08 Sep 2016

How To Get A Modern Design For Your Startup On A Budget

How To Get A Modern Design For Your Startup On A Budget

Hey everyone, I hope you had a great vacation! This article came a week late due to lack of time.

So, if you have done any qualitative analysis (aka watching how visitors interact with your website) you will have seen that most people have a quick overall look, maybe spend a couple minutes on something that catches their attention and then they either sign up or leave.

What this tells us is that at least in the SaaS industry, people mostly look at the overall “feel” of the company and if it presses their buttons they sign up. If not, they bounce.

Of course you have to pay attention to everything, but you don’t have to micro-manage every little detail of your site, because the vast majority of your visitors won’t see it.

In this article, we will see how to easily step up a great design, in no time and within budget without being a designer!

The Importance Of Conversion Optimized Design

First of all, I want to outline what you can expect from a nice, modern design, why it matters and some examples.

If you have an outdated web design, most of the time a good redesign can significantly increase your conversion rate without doing anything else.


Because now people that visit your site will see a company (and possibly a product too) that has a professional UI and UX and this will provide them with a nice experience.

On top of that, based on Cialdini’s social proof principle, if your website has a high quality design, visitors will assume your business is of high quality as well, including product, support, etc.

While it’s important that visitors have a pleasant experience, we want them to convert as well. In order for a website to be conversion optimized I like to follow some simple principles:

I) Build it on WordPress and use a high quality WordPress theme from ThemeForest.

II) Err on the safe side and don’t do anything wildly custom. Just use the theme’s default layout and make a few changes on top of that.

III) Your homepage must have at least 3 CTAs that stand out: one in the top, one at the end and one in the middle.

IV) In the future, if you want to optimize your website further for conversions you can do more advanced stuff, like videos, customer testimonials on video etc, but I like to start simple.

Now that we have covered the importance of design, let’s see how to achieve that while staying within budget.

How To Have A Modern And Stylish Blog

Psychology tells us that dressing something (or someone) nicely instinctively raises the perceived value of that thing or person (Halo effect).

Based on that, having a stylish blog makes visitors value your content more.

And if they think that your content is great, based on the social proof principle from before, they will also think that your business and product are great too.

So, they will be more likely to check them out and end up converting.

As I have said in the past, get a WordpPress site and a WordPress blog, it will save you tons of headaches down the road.

Then go to Themeforest, search for keywords around your business, find a well reviewed and good looking theme, buy it and install it.

Once installed, tweak it to your needs and do a few custom edits if needed.

Voila! Now you have a modern and professional blog in hours, for less than $100.

Having a good looking site of course is not enough. The UI/UX and general appeal of your product has to fit that too…

How To Have A Well Designed SaaS Without Breaking The Bank

Did you know that some software purchasers pay a lot of attention to a product’s feel and design?

This means that if after you have established yourself in the market, a competitor comes in with a better design and a similar product, they will probably get some market share based only on this…

To avoid this you need to set the foundation right early on, because if your product becomes mature, its redesign will be a huge project to complete.

By the way, have you noticed that a lot of SaaS have similar designs?

This is due to either having the same designer or using a template.

And as with most things, the way to get a good head start without breaking the bank is by using a template…. An admin template to be exact.

Of course a developer will have to set it up and it might be a menial task for a developer, but it shouldn’t take more than 1-2 workdays. Personally, I really like Metronic.

Now when you add a new feature it will be easy to set it up using this template.

How To Have Professionaly Designed Case Studies And eBooks

And lastly, having well designed case studies and ebooks will both increase their opt in rate and the perceived value of their content.

There are 2 ways to crack this without breaking the bank:

I) Use something like Fiverr to get a cover photo and put the rest as a PDF


II) Use Beacon. Beacon has templates already in it and I use whichever one fits my purposes. I then paste the content in there and done!

I have only recently started using Beacon, but I find it really cool. As the product evolves and adds more templates for different uses it will get even better.

Is A Redesign Important?

Now, what if you are a mature company, set in your ways and changing your design becomes a huge challenge?

Unfortunately the answer is not that clear…

In most cases, redesigning your website and making it modern will increase your conversions.

However, if you are targeting a very specific demographic that prefers an old-school, simple design or you are in an industry like Finance, it might make sense to stick to your guns.

In any way, if you want to go ahead and do a redesign regardless, make sure to be prepared to compare it with the previous design and if most of your metrics drop, call it a flop and bring back the old design. This rarely happens though…


To sum it up, if you need a nice design for something always look for templates first, because chances are other people had the same problem before you and someone solved it for them.

If you don’t know the name of the template of what you are searching, ask at Quora.

Psychology tells us that design is important and an old experiment of mine showed that a professional template will make your company look big, even if it’s just you.

What’s your experience with design at your company?

P.S. Stay tuned for the article-interview that’s coming out with one of my subscribers on NPS. I guarantee you it will be the best article you ever read on Net Promoter Score. Coming out in 2 weeks…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *