Strategy | Design | Development

Why good web design for startups matters

Matt Ellis December 6th, 2022
Web design for start ups Header Mobile

Startups need an effective website that can help them reach their audience, communicate with customers and establish a positive brand identity online.

The right web design strategy is the key to success for any new company – and hopefully, this guide will provide useful steps on how startups can leverage web design to achieve their goals and maximize their return on investment.

What is a startup website?

A startup website is an online platform for a company to showcase its products and services, give a great customer experience and build brand loyalty.

It should be user-friendly, simple to navigate, visually appealing and have all the necessary information about the startup and its offerings.

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Why is web design is important for startups?

Startups need to stand out from their competition – and a great web design can help them do just that.

A well-designed startup website will make it easier for customers to find the right information quickly and easily.

The startup website should be a reflection of the company’s values and mission, helping visitors understand and trust the brand.

Good website design can also increase customer engagement and help create an emotional connection with potential customers, again, leading to sales and revenue.

Web design for start ups Stand out from competition

How can web design help startups stand out from the competition?

A solid web design strategy will help startups stand out from the competition by creating a unique and attractive website – with compelling copy.

This can be achieved through the creative use of visuals, engaging content and intuitive navigation.

Additionally, optimization techniques such as responsive design and fast loading speeds can make all the difference in providing users with an enjoyable experience on the site.

How can web design be used to attract investors?

Investors are always on the lookout for companies that showcase their potential and have a good online presence.

A well-designed website will help startups show investors that they have the right resources, skills and processes in place to succeed in their venture.

Can you run a startup business without a website?

Yes, in theory – and it really depends on the industry and market you're in and what specialist service you offer – but, if you're a tech startup, then you'll absolutely need a website.

A website is not only a great way to showcase your services and build an online presence, but it can also be used to share important information with customers, reach new audiences through search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, and even make those all-important sales.

It's essential for businesses of all sizes – from sole proprietorships to large corporations – to have a website.

Things you need to ask yourself before beginning a startup website project:

Before you embark on your new startup website development, here are some things the you'll need clarity on:

Web design for startups Goals

1. What are your startup's goals for its website?

It's important to have a clear understanding of what your startup website needs to accomplish.

Identify the key objectives that you want your website to achieve, such as providing information about your company and products or services, establishing an online presence, increasing traffic, and engaging with customers.

If you're unsure about your business and users' goal, you should do a website discovery workshop – it'll give you absolute clarity on your next web project.

Web design for startups Measure success

2. How will you measure the success of your website?

It’s important to measure the success of your startup website in order to improve it. Use metrics such as page views, bounce rate, and conversion rate to track user behaviour and gain insights into what works and what doesn’t.

Creating an effective website for a startup takes time, dedication, and expertise. It's essential to understand the goals of your website and invest in it to create a platform that resonates with users, drives traffic, and achieves success.

Developing an effective website can be challenging, but the rewards are worth it. A professionally designed website will help you build brand recognition, better engage with customers, generate more leads – and bring down the cost of sales.

Web design for startups Target Audience

3. Who is your target audience?

Understanding who your ideal audience is will help you create a website that resonates with them.

Identify the demographics of your ideal customers, such as age, gender, location, etc – and use this info to tailor your startup website design and content.

The website should be designed to meet the needs of the startup and its audience.
Web design for startups Content

4. What kind of content will your website need to include?

The best startup websites include:

  • Marketing Content:
    • Blogs
    • Videos
    • Images
    • Testimonials
  • All the relevant information about your company
  • Your UPS (Unique Value Proposition)
  • Information about products or services
  • Social Proof (Testimonials, Reviews, Social posts)
  • Contact Information
Web design for startups Traffic

5. How will you generate traffic to your website?

Implementing effective digital marketing techniques is essential for any website. Make sure you optimise your content and use the right keywords to increase visibility in Google search results.

We'd highly advise partnering with an SEO or digital marketing consultant or marketing agency to gain clarity on the traffic potential for your site.

Web design for startups Technology

6. What technology and platforms will you use?

Decide which platforms and technology you’ll use to build your website early on to avoid costly backtracking later on. Popular CMS choices include WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace – but be cautious, as you may quickly hit the limitations of these easy-to-use platforms.

However, we don't use any of those. Instead, we're a web development company that uses a content management system called Craft CMS. It's a great option for tech startups as it offers flexibility, scalability and security – and is really easy for technical and non-technical digital marketing agencies to use.

