Creating the Perfect Startup Website
More often than not, your startup’s website is the customer’s first impression of your business. Therefore, creating an impactful, well-made startup website is absolutely essential to the success of your startup. But, if you aren’t sure where to start, this can seem like a daunting task.
Fortunately, we have your back with this guide on every step you need to take to create the perfect website for your startup.
Define Your Goals and Purpose
Before you get started building your startup website, take some time to establish the purpose behind your website and what you hope to achieve with it. For example, if you want to sell a product or service through your startup website, your strategy will be different than if your website was solely built to convey information about your startup and provide contact information.
Defining your goals and purpose helps streamline the website building process and makes it easier to develop an effective startup website strategy that will help you reach your goals.
Develop a Startup Website Strategy
Using the insight gained through establishing the goals and purpose behind your startup website, develop a startup website strategy that will help you reach those objectives.
Here is how you can develop an effective website strategy:
- Define your target audience or who your website is geared towards.
- Determine your startup’s brand and aesthetic.
- Identify additional forms of media you can use to promote your website and drive traffic such as videos, photos, and more.
- Establish the resources, tech support, and any additional tools you will need to create and maintain your website.
- Create a budget for the project including the costs to build the website and the monthly costs of maintaining the website.
The most important thing to consider when you are developing a website strategy is who will be visiting your website. Your target audience will direct how you design an optimal user experience and the steps you need to take in order to achieve the objectives you have set for your website.
Secure a Domain Name
A well-developed website strategy is great, however, if you don’t have the domain name that corresponds with your startup name, you could run into trouble. Using the TRUiC domain name generator, you can find available domain names for your startup website. Don’t forget to secure it to ensure the domain name is yours!
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Choose the Best Website Builder
Few of us outside the web designer and developer community can build a website completely from scratch. And, even if you can, there are a litany of potential pitfalls and errors that can occur which could ultimately negatively affect your website and company.
Using a website builder can help negate these risks by offering a simpler, more user-friendly approach to building a website for your startup. And, in turn, saving you valuable time that you can dedicate to building your startup. The first step, however, is to determine the best startup website builder for you.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a startup website builder is the type of startup you’re launching. Whether you plan to launch an online services startup or an ecommerce startup — the type of website builder you choose can impact the functionality of your website and provide you with critical features to help your company thrive.
Best Overall for Startups: GoDaddy
GoDaddy website builder is an excellent option for startups because it provides all of the basic needs for website development — no experience required. Whether you need a simple one-page website that conveys the basic information about your startup, such as hours of operation and a brief description of the company, or something more complex such as an online store or live chat functionality — GoDaddy can help you create it.
Best Website Builder: GoDaddy
Establish your online presence and attract customers by building a startup website. We recommend the GoDaddy website builder due to its affordability and simplicity.
Best for Larger Brands: WordPress or Wix
Larger brands are established companies that boast a large customer base. However, large startup brands that don’t operate solely online, such as food and beverage startups, don’t typically need a super complex website. Many operate more closely to a blog than an online store, requiring little technical labor.
WordPress and Wix are both great website builder options for large brands. WordPress offers full control over both the visual and technical aspects of operating a startup website but will require web developers or tech people on staff to build and maintain.
Wix, alternatively, is a great choice for companies that don’t want to invest time and resources into the technical side of maintaining a website. Rather, Wix allows users to focus on the marketing or branding capabilities of their startup website.
Best for Ecommerce: Shopify
Ecommerce startups operate by selling products to consumers online. Since the entire business is reliant on the website, ecommerce startups need to carefully select the startup website builder that will provide all of the capabilities and functionality that is required.
Fortunately, Shopify is built exactly for this purpose. One of the world’s most popular ecommerce website builders, Shopify provides a litany of features and tools to support new ecommerce businesses.
Best for Online Services: WordPress
There are several types of startups that fall under the online services category, such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) startups, social media startups, or app development startups. The objective of the website for most of the startups within this sector is to effectively promote the startup.
