... websites for internet beginners

The web can be an overwhelming jungle to fresh eyes, with over half a billion active websites – a number that’s growing by the minute. To help make sense of the maze, we have put together a list of suggested websites that are great for internet beginners. 

 
BBC (link opens in new window) 
 
Digital Unite community member, Bill, says: “I usually start people off with the BBC website. There's so much on there, there's bound to be something of interest - news, weather, sport, recipes, iPlayer etc and it helps to practice navigating from page to page.” 
 
 
Newspaper websites (links open in new windows)
 
 
Although these sites can seem a bit busy at first glance, they all follow a similar format. The homepage features the news of the day, and readers can visit specific sections of interest by clicking on items on the menu. Newspaper websites are often very long, and a visitor can scroll and scroll, which is good practise for using the mouse. 
 
The Met Office (link opens in new window)
 
Our MD, Emma Solomon, is a fan of the Met Office website. “Everyone loves a bit of weather,” she says. Whether out of curiosity, checking for bad weather warnings or plain wishful thinking, the Met Office website is easy to use and ideal for a beginner. As a first step, visitors can add their location (under ‘Change location’), which will allow the site to display more relevant information and forecasts.
 
 
Amazon (link opens in a new window)
 
One of the biggest success stories on the web, Amazon started as an online bookstore and has morphed into the equivalent of a mega-mall. Alongside the original books, it sells electrical goods, clothing, even groceries. While it can seem overwhelming at first glance, it’s actually very simple if you focus your attention on the search bar at the top. Simply type in something you would like to buy, and click Go and a list of suggested search results will come up. Our guide How to use Amazon can take you step by step through the process of purchasing from the site. 
 
Google (link opens in a new window)
 
Perhaps this is a little obvious, but while almost everyone has heard of Google, for a beginner there is probably no simpler site that offers such powerful results. At first glance, the plain site offers just one main option: search. Users can put in literally anything and click Google Search to open up a huge list of results to browse. It doesn’t even matter if spelling is a bit off, Google knows the correct spelling from running so many millions of searches. 
 
Our guide to using Google can help and once a new internet user has mastered the basics, Google also offers advanced options like Maps and Image search to open up the web experience even more. 
 
What would you add to this list? Please tell us in the comments below.