This article is part of a larger series on Small Business Websites.
The best startup websites are user-friendly, visually exciting, and connect with site visitors by speaking to what makes your brand stand apart from other businesses. In return, the best startup websites have low bounce rates and generate leads effectively by showcasing their unique solutions. We created a list of the 15 best startup websites, built on various platforms, to help inspire you during your startup’s web design process.
If you don’t already have a website platform, but know you want a unique website for your startup, check out Wix. It’s one of the best site builders for small businesses and offers the widest range of customization options and integrations. Start with one of over 800 templates and customize it with the design, tools, and features you want in Wix’s beginner-friendly, intuitive, drag-and-drop platform.
Read on to learn more about how these 15 examples of startup websites illustrate how to make a great site where form meets function.
Cue is billed as “the world’s first social calendar.” This tells the site visitor who is looking for a calendar solution that they offer an advantage over other competitors who have yet to catch up with their social calendar technology.
Cue’s website effectively showcases use and function to demonstrate what their app does best. Their use of energetic and colorful images set against a white background draws the viewer into the content. The “Download on the App Store” call to action (CTA) is easy to find and placed in multiple locations. Including a list of well-known apps with which Cue connects also adds to the appeal of using a social calendar.
To join the ranks of the best startup websites when building a mobile website for your business on WordPress, consider finding and installing a premium WordPress mobile app theme. This ensures your website is designed specifically for use on mobile devices. Alternatively, make the design process easier and use Wix, which has the best variety of mobile app landing page templates out of any of the major website builders.
CMS: Craft CMS
Shadowmap uses its hero section in two important ways. First, it shows the reader the importance of shadows with their beautifully shot drone video, and second, it gives the site visitor immediate access to their app with no email or signup information required. Visitors are allowed to preview the app and then encouraged to purchase a subscription for full access to all of its features.
Using your website’s hero section to give the reader a glimpse of what your app can do and providing an easy-to-find call to action (CTA) to either try out, request a demo, or subscribe helps increase conversions. Design-wise, you can achieve a similar look by using a WordPress page builder plugin, such as Elementor.
Pro tip: Hiring professional videographers can get expensive, but there are low-cost alternatives. An Envato Elements subscription gives you access to thousands of professional stock videos you can use to make your startup’s website stand out.
CMS: Custom (Using Next.js Framework)
Common stands out among the best startup websites with its modern, attention-grabbing quiz on the home page that quickly directs a site visitor to the right content. The vertical, full-screen-length quiz element shows great care in design and page flow as it pertains to site visitor intent. This not only leads to a better user experience, but it also helps increase the number of pages viewed on the website and the number of leads generated.
If you’re looking to incorporate quiz-style content into your website, WordPress offers a number of plugins that enable you to easily create them, such as the top-rated (and free) Quiz and Survey Master Plugin. Alternatively, you can use the online form builder in HubSpot’s free customer relationship management (CRM) software to create a quiz, embed it on your site, and have data automatically added to your CRM to fast-track lead generation from site engagement.
Lightyear’s site visitor experience starts with a full-screen video that immediately engages the attention of site visitors, and places its main selling point front and center. Lightyear alternates the use of whitespace with eye-catching images to divide content up into sections as you scroll down the page.
Each section offers options to click links to find out more or reserve (take action). Site visitors can navigate through the site organically and take actions based on their interests without having to go back to the top menu. While this is not a one-page website, the techniques used to move the site visitor through this content are similar.
An easy way to create a site similar to this is by building your startup’s website on Squarespace using their Bailard template. Place a high-quality video at the top of your home page that communicates your main selling point, so that it is clear and to the point from the moment a visitor lands on your website. Incorporate links in sections that take the visitor to the next logical page or article, based on your customers’ typical buying journey.
Visitor engagement is immediately stimulated with the invitation to take an interactive “Find Your Fix” quiz as soon as they arrive on Apothékary’s homepage. Showing publications they have been featured in provides social proof to validate the promotion of their top-of-the-line products right below the hero section. Scrolling down the page takes the site visitor on a cohesive and well-planned guided tour, with a relevant call to action in every section.
To create a similar journey for your site’s visitors, it’s important to plan each section in advance. Consider what the potential customer would want to see next as you build each section, and incorporate CTAs that relate to the content in that section.
Apothékary’s design look can be achieved using the premium Shopify theme when you create a website for your small business. After installing the theme, select a color palette and font set that complement one another and your brand, and which are appropriate for the audience you wish to reach.
To create an interactive quiz, consider using a third-party service like Typeform that gives you creative control over how you present the quiz and create the logic that goes behind making it interactive.
