Web Design for Startups: Everything You Need to Know

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Introduction to web design for startups

A powerful website is an essential for your startup business. A study conducted by WebFX showed that 94% of first impressions are based on your website, meaning it's vital to get your web design right [Source: WebFX].

A great web design strategy for your startup can launch your small business into unparalleled success. Your digital presence is where you reach the majority of your customers, build a positive brand image and position yourself as a market leader. But as a business owner it can be difficult to know where to even begin.

That's where we step in. In this article we will cover everything you need to know to start your web design project as a startup. Whether you're getting ready to launch or have been operational for a while but looking to improve your digital presence, we'll cover it all here.

Best website builder for startups: Webflow

The first thing to consider when starting your web design project is where to build your website. There are loads of platforms out there so it can be confusing to deduce which is the best for your startup.

Most of all you want to look for a platform that offers simplicity, future-proofing and doesn't require too much technical knowledge. By choosing this type of platform you can focus on what you do best, rather than the technicalities that can go into website building for startups.

We think that Webflow offers the best platform for startups to build their website and grow their business. Here are a few reasons why:

Easy to use

Webflow is a no-code platform. This means that you don't need any knowledge of CSS, HTML or any coding language to build the startup website of your dreams.

Fast load speeds

Websites that are built within Webflow are lightening fast, meaning you won't lose any users to slow website loading times. Engaged visitors are happy visitors, which is more likely to lead to conversion and a memorable experience with your business.


You need your website to be secure. Whether you store customer data or your own, the last thing your startup needs is pesky hackers putting your website at risk. Webflow has built in security, making it the perfect platform for busy startups that don't have the time to focus on website security.

Quick development time

As a startup you want your website up and running fast. With many other platforms you or your web designer of choice would have to spend a lot of time developing the backend of your site. With Webflow you can rest assured that your web development time will be cut in half.

Animations & interactivity

This is the exciting part. Webflow allows you to have unique and engaging animated and interactive elements to keep your visitors engaged and competitors envious. After all, as an innovative startup you want a website that reflects your pioneering nature.

Startup website must-haves

Web design for startups is a whole different practice when compared to web design for other industries. You're not only launching a website, but your business to the world. Meaning it's integral to get it right.

Above all else your startup website should be:

  • User friendly
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Present all relevant information about your startup effectively
  • Future-proofed

These features are the bare minimum required to launch an effective website for your startup. But you don't want the bare minimum, right? You're an entrepreneur who wants to stand out from the crowd! Here's how to go about it.

Strong branding & design

Strong branding for your startup is key. Your brand is what makes your startup memorable. It's important you have a strong grasp on your brand and message to build a consistent website that will resonate with your target audience.

What makes you different from your competitors? What's your USP? Who are you and how do you communicate with your audience?

Your brand is also a major touchpoint for potential investors. Having a website that perfectly encapsulates your brand means investors will get a snapshot of your business instantly, making them more likely to back your idea.


The goal of any startup is growth. A vital part of startup web design is building a website that can grow alongside your business. Whether it's a growing product line or team of employees, you want to ensure that your website doesn't hold you back.

Great startup web design gives you space to expand as and when you need it. This is another reason why Webflow is a great choice for startups, the no-code abilities mean you can add or take away whatever you need with ease.

Strong CTAs

When your potential customers or investors reach your website they need to know what you want them to do. This is where CTAs (calls-to-action) come in.

You don't want your website to be filled with too many confusing actions for your visitors; they will just become disengaged. Choose 2 or 3 solid CTAs to lead your visitors right where you want them. These CTAs could be to:

  • Donate
  • Purchase
  • Book an introductory meeting
  • Sign up for email marketing

A website that is designed to prioritise CTAs is a website that's set up for success.

Design for conversions

Similar to our last point, your startup website needs to be designed with your goals in mind. Using strong CTAs is a factor of this but not the whole story.

Before even starting your web design project you should be planning your website with a strategic mind. Considering user journeys and how they will navigate your website is key.

A startup that's goal is to sell a product will need a different website to one that's looking to provide a service and so on. However, no matter what your goal is, your website needs to have great UX (user experience) design to ensure that your visitors convert.

