Web Design for Startups – From Branding to Development

Oct 24, 2021 Web Design Comments


Business, Web Design,

The Value in Investing in a Website

A business owner will want to know whether it is worth investing in a website. The answer to that is it is. However just like a brochure or business card, it is only one component of the entire marketing process. The value in a website is that it is a base from which marketing can develop.

When developing a website, it is important to work from an inside out approach. Which means we start with the content and then add the other components that make the repeatable user interface elements that solve common UI problems. These will include a navigation bar, a hamburger, which represents the toggle of a mobile menu, the main body of the content, the sidebar, and a footer.

Positioning Your Business to Separate Yourself from the Crowd

Businesses should focus on their unique value proposition. They should ask: "What is it that makes our product unique and innovate?" and discover what separates them from everyone else. When the product or service is very good, the marketing will be easier. This is because people will want to buy your product, once they see how valuable it is. The way you position yourself in the market is based on how you approach the work.

There is a common triangle between: Quality, Time, and Price. You can only pick two out of the three, and this will effect how you position your offerings. High quality with low price will take longer to produce. High quality with high price will be highly efficient work. Short time and low price will result in poor quality work. You must pick two of these three categories to establish your positioning in the market.

Creating Your Website and Online Presence

Startups that need a website should look to get an online presence that will stand the test of time.

Options for Building a Website

There are many ways of getting a website these days. You can build it yourself using a page builder such as Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace. However the result of using these page builders is that you will be working with some restraints. These page builders offer a useful way to get an initial website off the ground quickly without a large upfront cost. However these solutions may not be the most cost effective strategy to get going long term. It depends on what the needs of the organization are.

If you are an individual who wants a page website to advertise your sole proprietorship, then these page builders might be the right solution for you. However I would argue that for startups they would want a solution that will grow and scale easily with the business. This is why most agencies out there build website with a CMS, referred to as a content management system.

Content Management Systems: WordPress, Joomla & Craft CMS

The most popular content management systems on the market today are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. WordPress is the most popular, covering about 33% of the entire Internet. We approximate around 60% to 70% of small businesses use WordPress to manage their online presence. WordPress allows a business owner to manage their website without the need to edit code. It has a rather intuitive interface that allows site owners to make changes to their websites fairly easily.

Since WordPress version 5.0 a content editing experience called Gutenberg has been introduced to create the content editing experience in WordPress. This allows users to update the mages dynamically with editable content blocks. WordPress also has additional features such as plugins that allow business owners to add extra bits of functionality. Some of these plugins include page builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Divi.

A website with WordPress can be built with one of these page builders or it can be built in coding languages such as Html5, CSS3, JavaScript, and PHP. When using the page builders the WordPress website will load slower, but this method takes less time to implement. On the other hand writing the WordPress theme by coding takes more time, however the upside is that the Gutenberg editor will be simpler to use, and the site will load faster which will give a boost in search results.

Besides WordPress our other favorite content management system is Craft CMS. Craft CMS allows for a very simple editing experience from the client, which allows them to update and change any part of the website they wish. With Craft CMS the development time is longer than WordPress so the budget needs to be higher, but the upside is that Craft CMS loads very quickly, and gives full control over content of very large sites.

Both of these content management systems allow e-commerce integration. WordPress has WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads and Craft CMS has Craft Commerce. Both e-commerce solutions are driven by a content first approach and integrate content marketing very well into their platforms.

We would personally not recommend Joomla, and Drupal is a nightmare to create custom themes with. The best CMSs on the market are WordPress and Craft CMS.

Establishing Your Brand and Visual Aesthetic

Besides having a website that functions well and can be easily updated there are other aspects of having a website for startups that should be considered. These aspects include branding and marketing. Let’s start with branding.

While it is essential to have a logo for a startup, a logo is not a brand. A brand is what the client thinks of your business when they have left the room. A brand is about the recognition in the customer’s mind when they see your visuals. A brand is about the experience the customer has when interacting with your business. From the moment they pick up the phone, to the moment they read your email. What the customer remembers from your business forms your brand. A brand is also the visual recognition used to associate your business in the customer’s mind. This is why it is vital to establish brand guidelines, to have consistent elements across all forms of marketing. The logo is one very important component of this. The logo ties in visual representation of simple shapes to the overall design aesthetic. Consider as well the applications of the logo on different mediums and collateral.

Gaining Potential Clients with Digital Marketing

Let’s talk about marketing. This is one aspect of a startup business that can’t be overlooked. You may have the most beautiful business card or brochure in the world, however if no one sees it, you might as well be invisible. The ability to acquire attention in today’s crowded marketplace is difficult. However this is a necessary step to get customers. Marketing takes you about 75% of the way there. At this stage you're getting exposure and attention on your product or service. The other 25% should come from selling your product.

Selling Your Product or Service

Selling your service or product will take tactful convincing and explanation that your product indeed has the same value as the monetary value you are asking for it in return. The marketplace will generally determine the value in the product or service you will offer. However hourly rate, your client’s budget, and the impact of your work on the size of the organization plays a major factor as well. It is best to use the phone or speech either by video calls or meeting in person when selling a product. That way you can use your tonality and non-verbal communication to your advantage. The best sellers don’t convince, they explain the value of the product in an enthusiastic way, though are still neutral with the client’s objections and concerns. The best closers are there to help the client make the best decision, where the client will thank them one way or another for honest advice from the sales representative.

Tying-in everything together:

  1. Positioning
  2. Branding
  3. Website
  4. Marketing
  5. Selling


You will have a successful startup and you will benefit greatly from web design services. As you may realize after reading this article, web design is only part of the entire equation. When you tie-in everything together, the website, the branding, the positioning, the marketing, and the selling, you will have a successful startup business and you will benefit greatly from web design services. As you may realize after reading this article, web design is only part of the entire equation. Though when done well, it can contribute to a greater whole that will flourish your business with customers and sales.