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3 Biggest Web Design Mistakes Start-ups Make

Here are the 3 biggest web design mistakes that start-ups make you need to avoid.

Josh Althuser




The world of start-ups is cutthroat. There’s no surprise there — the statistic that 9 out of 10 start-ups fail is cited regularly and has fallen into the domain of common knowledge. The reason so many fail is that only so many companies can succeed in a given market, and there are just too many start-ups out there for a higher success rate to be pervasive.

In fact, a new start-up launches every three seconds somewhere around the globe, and in the US alone, venture capital sinks $1,532 into start-ups every second. Of course, the stakes are high for start-ups to beat out the competition and acquire a user base as quickly as possible. How can they not be under such conditions?

In the 21st century, it is now a tenement of smart business that you need a website to succeed. Websites can convert consumers into paying customers, be an integral part of marketing campaigns, and are also simply a great resource for the customers you already have. Considering that more than one-third of consumers discover businesses online, start-ups need a website to be competitive. Yet creating a website isn’t easy. There are all kinds of mistakes that start-ups make when developing their website.

Related: How to Tackle a Website Design

Here are the 3 biggest web design mistakes that start-ups make you need to avoid:

1Ignore research

One of the most glaring mistakes that start-ups make is that in their rush to create an MVP and launch, they push a website through development without researching the market. One of the most important parts of the design process is market research. The first thing a start-up needs to grasp is who their target audience is: Who will buy their product or service, and what message do they best respond to? It’s also important that startups understand who their competitors are and what do their websites look like.

This will give a start-up better insight into consumer expectations and ensure that their website builds trust and encourages conversions by adhering to the design standards within the industry while differentiating their site from the competition.

The research doesn’t stop there, however. Once the website is live, startups need to track visitor behaviour: What do they click on, what do they ignore? Is the call to action actually converting? Many start-ups hire a web designer, build a website, and then let the designer go, but a great website needs revision after it goes live.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that start-ups should keep a web designer on staff at all times, but they often ignore maintenance and improvements that could quickly increase their cash flow and help them expand in the crucial early stages of the business. Instead, start-ups should monitor consumer behaviour across their site and bring in a web designer as necessary when problems in need of fixing arise.

2Underpay the designer


It’s a fine balancing act of charging a professional the right amount for a project. It can be trickier for design fields, in which their isn’t always a guaranteed timeline. A common mistake that start-ups make is that they underpay a designer because they don’t have the funds to pay what a great designer should earn for the work.

This leads to two scenarios: One, the start-up hires an under-skilled, cheap designer to do the job, or they hire a good web designer, who either is disgruntled by the low pay and doesn’t do their best work, or perhaps only works on the project for a short while. The former leads to a website with poor design, the latter a slapdash effort that may have the necessary core features, but remains lacking in aesthetic and elegance.

Related: Breeze Website Designers’ Bongani Gosa On Learning From Mistakes

Another mistake start-ups make to combat the need to pay a full-time designer is to use a DIY website builder. While these builders can work for a personal blog, a business, even at the start-up phase, needs something more professional. Not only do start-ups need their website to stand out from the competition (which is much harder when using a web page template), but the most successful websites are those customised to target a specific audience, from optimising navigation and menu layouts to picking fonts and colours, and that takes a professional eye.

Design isn’t secondary to development; if a start-up wants great web design, they must invest in a great designer. It’s as simple as that.

3Add too many features

The key to success for any start-up is to start with the basics: Begin your business with one product/service and perfect it before you expand your offerings. A similar logic applies to web design. Many start-ups believe that flashy and crowded design attracts customers, that all consumers want a blog, live video, HD pictures, parallax scrolling, and all sorts of micro-interactions. The reality is that a combination of some of these things can be highly successful, but including all of them is unnecessary, even excessive.

Remember that consumers aren’t patient. 40% Of consumers will abandon a web page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, and the more bells and whistles you add to a site, the slower it is to load. While some cool features can be a nice addition to boost conversions, each addition costs time and money, and many start-ups neglect to consider the necessity of adding a particular animation or graphic, instead focusing just on the aesthetic of it.

Related: 9 Overlooked Ways To Make Visitors Love Your Website

There’s a fine line between simplicity and boredom, sure, but many start-ups forget that white space and a focused design are key elements of building trust and encouraging conversions.

There are plenty of other mistakes start-ups make when it comes to web design, from loading the site with keywords to ineffective calls to action and poor navigation. Web design is complicated, and start-ups often neglect all of the elements that need to come together for a successful design. As with any element of a company, great web design is labor-intensive and expensive. The biggest mistake start-ups make is forgetting that.

What other mistakes have you noticed in startup web design?

Josh Althuser is a tech entrepreneur and open source advocate specializing in providing mentorship for startups. You may connect with him on Twitter.

