Increase Visits & Conversions GET A FREE WEBSITE REVIEW


20 Web Design Tips for Startup Sites in 2024

Date: 02/12/2023

Stuart Watkins

Do It Yourself vs Outsourcing: Pros and Cons of Each Web Design Approach

As an entrepreneur in 2024, you have many options to build a professional web presence for your startup. A polished startup website is essential to appearing credible and attracting customers. You could take a DIY approach, hire a freelance web designer, or work with a web design agency. Each path has pros and cons based on your budget, technical skills, and design needs. Off-the-shelf themes provide an easy start but lack customization.

Bespoke web design ensures a unique brand experience tailored to your vision. In this article, you will discover 20 tips to launch a startup website that establishes your brand and engages visitors. With the right strategy and tools, you can have an impactful web design that fuels business growth within your first year. The key is balancing aesthetics and functionality to create an optimal user experience on any device. Let’s explore how to make that happen.

Startup Website Design

Bespoke Website Design vs Off-the-Shelf Themes: Which Is Better?

A website is a vital part of any startup’s success. As a new business owner, you have two main options for web design: do it yourself or outsource it to professionals. Each approach has its pros and cons.

Do It Yourself

Building your startup website using drag-and-drop website builders like Wix or WordPress is budget-friendly and gives you full control over the design. However, without technical expertise, you may end up with a site that lacks functionality or a polished UX.

  • Pros: Low cost. Full creative control. Easy to make quick changes.
  • Cons: Limited features. It may lack professional design. Requires ongoing time commitment to update.

Outsourcing to Freelancers or Agencies

Hiring a freelance web designer or agency ensures an attractive, user-friendly website. They have the skills and experience to incorporate must-haves like SEO-optimised content, e-commerce functionality or security measures.

  • Pros: Professionally designed. Includes essential features. Built by experts.
  • Cons: Higher upfront cost. Less control over design. Changes require going back to the developer.

For a startup website, a professional design is worth the investment. An attractive, feature-rich website establishes credibility and drives traffic and conversions. While DIY seems appealing, for long-term success, outsourcing to professionals is your best strategy. They can build a custom solution tailored to your needs, allowing you to focus on running your new business.

Top 10 Web Design Tips for Startups and Small Businesses

You have two main options when designing your startup’s website: bespoke website design or an off-the-shelf theme. Both have pros and cons, so you’ll need to determine which approach best fits your needs and budget.

Bespoke Website Design

A bespoke website is custom-designed for your specific business. While more expensive upfront, it will be tailored to your brand and goals. Key benefits include:

  • Unique and memorable design: A bespoke site is built from scratch around your brand identity. It will look and feel completely custom, helping you stand out.
  • Optimised functionality: Your designer can build in features and integrations tailored to how your customers use the site. This optimised experience leads to higher conversion and retention rates.
  • Better SEO: A custom design considers your target keywords and includes semantic markup and metadata to improve search engine optimisation. This helps drive more organic traffic over time.
  • Scalability: A bespoke site is built with future growth in mind. It’s easier to add new features, integrations, and content without compromising design or user experience.

Off-the-Shelf Themes

Off-the-shelf themes provide an affordable and quick solution but lack customisation. You’re limited to the theme’s default design and features. While suitable for simple sites, key downsides for startups include:

  • Generic look and feel: Your site will look like many others using the same theme. This makes it hard to build a memorable brand identity and connect with your audience.
  • Limited functionality: You’re stuck with whatever integrations and features come with the theme. It may not suit how your customers want to use the site, limiting engagement and conversion rates.
  • Poor SEO: Generic themes often lack semantic markup, metadata, and considerations for your target keywords. They can be difficult to optimise for search engines.
  • Difficult to scale: Off-the-shelf themes typically aren’t built to handle significant changes or additions. Your site may end up looking cluttered or compromise user experience as you grow.

In summary, while off-the-shelf themes save time and money initially, bespoke design is the smarter long-term investment for your startup website. The custom approach will yield a site perfect for engaging your audience and supporting your growth. Find out more here.

Top 10 Web Design Tips for Startups and SMBs

As a startup or small business owner, your website is often the first impression potential customers will have of your company. An attractive yet functional website can attract more visitors, generate more leads, and increase sales. Here are some key tips for effective web design:

  • Focus on a clean, minimalistic design. Avoid cluttering the page with too many images, videos, pop-ups or other distractions. Keep the most important information prominently visible above the fold.
  • Ensure fast loading times. Studies show most visitors will abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Optimise images and videos, minimise redirects, and choose a reputable web host.
  • Optimise for mobile. Over half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices. Your site must display correctly on smartphones and tablets. Use a responsive design or mobile-friendly theme.
  • Include strong calls to action. Add prominent buttons, links, and forms on your site to encourage visitors to contact you, sign up for your mailing list, or purchase. Track how many people click through to optimise your CTAs.
  • Focus on great content. Update your blog regularly with useful content, resources and industry insights to boost search rankings and give visitors a reason to return to your site.
  • Use an easy-to-navigate information architecture. Group related content together and use clear menu categories, site maps, breadcrumbs and internal linking to help visitors quickly find what they need.
  • Optimise for search engines. Choose keyword-rich page titles, URLs, headers, alt text and content to improve search engine optimisation. Submit your sitemap to Google and Bing to index your site.
  • Test and optimise. Use tools like Google Analytics, heatmaps, A/B testing and user surveys to see how people interact with your site. Make changes to improve the user experience.
  • Keep your design consistent. Use the same fonts, colours, layouts and styling across all pages of your site to establish your brand and make navigation easy.
  • Consider hiring a web designer. If DIY web design isn’t your forte, hire an expert. They can handle technical aspects, ensure best practices and help you achieve an attractive, high-converting site.

Also check out: Low-Code and No-Code Platforms: An Affordable Web Design Option

To optimise your website for search engines in 2024, focus on the following areas:

Page Load Speed

Aim for a page load time of 3 seconds or less. Fast-loading sites rank higher in search results and have better user experience. Compress images, minimise redirects, and optimise code. Consider a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute your site globally.


With mobile searches surpassing desktop, your site must be optimised for mobile devices. Use a responsive design or adaptive design. Test how your site displays on multiple mobile devices. Ensure buttons and links are large enough to tap, content fits the screen, and the experience is seamless across devices.

URL Structure

Use keywords in your page URLs, e.g. Keep URLs short, simple and consistent. Use hyphens (-) rather than underscores (_). Redirect non-existent pages to active ones.

Internal Linking

Link to other relevant content on your site. Use keyword-rich anchor text. Vary the location and number of internal links on pages. Link to external authoritative sites to establish credibility.


Focus on quality over quantity. Publish long-form, in-depth content around your main keywords. Include related terms and synonyms. Use headings, bold text, bullet points and images to break up content. Content should be well-written, factual and provide value to users.


Optimise page titles, meta descriptions and image alt text. Page titles should be about 60 characters, contain your main keyword and compel clicks. Meta descriptions explain your content in 155-160 characters. Image alt text, especially on your homepage, should also contain keywords.

Technical SEO

Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console to help index your new content. Fix any crawl errors or issues. Optimise your site for voice search by using conversational content and FAQ schema. Learn about and implement any algorithm updates to stay ahead of trends.

By focusing on these areas, you can improve your startup website’s search rankings through an optimised user experience and high-quality, keyword-rich content. An SEO professional can help implement best practices to future-proof your website. With constant changes in algorithms and technology, SEO is an ongoing process, but following these tips will set you up for success.

Share this Article share

Tell us about
your project

Send us a brief message outlining
your project and we’ll get back to
you asap to discuss your project
in more detail.