Good user experience considers everything your potential visitors will do and expect from your website. This can go as deep as the text size or small hover animations. Without carefully considered UX you are gambling with your new startup website's success.

Responsive web design

In an age where even fridges have screens you want your customers to be able to reach you no matter what device they are on. Responsive web design (RWD) is an important aspect of startup web design that ensures your website functions seamlessly on desktop, mobile, tablets and beyond.

A huge amount of people now browse the internet on their phones. This means it's vital that your startup website offers a great user experience on mobiles as well as computers.


As the saying goes, 'content is king'! A beautifully designed website is nothing without well-written, informative content. Features that are a must on a great startup website are:

  • Relevant information about your business
  • Images
  • Blogs/ articles
  • Testimonials
  • Social media links
  • Contact information
  • Your unique selling point

As a busy business owner it can be quite daunting seeing that list and wondering where you'll get the time to come up with all that. Luckily that's where content writers come in. Professionals who have the skills and experience in writing compelling copy that perfectly encapsulates your business.


Now that you've got a stunning design and compelling content it's time to get visitors to your website. There are many marketing efforts you can make externally from your website to get your target audience to your new site. This can include social media campaigns or paid advertising on Google or social media platforms.

SEO however is a completely organic digital marketing method that's a must-have for startup websites. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a collection of tactics to get your website to rank highly on Google's results page for related keywords and search terms.

These methods include:

  • Keyword research
  • Image optimisation
  • Backlinking outreach
  • Directory listing management
  • Page speed optimisation

These are only a few methods that are important to good SEO. SEO is so vital for startup businesses because you need to get eyes on your new website and rise above your competitors.

Why good web design is important for startups

We've discussed how to achieve great web design for your startup, but why is it so important? To cite the earlier statistic, 94% of first impressions are based on your website. An innovative startup needs to have an impressive website so that your visitors get the right first impression.

Poor web design can give off the impression that you're not professional or ready for investment. On the other hand, great web design shows potential customers and investors that you're prepared for growth and serious about your product or service.

Good web design can build trust and authority with your target audience, which in turn positions you as a leader in your market and one to watch.

Questions to ask before your startup web design project

You might be thinking this is a lot of work for the owner of a startup who is already busy starting a business and looking for investment. For this reason, many startups will call in the help of a web design agency to take the project off their hands.

If you've never worked with a web design studio before it can be difficult to know where to start. So, here are some important questions to ask your web designer before signing up to their services:

  • What web design services do you provide?
    • Not all web design agencies are created equal, some may only focus on website building where others will deal with the whole process from strategy to launch and beyond.
  • Which CMS or website builder do you use?
    • As we said earlier, there are loads of different website builders out there. Find a web design agency that builds website in your CMS of choice, or ask them why they'd recommend their chosen platform.
  • What's your portfolio like?
    • Seeing is believing. You want to be sure that the web designers that you choose have a successful track record of building websites for startups.
  • What's your process?
    • This is a good way to decipher whether the agency you're speaking to are just good or great! Great web design agencies have designated processes to ensure success and a reliable project timeline.
  • What's the timeline for the project?
    • Need your website instantly or willing to wait for a good thing? It's important to let your web designer of choice know which category you fall into so they can tailor the timeline of the project to you.
  • Do you offer SEO?
    • While not a make or break, it is handy to choose a web design agency that are knowledgable on SEO so that your website is optimised from day one. Even better, some web design agencies offer on-going SEO services to keep your website at the top of the Google rankings.

Our top tips for startup web design

There's a lot more to web design for startups than just aesthetics. Here are our top tips for effective web design that will make a lasting impression on your visitors.

  • Know your customers
  • Have a strong brand
  • Choose your web designer wisely
  • Optimise for search engines
  • Test before launch
  • Make sure your website grows with you
  • Make your website secure

If you're just beginning your startup web design project you should consider all of the above throughout the whole process.

Final thoughts

Unfortunately web design for startups isn't a walk in the park. But as the owner of a startup you know how to be resilient and motivated to reach success. On top of that, choosing the right web design agency, who will support you with great creative strategy, will be a recipe for website success.

Bad web design can have a negative effect on your business. If you need help launching your business into the digital sphere or want to improve your current startup website, follow the tips in this article to skyrocket past your competitors, reaching your goals and further!

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