For many business owners, the idea of building a website can be an an exciting, yet incredibly daunting task. The overall look and feel of your website matters a great deal because, like a storefront, it’s often the first thing people will see when they come in contact with your business for the very first time.
In fact, according to research, once someone lands on your homepage, you really only have 0-10 seconds to compel them to stay to learn more about who you are, what you do, and why they should buy. In order to make a good first impression and prevent visitors from leaving within the first few seconds of landing on your website, you need to ensure that you’re presenting every individual with a compelling experience. To do it, you have to focus on design.
Here’s the problem: There are more than a billion websites in existence today with thousands more popping up each and every week, and design trends are constantly evolving. When you’re new to website design, It’s not always easy to know what to focus on or where to go for go for inspiration. To help you get on the right track, we’re sharing 30 web design examples worth exploring before you build a website for your business:
If you’re building an ecommerce store, building an effective website is particularly essential to the ultimate growth and success of your business. Without a physical storefront, your website will act as the only way for potential customers to learn about and buy your products. There are a few best practices worth following when designing an ecommerce website:
Best Practice #1: Use high-quality visuals. Incorporate large, high-resolution images on your homepage and product pages. Your potential customers want to know with confidence that your products are well-built and align with the descriptions you include with them.
Best Practice #2: Go minimal. Leave the bells and whistles out of your plans when designing your ecommerce website. Focus instead on a minimal design that focuses entirely on the product. Remember that more and more online shoppers are using mobile devices to buy products, so keep your website simple and make sure your site is responsive across all devices.
Best Practice #3: Sell an experience. Help your website visitors understand how their lives could be different/easier/better if they used your products. Include photography that features your products in real-life situations. Here are 5 ecommerce websites that incorporate the best practices mentioned above:
- Twelve South - an ecommerce website that sells beautifully simple Apple accessories.
- Harry’s - an ecommerce website that sells shaving products and monthly grooming subscriptions.
- Lucy & Co - an ecommerce website that sells luxury dog clothes, collars, toys, and home accessories.
- Love Your Melon - an ecommerce website that sells U.S. made hats and other apparel.
- Everlane - an ecommerce website that sells high-end clothing for men and women.
If you’re building a front-facing website to support your software product, speed and usability is key when designing your website. If your SaaS product is brand new, your biggest challenge is going to be building trust and credibility for your brand and product. There are a few best practices worth following when designing a SaaS website:
Best Practice #1: Show the product. Your potential customers care about features, but they care more about finding out what your product looks like and how it works. In order to build instant trust, incorporate real images of your product being used throughout your website. Don’t force people to sign up for your product to decide if it’s worth using.
Best Practice #2: Make a promise. Incorporate copy into your web design that helps people understand what they’ll ultimately get out of using your product. Think about the biggest benefit your product can offer people, then feature that benefit prominently in your design.
Best Practice #3: Let your branding shine. When it comes to designing SaaS websites, it’s easy to look like everyone else. Differentiate from competitors by incorporating key pieces of your brand throughout your website. Use colors, fonts, graphics, and images to help visitors recognize what makes you different from the other guys. Here are 5 SaaS websites that incorporate the best practices mentioned above:
- When I Work - this SaaS company offers employee scheduling and attendance products to businesses managing hourly employees.
- Intercom - this SaaS company offers powerful tools that make it easy for other businesses to communicate and develop nurturing relationships with customers.
- Slack - this SaaS company offers a messaging app that teams can use to communicate and collaborate with one another in real-time.
- Invision - this SaaS company provides a product that helps development teams and startups create and collaborate on prototypes, mockups, and workflows.
- Kin HR - this SaaS company provides an HR solution that businesses can use to manage employees and boost back-office productivity.
Professional Services / On-Demand Startup Websites
If you’re building a professional services business or an on-demand startup, simplicity is going to be your best friend when designing your website. Your ultimate goal is to make it as easy as possible for visitors to quickly understand what it is that you do, and how they can sign up or become a customer. There are a few best practices worth following when designing a professional services or on-demand startup website:
Best Practice #1: Incorporate social proof. In order to successfully convert visitors into customers, you need to start building trust with them from the moment they land on your site. The best and easiest way to do it is to incorporate social proof statements or graphics into your design. Examples of social proof include customer testimonials, reviews, partner logos, customer logos, and videos.
Best Practice #2: Show the after-effects. If you’re building this type of business, you’re likely solving a big problem for people. As such, it’s important that you use your website as an opportunity to show or tell visitors what their life will be like after they use your service. The easiest way to achieve this is through a combination of headline copy and photos.
Best Practice #3: Make your call-to-action (CTA) incredibly clear. A lot of people are likely going to be accessing your website from their mobile devices, so make sure that your CTA buttons and messaging is extremely clear and prominent on your website. To make it stand out, a/b test variations in color, button size, and messaging. Here are 5 professional service websites that incorporate the best practices mentioned above:
- TruGreen - this website connects visitors with professionals who can help them with all their lawn care needs.
- Upcounsel - this website connects visitors with experienced lawyers who can help them with their business needs on an on-demand basis.