You can find out why web design companies like ours use it, by checking out our Craft CMS developer agency page.

Whatever platform you choose, make sure it meets your needs and can be easily integrated with other tools – like CRMs and accounting software.

Web design for startups Features

7. Which features do you need?

When designing a website for your startup, consider what features are necessary for the success of your website.

Features such as an online store, customer support service, or blog can help you achieve your goals and engage with users.

Web design for startups Accessibility

8. Are there any accessibility requirements?

A good startup website meets the needs of users with disabilities by adhering to web accessibility standards.

The website design should be to be accessible on all devices, including mobile phones and tablets.

Web design for startups registration online marketing security measures and analytics

9. What other web design services do you need?

Consider other web design services you may need, such as web hosting, web server setup and domain name registration, online marketing, security measures, and analytics.

A professional startup website development team will help establish this before the project and help you ensure that every aspect of your startup website is taken care of.

If you already have an existing website, auditing your data will give you great insight into how your users are finding and interacting with your startup website.

Web design for startups Timescales

10. What are your timeline constraints for launching the website?

Having a clear timeline for launching your startup website will help ensure that the project is completed efficiently and on schedule.

Make sure to factor in time for website design, website development, content creation, testing, and deployment. Depending on the complexity of your website, it may take several months to complete.

It’s important to set a realistic timeline that takes into account any potential delays or changes that may arise throughout the project.

Having a clear timeline in place will help ensure that you stay on track with launching your website and allow you to adjust and react quickly if needed.

It’s also important to keep stakeholders informed of progress throughout the process. With an effective timeline in place, your website launching process should go as planned and you’ll be well on your way to achieving success.

Web design for startups Involvement

11. What level of involvement do you want in the website design and development process?

If you're a CMO or marketing manager, the level of involvement you have in the website design and development process will vary depending on your expertise, resources, and time constraints.

You may wish to take a hands-on approach and be involved in every element of the project or you may prefer to leave it up to the professionals.

No matter which option you choose, it’s important to ensure that your goals and vision for the startup website are clearly communicated throughout the process.

Regularly reviewing progress and collaborating with designers, developers, and copywriters can help you stay on track and aligned with your objectives.

Web design for start ups Cardo

Quirky E-commerce website design for Cardo, showcasing and complimenting their unique greeting card collections.

What functionality should a startup website include?

This really depends on the project, but a typical startup website could include:


Updates and insights about your products and services. Most likely the primary output for content marketing to drive traffic via Google search.

Online Store

If your product and/or service warrants it, you may need an eCommerce website to sell online. Considerations will need to be made for shipping (for physical products) and currency conversion if you plan to offer your products and services across the world. Forward-thinking tech startups may even need to offer payment via digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Member Registration

Some startup websites may need a member login area to allow users to access the service, view proprietary information or create a community. The membership registration and login process should be simple as possible. A good development agency will be able to streamline this process for you and integrate social media accounts, like Google or Twitter – for seamless logins.

Landing Page

An underrated and often overlooked part of any good startup website: The landing page. We always recommend creating a Landing Page builder. The landing page builder can contain component building blocks– such as mastheads/heroes, images, sliders, contact forms, videos, testimonials and quotes – which gives digital marketing agencies, the power and flexibility to build specific landing pages for specific PPC and SEO keywords.


You most likely need to contact forms for users to get in touch. A UI/UX web design agency that understands conversion rate optimisation (CRO) can make a real difference to the conversion rate of even a simple contact form. Make sure you understand privacy laws in the territories you're providing your start-up services as some countries don't allow you to store visitor's details – even those submitted through a contact form.

Web design for start ups What to look out for

What should I look out for when hiring a website design agency for my startup?

Not all web design agencies are created equal. When hiring web designers for your startup website, make sure to find out:

  • What website design services do they provide? – Such as UI/UX, user research, user flows, sitemaps, wireframes, and prototypes.
  • What startup website development services do they provide? – More than the basics of HTML, CSS and JS (Javascript), looks for CRO (conversion rate optimisation), A/B testing, technical SEO, speed optimisation, third-party Integrations with external APIs, web hosting, web server maintenance and support, to sustain and help your website grow.
  • What's their portfolio like? – Does their style match what you need? Is it an interactive and minimalistic design that you need, or something more, clean modern and sleek – or just flat-out Web3?
  • What do people say about them? – Read reviews and testimonials to find out what startup companies say about them.
  • What's their process? – Get an understanding of their process, how they operate and what their payment schedule is.
  • What's their timeline? – Find out how long before they can start work – and what involvement will be needed from both parties?
Web design for start ups Wireframes Example

Example of a detailed set of wireframes that we created for online murder mystery game, You Dunnit.

