You have started a business and now you have to make a name for yourself. There are several ways to achieve this, which come with different costs. This also applies to developing a website for your company. This can quickly add up to costs for a novice entrepreneur.
However, a good website does not have to cost tens of thousands of euros. Even for companies that do not have huge marketing budgets, it is possible to set up a beautiful and effective website.
But, what’s on a good SME website?
1. A first impression of the company
With a photo or video on your homepage you show what your company stands for. If you sell a product, post an image of your product. Do you have a restaurant, place pictures of beautifully laid out plates with food.
2. Make it personal
Write a nice ‘About us’ page. This way you can easily make the website more personal and you can tell a little more about your company.
3. Readable Text
Improve the accessibility of your website with legible text. Make sure your lines of text are not too long, the ideal is 8 to 12 words per line. The text should also not be too close together, so make sure there is enough white space between headings and regular text.
4. Lots of images
Use as much imagery as possible on your website. This way the visitors of your website can get a good impression without having to read a lot of text. People are simply visual.
As Google states: mobile first. Always design your website with mobile view as the main device. The proportion of website users who use a phone instead of a laptop or desktop is still increasing. Depending on the industry you work in, there is a good chance that your website will be viewed on mobile. Therefore, make sure that this version is well developed.
6. Corporate identity
An appropriate house style is key. Make sure that it conveys the atmosphere of your company well. For example, a restaurant specializing in spareribs should not use neon colors and heavy round fonts.
A good logo is not too detailed. Keep in mind that the logo must still be easily recognizable in different applications.
Examples for your own website
Below I share the design of 6 websites of SME companies. The unique aspects, use of house style and general advantages and disadvantages of the websites are discussed.
1. Mr. Stacks
The first website is from a restaurant in Amsterdam. Here, guests enjoy the most photogenic vegan comfort food together, with a bubble tea. As a specialty has Mr. Stacks the vegan pancakes to chef Milo’s recipe.
What stands out about the website, what makes it unique? Why does this fit so well with the corporate identity of the website?
- First impression. The first thing you see on the website is a video about Mr Stacks. It is a good representation of the restaurant and what they offer.
- Photography. Beautiful and aesthetic photos that convey the vibe well and make it more attractive.
- Corporate identity. Nice and legible font. The fun illustrations of the drinks and cinnamon roll on the menu make it very personal.
- grid. Uses the grid in a playful way, both on mobile and desktop
- responsive. The website scales well to mobile view.
- Additional shortcut elements. The website has buttons that give a shortcut to a part of the website. Like the big Menu button that jumps right to the menu, this is a very important part of a restaurant. That’s why you want this to be accessible on the website. The table button directs you to reserving a table. With the gift card button you buy a Mr. Stacks gift card. You will also see shortcuts to the socials.
- The logo is too busy. You can’t really see what’s on it when it’s small.
- The menu and table buttons are not the same size on desktop and are not lined up on the sides.
- The footer disappears below the main when scrolling. It wouldn’t be a big deal if the background had a different color, but that’s not the case.
Kula is, as the company describes itself, a place in Rotterdam where people can relax and recharge. They have an all day cafe, give yoga classes and organize events. The food in the cafe is “nourishing comfort food” and there are also to-go options.
- Photography. With every headline there is a photo that also very well reflects the vibe of the company.
- Corporate identity. The house style fits very well with the interior and also conveys the atmosphere well. They have a playful font that is reminiscent of the yin-yang symbol, a good link with the yoga classes.
- responsive. The website scales very well. All important information always remains clearly visible on the website, such as the button to book a yoga class, the menu button, button to info about the cafe and the events and yoga. On mobile, the menu also collapses into a hamburger menu.
- legibility. The texts are easy to read and there is good use of white space around the text.
- The logo rotates when loading the homepage. Very nice in itself, but it runs very fast.
- On the Studio page they show pictures of the studio, but they go very fast and you can’t click through them yourself. A carousel would be nice here.
- The menu button for the restaurant’s menu can be a bit lost due to the color and because it is in a photo.
