Startup Website Checklist: What You MUST Include (with examples) - Unlimited Graphic Design Service


Startup Website Checklist: What You MUST Include (with examples)

October 16, 2020, by

website design on mac

A company website is the lifeblood of a brand’s online presence. While websites for established companies continually garner sales, a startup website starts from scratch. Startups have to work double-time to make an excellent first impression. According to WebFX, 94 percent of first impressions all translate to your website design. 

Startups have to put a lot more effort into their web design. For one, no one knows what your brand offers, and this should be clear right off the bat. Here are 12 elements that your startup website must have to prevent shooing away visitors: 

  • Clear value proposition 
  • Clear calls to action
  • Powerful heading/subheading
  • Quality images
  • Quick registration form
  • Social proof
  • Clear benefits
  • Clean user interface
  • Quick demo video/screenshots
  • Interactive features
  • Fun animations
  • User-friendly navigation

If you want to make your website stand out, we’ll explain why these elements are vital for your web design. And we’ll also throw in some startup websites for inspiration. So let’s get the ball rolling. 

1. Clear value proposition

Unless you’re Coca-Cola or Apple in which everyone knows their products by heart, you have to be more clear with your value proposition. No one knows about your brand or what your company’s products or services are. Ensure that you capture your visitors’ attention during the first 10 seconds they land on your homepage. If they read your unique selling proposition and like it, they will explore your site more. 

Startup website

Tyreright is an online tire retail store, and they clearly wrote that in the above-the-fold section of their homepage. It’s a one-liner that tells who they are, what they offer, and why customers should buy from them. Moreover, they have a “Search” feature where customers can search tires by characteristic or vehicle. 

2. Clear calls to action

As a startup, garnering sales might be an uphill battle during the initial phase. You have to boost brand awareness first and instill brand recognition. This way, your audience will be willing to listen to what you have to offer. But while you’re at it, make sure your site will always lead prospects further down the sales funnel. 

From Awareness, Interest to Desire, and Action, your website should be clear on the next step visitors should take. And this is why your web design must have evident calls to action after your product or service highlights. Whether it’s getting email addresses or signing up for a free trial, clearly displaying your calls to action will help achieve your goal. 

Startup website

Evernote is the best example of this. First of all, the structure is pretty clean, with lots of negative space. Everything is easy on the eyes. Plus, there are three call-to-action buttons under their three main offers that stick out like a sore thumb. 

3. Powerful heading

It’s recommended to captivate user attention in the first eight to 10 seconds. And this is the reason why you must have a powerful headline that can make users stop and read further. Use heavy fonts for your headline to ensure that this is the component that dominates the entire page. 

Startup website

As a startup, you want to showcase everything on your homepage to reel your audience. Here’s Slack’s homepage with an impactful headline. In as little as six words, it tells everything about the benefit of using their product. Plus, Slack also displays a snippet of their messaging platform to accompany the copy.

4. Quality and compelling images

Some startups might be working with a shoestring budget. New entrepreneurs think that using stock images might save them money. But this is farther from the truth. Using stock images on your website makes it mundane. Custom-made graphics should be strewn across your site for emotional impact and memorability. 

Startup website

Berrydivine seems to have its graphics on point. They feature large images of their Acai bowls and an easy-to-digest copy underneath it. Putting your products front and center can make your offer more appealing.

5. Quick registration form

Registration forms on your website bring you one step closer to leading prospects down the sales funnel. And for startups, getting more registrants, whether subscribing to email newsletters or getting freebies, is a challenge. And it’s even harder if your onboarding involves a tedious process. 

Startup website

When you’ve piqued the user’s interest, make sure they have a seamless onboarding process. Create a quick registration form with only the necessary details. Squareup is a company that offers online tools to boost all levels of businesses. Creating an account with them is easy as well. You only have to enter your email, confirm your email, create a password, and select your country. 

6. Social proof

One factor visitors would look for in a startup website is credibility. But new businesses might struggle with this. If you have company milestones, awards, or customer testimonials, use those to your advantage. Show social proof on your homepage, so you’re amping up brand trustworthiness.

Startup website

Zooz is an online payment processing platform, which is relatively new to the industry. However, they took care of featuring a video of a customer who is very happy with their service.

7. Clear benefits

While it’s recommended to showcase your product’s or service’s features, users would want to know the benefits. Showcasing the benefits are more relatable to the customers’ pain points. And this is why startups should clearly explain the benefits of using their products or services. 

Startup website

DoorDash is a food delivery service launched in 2013. Apart from their site’s clean structure and excellent images, they also present the benefits in a digestible manner. A prominent heading “Why deliver with DoorDash” sits on top of the icons and concise copy. 

8. Clean user interface

You want to keep your user interface simple. And this doesn’t only apply to a startup website. Although startups should be clearer on what they offer, having a clean user interface will prevent a user from getting sidetracked. You want to subliminally lead users to some parts of your website that can rake in conversions.

Startup website

For instance, Airbnb’s user interface is straightforward and compelling. It has a captivating hero image, search fields on top, a call-to-action button, and limited menu options. It’s easy for customers to type in their inquiries and book if they see a price that fits their budget. 

