September 14, 2021
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 min read

Building Early Stage Company Websites (Quickly)

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

You can build a website for your startup within a week that looks like it cost $10,000 to have built. Yes, you.

Not only that, but you can build it with about $300 or potentially just $20 if you are a current student at a university.

How? Webflow templates.

I recommend using Webflow for 90% of people as long as they have basic experience with other editor interfaces such as Photoshop, Illustrator or even PowerPoint. Webflow is on the bleeding edge of no-code web design and continues to innovate faster than any of the other services trying to copy it such as Wix’s “new” Editor X (basically the “off brand cereal” of Webflow).

Let’s jump into the process.

1. Setup

Before you build your site, its critical that you have at least a basic framework built for your brand. By framework I mean colors, typefaces, icon/image styles, and a logo. You can build out a great looking brand in less than 15 minutes with my Brand Guidelines template.

If the Webflow interface looks daunting to you, don’t worry. Webflow University has some of the best (and most entertaining) tutorial videos on the market. Spend a few hours getting acquainted with the editor with these videos.

2. Planning the Site

Essentially what you want to do here is to list out all of your “requirements” for your website (aka what the site will need to have in it such as a home page, blog, contact page, mailing list integration, etc).

This will help you pick a template that will meet all of these requirements.

If you are an early stage company, I’d encourage you to make this list and then drastically narrow it down to your core pages and features so you don’t burn too much time getting it “just right.”

3. Find a Webflow Template

With your plan, you can now look through Webflow’s template library to find templates that fit all of your criteria and have a design structure that you think fits your brand.

You should start with a template because it will massively cut down on the time that it takes to build your site and reduces the skill needed to make a great one.

Prices will range from $0 to $129 (as of 2021) for templates.

All colors, typefaces, animations, images, and literally everything you see is editable so don’t worry if something is a little bit off. You can fix it later.

Webflow Template Library

4. Build the Website (Re-skin the Template)

After purchasing a template, I like to reskin and reformat things in the following order:

  1. There will typically be a “style guide” page (or a similar name). Here you will find all of the colors, headings, and global formatting rules for the website. You can learn how to change the global (site wide) colors here.
  2. Re-organize pages and page sections to fit the layout that you need to fit your content.
  3. Add images and copy throughout the site.
  4. Add in any integrations such as a Mailchimp email list signup.
  5. Buy the appropriate plan (typically CMS site plan for $192/year or the standard E-commerce plan for $348/year if I want an online store)
  6. Link in your domain(s) and publish the site.

Other Tips

  • If you are a current student, Webflow has a 90% discount for the CMS site plan for 1 year (~$20) for students. Apply here.
  • Look beyond the template category that you think would fit your business. The most important part is that it has the core features and pages that you need already built out.

Or, Hire Someone (Me?)

If you don’t want to build your site yourself or don’t have the time to, feel free to reach out. I’m a specialist in building+maintaining sites in Webflow. You can check out a few of my previous works here.

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