CMS: Netlify CMS
Immediately upon visiting the January homepage, a pop-up greets the site visitor with an enticing offer to save $200 by providing their email address, which is an effective way to generate leads and build your contact lists. After entering their email address or closing the pop-up, they can then navigate the website, which uses the color yellow to draw the site visitors’ attention to action prompts and calls to action.
Their main navigation menu adds personal meaning for the site visitor because instead of using terms that are typically in navigation menus, such as “Home, About, Contact,” and so on, their menu options speak more to how their app is relevant to the visitor. The large images, charts, and graphics they use clearly communicate meaning to visitors who are interested in their own health and well-being.
The easiest way to recreate it is to use the Malone or Bogart template on Squarespace. Use a bright color that draws visitors’ attention to specific elements, such as your CTA buttons. Pop-ups featuring introductory or limited-time offers will help you build your email list so you can reach out to potential customers. If you are using WordPress or Shopify, consider using a pop-up creator like Sumo to help with lead generation.
Pro tip: Shortcut the process of getting a website for your startup with an all-in-one solution like Squarespace. Hosting for your site is built in to the package, as is your domain name and SSL certificate. Choose from more than 100 award-winning template designs and quickly customize it for your startup website.
The graphic banner at the top of GoHenry’s homepage instantly shows what the company offers and speaks to the decision-maker (parents). The main message is reinforced throughout the page with imagery that references both their product and the intended user of their product (kids).
Quotes from major publications are featured throughout the page to help promote that GoHenry is trustworthy. This is further reinforced by displaying Trustpilot reviews left by actual customers (parents) who use the product. Understanding and addressing the top concerns of your target market, such as the need to get more reviews to validate trust, is part of designing a website that generates leads and sales.
If you’re using WordPress, consider the Google Reviews widget plugin that will import your reviews on Google and display them on your website. You can also manually input reviews by using a page builder such as Elementor Pro. If you’re using Wix or Squarespace, you can use the Reviews on my Website service to do the same.
UpCodes’ simplicity of design contributes to their message of simplified building code searches. Their top-of-page message immediately gives the site visitor free access to try their service, taking them to a page where they can select their state and find relevant building codes without entering an email address.
The home page promotes trust through social proof by showing industry leaders who are using the service, publications they have been featured in, and stats like the number of users and quantity of information available on the site. Showing stats is a great way to grab visitor attention and instill buyer confidence, such as the counters on UpCodes’ site displaying impressive statistics.
This website was custom-made on a proprietary system. However, if your product or service requires subscriptions or memberships, consider building your business’ membership website on WordPress with a plugin like WooCommerce Membership.
Squarespace tops our list of the best membership website builders. For a beginner-friendly alternative, build your site on Squarespace using the Grow Well template, which comes with membership-ready functionality. You can also transform any Wix template into a membership site using the “Members Area” feature.
9. The Kitchen Door
The Kitchen Door offers site visitors a fast and efficient way to find a rentable commercial kitchen in their area by entering their ZIP code into a search box in the hero section. Its simple-yet-colorful hero section is followed by content sections explaining why someone looking for a commercial kitchen should use their free service. This is a good example of one-page web design.
They also provide search boxes for site visitors to enter their city or ZIP code at both the top and bottom of the page, so they don’t have to scroll back up to the top of the page to use the service. Additionally, in the page footer, site visitors can click on a number of major cities to find rentable commercial kitchens.
The Kitchen Door is a custom-designed website. However, you can replicate this type of design and functionality using WordPress’ Gutenberg editor and adding a search-by-ZIP code element using a plugin like LocateWP.
To discover the best places to put search elements or CTAs on your website, try a service like HotJar. They can tell you how users behave on your website, and you can try HotJar’s services for free.
Play.ht immediately generates site visitor interaction by inviting them to test their artificial intelligence (AI)-powered text-to-voice generator tool free of charge and without any type of opt-in. They offer use cases to further validate the need for their service. They do this by linking to dedicated pages offering great detail, further validating the need for their service to the visitor.
This is a custom-built website; however, you can replicate elements of this website using any website platform where you can embed a basic or limited-use version of your tool and show use cases that explain the tool’s capabilities and common customer types.
You can increase site visitor engagement and improve site metrics like time on site and pages viewed by adding interactive elements to your pages. The Wix site builder has an extensive third-party app marketplace that will allow you to embed features like calculators, calendars, map locators, and before-and-after sliders to engage site visitors and increase conversions.
As a new company, VBOUT doesn’t yet have many customer reviews, so they focus instead on showing all the different ways their service can integrate with your systems for a simplified, all-in-one solution. The hero section gives the site visitor a call to action to either request a demo or view a video showing how their system can help simplify the visitor’s marketing.