For online services startups, WordPress or a custom-built website is the best choice to achieve the functionality and technological capabilities that are needed to successfully promote the brand. Keep in mind that you will need to hire a web developer or technical expert to create this type of website.
Best for Blogging: WordPress or Wix
Blogging startups operate entirely online; therefore, the website builder is exceptionally important. Two things that are crucial when choosing the best website builder for blogging are flexibility and adequate features.
WordPress and Wix both offer excellent platforms for building an exceptional blog. WordPress boasts unparalleled flexibility, meaning you are able to create practically anything you want on the platform. However, if you’re not an experienced web developer, you are going to need technical assistance regularly.
Wix, on the other hand, doesn’t require the same level of expertise that WordPress does. It is a much-simpler platform that will allow you to focus solely on the aesthetics of your blog.
Choose a Template
Website builders use templates to alter the appearance of the website without impacting the capabilities of the website or the back-end layout. A website’s template should enhance the user experience of the website while also effectively representing the startup’s brand. When choosing a template for your startup website, here is what you need to keep in mind:
Throughout the entire process of creating your startup website, user experience should be at the forefront of your mind. Deciding on the right template for your website is no exception. The two most important things to keep in mind when assessing the user experience of your website template are functionality and simplicity.
A few examples of this are an easily found navigation bar, streamlined color scheme, and easy-to-read font — which most templates should automatically implement. Optimizing the user experience of your website helps to decrease your bounce rate and ensures customers will be able to find the information they are looking for.
The other consideration you need to make when choosing a startup website template is how it corresponds with your startup’s brand and logo. Or, if your startup doesn’t have a brand or aesthetic already established, you can also choose a template that will influence your branding as well.
All in all, the goal of choosing a template that matches your startup’s branding is to create a cohesive brand image that is recognizable and appealing to customers.
Every great website has user experience in mind, and a huge part of the user-friendliness of a website is the navigational functionality. By creating pages on your website, you keep information accessible and easy to find for anyone visiting your website. Every startup website should have the following pages easily accessible to visitors:
- Home page — This is the front page of your website, which means it is the first thing visitors will see when they visit your website. When creating this page, be sure to include some brief information about your business and anything you think is important for customers to know when they first visit your website.
- About page — Your website’s about page is where you will go more in-depth about your company’s story, mission, and any other information that tells visitors about your company.
- Contact page — Finally, you want your customers to be able to contact you with questions, feedback, or concerns. A contact page can be either a form or a separate page with your contact information, such as an email address, physical address, and phone number.
Fortunately, website builders almost always make the creation of home, about, and contact pages simple for even novice website developers. However, your startup should consult with an attorney for assistance when creating the following pages:
- Terms & Conditions — Alternatively, the terms and conditions page of your website outlines the agreement between you and anyone visiting your website. This informs your user about how your website operates.
Depending on the type of startup you are operating, you may also want to consider including additional pages to help customers support your company, such as a product page, pricing page, blog page, or service page, to name just a few. The additional pages you choose to include on your startup website will vary depending on the type of startup you’re operating and the involvement your website has in the daily operations of the company.
Create Quality Content
Content writing is an often overlooked aspect of building a website. However, content writing is one of the most crucial parts of the user experience. For example, the context text that is featured on your website’s about page, contact form, and home page needs to be written in the same voice, as well as any additional content that is added throughout the website.
If you aren’t a strong writer and don’t have a writer on staff, we recommend hiring a freelance content writer to get the job done. You can find experienced writers online on UpWork, Fiverr, and Writer’s Access.
Now that you have your foundational content squared away, you also need to create and include quality content that will drive traffic to your website. This could include blog posts, products, your startup story, and more!
The goal of creating quality content for your website is to increase your search engine ranking and give customers reason to see your website as an authority in the space as well as a reliable resource. Here are a couple of rules to keep in mind when creating content for your startup website:
- Create an attention-grabbing headline.
- Invest energy into writing a great introduction.