- Zirtual - this website connects visitors with virtual assistants who can help them boost productivity and outsource tedious tasks.
- Cleanly - this website connects visitors with an on-demand laundry service.
- Handy - this website connect visitors with home cleaners and handymen whenever they need.
Personal Brand Websites
If you’re building a personal brand website for yourself, you can’t be shy about featuring yourself prominently throughout your website. It’s the only way you’ll ever be able to successfully differentiate from other influencers in your space or industry. When it comes to building an effective personal brand website, your number one goal should be to tell stories that help you connect with visitors. There are a few best practices worth following when designing a personal brand website:
Best Practice #1: Use photography and videography. Feature photos and videos of yourself prominently on your homepage. Remember—you only have one chance to make a first impression. Don’t waste it. Hire a professional photographer or videographer who can help you produce crisp, high-quality photos and videos to incorporate into your design.
Best Practice #2: Stand out. This is your opportunity to go all-in on your personal brand. Use photos, graphics, colors, and fonts to help people understand who you are and what you do. Need help? Check out our personal branding guide.
Best Practice #3: Make your value instantly known. Don’t assume everyone knows who you are. Make it easy for new visitors to land on your page for the first time and recognize immediately who you are and what you do. The easiest way to achieve this is by including clear navigation, quotes, and headers on your homepage and throughout your website. Here are 5 personal branding websites that incorporate the best practices mentioned above:
- Gary Vaynerchuk - Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur, marketer, speaker, and author.
- Seth Godin - Seth Godin is a New York Times bestselling author and blogger.
- The Scott Brothers - the Scott Brothers are real estate influencers, authors, and TV personalities.
- Gordon Ramsay - Gordon Ramsay is a celebrity chef, entrepreneur, and cookbook author.
- Barbara Corcoran - Barbara Corcoran is a real estate mogul, entrepreneur, and celebrity investor.
If you’re building a nonprofit business, your website is essentially your best tool for educating the community, telling stories, and encouraging people to support your cause. Like other categories included in this post, one of your biggest challenges when launching is going to be building trust right away. With more and more news stories coming out about fraud and online giving, it’s imperative that you position yourself as a credible organization worth supporting. There are a few best practices worth following when designing a nonprofit organization website:
Best Practice #1: Make a big statement. In order to grab the attention of visitors right when they land on your website, you need to make a big statement. This is most effective when done in the main headline on your homepage, or in supporting headlines throughout your homepage and the rest of your website. Help people understand the scope of the problem, what you’re doing about it, and how they can help.
Best Practice #2: Make education and giving the focus. If people land on your website, chances are it’s because they either want to learn more about the cause you’re supporting, or because they’ve already decided that they want to donate money. Make it easy for them to do both by featuring educational content and donate CTAs throughout your website.
Best Practice #3: Use real pictures. Avoid using stock photography at all costs. In order to build trust, you need to use real pictures—your visitors will be able to tell the difference. Real photography will help you tell a compelling story and convince visitors of the need that exists. Here are 5 nonprofit websites that incorporate the best practices mentioned above:
- World Wildlife Fund - this organization supports conservation initiatives around the world.
- Volunteers of America - this organization connects volunteers with vulnerable human beings in cities across the country.
- ONE - this organization aims to fight global poverty and other issues that contribute to or exist as a result of extreme poverty.
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - this organization supports global health and global development initiatives.
- LIVESTRONG - this organization supports cancer research and healthcare initiatives.
Information Product Websites
If you’re building an informational product website, you’re ultimate goal should be to convince people to convert and buy your product. To be successful, you have to be incredibly strategic and intentional when it comes to positioning yourself as an expert, sharing your story, and incorporating clear CTA buttons and messaging throughout your website. There are a few best practices worth following when designing an informational product website:
Best Practice #1: Keep it simple. Most informational product websites are one-page websites that can be quickly scanned by visitors. Don’t get too complicated with your design. If you can, keep your visitors on one page and move them down toward your CTAs.
Best Practice #2: Use a lot of (strategic) copy. These websites tend to be pretty heavy on the copy, but recognize the difference between conversion-driven messaging and fluff. Remember: your goal is to sell people on the value you can provide to them. Be authentic and helpful in the copy you include in your website design. Give visitors a taste of what they can expect if they were to subscribe to what you’re offering.
Best Practice #3: Help people understand what to do. Don’t be mysterious. Make it obvious who you are, what you do, what you’re selling, and the benefit of buying. Use testimonials, headings, bulleted lists, and breakout quotes to make it easy for visitors to quickly scan and understand what they should do after they land on your website. Here are 5 informational product websites that incorporate the best practices mentioned above:
- The 4-Hour Workweek - this website offers visitors content that can help them boost productivity, make more money, and spend less time working.
- Smart Passive Income - this website offers visitors content that can help them understand how to launch and grow a successful online business.
- Make Your First Dollar - this website offers visitors content that can help them understand how to make an extra $1,000 every month.
- Authority by Nathan Barry - this website provides visitors with content that can help them understand how to successfully write and launch a revenue-generating ebook.
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich - this website offers visitors content that can help them understand how to make more money and live happier, more fulfilling lives.
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