The website design can be done using a modern WordPress page builder that has shape divider support, such as Elementor. If you want to replicate VBOUT’s use of colorful icons, the Envato Market has thousands of icon sets starting from $2.
Upon visiting Consolto, site visitors are greeted with a direct call to action to try their video chat service. The homepage effectively demonstrates how their service works and looks, and promotes confidence by showing the logos of major brands that are using their service.
Most sections include a “Start Today” call to action with specific reasons to do so, such as features or the ability to scale with your business. This type of design can be emulated using WordPress or an all-in-one website builder like Squarespace. In addition, Squarespace includes appointment booking tools in every plan, making it easy for your site visitor to schedule an appointment for a sales demo or presentation.
On WordPress, you can use a plugin like Paid Memberships Pro, which makes it easy to create websites with gated content and membership platforms. However, if you’re selling subscriptions, Wix will be the cheaper platform for easily accepting recurring payments for both physical and/or digital products.
CMS: Custom (Next.js)
Woxo’s hero section commands attention with a bold headline, text speaking to the site visitor’s pain points, and a video that uses humor to make a point. The video itself creates curiosity by going from a blurred to a non-blurred background and then simulating the Woxo workflow, which boasts the ability to create hundreds of videos in 60 seconds.
Their homepage showcases many examples, testimonials, and brands that are using their video creation platform. Each section builds on itself, offering all the information a visitor may need to get started. Finally, a built-in live chat is available for the site visitor to ask questions and interact with a team member to improve conversions.
To build something similar for your small business, have an explainer video professionally created by a freelance pro on Fiverr and put it at the very top of the page so everyone who visits will see it. Adding an effect like the blur will add extra attention to convince the user to watch. Replicate this design by choosing a modern template with a two-column hero and built-in live chat, such as the Noll by Squarespace.
Pro tip: The possibilities for your startup website’s design and features are endless, but that might be overwhelming too. Before plunging in do-it-yourself style, consider hiring a freelancer from Fiverr to build your site and add the functionality and brand style you’re looking for. Costs start as low as $5, and there are Fiverr pros who specialize in building on WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, and other popular site builders.
As soon as AdYouNeed’s home page loads, the site visitor gets a clear summary statement of what the agency can do for them—a call to action to start a free trial. They use shades of blue throughout the page, presumably because it is a color commonly used by brands that want to convey trust and stability.
Additionally, its animated graphics and tables stimulate site visitor interaction with the content. Get these mouse-over effects by using the Elementor Pro page builder plugin with WordPress and a premium theme, such as Front (available from Themeforest).
CMS: WordPress (using Elementor Pro)
YouEngage begins the visitor experience with a simple explanation of their service and a clear call to action. The site uses a subtle parallax scrolling feature, making the visuals more eye-catching, enabling it to hold the reader’s attention more effectively. It does a good job of information architecture as each section builds upon the last to educate the visitor and strengthen its messaging.
The design can be replicated using a modern page builder, such as Elementor Pro, which was used to design this page and has all the tools and elements you need to build a website like this. Other site builders, such as Wix and Squarespace, can also be used as a beginner-friendly alternatives.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s better: WordPress or Squarespace?
It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison: Squarespace is an all-in-one hosting and site building solution, whereas using WordPress requires you to obtain hosting, a domain, an SSL certificate, and other essential elements for your site. Choosing between Squarespace vs WordPress comes down to whether your top priority is getting a beautiful site up and running quickly or if full customization and scalability are more important.
The easier, faster, and more affordable way to build your startup website is to use Squarespace. It has everything most small and mid-size business websites need. For more customization in terms of functionality through plugins and the ability to grow your website as your business grows, we recommend WordPress as your best option.
What do you need to build a startup website?
Some of the things you need to do before building a website for your startup include identifying your business goals, researching competitors, defining your audience, and deciding whether you want to build the website yourself or outsource design.
To outsource building your startup website affordably, hire a designer from Fiverr. The freelance pros there can help you to do everything from choosing the right content management system to building a professional-looking site that gives your startup instant credibility.
Or for a full-service website design, development, and management option, we recommend Hibu. They can design and publish your site, add and manage your business listings, and more.
How much does a WordPress website cost?
A WordPress website can vary greatly in cost depending on the cost of your domain name, hosting plan, WordPress theme, plugins, and design costs. Find out more in our article breaking down how much WordPress websites cost.
Designing your startup’s website can be challenging; however, you can find inspiration from the best startup websites. WordPress themes and plugins offer a lot of the functionality and design features needed for an effective website. If web design is not your forte, we recommend Squarespace, which is easy to use and offers award-winning design templates for you to get started with and publish your site quickly.