You hear about an interesting new startup.
You go online and search for their website. You land on the homepage, and you notice the ugliest and most amateur website you have ever seen.
What do you do? You click the X button and never return.
The example above shows how powerful websites are, especially for startups and small companies making a name for themselves.
This article will help you improve your website and present your startup in a professional manner.
What Makes A Website Look Professional
If you ask ten world-class web designers the question “what makes a website look professional,” you’ll probably get ten different answers.
Looks are very subjective. People have different preferences, and what you find appealing might be ugly to someone else.
But, there are certain qualities most people agree on when it comes to startup web design.
A professional website should:
- Be simple and skimmable – People don’t want to search for information. They should get their answers in the first few seconds.
- Use plain language – No one has the time to decipher what the startup wants to say. Plain and simple language always wins.
- Limit the number of colors – Less is always more in web design.
- Use bold text – The main message has to stand out. Bold text is easy to read and notice.
- Have no clutter – Too many elements ruin the way a website looks.
We share examples of real websites at the end of this article. You’ll notice that all startup websites we decided to highlight follow the general recommendations we shared above.
The right name can make your startup stand out and get noticed. Try our startup name generator to find a professional name for your new business. You can also use our domain name generator to search for domain names that match your startup name.
Small Business Website Design Tips
Let’s look at some tips you can implement to make your website instantly look more professional.
The tips we share apply to startups and small businesses. We assume large companies and corporations have design teams that know what they are doing.
Here are the tips to improve your startup website.
Keep It Simple
One of the most common mistakes we see on startup websites is clutter. Founders often have many ideas and want to implement all of them. That’s a sure-fire way to make your website look amateur.
Instead, professional designers know that simplicity wins. Look at the websites of the biggest brands in the world. Apple uses simple fonts, very few colors, and striking photos.
If simplicity works for big brands, it should work for you. Ask yourself if what you’re trying to add to the website is really necessary. You can use a logo maker to create a simple logo.
Try finding things you can delete to simplify the look and user experience.
Coordinate Your Colors
Do you know what words complementary, monochromatic, tetradic, and analogous color combinations mean? We don’t blame you if you don’t. You’re a startup founder, not a designer.
But learning a thing or two about color combinations can help you make your website look more professional, especially if you’re the one that’s in charge of the website, which is often the case with new startups.
You can use color wheel tools to help you pick smart colors that work together. You can even make use of premade color combinations if you want to make sure you’re not making any color blunders on your page.
Pick The Right Fonts
Your fonts can make your website stand out either for the right or wrong reasons. People will definitely notice if you pick an ugly font that makes your website look bad.
You can experiment with different fonts, and there’s no reason to stick to Open Sans fonts. You have to make sure you’re not going overboard when trying unusual fonts.
Make sure you use smart combinations. Designers know how to pair serif and sans-serif fonts to make the designs come alive.
You can search for existing font combinations online to ensure you don’t make any big mistakes. You can also hire a designer to ensure that you have the right fonts for your business website.
Use High-Quality Images
Images are an important element of any website. You have a couple of options when designing your startup website.
It’s usually best to use your photos. You can hire a professional photographer and bring them into the office for a day. You can also take the photos yourself if you know you have the necessary skills to pass them as professional photos.
The second option is to use stock photos. You can find them on free or paid stock image sites. Some of the popular ones include Pexels, Unsplash, and Shutterstock.
The downside of stock photos is that they aren’t unique. It’s likely someone else is also using the same photos. You should at least make sure you’re not using any images people might find on your competitors’ sites.
Write Engaging Content
What you say on your website is as important as how you make it look. The text on your website has to look professional, and it has to convey the right message.
Make sure you’re not using clumps of text. You have enough space. Make use of it. Don’t be afraid to break the text into small paragraphs and short sentences.
Include colorful calls to action to liven up the text. You can also add other colorful elements.
You also have to make sure you’re using clean and grammatically correct language. Nothing screams unprofessional as a poorly written text.
Think About Mobile Users
If you check your analytics, you’ll probably notice that more than half of your visitors use mobile phones to get to your website. In fact, mobile users are now the predominant visitors on most websites.