In the words of the owner: “We are a small webshop that sells climate-friendly and ecological stationery. We have now started small but have a lot of ambition to design and produce even more products!”. Paperleaves so sells things like notebooks, stickers, bookmarks, prints and more. Everything is made from recyclable materials and can be personalized.
- First impression. Here too, a photo is used on the homepage that conveys the vibe of the company. It also immediately shows some products and you are immediately referred to the shop.
- Corporate identity. A minimalistic modern house style with neutral colours. The corporate identity is based on the products that the company sells. This is strong because it is consistent and can give you an idea of what it will look like without even looking at the product.
- responsive. The website is usable on mobile.
- legibility. A legible font is used. The text lines are not too long, making them easy to read.
- The website does not scale well on tablet format. The logo at the bottom overlaps parts and the grid is no longer completely correct, so some parts that should be centered have shifted slightly to the right.
- The category section has a photo as the background, the text of the categories has a color that is too close to the background photo. This ensures that the text is not legible.
4. Botanical Bright
Botanical Bright is a webshop that sells pins, prints, stickers and jewelry in a botanical theme. The idea behind the webshop is that wearing such a small pin, sticker or piece of jewelry brings positivity into your life. The company’s slogan is therefore “adding a little beauty to your everyday”. Every product has a story with a meaning of the illustrated flower, animal, insect or plant.
- Corporate identity. The corporate identity of the website is very simple and legible.
- responsive. The website scales well and works fine on both mobile and desktop.
- Photos. All products have two product photos that you can switch by hovering over them.
- Menu. All categories are in the menu above. The footer contains the about, blog and contact pages.
- The corporate identity is very different from the product. It would make it more personal if the corporate identity of the product would be reflected on the website. The house style of the product is playful and romantic with calligraphic letters and juicy colours.
- Here too, the logo is very busy and in small format it is not easy to read and recognize.
Lok. was founded by Beau because she was looking for the perfect clamp for her hair type for a long time. Because she couldn’t find these, she decided to make them from a durable and beautiful material that also makes glasses.
- First impression. The product is immediately displayed beautifully on the homepage with the CTA Order now. It is also a carousel, because there is another picture of how the clamp is worn.
- home page. The homepage has everything you need. An excerpt from the About page, products, core values and socials.
- Corporate identity. Very warm and modern. The colors are soft and these are also reflected in the product photography.
- responsive. The website is beautifully rendered on all scales. The mobile version also has a nice hamburger menu, which has handled all the options well.
- Text in the footer is a bit lost due to little contrast.
- Text on photos can sometimes not be read due to colors in photos.
- The review stars are dummies. It looks clickable, but it isn’t. It would be nice if a click on this would immediately redirect you to the reviews of the product. Now the only option is to see all reviews on the homepage.
6. Companion Beer
Companion Beer is a brewery founded by two friends. It started with a number of beers and has quickly grown into a unique brewery that has won multiple awards, including “best beer of the netherlands 2017”. In addition, Kompaan is often drunk at major festivals.
- Zero state. The website’s zero state is the question “Are you old enough to drink?” If you click “yes” you will go to the homepage, if you click “no” you will be sent to Google.
- Pop up. You will immediately receive a pop-up containing the calendar. This makes it easy to reserve a table in the brewery. This pop-up returns to the home page and the beer bar page.
- Corporate identity. The website has a cool house style with high contrasts. The main colors are black and white. The labels of the beer itself are provided with illustrations with the same appearance as the website.
- Responsive. The website scales well.
- The pop-up for the reservation is already over the zero state, this should not be possible because I have not indicated that I am old enough.
- At the shop, the photos of the products are superimposed on the price.
More than an online business card
Every company, small or large, should be represented online through a good website. This is not just your online business card that helps to create and/or maintain a professional appearance. It also helps in acquiring new customers, increasing brand awareness and making your company known in the marketplace.
The companies on this list prove that it is also possible to create a unique web design without huge budgets. Is your favorite SME’s website missing from this list? Leave a comment below this article with the website and what makes this website so unique.
Source: Frankwatching by www.frankwatching.com.
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