- Make your content actionable and engaging using links, graphics, and prioritizing scannability.
- Create templates that will help streamline the content creation process.
Create Effective CTAs
Another important consideration when building a website is creating and implementing effective CTAs (Calls to Action). Creating content that is actionable not only provides users with easily navigated information, it also keeps them on your website for long periods of time and drives the authority of your website.
But, what makes a CTA effective isn’t simply adding a link and hoping for the best. An effective CTA is a targeted, intentionally placed link, heading, or button.
Here are some tips on how to create a CTA:
- Make your CTA eye-catching and brightly colored to grab visitors’ attention.
- Make the action clear by using distinctive language such as a “Schedule a Consultation” or “Add to Cart” button.
- Provide enough incentive and information before the CTA to drive the visitors to want to follow through with the action you’re presenting.
- Keep your customers in mind and craft your CTAs around what will provide the best user experience possible.
Test and Publish Your Startup Website
If you’re like most startup founders, you probably didn’t take the first startup idea you had and run with it. You tested and validated it before investing time and money into the venture. The same process can be applied to your startup website.
Before you publish a startup website, you need to test and make sure each part and link is working, that your load time is up to par, to check for grammatical errors or misspelled words, and that your site is ready to meet the public eye. However, don’t wait for perfection to publish your website. There will always be opportunities to change and optimize your website, and it is more important that your website is live than perfect.
Once you’ve done a thorough test, you’re ready to publish your startup website!
Maintain Your Startup Website
Now that you have created your startup website and supplied it with quality, actionable content you may think your work is done. However, the maintenance of your website is as important as the foundation you just created.
Maintaining your startup website means driving traffic to your site, increasing functionality, and ensuring that the user experience is up to snuff. Otherwise, the hard work you put into building an effective startup website could be wasted. Not to worry, here are the three things you should do in order to maintain your website:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website in order to rank higher in searches on Google, Bing, or any other search engine results and drive traffic to your website to increase brand awareness. The baseline of a good SEO strategy is understanding the algorithm and how to grow your website’s authority based on what will validify it within that algorithm. For many websites, this means target keywords or producing well-crafted content that will drive traffic to your website.
If you aren’t well-versed in SEO, or if you want to brush up on your SEO skills, we have a guide for you on everything you need to know about SEO for startups.
Social Media Marketing
Social media isn’t just the most powerful marketing tool available to startups — it is absolutely essential to maintaining and growing your startup website. A strong social media presence can bring new visitors to your website and boost your authority with the search engine’s algorithm. It’s a win-win!
When was the last time you stayed on a website that was slow or unresponsive? If you can’t remember, you are in the majority. When visitors are quick to leave your site, it increases your bounce rate, which has a negative impact on your search engine ranking as well as the likelihood that customers will support your company overall.
Maintaining necessary software updates keeps your website responsive to ensure visitors to your site aren’t left waiting for each page to load. As you can imagine, this is a crucial and yet often overlooked aspect of your website maintenance.
Startup Website FAQs
What is a startup website?
A startup website is a website created to inform customers, promote the company, and increase brand awareness.
What makes a good startup website?
A good startup website is built with goals and objectives in mind that will increase the brand awareness and propel the startup forward. To achieve this, you will need to develop an effective website strategy to effectively reach your target audience.
What should a startup website include?
Every startup website should have a home page, about page, and contact page that is easy for visitors to find and navigate. Additionally, depending on the type of startup you’re operating, you may want to include additional pages and features such as an online store, blog, or product page equipped with quality content and high functionality.
How do I create a startup website?
Start by establishing your goals and objectives for the website, then create a strategy. Next, secure your domain name and choose a website builder and template that will best support your choice of pages, content, and features.
How much does it cost to build a startup website?
The cost of building a website depends on the features your website requires, such as whether or not you need ecommerce capabilities, if you will need to hire a web developer, and the website builder you choose. You can typically expect a monthly charge that may range from $18 to $500 depending on your company’s needs.