Should I use a template for my startup website? [ Spoiler Alert: No ]

In a word: no. As web designers, we know using a template can help simplify the website design process, and bring the budget down. But be aware that templates may not be as flexible or customisable as custom websites.

There's also a high probability that another site will be using the same template, which means you'll run the risk of embarrassment if another startup is using the same template and potential clients see it. We've seen it happen!

Depending on your requirements and budget, using a pre-made template might be the best option for you. However, if you want to create a website that is tailored to your brand and business needs, it’s always best to hire a UI/UX web design agency to deliver a custom design, which completely reflects your startup's vision – and can be rolled out into a design system to retain consistency across your digital experiences. 

An experienced web design and development team will have a solid process for delivering an innovative visual design, without touching a template.

How much does a website for a startup cost?

The cost of a startup website will depend on the complexity and scope of the project. Startup website development for a simple website with just a few pages may cost around £5,000 - £10,000 while more complex sites can cost up to £30,000 or more.

According to a study by Clutch, the average cost to design and develop a startup website is £39,000 ($48,000). And the same study found that the average time to design and develop a website for a startup is 4-6 months.

The cost will always depend on the complexity and scale of the project, as well as the experience and expertise of the startup website development company. But, it’s always important to remember that a website is an investment. When done right – it can help drive traffic and convert customers. Essential for business growth.

Web design for start ups Tips

Website design tips for startups

Creating an effective web design requires more than just making the site look good. Here are some tips the best startup websites use to help create a website that will meet your business needs and provide value to visitors:

Research and understand your audience

Knowing who you’re targeting is essential for any successful website. Research their interests and needs, then tailor your website design to meet those requirements.

Keep it simple

A startup website should be easy to navigate with minimal effort. The fewer clicks it takes a user to get from one page to the next, the better.

Make sure your content is relevant

Content should be related to your business, mission and values in order to create an emotional connection with customers.

Optimise for mobile devices

Mobile optimization is essential to ensure that your company website looks great and works properly on any device.

Utilize visuals

High-quality visuals are a powerful way to capture attention and engage users. High-quality images, videos or animations to make your startup website stand out.

Test and refine

Testing is essential to ensure that your startup website is working properly and meets user expectations. Regularly test and refine the design for maximum performance.

Focus on user experience

Design with the user in mind, paying close attention to ease of navigation, page loading speed, and content organization.

Make it secure

Security should always be a top priority when designing a startup website. Make sure your site is using the latest encryption technologies and is PCI compliant.

Optimise for Google (and other search engines)

SEO optimization helps ensure that your website will rank higher on Google. This digital marketing technique will increase your visibility and make it easier for new customers to find you.

Make sure it grows with you

The website should be designed to be easily updated and expanded as the startup grows.

By following these tips, startups can create a stunning startup website that not only looks great but helps them reach their goals.

Web design for start ups Common mistakes

Common mistakes made in startup web design

Not having a clear goal or objective

Startups should have a goal or objective before they start designing their website. Knowing what the site should achieve will help guide the design decisions and ensure success.

Poor navigation

Navigation is key to providing users with an enjoyable experience on the website. Good navigation should be intuitive and make it easy for visitors to find the information they’re looking for.

Overlooking mobile optimization

Startup websites should be optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. A mobile-friendly, responsive design ensures that the website looks great on any device, making it easy to use, access and navigate.

Not considering SEO

Optimizing a website for search engines is essential for startups looking to increase their visibility online. Implementing effective SEO, and digital marketing techniques can help boost the site’s rankings in search engine results pages.

Not testing the website

Before launching your startup company website, you should rigorously test it to make sure everything is cross-browser compatible and working as intended. This will help ensure that customers have an enjoyable experience on the site and that all features are functioning correctly.

Looking for a web design agency?

Get in touch to chat about the requirements for your startup.


Effective startup website development is rarely easy. However, with the right web design strategy and an understanding of common mistakes to avoid, startups can create a successful website that will help them reach their goals – and create real digital transformation.

By focusing on user experience, incorporating visuals, optimizing for mobile devices and search engines, and testing regularly, startups can create an impressive website that will help them stand out from the competition.

Article By

Matt has been designing for the web since 1999. He loves mountain biking, watching Formula 1 and making music.