9. Quick demo

Unless you’re selling food, t-shirts, or other products that are ready to use and wear, a quick demo is recommended for other types of products or services. Startups that are offering out-of-the-ordinary products or arcane services must include a quick demo on their web page. Make it easy to understand for all levels of users. 

Startup website

Here’s an example from GiftRocket, a platform for sending online gift cards and gift certificates. Apart from their consistent branding and cool color palette, their demo is commendable. There is an evident call-to-action button, “Demo.” Once you click on it, it leads you to screenshots of how a recipient will receive a birthday e-gift certificate.

10. Interactive features

The upper hand of established companies over neophytes is they have a regular clientele. This means they no longer have to try thrice as much to entertain them when they’re visiting the website. More often than not, these customers are looking for a particular product or service or upgrading to a new offer. Unfortunately, startups have to entertain their website visitors as much as they can—the reason why some startups integrate interactive features on their website. 

Startup website

APPS is a liquor company with its flagship product, apple cider. Once you land on their homepage, you can press on the Start button to see how they ferment their apple cider. At every stage, you get to press a button to move onto the next step. It’s simple, fun, and makes the user experience different. 

11. Fun animations

Another way not to bore your visitors with dull web design is to incorporate fun animations. You can combine playful illustrations and fun animations to make your startup website more compelling. This will make your visitors stay on your site longer and increase your Time-on-Page metric. 

Startup website

WPX is a WordPress hosting site with great and bright color schemes, stellar illustrations, and fun animations. Everything on their website is eye-candy, and it’s hard not to dwell on the site more.

12. User-friendly navigation

We’ve come to the last element that should be in your startup website — user-friendly navigation. A confusing website that’s hard to navigate will turn users off and make them leave your site. This will increase your bounce rate, which is terrible for SEO and digital marketing.

Startup website

Creating a user-friendly website will add to a great user experience. Here is an example from Elegant Themes, a company that offers WordPress themes. Their website is easy to navigate with just four menu options on the header. When you scroll down, you’ll see an interesting explainer video of what they offer. When you scroll to the bottom, you can select any of these features, and it’ll show you a tutorial on how to use each feature. The company boasts of easy-to-design websites on the front end, which they showcase in these tutorials. 

Why Custom Graphics is Vital for Your Startup Website

Creating a startup website comes with many challenges. Firstly, you have to impress your target audience with your unique value proposition. Secondly, you have to ensure to integrate web design elements that focus on user experience. Last but not least, startups have to invest in graphic design services that fit within their budget.

And this is where Penji steps in. Penji is an on-demand graphic design service that is suitable for startups and small businesses. Due to its unique subscription-based structure, startups don’t have to break the bank when requesting web designs. For as low as $499 a month, you can have all the startup web designs and startup pitch decks you need.

Penji’s plans come with unlimited graphic designs, web and app designs, illustrations, infographics, and unlimited revisions. Penji’s expert web designers belong in the top two percent of the industry, ensuring high-quality and convertible designs.

Moreover, Penji’s design process is relatively easy. It takes three steps:

1. Create a new project on the dashboard and fill in the Description form with all the details of the business and web design you prefer. 

penji platform form

2. Wait for 24 to 48 hours for the first draft. You can ask for revisions by clicking on the area you want to change and typing in your feedback. 

penji platform

3. Download the final design if you’re 100 percent happy. 

penji platform

Overall, Penji’s seamless onboarding, business model, and design process make it easy for startups to stay on track. If you want a hassle-free design process that prioritizes quality, then Penji is your best bet. Best of all, you can try Penji’s services for 15 days risk-free. Sign up here and start requesting your startup website design. 

About the author

Karen is a Content Writer and successful Entrepreneur. She has helped various startups increase their search engine rankings through valuable content. Her ultimate passion in life is surfing, and she gets her writing inspiration from the ocean.

The all-in-one design team for your business

Get logos to websites and everything in between, Penji gives teams the designs they need to scale their business.

Find out more

Related articles


Content Marketing for Startups: Strategies that Make a Difference

Content marketing is a popular choice for startups in promoting their brand due to minimal costs. When the right strategies, techniques, graphics, and language are used, startups could flourish without even spending a buck. And this is why content marketing...

October 27, 2020, by


Startup Marketing Strategies That Won’t Leave You Broke

Making your startup known to the world takes a whole new level of ingenuity. Combining efficiency and affordability is a talent startup owners have to master. But what if you’ve already used all your available resources, but startup marketing is...

October 26, 2020, by


8 Types of Effective Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising is a $42.4 billion industry that's not going away. According to Trailerad, 98 percent of people worldwide see at least one outdoor billboard advertising weekly and 68% of consumers claim their purchasing decisions are made while in the...

October 26, 2020, by

Try Penji today 100% risk-free

Thousands of marketers and agencies rely on Penji. See if we’re right for you.
15 days money-back guaranteed. Cancel anytime.

See pricing
We've Designed 1000+ Facebook Ads. Here Are 5 Templates That Works Everytime
Free Download