How does one protect a website with great functionality and excellent design? The default is to obtain copyright on the expressive elements of the website. However, these other means are also used:
Utility patents can secure innovative functionality as a method/algorithm. For example, Netflix obtained this patent to secure the way its website guides users to create lists and queues for renting items.
Design patents can secure any ornamental or aesthetic design features on a website. For example, Google obtained this design patent on its clean search interface design.
Trademarks can secure any distinctive names, symbols or icons that are displayed on a website. Twitter does this, for example, by trademarking its stylized blue bird, the words “tweet” and “retweet” and its iconic “t” shaped logo. All of these are then used on the website.