Website For a Startup
We continue our series of startup articles and today let’s talk about websites.
In our unlimited online world, almost each person has its own website. So, if you want to populate something across the Internet, you are likely to do it via a website. The same can be applied to startups.
A website plays a vital role in each startup. This is, probably, the only way for ordinary people to get familiar with your project and its main features, before you start promotion and sales. Getting more people involved in this process makes it easier for you to grab attention of potential target audience and warm interest. Furthermore, if you want to receive first feedback regarding your product, a website can be considered as a source of anonymous reactions, because some people don’t want their names to be revealed for some reasons.
After your product is launched, a website can act as a single point of delivery while other sources (e.g. social networks) will be used as a reference.
Messaging and design
Before launching a website you should keep in mind that “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. In terms of a particular startup a design-driven approach can be a great competitive advantage. But design itself won’t make your website great. It’s worth remembering that the success of some popular websites (e.g. Apple, Vertu, Xiaomi) is based on messaging, that’s why, 80-90 percent of your time and efforts should be spent on it.
Good messaging is clear and addresses to the “core point” without wasting people’s time on figuring out what is the purpose of your product. Consider these four headlines as examples:
- We craft meaningful experiences – complete bullshit. Your visitors and target audience as well are hardly to understand what is this headline stands for.
- We make websites for startups – Sounds better: you say what you do and who you do, but it is not yet pretty exciting.
- We help startups raise their first 10k online just in 3 months – Yeah, that’s it! Your potential customers are likely to be targeted and definitely intrigued.
- Learn a language in 200 hours – https://lingvist.io/. Sounds challenging enough to people who want to improve their language skills asap.
Don’t force your headline to be awesome right here and right now – you can come up with a great idea somewhere on your vacation or during your siesta, so make sure you have a pen or a pencil on hand. While seeking for something catchy, you can just stick to something obvious in your headline for a while.
It’s not a mistery to anybody that while surfing the Internet we spend somewhere near 20 seconds to review a new website. Not only because we are all busy people, but also because everyone is overloaded with tones of useless information.
That’s why the main goal of your startup website is to weed out your target audience, so everyone else can easily close unnecessary tabs in browser, leaving you with a ripe pool of those who are eagerly wanting to buy your product or services. Help people figure out if your product if for them in 5 seconds rather than in 5 minutes.
How do I know whether my headline is informative enough? Test it. Show your message to your friends or even regular users to see how quickly they understand what is your product stands for.
Design and framework
As research and statistics show, design seems to be an important but not the vital part of a startup website. If you’re limited in budget, it’s better to bet on text (messaging) and hire a writer, while leaving your design as is. Furthermore, under-design is better than over-design. Simple navigation, big, readable fonts, white background instead of heavy elements and multi-layered structure.
Another best practice is to keep website’s colors simple with the only contrast in the main CTA. Attractive color will get users to take a specific action you want them to. Also, consider adding video as an introduction guide to get visitors more familiar with your product. A 2 minutes video may be more descriptive than two pages of feature-list. Some demonstrative example are Ghost, Inkling, Todoist, Wake.
Obviously, your startup website should have analytics to track some vital parameters and keep your target audience engaged. This knowledge can also be useful when creating new marketing strategies and in business analysis. According to these strategies a business analyst will work on opportunities for improvement in business operations and processes, analyze business needs and requirements, investigate and identify what revisions need to be made to the product, to increase demand and the scope of target audience.
I bet this is the latest bullet in your list, however, it is also important. The main question here is whether choose a cheap hosting or something more advanced. It depends on both your budget and intentions.
One way is to choose something cheap as a starting point and when your startup expands, migrate to a more feature-rich hosting provider. However, this approach has some pitfalls related to traffic splashes.
Our recommendation is to make a small research and then choose a reasonably stable provider in order to make sure that its servers are powerful enough to manage unexpected splashes of traffic on website. For more information about the most cost effective hosting solutions, please refer to the 10 Options for Hosting Your Startup Website article.
As you can see, a website may be another headache (if not planned and designed properly) among a whole bunch of things that you should keep in mind when launching a startup. This article outlines basic aspects to know in order to simplify the overall experience and identifies several implicit cases you should be aware of while working on a successful website identity.
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