Among the many things that are needed to make your startup a success, few are more important in our digital age than a website.

No matter what industry you’re in, your startup’s website ultimately serves the same role that a physical storefront does for a mom and pop shop. It’s usually the first place people will go to learn about your brand, and it will make a crucial first impression among your potential customers.

A well put-together website will encourage people to stick around, learn more about your business, and hopefully make a purchase. On the other hand, an unprofessional website will drive visitors away long before they begin learning about your brand and its services.

If you feel stuck or overwhelmed trying to put together your startup’s website, you’re not alone. The good news is that there are plenty of other startups that have already charted this path before you. By taking a closer look at what works for them, you can set your own website up for a successful launch.

Free Download: 77 Examples of Brilliant Web Design 

1. Cazoo

best startup websites: Cazoo

What We Like

United Kingdom-based startup Cazoo has made a name for itself by offering drivers a fast and convenient way to buy and sell cars online. Orders are delivered to drivers within 72 hours, and comprehensive inspections and a generous return policy are key parts of the company’s service.

The website does a great job of swiftly directing visitors to the activity that matters most to them: buying or selling a car. In addition to standard menu listings, the homepage features a large, eye-catching form where users put in information for buying or selling a vehicle.

They can search for a specific make or model, input their vehicle registration number to get an offer, or simply select to search all vehicles. Notably, each option only requires one or two pieces of information.

By making these options prominently available on the homepage, Cazoo funnels visitors into the buyer’s journey almost immediately. Reducing friction between that first visit and a potential sale is key to a successful website.

2. Clubhouse

best startup websites: Clubhouse

Clubhouse is a unique app that launched in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The self-described “social audio app” lets users drop in to chat rooms to hold conversations with other app subscribers on practically every topic imaginable.

As with other successful app websites, Clubhouse doesn’t try to overwhelm visitors with too many menu options, or too much information. Above the fold, the website sports an attractive, minimalist design, with a prominent option for downloading the app.

Users can scroll down to get additional information about what the app is and how it works. Once again, the website succeeds by keeping things simple. Information is presented in short paragraphs under bold subheadings to quickly and clearly communicate what the app is all about.

3. Attentive

best startup websites: Attentive

What We Like

Attentive sends personalized, automated text messages to ecommerce customers based on real-time data. Sending the right message to the right customer at the right time is key to driving sales.

Attentive makes it clear right away that it accomplishes this purpose for its customers. Front and center, one of the first things visitors see is text reporting that the company “drives an average of 20.5% of total online revenue for modern ecommerce brands.” It’s a big, attention-grabbing claim that is sure to get leads interested in learning more.

The website further bolsters this claim as users scroll down, highlighting major brands that use its service before diving deeper into details of how it works. Social proof is always a compelling addition to a startup website.

4. Krochet Kids

best startup websites: Krochet Kids

What We Like

Krochet Kids provides an excellent example of how a website can help tell a story. The brand sells headwear and accessories crafted by individuals in Uganda and Peru, with the goal of creating empowering employment opportunities for impoverished individuals in these countries.

The website makes this story a central feature. The homepage prominently features photos and a link to a short film highlighting the individuals who craft the company’s products. Throughout the site, the message that the products are made by actual people is repeatedly emphasized.

This doesn’t just appeal to potential customers — it is also the kind of move that can make a difference when pitching your startup to investors. As corporate storyteller and pitching expert Donna Griffit writes, “Stories inspire, captivate, resonate and influence!  —  aren’t those the things you want when pitching for fundraising or sales? And most important  — our brains are hardwired for a structured story  —  while they can’t deal with mounds of data.”

5. MikMak

best startup websites: MikMak

What We Like

MikMak is an online tool that offers both ecommerce analytics and multi-retailer checkout solutions. Not surprisingly, this is a technical app that requires a lot more explanation than a typical customer-facing app.

The website goes the extra mile to ensure that its B2B target audience has access to all the information they would want when making a purchasing decision. Each of the menu options on the website are heavily informative, from offering an overview of how the tool works to industry-specific applications. Additional guides and resources aim to provide actionable insights, while still pitching the brand.

An option to schedule a demo is prominently featured in the navigation menu as well. Tech-oriented startups should note that while there is lots of information available, the homepage layout remains clean and uncluttered.

6. Webflow

best startup websites: Webflow

What We Like

As a web design startup, it should be no surprise that the Webflow website is itself a great example for other brands. The minimalist design of this website is accentuated by the use of whitespace. Whitespace helps guide the viewer’s attention to the most important content. Removing the clutter helps communicate simplicity and accessibility to website visitors, while also enhancing comprehension of the content.

Webflow’s homepage does this brilliantly with bold headlines, colorful call-to-action buttons, and vibrant graphics, all with plenty of whitespace to spare. In web design, less is often more. Whitespace ensures that your customers will read the content you want them to focus on, rather than get distracted by other elements on your site.

7. Ritual

best startup websites: Ritual

What We Like

Ritual is a multivitamin startup that emphasizes clean, traceable ingredients, giving customers full transparency regarding how their nutritional supplements are made.

Ritual’s homepage puts this message front and center. In addition to offering quick links to the company’s different product categories, the homepage provides a quick overview of the brand’s selling points — such as traceable ingredients, third party testing, and vegan and non-GMO ingredients. Additional links are clearly available for visitors who want to learn more.

As with other successful startup websites, the use of bold colors and imagery combined with concise text that communicates only essential information makes the website more accessible and easy to navigate. A consistent color scheme that is used throughout the site also enhances the website’s branding.

8. Meatable

best startup websites: Meatable

What We Like

Meatable is another great example of how a startup’s website can be used to tell a compelling story. Meatable is a unique brand that produces lab-grown meat using samples from cows and pigs.

The website clearly explains a problem — in this case, environmental harm caused by industrial farming — and its solution. It does a good job of helping website visitors understand how the company is different from plant-based meat, as well as communicating the potential benefits of the product. This is all communicated through short, concise headers paired with attractive imagery.

The company’s entire mission and story is presented in a way that only takes a few minutes for the average person to read through. Your ability to quickly present your own brand story in a compelling manner will help your company stand out for its unique merits, rather than blending in with the many other competitors in your niche. Even more importantly, by putting your mission front and center, you will instantly appeal to like-minded consumers.

Time to Start Designing

Your startup’s website isn’t something you should leave to chance. Just like how the right location and an attractive storefront can make all the difference for a mom and pop store’s success, the right combination of design and functionality on your website can ensure that your startup grows.

So yes, the actual design and programming is a task that should generally be left to the pros. But by becoming more informed about what design trends have worked well for other startups, you can have a clear starting point for your own layout and content.

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Originally published Nov 1, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated November 01 2021

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Website Design Examples