Whether you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, or a hobbyist, if you’re running a startup, you all have something in common – you’ll need a startup website.
Startup websites are your first chance to show who you are as a brand. Planning your startup website is an exciting time to test and experiment in order to find what works best for your online launch.
But if you don’t have a lot of experience, launching your startup website can seem a little daunting. That’s where Website Builder Expert has your back. In this article, we’ll offer insight into what makes the best startup websites. We’ll also show 12 of the best startup website designs to inspire ideas and get your creative juices flowing.
A startup website is the website made from scratch that represents your business. Whether you plan to use a DIY website tool like Wix or Squarespace, learn coding, or pay someone else to do it, your startup website will be a key step in your business journey.
Websites are vital for businesses, and for startups in particular. They show people who you are, give you an international audience, answer questions, tell your story, and show people what you have to offer. It also gives your business credibility in the eyes of consumers.<
The best startup websites make an audience feel a certain way from the landing page to the moment when they leave. It’s a mini-journey, and your brand takes them along on it. So what do you need to make that journey successful? It’s all down to your startup’s web design.
Website design shows the customer what to do. Some of the things to consider for the best startup website design are:
Startup websites should be easy to understand. Consider at first a minimalist design, and as you get more comfortable through time, add on as you see fit. Customers should easily be able to see what you want them to do.
Advice from the Experts
TOP TIP: Keep your most important and snappy messages “above the fold,” which means at the top of your startup website before the visitor scrolls down.
Clear Messaging and Purpose
The audience needs to know what you want from them, and why they should pick you versus your competition. So include a mission statement (why you’re doing what you’re doing and the values that are important to your brand), your personal story (how you came to start your brand), and clear instructions in your call-to-action.
The best startup websites choose images depending on what the brand wants customers to feel. If you want them to be uplifted or invigorated, high-energy images are great. But if it’s relaxation, choose calming images. But no matter what the mood, pick images that are interesting or intriguing.
Advice from the Experts
TOP TIP: Make sure you use professional images for your website that you have permission to use! If you’re unsure, stick to either paying for images, taking them yourself, or using a website like Unsplash. Check rules to make sure you credit a source in the way they ask.
Easy to Navigate
There’s no point in choosing the best formats and mission statements and products if your audience doesn’t know how to find anything. Use color and shape to clearly earmark where your customer can go to buy, read, refer, or whatever else you want them to do. For inspiration, check out these examples of good website navigation.
Advice from the Experts
TOP TIP: Have friends, colleagues or family members try out your new startup website to see if there are confusing or difficult spots to sort out before you launch.
Branding lets your customer know who you are, what you stand for, and differentiates you from your competition. Think about:
- Why is it that the customer should come to you?
- What is it that makes you special or unique as a business?
- Do you have any strong reviews or recommendations that you can include?
There are interesting startup websites for all kinds of online businesses. Here are some startup website examples to inspire you – each of their strengths are things to consider when you plan the startup website design for your brand.
Donut helps people with a little extra cash automatically invest their money. This website is great because it clearly shows what the customer has to gain (5% APY) and in one picture shows how simple the app looks operating on their phone.
How can you replicate this? Pick the important information and only display what matters – Donut has an image, a headline, a selling point, a call to action, as well as a review rating, but it doesn’t feel cluttered!
Loom allows you to record your screen for whatever reason you need. What makes this website so useful (besides its calm purple color) is its sticky headline – “Show it, say it, send it” is very easy to remember. The page also features video, which always grabs attention too.
How can you replicate this? Keep things simple – don’t opt for paragraphs of text if a simple heading and visuals can convey your brand’s message just as well!
Apothekary is all about wellness through personalized natural solutions. What looks great about this website is not only the attractive photos and the big brand name testimonials, but the quiz on the upper left corner sounds fun and helpful for the customer. The site also offers consults which you can book from the landing.
How can you replicate this? Make your site interactive – customers love to feel like you’re offering them a personalized service, whether that’s via a quiz, a live chat, or bookable consults.
