Before proceeding to the article, watch a short video introduction below.
As a startup or business founder, you realize having a website is a must. Once you come to the realization that website building is your step N1 for brand awareness, you start asking yourself questions like “Should I hire a freelancer or a web design and development agencyto get the work done?” or “How much time and money will it take?” or “Is there a way I can get a website quickly and without much hustle?” or “Should I consider a site builder for quick results?”
If you are already asking yourself these questions, then you are on the right path. We will get to that a bit later throughout this article. But before that, let us reinstate the fact that whatever great business idea you have, you will need a website at some point in time so that you can:
Present your idea/product/business to the world;
Reach out to potential clients, users, investors;
Tell your story and spread awareness about your product/startup/business, whatever it is.
But what makes a great website? Let’s break this down into a few sections and see what criteria you should be targeting when thinking about a website for your startup.
What makes a great website?
A website is a place where visitors need to find all the necessary information about your brand. Did I forget to mention that whether it’s a startup, a tech company, a service provider, or any other business, you should think of it as a brand?
So, here is the thing - your brand most probably has its very unique brand voice and messaging style. It can range from romantic to outspoken, from luxurious to innovative, and many more. It’s up to you to decide what your brand is all about. And as a founder, you want your website to reflect all the nuances of your brand, all the little details, and most probably, even your advantages over your competitors. This is where a lot of founders make the same mistake. They start bragging, over-communicating, providing too much detail, flooding the website with unnecessary information. Please, don’t be like them.
A great website is about great content (read "content" as brand message)
Your website's ultimate goal should be to communicate your brand message in the most precise way possible. A great website helps the visitor think less due to being easy to navigate and due to making clear statements.
A great website is about simple and intuitive design
Website design could have less in common with art and more with usability. Think of your website as a virtual house where the visitor should be able to get from one room to the other easily, and where all the rooms are neat and clean and pleasant to be at. I know, the temptation of turning your website into a beautiful mess is huge, but it doesn’t usually make sense for the visitor. The design should back your brand message and should be able to make it pop instead of throwing an aesthetic shadow on it.
A great website is fast, responsive and easily searchable
If you think SEO is overstated, think again. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making a website easily identified by search engines. For this, you will need to work hard throughout the whole life of your website. But the seeds of the right SEO strategy should be planted while building your website. So, consider a few things:
Does your website include all the SEO tags for all of its pages and posts?
Do all the images on your website have alt tags?
This list could go further. But this is the bare minimum that your website should have for it to get more chances of appearing in search results. Of course, if you’re struggling to grapple with SEO, you can always outsource these tasks. Traditionally, businesses would do this via a specialised agency, but if you’re operating on a tighter budget, you may find it works out cheaper to enlist the help of an independent contractor from overseas (visit Remote’s guide on how to hire independent contractors for more information).
To sum up what we just discussed, we're prepared a nice infographic that presents some interesting results from research on audience's perception of web content and design.
As you can see, 38% of people will leave the site if the content or layout are unattractive. Moreover, 75% of visitors form an opinion about the credibility of a business based on how the business's site looks (94% mistrust a website due to its design), and it usually takes around 0.05 seconds for a visitor to form that opinion.
The infographic also touches upon the most important factors in users' perception of websites as well as the common web design mistakes by SMBs.
Website building is no joke. How do I get it done then?
As a busy founder, you don’t want to spend hundreds of hours on custom design and development, not speaking about the thousands of dollars in cash. In fact, a simple custom website design from an agency can range from $15,000 to $20,000. For bigger and more complicated websites, the cost will be higher and can range between $20,000 to $40,000.
You don’t want to spend that kind of money on a website, especially if you are a startup or a newly-founded company, right? It’s pretty understandable. But you also want all the perks that come from agency work. Well, maybe should consider using a site builder just like Softr. Let’s see why.
Why use Softr for building your website?
As someone who is busy doing business, you don’t want to spend too much time building a website. You may lack the design and coding skills, too, which is pretty understandable.
Softr has your back here. Due to its no-code nature, it allows you to build a website for your company using the existing content blocks. The experience feels pretty much like playing with LEGO. Not surprisingly, Product Hunt referred to us as “the LEGO of building websites” in one of their tweets.
This way, you will be able to accomplish the two must-haves for a great website - great content and responsive design. With Softr, you will have more time to concentrate on the content rather than the technicalities that usually surface when building a website.
Your creation, aka the website, will be mobile-friendly, fast, and responsive all at the same time. Also, Softr will help you build SEO-friendly websites. It allows you to add all the necessary meta tags to your pages and pictures to ensure your website's searchability.
Now that it seems Softr covers all of the elements of a great website for you, here is a bonus - integrations! Integrations are an integral part of any healthy website. You might need to integrate Mailchimp into your website in order to collect waitlists or email subscription details, and you may need Stripe for online transactions. I am just happy to let you know that with Softr, you will be getting dozens of integrations such as Mailchimp, Stripe, Airtable, Hubspot, Zapier, and many others.
Still trying to understand how to build a website quickly and effectively and without a minimum learning curve.