Online Marketing

Everything You Need To Know About Instagram’s New Shopping Features

The app is giving influencers and brands new channels on which consumers can discover them.




Influencers and brands have two new ways to sell products to users scrolling and tapping through their Instagram feeds. After a summer of testing shopping buttons that drive purchases via Stories, the Facebook-owned app has launched them for businesses in 46 countries.

It’s also begun rolling out a personalised shopping section in the Explore tab, which Instagram redesigned earlier this year to feature AI-powered channels categorising content based on topic (e.g. travel, art, decor).

The shopping tab will be a place for users who know they want to browse and potentially buy, with Instagram’s algorithm serving up brands the user already follows or would likely be into, based on past activity on the app. Meanwhile, the shopping bag stickers in Stories will give users a chance to not just admire their favourite influencers’ outfits, but actually click through and learn more about promoted items.

Since Instagram began testing the feature in June, more than 90 million users per month have tapped to reveal tags in shopping posts, according to a Sept. 17 Instagram blog post. The app already allows brands to purchase ads in the form of Stories.

More than 400 million accounts watch Stories daily, and one-third of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses, Instagram also reports.

Instagram has been testing shopping in feeds for nearly two years.

Related: Creating Power Digital Campaigns

Back in November 2016, the company explained on its Business blog that online shopping often involves research and deliberation, rather than impulse purchases, which is what led Instagram to build out shopping posts that would provide consumers with information about products without having to leave the app until they’d made a purchase decision.

Salesforce has forecasted that the referral traffic Instagram drives to retailer websites will increase by 51 percent between the 2017 and 2018 holiday seasons, according to Adweek.

Speaking of leaving the app, Instagram is rumored to be developing a standalone shopping app, according to The Verge, but the company declined to comment on these reports to both The Verge and Entrepreneur.

This article was originally posted here on

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Online Marketing

Social Media Marketing For Start-ups: Essential Tips

There are plenty of ways to get the leads your start-up needs, but only a few tactics you’ll need in your arsenal to get the job done at a limited cost to your burgeoning business.



Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing, when you’re short on funds, can seem like an intimidating prospect. If you and your team aren’t already knowledgeable about digital marketing strategy, you may think it’s impossible for you to manage marketing campaigns yourself. With a bit of determination and a great deal of studying, however, your startup will be able to successfully launch, direct, and refine your own digital marketing strategies.

What things can you do to help your start-up get more press, attract more customers, and get more brand awareness? There are plenty of ways to get the leads your start-up needs, but only a few tactics you’ll need in your arsenal to get the job done at a limited cost to your burgeoning business.

Get to know your niche

Many young companies adopt random acts of internet marketing. They’ll throw a few hundred dollars into promoting Facebook posts without necessarily understanding how to communicate to their audience.

Before you dive into advertising and promotion platforms, you should spend some time to define – and to get to know – your niche.

To help define your target market, use questions like:

  • Who are your existing customers?
    • How would you group them?
  • Who does your product or service help?
    • Does your product help business owners, stay-at-home parents, college students, or someone else?
  • Who are you looking to reach out to?
    • That is, are you looking to refine your target market or expand it?

Once you’ve answered a few questions like the ones listed above, you should be able to get a better idea of who you’re marketing to. With an understanding of who you’re communicating with, you should be able to craft a tailored message about your brand.

Related: 10 Laws Of Social Media Marketing

Choose social media platforms wisely

Many start-ups try to master as many social media platforms right at the start. Instead of dividing your attention between Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you should identify one or two social media platforms that will help you market your product or service. This is why defining your target market at the beginning is so very important.

You must first decide who your message is intended for before writing, editing, and positioning that message. After you’ve got your target market down, you’ll be able to pinpoint which social media platforms can serve you best.

Here are a few examples to give you an idea of which social media platforms are best suited for your needs:


  • Best for blog links
  • Frequent posts: 1-4 posts every few hours is the most effective
  • The community is open to businesses promotion


  • Best for communicating to existing customers
  • Daily posts: 1 post every 2 days is the most effective
  • Users respond best to images, videos, and clips


  • Strictly promotional posts are undesirable
  • Building readership and/or a following is slow
  • Better suited for long-term growth strategy

Do your social media research

Start conducting some preliminary research about social media platforms. Build a profile of each, listing their pros and cons. Try investigating other social media platforms such as GitHub, Stack Overflow, and Quora. While these aren’t platforms as large as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, they could have a far greater impact on your start-up.

Answering questions on Quora and interacting with other users on GitHub, for example, could help you build genuine business and customer relationships.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

Concentrate on mastering a few channels

Ultimately, it’s important to concentrate on one or two social media platforms based on your target market and your goals. Attempting to have a significant presence on all of them will prove expensive, time-consuming, and, at worst, counterproductive.

