10 Examples of Startup Websites Designed for FREE & Top 16 Essential Website Elements To Consider

Published 05 September, 2023 Updated 19 September, 2023

Building a website for your startup can be a nerve-wracking experience. Everything’s new and you doubt every decision you make. Fortunately, with the right moves, you can launch your site in no time.

10 Examples of Startup Websites Designed for FREE & Top 16 Essential Website Elements To Consider

It is no secret that a website is essential for any startup looking to make a great first impression. This is especially true for businesses selling services or products because a well-designed online store can change the game. Why? Well-designed startup websites serve as platforms that clearly convey value propositions, engage the target audiences and stand out among other sites. But what makes a great startup website, and what does one look like? 

To inspire you as you launch your own website – whether it is a representative business site or an ecommerce hub – we’ve selected 10 gorgeous examples of startup websites. All of them were designed for free by WAcademy interns.

But first, let’s discuss 16 key design elements and technical aspects that contribute to an impactful online presence. With this knowledge, you can better understand what steps to take to get your startup website design off the ground. So, let’s start from the very beginning. 

1. Domain name & web hosting

A live and functional startup website hinges on two critical elements: A domain name and a reliable hosting provider (web host). The former is a unique online identifier that enables users to find your website and recognize it later on. And the latter provides the technological infrastructure that makes your website files and data accessible

While major companies often self-host their online stores, small businesses normally rely on hosting providers. Note that while most offer the same basic services, unique solutions and packages may be available, so you have to choose a hosting provider for your business site carefully. 

2. Content management system

A content management system (CMS) is essential for any business site, including those that belong to startups. With a CMS like WordPress, you can manage and edit various aspects of your website, even without coding knowledge or technical expertise. 

For example, you can effortlessly publish blog posts, add pertinent information, update service details and upload media elements. This includes adding high-quality images (including responsive images) and videos on your WordPress website. 

Another great advantage of content management systems is that they are relatively secure. After all, they are developed by skilled professionals who make regular updates to safeguard against vulnerabilities. 

3. Mobile responsive design

Mobile responsiveness refers to a website’s ability to adapt and display seamlessly across various devices. Including devices with smaller screen sizes, such as smartphones and tablets.

If you’re wondering whether to make your startup website mobile responsive, consider that mobile devices have become the primary means of internet access for a significant portion of the global population. Also, search engines like Google prioritize mobile-friendly websites in the search results. Therefore, mobile responsiveness is crucial for any small business site.

Essentially, by optimizing your website for mobile devices, you can reach a wider audience, capture more leads and grow your customer base

4. Above-the-fold

When potential customers land on an ecommerce or business website, they are first greeted by the upper half of the front page/homepage, which is commonly known as the above-the-fold section. Whether it’s a one-page website or a multiple pages website, the upper part of the fold captures attention and has the potential to make an impactful first impression

An effective above-the-fold section on your homepage should include an easily digestible, short, but well-defined value proposition to generate interest. Adding a call-to-action (CTA) button alongside is a great way to encourage conversions

5. Font

From ensuring content readability to shaping how website visitors perceive your brand, fonts play a key role in web design. The right fonts can evoke the desired emotions, reinforce brand image and enhance the user experience. So, when choosing fonts, select fonts that align with your brand personality.

For example, if your brand is professional and corporate, using formal fonts that exude a sense of authority can maintain a cohesive brand identity. That said, don’t go overboard with wild fonts, even if your company operates in a more artistic field. At the end of the day, classic fonts are classic for a reason. 

A great example is Arial, which you might think would be overused at this point. But it works. Some other popular fonts include Georgia, Helvetica, Roboto and good old Times New Roman.

Do not forget to ensure your chosen font is legible and readable across different devices and screen sizes! 

6. Color palette

Colors have a profound impact on human psychology and emotions. For example, warm colors like red and orange inspire an energetic and enthusiastic atmosphere, whereas cooler shades like blue and green exude calmness and trust. 

Selecting the right colors is fundamental to creating a good startup website. And you don’t even need extensive design knowledge to pick colors for your website. With AI Tools like Coolors and Colormind, you can effortlessly generate a range of harmonious color palettes and choose the one that best resonates with your brand identity. 

7. Search engine optimization 

Search engines can help expose a new startup to its target audience. Through search engine optimization (SEO), you can drive traffic to your startup website by becoming visible to billions of search engine users.

Top tips for making your business website visible on search engines

  • Consider keyword placement: Place relevant keywords strategically on all your pages, including the titles and headings, to help search engines understand who your website is for, so you can better attract them.
  • Ensure mobile responsiveness: Implement a responsive design approach to ensure your website looks and functions well on mobile devices. 
  • Work on quality backlinks: Gain links from authoritative and reputable sites to boost your website’s credibility and search engine ranking. 
  • Don’t forget speed and performance: Optimize the loading speed of your website by compressing website images and removing unnecessary codes.  

8. Search functionality 

Quick access to information is a key feature of an effective startup website. After all, visitors do not convert into paying customers if they cannot find the right information. For this reason, integrating a search feature is a good call in the website-building process. 

This is especially important if your startup website is large and has multiple pages with lots of information. To save time and frustration, a search box lets users input keywords or phrases to quickly find specific information, pages, products or web content. 

