How to build an agile website for startups: when tech meets creativity

What if we told you that great website performance doesn't mean cutbacks in design? Learn how to save nerves, time, and resources.

5 min read

We have all been there: you look for inspiration for your startup website, and you stumble upon websites with engaging design but which take ages to load. Or upon websites that perform well but fail in terms of layout … In our opinion, your startup deserves something better: a custom-designed and engaging website with top performance. Keep on reading to find out how you can achieve this and what benefits an agile website brings to your startup.

This is how to build an agile website for your startup

1. Getting the branding settled

In our last blog post, we have been talking about the importance of branding and brand consistency across all relevant touchpoints: defining your unique branding including brand values, positioning and, of course, your brand strategy is the first step towards a custom-designed website for your startup. Just as we use to say, a unique brand requires a unique look – and that's more than true for your web design as well. Once we got your look and feel settled, we use it as a starting point to unleash our creativity and get the web design process going. With powerful branding, your website will be more engaging and will stand out amongst competitors, as we can draw on branded elements for animations, illustrations, and other highlights. 

What is more, engaging and branded content does not only refer to visual elements. Copywriting is also immensely important for building an effective website. Excellent copy covers several things: one, it reflects your brand personality. Two, it uses language as a tool to sell your product or service. Three, it ranks your website in the top search results by using elaborated SEO techniques. Thus, we increase the visibility of your website just with the power of words (and a lot of juggling with them, of course) and reduce advertising costs.

Visual with a guide for website elements for Augmenta.
Website elements for Augmenta

2. Collaborating closely with clients

Who knows your business better than you? As for structure, content, and sitemap of your website, it is crucial to draw on your expertise in your specific business area. We merge our branding skills with your knowledge to build a website that meets the B2B or B2C requirements of your field: during the entire web design and development process, we collaborate closely with our clients and their team.

Screenshot of a collaborative moodboard in FigJam.
Collaborative mood board in FigJam

Once we decided together on the overall content of the website for your startup, we begin laying out the bare bones of the website's user flow with low-fidelity wireframes. This allows us to ensure that both, user experience and content, meet the desired criteria for completing the project. After the wireframes have gone through approval, we are now in our project's design exploration and refinement phase. Here we will adapt the overall style from the style scapes and craft a refined high, fidelity design that mirrors the user flow created within the wireframe phase. 

This close collaboration enables us, on the one hand, to implement your feedback more efficiently and quicker, and, on the other hand, it gives you the opportunity to comment on details, suggestions, and improvements, being always up to date.

In the end, you will be proud of every pixel of your startup website.

3. Drawing on illustrations and animations

As a tech startup, you are probably dealing with a lot of data-related stuff and your smart product or service is not an easy thing to depict with photos. However, you have to transmit the essence of your tools, so that techies and other prospects can easily follow your ideas. 

Screenshot of the website of Aviator.
Illustrations and animations on the website of Aviator

We are continuously looking out for new trends and innovations, which we implement in the web design and development process. In order to make your state-of-the-art website impactful and powerful, some of the animations and illustrated elements we suggest to include in your custom-designed website are: animations that build as you scroll, motions tied to scroll progress, content that reveals on click, microinteractions around mouse movement, hover animations, etc. 

Two branded, abstract illustrations for Evolve01.
Branded illustrations for Evolve01

With branded illustrations and animations on your website, you exploit another channel for communicating your brand and telling your unique story. Branded illustrations on your website are the best way to represent your tech products and services, engaging the audience. Animations are more eye-catching than static content, in a way that you can effectively draw attention to calls to action. Consequently, this can help drive conversions. Also, a custom-designed website improves your startup's competitiveness and credibility, thus attracting possible investors.

4. Increasing the performance of your website

As we mentioned earlier, an agile website is not only nice to look at but also responds quickly to users' needs and performs well on search engines, making a well-built CMS with a comprehensive range of tools essential for your success. 

Screenshot of the website metrics of thebranx.com. It shows Performance (99%), First Contentful Paint (0.6s), Speed Index (0.8s), Time to interactive (0.6s) and Total Blocking Time (0ms).
Insight into the metrics of thebranx.com 

In terms of overall performance and metrics, page speed has a huge impact on user experience. No one likes to wait around for a site to load, so don't miss out on potential clients because of a slow server. Another metric that should not mess with users' patience is the time to interact: it refers to how much time it takes before users can begin to click on links, scroll on a page, or type in text fields. Optimizing your website speed is one of our priorities, and also essential to decrease bounce rate. 

Talking about speed – as a startup, time is a crucial player. It's all about launching rapidly, fixing changes in less than the blink of an eye, and meeting deadlines, with everything ideally being hassle-free. The web platform to go for should hence not only offer fast hosting and powerful CMS but should also have a friendly interface for non-technical team members to update and deploy changes in content and layout. Additionally, in order to reduce costs and implement your startup website quickly, it should work without coding. 

5. Providing you with the necessary tools

Having said that, manageability is also crucial for your website. Your CMS should fit your needs, as it should not only be user- but also company-friendly; in the sense that making changes and adding content autonomously should not cause you headaches. That's why we implement CMS collections, which enable you to grow your agile website independently. 

A CMS collection is like a database, where you store content that you can refer to during the whole web development process. Each collection has its specific content type – we like to use collections of blog posts, authors, projects, clients, team members, etc. These collections enable you to create proper pages which will take your marketing website to the next level: landing pages and download pages are essential tools for growth, as you create traffic and make your website more valuable for search engines. 

The use of CMS collections, therefore, enables you to adapt your startup website easily and without programming. Thus, it reduces costs and time, making your website more efficient and allowing you to focus on content instead of codes. 

Screenshot of thebranx.com CMS collections. The collections include Case Studies, Services, Sectors, Testimonials, Team Members, FAQs, and Blog Posts.
Insight into The Branx's CMS

The key(s) to your agile website 

Currently, there is a lot of buzz in the web design and web development market. Companies are struggling to find the right balance between performance and design. However, creating an agile website with an aesthetically pleasing design and excellent performance does not have to be complicated. In the end, it is your number one marketing tool which should not be a programming challenge. The following table compares different structures of websites and their capabilities. 

Visual with a table that compares self-managed builders, hard-coded websites to The Branx custom websites The Branx custom websites have fully customized design, top SEO & Performance, deployment speed and easy content updates.
Characteristics of different website structures

As you can see, a fully customized design, excellent SEO and performance, real deployment speed, and ease of updating are compatible. For excellent results, we at The Branx use the lightweight CMS Webflow to create agile websites. On the one hand, it allows us to speed up the implementation of our projects, create powerful designs, and easily pass all performance checks. On the other hand, it allows our clients to manage their startup website autonomously, adapt quickly to changes, and reduce website costs. 

The theory is quite easy to digest, but what about the practice? The practice isn't hard at all either, you'll see. Stay tuned for more startup branding and web design content and feel free to reach out to us if you want to get the ball rolling. 

About the author

Tamara Hofer
Copywriter & Marketing Assistant

Tamara is our multi-lingual expert in copywriting and storytelling. She also helps with all digital marketing efforts.