Focusing on one platform will allow you to track your marketing efforts with greater precision, revise your marketing strategy more easily, and help you speak more directly to your target audience.

Digital marketing, while best left to a team of experienced marketers, content creators, and creative designers can be done by your team.

Start-ups tight on cash don’t need to fret, they only need to do a bit of market research and direct their energy accordingly. After narrowing down your audience and performing some preliminary research on social media platforms, you can start working on your social media marketing strategy.

Master a few channels rather than trying to dominate all of the social media space. Keep conducting research as you start your marketing campaigns. Each community naturally changes so you’ll want to keep up-to-date. Leverage your research and dedication to get the most out of your startup marketing.

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Online Marketing

How To Create The Best Small Business Website: 5 Easy And Effective Steps

Check the steps below and get ready to create a successful small business website.

Ethan Dunwill




It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. If you don’t have online presence, it will become difficult to obtain the results you expect. Your target audience is using the internet nowadays for almost anything. So, if you want to attract more customers and build your brand reputation, you need to build a website. This is how you will be able to expand your business in an easy and not so expensive way.

On the other hand, you don’t have to be a savvy web developer to create a basic website and let the others know about you. Web development and design software have evolved a lot and now you can use several website builders to develop a functional site. You will have plenty of templates to choose from to increase your business’ visibility.

Check the steps below and get ready to create a successful small business website.

Easy and Effective Steps to Create a Website for Your Business

1. What is the purpose of your website?

It doesn’t matter if you develop a simple or a more complex website. Before you start working on anything related to your website, you should start with saying what your company does. Your customers need to understand from the first minute they access your homepage what is your mission and vision. They don’t have too much time to invest when they enter on a website. So, you can make their journey smoother by telling them from the beginning about you. In case you are not so talented at writing, you can use writing companies like RewardedEssays or SupremeDissertations to give you a hand.

Related: 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Building A Website For Your Business

2. Choose a domain name and a web host

Even though many think they shouldn’t focus too much on it, the domain name is an important feature of your website. You will use the URL to promote your business to existing and future clients. So, this means that your domain name should be explicit and talk about your business to anyone who wants to find more about you. A domain name should be short, clear, without acronyms or numbers. What is more, you shouldn’t forget to check if your domain name isn’t already taken by someone else.

Apart from a domain name, your website will also need a server where all your data is stored. When you own a small business, creating your own web host will represent a serious financial effort. So, it would be more cost-wise to choose an external host.

As your business grows, you can choose a different host, or you can ask several providers to work on a personalised solution.

3. Build your website’s pages


You will need more than a homepage to create a good website. If you want your customers to understand that you are a professional in what you do, you will create several pages dedicated to different elements of your business. For example, you can include a catalog with your products or a blog.

Natalie Andersen, CEO of GetGoodGrade mentions that “It is obligatory that apart from the homepage, a website should have at least a page with the products’ catalog and a Contact Us page.”

Below you can find a list with the minimum number of pages a professional website should have:

  • Homepage – here you will include details about your business, making sure that you also talk about your mission and vision.
  • List of products and services – your customers need to know what are the products and services you offer. This will help them decide whether you can answer their questions and provide a solution to their problems.
  • About Us – “About Us page is the place where you talk about your story. Your target audience wants to know more about yourself. This is how you will create a connection with your customers and let them know more about you”, says James Daily, Head of content department at FlashEssay.
  • Contact Us – it should include your address, email, phone number and working hours. You can also include the links for your social media profiles.

Furthermore, if you want to achieve an international presence, you can also use the translation services offered by IsAccurate. Thus, you will be able to address your message to a wider group of people and expand your business on new markets.

Related: How To Secure Your SME Website

4. Test if your website works properly

Christopher K. Mercer, CEO of Citatior recommends that “before you launch a website, you should first test whether it works. You cannot tell your future customers about your website without knowing for sure that it will work without problems once you launch it”. Therefore, you should click on each page and check whether it has any errors. You still have time to fix something if necessary.

Once you have launched your website and something goes wrong, it will become more difficult to do any change. Plus, always remember that the first impression matters. So, you need to be perfect in the eyes of your customers.

5. Maintain your website

After you launched your website, this doesn’t mean that your work is done. You will need to keep your customers engaged and curious about your business. Therefore, updating the products’ catalog constantly or producing content for your blog will keep your audience informed about what you can offer and the latest trends in the industry. Plus, you should also check if your website is up to date with the latest add-ons. If you don’t know how to produce new content for your website or you feel that you are not talented enough, you can collaborate with HotEssayService or RatedByStudents for professional writing services.

It shouldn’t be complicated to create a website for your small business. As long as you keep a clear structure and create a story around your business, you don’t have anything to worry about. It is very important to understand that a website is very important for your business visibility. Thus, you should put all your efforts into it.

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