Startups need a great web presence above anything else or their personal brand is going to suck. This is your store window and you want it to look great, rather than a store window that someone has thrown a brick through. We can’t tell you exactly what you should have on your website, but we can tell you some of the aspects you need to take into account.

These web design tips are going to set you well on the way to making sure that your website fits in with your startup strategy.

Make a Responsive Website

Every startup website has to be responsive. This is non-negotiable. At least half of your audience is going to be browsing on mobile devices, so if they can’t use your website you’re in for a bad time. And Google is going to crucify you in the search rankings. Mobilegeddon is still here and non-responsive websites are paying the price.

It’s easy to go responsive these days because most modern themes already have this built-in to them. This is only a problem if you’re designing your website from the ground up, or you’re still running a website from 2008.

Simplicity is the Number One Trend

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

The KISS rule of web design isn’t exactly new, but it’s not something that’s coming close to outdated. You have to keep your website simple or you’re going to run into problems later on. An effective website adopts the minimalistic approach, while just highlighting the product or service you’re trying to sell.

A one-page model is a popular option, for example. Colors that aren’t too bright and flashy are another option. Just try not to add anything unnecessary because if a page becomes packed it can slow loading times; and 39% will leave a website due to this. As a final note, don’t use more than two fonts on your website.

Make Navigation a Focus

Your business is new and nobody has any idea who you are or what you do. First impressions are everything and if people can’t get the information they want they aren’t going to search for it.

Navigation is one area of web design that usually falls by the wayside. They leave it as something to consider later, and that’s wrong. It should be one of your top priorities.

Begin from your landing page and go through the navigation process from there. Is it easy to get from one point to another? Is it simple to discover pieces of information? This is something you should test out by yourself, and if possible you should bring in some outside help to test your site as well.

The Visual Hierarchy

There are lots of visual trends to improve your website that you can take advantage of. One you might not have heard of is the visual hierarchy. The visual hierarchy is more to do with the sizing and the colors. The definition of visual hierarchy is just like the h1 and h2 tags.  The larger something is the more important it is.

An example of doing this badly is making the heading of the page smaller than the body text. As you go down a page, the text should get smaller and less pronounced.

It’s not all, though. There’s more to it than that. It all has to fit in well with colors, spacing, and style.

Make Your Site Readable

Another reason why the visual hierarchy is so important is to keep your site readable. If you have to squint to read through the body text, forget about keeping your customers interested. They’ll find a competitor who does things better. Readability in the form of tracking and kerning should be another priority.

For example, let’s say that you have black body text and a white background. This is a good level of contrast for readability. A red background with a yellow font, however, is a poor level of contrast and makes everything hard to read. Always look for a good level of contrast for readability.

Make a Logo

Your logo should be front and center on any website you create. This doesn’t really have anything to do with user experience, it’s for branding purposes. It’s what will make people point and realize who they are dealing with. Consistent branding is one of the first major obstacles every business will come up against during the first few months.

Make sure the colors match your business and that everything isn’t too complicated. Get a professional logo designer to give you a hand with this.

What do you think is the most important part of a website’s design?