9 tips for building a website for your start-up

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(Image credit: Shutterstock/GaudiLab)

One of the most important things a new start-up business needs is a website. It’ll often be the first contact your customers have with your business,  so it's important that it looks professional and represents your company in the best possible light. 

Below, you’ll find tips for building a website for a start-up, covering everything from choosing a web hosting provider to designing your site's layout.

1. Create a content plan 

Before you start creating your website, it's important to create a content plan. This will help you determine what kind of content you want to include on your site and how often you plan on publishing new content. 

If you're not sure where to start, consider starting a blog and writing articles that are relevant to your business. You should also include some basic pages like an "About" page and a "Contact" page. Once you have a good understanding of the kind of content you want to include, you can start designing your site's layout.

Make sure, also, to integrate your website with social media platforms. This will help you promote your site and to reach a wider audience. Include links to your social media profiles on your home page and share your content across all of your platforms. 

You can also use social media plugins to display feeds from your accounts directly on your website. This is a great way to keep visitors engaged and encourage them to follow you on social media.

2. Select a quality website builder 

One of the most important things to consider when building a website for your start-up is which website builder you’ll use. There are several options, and you might feel overwhelmed choosing one. 

However, it's important to select a quality website builder that’s easy to use and offers a wide range of features. This will make the process of creating your website much more straightforward. We recommend using the content management system (CMS) WordPress, as it’s one of the most popular and user-friendly site builders available.

3. Keep your website simple 

When it comes to your start-up website, less is more. You don't want to overwhelm visitors with too much information or too many complex features. Keep your site simple and easy to navigate by sticking to the basics: include a home page, an about page, a contact page, and maybe a blog if you can commit to publishing content regularly. 

When visitors land on your website, they should immediately know what your business is about. Include a clear and concise description of your business on your home page. 

This will help visitors understand what you do and why they should care. You can also include an "About Us" page on your site that provides more information about your company and its origins. 

At minimum, include a mission statement and contact information, but don’t be afraid to get creative and tell the story of you and your business.

4. Use high-quality images/videos

Make sure to use high-quality images and videos across your website. This will help create a professional and polished identity for it. Avoid using stock photos to define your site’s identity whenever possible, as these can look cheesy or fake. 

If you don't have any professional photos of your own, consider hiring a photographer to take some shots for you. This investment should pay off, as high-quality visuals make your site more engaging by making it more visually appealing. 

5. Make sure to optimize your site for search engines 

When writing your site’s content, having Search engine optimization (SEO) principles in mind will help ensure that your site appears as high as possible in search results. 

Include keywords throughout your site - on your home page, product pages, and especially throughout your blog content, so that users can find you easily. You should also create an XML sitemap and submit it to search engines. This will help them index your site properly.

To evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO, consider using one or more SEO tools, such as Google Analytics, to help you inform your SEO strategy.

These will show you, amongst other things, how many people are visiting your website’s individual pages over a period, how well your blog content is performing, and where your site appears in search engine results.

6. Include call-to-actions 

Your website should have a purpose, and that purpose should be clear to users from the moment they land on your site. Include call-to-actions (CTAs) throughout your site to lead your visitors to pages you want them to engage with. . 

For example, if you're selling products, direct customers to buy from you directly via your online store. If you're providing services, allow users to book appointments with you via a form on your website. If you’re writing blog posts, write content relevant to your products so you can use a CTA to link them to additional content, and the products you sell. 

7. Pick a domain that stands out

Your domain name is your website's address on the internet, just as “techradar.com” is ours. Any reputable website builder is more than likely equipped to sell you one, or even give you one for free. 

Pick a domain name that’s short, catchy, and easy to remember. Avoid using numbers or hyphens, as these can affect memorability, and increase typos.

. To stand out further, consider picking an alternative top-level domain (TLD - like “.com”, or “.org”) that suits your business thematically. For example, if you're a start-up that sells eco-friendly products, consider using a “.green” or “.eco” extension.

8. Test your website before you launch

Before you launch your website to the public, it's important to test it locally first. This will help you identify any errors or issues that need to be fixed. 

You can test your site yourself by navigating through all of the pages and testing all of the features, but it’s always useful to have someone else going in blind to do the same, because you can always miss problems working on a project for too long. 

Once you're sure that everything is working properly, you can launch your site confident that it’s a well-designed and professional online presence for your business. 

9. Display a clear description of your business 

By following these tips, you can build a great website for your start-up that will help attract new customers and grow your business. A professional, user-friendly, and informative website is essential for any business in today's digital world. 

Overall, your goal should be to create a site that’s straightforward and easy for users to understand, but also provides a reason for them to stay, whether that’s buying a product or offering advice via blog posts.

Take the time to create a site that accurately reflects who you are as a company and what you have to offer, and your hard work should pay off.

Ruby has been a freelance technology writer for over four years and has a passion for information technology and the Internet in its entirety. She has a wide range of specialities including web hosting, streaming (Firestick, Kodi, and APKs), VPN, information technology, and affiliate marketing. Ruby is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of the Philippines, and regularly codes in her free time.