With a functional search tool, you can answer questions your customers may have without putting in any work.

9. Heat mapping

An effective way to improve conversions is to make your overall website as easy to use as possible. Even when your website seems perfect, visitors could be experiencing difficulties that may not be obvious to you. So how can you know where your prospective customers get stuck? Using a heatmap tool, like Hotjar or CrazyEgg.

Heatmaps allow you to understand how visitors use your site. Through color-coded overlays, heatmaps showcase how users interact with different website elements, such as buttons, links, images and forms.

By analyzing heatmaps, you can uncover patterns that reveal areas where users may leave your site or critical areas they overlook. With this knowledge, you can make design changes that improve website performance or help users reach a specific service or offering faster. 

10. Webmaster tools

Webmaster tools help website owners monitor and manage the performance of their websites. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are two popular webmaster tools that can help you take full control.

Google Analytics enables analyzing insights about your audiences and their behaviors on your site. You can also understand where your website traffic is coming from and track conversions. Google Search Console includes features that focus specifically on helping you monitor and improve how your website ranks in Google search results.

11. SSL certificate 

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security protocol that uses encryption to guard digital communications. In short, SSL ensures that data transferred between your website and your visitor remains unreadable. This is especially important for ecommerce sites that deal with payment information and other sensitive data.

An SSL certificate is proof that you are dedicated to keeping data secure. It also lets users know that you own the website, which, in a perfect world, should protect your users from fake versions of your site potentially created by cybercriminals.

Needless to say, security is very important for any small business website and brand reputation. Therefore, having an SSL certificate is crucial. It will help build trust with visitors and improve search performance

12. Speed

Do you know what the first thing visitors notice when visiting a website? Poor speed. Browsing a slow website can be a frustrating experience. If visitors become impatient and exit your site – you lose out on potential conversions. Therefore, speed is a crucial factor that affects user engagement. 

A fast-loading website can significantly improve the user experience, increasing your chances of converting potential clients. With tools like GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights, you can assess how quickly your site loads and take actions to improve your performance.

13. Call to action

As you already know, clear call-to-action buttons can help drive conversions. Therefore, they are a common design element of successful startup sites. 

After browsing your site for information, some visitors may feel confused about what you want them to do next. CTAs act as prompts, directing them to take business-specific actions, such as placing an order, booking a service, requesting a quote or signing up for a newsletter.

14. Contact information

Most people will only transact with businesses they trust. To get people to engage with your new website, you must establish credibility and build trust with them. 

Undeniably, people are likely to connect with your business faster if they know how to contact you. A contact page fosters a sense of accessibility and openness that demonstrates you operate a legitimate and reliable business.

An effective contact page should include such information as your physical address (if applicable), a phone number and an email address. You can drive further engagement by adding links to your social media profiles too.

15. About Us page

When people feel a genuine connection to your brand, they are likelier to become loyal customers and advocates. An About Us page fosters this connection by providing a window into your brand’s personality, values and mission. 

An About Us page unveils your company and offers a space to share your company’s story, overall brand story, mission statements and the faces behind your brand. You can even add social media links to the profiles of your top players (e.g., CEO or project manager).

16. Testimonials

Testimonials provide credible proof that you deliver on your brand promise. Think of them as your digital word-of-mouth, a nod from satisfied customers that renders your products or services valid. 

Note that some testimonials are more effective than others. Obviously, generic or vague testimonials lack impact. So, when collecting testimonials, aim for specificity. Encourage customers to share detailed accounts of their experiences. Ask them to highlight specific benefits, outcomes or features that stood out to them. 

10 best startup websites designed by WAcademy interns for FREE

Now that you know what it takes to build a converting business website, you may wonder how to achieve it. Should you find an experienced web designer or web developer? Should you learn how to use a website builder?

What if we told you that you do not need to worry about hiring anyone or working with a tricky website builder? We can connect you with the talent that will design your business website – whether it’s a single-page site or a fully-fledged ecommerce website – completely free of charge.

Need proof? Here are 10 best startup websites designed by our interns. These sites showcase the creativity of our interns and are a testament to the credibility of our free web design services. 

Join WAcademy and get your startup website up and running in no time

Creating an unforgettable website requires a dynamic blend of several crucial elements. From crafting an engaging above-the-fold experience that captures attention to meticulously selecting fonts, colors and ensuring mobile responsiveness, each facet plays a pivotal role in delivering a great user experience.

At WAcademy, we prioritize creating a unique, mobile-responsive, user-friendly, custom-built website for every small business. And this is how we can help startups like yours excel in the digital landscape. 

Our internship program focuses on educating the web designers of tomorrow, and to ensure the best possible outcome, we make sure they have real-life projects to work on. In return for trusting us, you can get a fully-functional, professional website that effectively achieves your small business objectives. 

Website design services for WAcademy clients are free, but web hosting and domain name registration are outside the scope of our project. Our partner Getspace offers an amazing deal for all clients, who are supplied with WordPress hosting, a domain name, data backup, professional inboxes, an SSL certificate and an Elementor Pro license.

Ready to get started? Or do you still have questions? Click the button below to explore our services, and use the contact form to register for your spot in the program!