In the digital era, a company website is essential for your audience to find out about your brand, story or products. And being on the forefront of the technology industry, startups need to present a savvy and professional image if they want to be taken seriously or receive funding. But how do you achieve that perceived image?
Luckily, there are some simple things that you can do when building a website for your startup or small business in the initial phase.
Here are 5 tips that you can use when designing your website.
In recent years, there has been an increasing trend to make websites more accessible on different devices, especially on mobile. Google first introduced their plans for “mobile-first” back in 2015 and having a mobile friendly website will affect your SEO ranking. According to Google, majority of people will perform search on mobile to find what they are looking for.
Viewers may find your website on mobile, but decide later to find out more on a desktop. Therefore it is important for your website to perform beautifully on various devices.
Luckily, there are lots of themes available through CMS systems such as WordPress. These themes are usually customisable to your needs and are mostly responsive. This make it easier and affordable for a startup or small businesses when your resources are limited at the beginning.
You should, however, also consider the user experience. As responsive design essentially shuffles the content around to fluidly fit the device window, you will need to pay particular attention to the visual hierarchy of the design as it shifts around. Remember to check how your website on both desktop and different mobile devices to ensure that it looks ok.
The common mistake we have observed is that a lot of start-ups (or small businesses) is not consistent with the colours that they choose. You may be amazed that there are still many badly designed websites around.
Your brand colour should be a representation of your brand and you want people to associate these colours with your company to get a sense that your company is conveying a consistent message. For example, on DaPlan’s website, we use our dominant brand colour in just a number of places where we want our visitors to pay attention to, example our CTA.
In some cases, you may need more colours to make the website more vibrant or to highlight certain parts of your website like CTA buttons or different sections. If you need to expand your colour scheme, try to use the same shades or complimentary colours for your website. You may use the Adobe Colour Tool to help you decide which colours are suitable.
Consider the user experience when your audience visit your website. Your viewers will want to find the information they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible. Therefore it is important to plan and structure your website architecture before designing your website.
We would suggest creating a sitemap listing so that you will have an idea what kind of content you have and how should you categorised them. You may also do a simple Card Sorting UX research to help you understand your users’ expectations in order to better build the structure for your website.
One way to make your website stands out is to limit the content and refine the words. As the saying goes ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ — and it is especially true when it comes to communicating on a more emotional level. Use high-quality catchy visuals where ever you find it relevant & possible.
In text-heavy sections (like blogs), give more importance to White Spaces & Text Hierarchy. It will give a clean and clutter-free look, and will be easier for viewers to read.
Another way is to choose a colour scheme that is uncommon for your brand. However, do take note that the colour selected should represent your brand image and not just for the sake of being different. You may also refer to our article Startup Branding Tips: A Logo Design Guide for Startups to find out more about logo design or what colour to choose.
As you add more media elements, like large images or videos, to make your website stands out, it may slow down the loading of your website.
Google consider website loading speed to be one of the ranking factors. So do remember to optimised the media elements so they will not slow down the loading of your website and affect the user experience. JPEG is the perfect option for the image format while some browsers do not support PNG.
Commonly, we will use Photoshop to reduce the file size. However, you may use this online tool TinyPNG to help reduce the file size without reducing the resolution if you do not have access to the software.
Everyone is on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Telegram and Twitter, so you should have them to reach out to them, right? Not necessarily.
You should be selective which social media to be on. Research what social platform is your audience on, and whether the kind of engagement is suitable for your brand. As the old saying goes, the medium is the message.
Also, it makes no sense to set up a social media profile and link your intended customers to the said pages only to see a dead or neglected social media stream if you do not have enough resources or content to continuously engaged with your audience.
Having the right channels will help to drive traffic to your website and improve your brand awareness.
My advice for new start-ups is to keep your social media links in your footer at first. You do not want to send the impression you’re running a strong social media effort if you’re unable to yet.
Hopefully these tips gave you some ideas to improve your website. It is important for start-ups and small businesses to pay attention to their website, as it is probably the best way for new customers to get to know your brand.
If you need help with creating a bespoke professional website or logo for your startup, click here to see how we can work together to build an awesome brand.
DaPlan is a Singapore-based creative design agency specialising in brand building with a visual focused approach. We build awesome brands and help them get off the ground.