We all understand that a website should be mobile-friendly, but you shouldn’t stop there. All modern WordPress themes are responsive, and it’s impossible to find a web builder that doesn’t create responsive websites.
You have to think deeper. How can you make the user experience even better for mobile users?
We recommend using images that load fast. Shorten your paragraphs to make the texts easy to skim. You should also think about the navigation. How can you make navigation easy on mobile devices?
|Did you know?
More than two-thirds of the entire world’s population uses a mobile phone. This brings the total number of unique mobile users to over 5.3 billion.
Do you remember when pop-ups were the latest marketing trick on the web? We’ve come a long way. We now have smart chatbots that have conversations with your visitors.
Marketers implement chatbots because they increase conversions. The conversations they have with random visitors are mind-blowing. It’s sometimes hard to tell if there’s a person on the other side of the chat or a robot. That’s how good the latest chatbots are.
Chatbots immediately show you value your website. They make the whole brand look professional. Just make sure you’re not too intrusive with them.
Did you know that your website speed load time dramatically affects conversions and the abandonment rate? You can easily make your website look more professional if you fix your load time.
This is also one of the simplest tricks you can implement to increase visitor engagement and satisfaction. These two things can also increase the profitability of your website.
We recommend you delete all unnecessary plugins if you’re using WordPress for your website. Make sure your web host provides fast load times. Shared web hosting plans are usually lagging in this department.
It’s usually worth spending money on premium cloud hosting if you want to make a serious impact on your load time.
Invest In Custom Design
Most businesses start their website on a premium WordPress theme, or they use one of the popular web builders. Both these options are solid, and you can get a nice-looking website up and running in very little time.
But, if you really want your website to pop out, it’s best to invest in a custom design. You can still use WordPress if you prefer the system. Web developers can easily make beautiful custom themes.
Keep in mind custom designs aren’t cheap. You can expect to pay at least a couple of thousand dollars for basic websites. The prices are a lot higher for complex websites and webshops.
The least you can do is make sure your website is unique. A high-quality website builder like Wix enables you to create your website from scratch. You can read our Wix review to learn more about how you can create your own custom website.
Insert High-Quality Videos
Did videos kill static pages? No, you can still make a great-looking static page with minimalistic elements. But videos add a professional flavor to any startup website.
We recommend implementing a video on your homepage to boost conversions and increase engagement. But be careful, long videos can increase your load times, and we know that’s not what you want.
Startups should invest in professional videos if they want to stand out. A high-end video will present you as a reputable company, which can help with investors and potential customers.
Startup Website Examples
We learned what makes a website look professional. We went over some actionable tips you can easily implement on your startup website to make it look better.
It’s time to look at examples of successful startups with stunning websites.
Donut is an innovative app that uses modern technology to help its users earn more with their money. You can achieve higher yields on the funds you already have in your bank account. Sounds interesting.
Their website is clean and simple. It gets the message across. It’s also visually appealing and sticks to one main color throughout the website.
Stripe is another app in the financial industry. Stripe is used for international payments. It’s grown to become one of the leading payment tools in the world.
You can notice that Stripe’s website looks very sleek and modern. The bold colors make it stand out without cluttering the information. The text on the website is clean and simple.
Play.ht is a tool that helps turn text into realistic speech. You can use it to narrate YouTube videos or to turn your articles into podcast episodes. There’s a lot you can do with the tool.
The website has a clean color palette that stays consistent throughout the pages. The message is clear, and they have two bold calls to action.
Loom is a helpful tool that helps take screen recordings. It enables users to send video instructions instead of typing long emails. The tool is incredibly handy in remote work environments.
You can see the power of simplicity when you land on the homepage. Simple color combinations, bold texts, and clear messages. It’s hard to misinterpret the information on the website.
Nuro is one of the leading brands in the autonomous car industry. If you don’t know what autonomous vehicles are – these are cars that drive on their own. They don’t need a driver to get you to your location.
Nuro invests heavily in design. You can tell that from looking at their product and their website. Sleek animations and minimalism make the website truly impressive.
You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars into professional web design to make your startup website look amazing.
You can implement some of the actionable tips we shared with you to make your website look more professional.
You save the money for now and invest in professional design when you have the funds to do so.