Runner connects people who are too busy to find the admin help that they need, when they need it, no matter for an hour or months. Runner gives opportunities to people from underrepresented groups, and matches people according to goals and shared values. The website has an excellent background story – the founder Arlan Hamilton went from homelessness to building a venture capital fund on her own.
How can you replicate this? Help your visitors get to know you – tell the story behind your business to help connect people with your company values and mission.
UpCodes allows people to easily search for building codes. This screenshot is below-the-fold, and is a great example of showing the audience a brand’s authority and reliability by showing the big brands they work with, and statistics/factual numbers about how many others trust them.
How can you replicate this? Don’t underestimate social proof – if you have reviews, testimonials, or stats around your service or product, make sure to feature them on your own startup website!
HackerOne equips business owners to deal with hacker threats and general cyber crime. Note that the color scheme of the page is black and white, which reflects the theme of crime and solution. And it offers a free report to the audience, as well as a clear headline about how they as a company benefit the audience.
How can you replicate this? Your color scheme should reflect your brand – choose a color scheme that creates the right emotional reaction from visitors as well as embodying your brand values. For example, many bank companies use blue, because blue creates a sense of calm and trust!
Kohost helps hospitality companies automate their check in, upselling, smart rooms and guest communication so that customers are free to do what they want when they want. The brilliantly attractive and fun animation makes the feel of the website playful and interesting.
How can you replicate this? If it suits your brand, you can explore using animation on your own startup website! Different website backgrounds create different user experiences – for example, sports sites often use video backgrounds to convey movement, while tech sites often use illustrations to bring abstract ideas to life.
We might be a little biased because we love robots so much, but Nuro is a company that provides third-generation automated robotic vehicles for deliveries. This website is a great example of letting your product or service speak for itself, and using color to draw the eye to what the audience should look at.
How can you replicate this? Let your products do the talking – showcase them via images, videos, or even through customer stories to show them in use. Don’t just describe your product or service if you can show it in action!
Altar is a new Santa Fe-based spirits company that uses unorthodox methods and approaches to make spirits. The distiller uses alchemy, local and foraged plants, and new styles of distillery to create unique spirits. The header photo effectively reflects the brand name.
How can you replicate this? Sometimes, an image can say more about your brand than words ever can. Use on-brand imagery on your site to support your messaging.
Choco is an app that hooks up restaurants and suppliers, allowing flexibility in ordering and saving time. They’re big believers in sustainability and reducing waste. And the testimonial with an unusual photo tells the audience that Choco understands their problem, and gives them a benefit if they choose the app.
How can you replicate this? Get your customers’ voices on your startups site! Visitors don’t want to hear you say how great you are – they want to hear it from other clients and customers.
This is a company that allows people to rent high-end designer clothing and accessories. You can search by categories, rent from around the world, and post your closet if you have items you’d like to rent out too. The website provides insider recommendations, website heroes, discounts, and glamorous editorial photographs to make the viewer instantly feel the accessibility of fashion.
How can you replicate this? If you’re running a discount, displaying it in a banner at the top of your startup site is a great way to get it in front of your customers and encourage them to buy products sooner rather than later.
If you’re a nontechnical business owner or founder, this incredible platform will help you launch your own tech startup app without knowing code. But NixCode is used to making the impossible possible – having won competitions and pitches to get money and now growing 8x year-for-year. The website uses color in a vibrant and brand-consistent way, directing your attention to the call to action.
How can you replicate this? Use color to draw your visitors’ attention to important parts of your site! For example, make buttons a bright color. You can also use larger sized text or buttons to grab attention.
No matter which of these startup websites you found interesting or inspirational, you have so many options to plan and build the best startup website design possible.
No matter which way you go, one thing is for certain – keeping your potential customer’s ideal emotional journey at the forefront, supported and guided by the best startup website design, easy navigation, engaging visuals, clear messaging, and strong branding, you will be well on your way!
For more examples to inspire you, see our list of great brand strategy examples.
We feel differently on different websites. A pizza takeout site, versus a charity store, versus a brand advocating for animal welfare – they’re designed to make you feel a certain way while you’re on the site. So with your website, think about the customer journey – no matter your cause, the customer journey should be smooth and consistent, and leave a positive impression!