I'm thinking the blog should actually be on the home page, and not buried somewhere. It's the most "alive" content a "web application" site has. For example, blogging on how to use to use the web app may instantly engage potential users to ask questions, leave comments, etc. The traditional home page is lame.
Unconvinced that laying out pricing is always the best model, particularly for enterprise software that will be 1) big-ticket and 2) have a high degree of variation from client to client. In this circumstance, the web site should sell the dream, and encourage a next steps conversation.
That said, if you are offering a free trial, offering pricing is exactly what you should do, because you're jumping straight into the depths of a (probably individual) sales process, and whenever someone signs up for something free, I think it's good policy to tell them how much it will cost to keep it (or upgrade to the useful edition or whatever)
As for making the blog the home page, that's an interesting idea, but one needs to then ensure that the message you want to get out to potential customers is somehow captured in the blog. Often, having a blog as the home page can be a mistake as there is little consistency in the message and it puts the burden on the customer to figure out what you're about.
Dynamicness can be generated by the blog, but perhaps a simple "here's what's new" widget on the home page is sufficient.
Point well taken on the comments for pricing. Disclosing pricing does only make sense for lower-priced products (that are less complicated).
I'd also argue that those with higher priced products (enterprise software) rely less on their website to drive sales. They generally can afford sales staff to get deals done.
The article was intended more for startups attempting to drive sales through the online channel.
In any case, I agree with the point on pricing. Duly noted.
For high priced products (or complex products), you can offer a low end price... "i.e. Startup costs can be as low as $10,000." Or somesuch.
The ten points are great but the ensuing discussion on pricing is awesome. What blog comments should be all about.
I agree with the conclusion. Big ticket items, don't post exact prices but ranges are good.
Great points on a web site - it's all the things I look for.
Definitely price. If it's a high priced item find some way for me to know that early on. A user (me anyway) is always considering how much more time to spend on your site. If it takes a while to figure out I've wasted my time because the price is out of my range I'm frustrated.
Re. having the blog as the front page, I like this approach too, but there is something to be said for having certain info readily available, as one previous commenter said. To resolve that situation, simply make the main or "home" post sticky, so it always sits on top, and allow other content to show up underneath.
I see a difference between "web application" sites and company "brochure" sites. That's why I suggested a blog home page but I can see how it can become confusing as well, if not done right. One of my favorate webApp sites is 37signals.com. It clearly leads you to the blog for interaction, and forgoes the brochure-type site menu bar at the top which mostly serves one-way communication. That site works for me.
To generalize "startup websites that work" may not be too prudent. The pricing discussion here clearly demonstrates that too.
May I ask who designed the HubSpot site?
I would be great to see some examples of websites that fall into the "startup that work" category that you describe in your post. Give us some please!
All your tips are good, it's true.
But in my opinion, you can do anything you want on your website, if it has a poor design, if colors are awful, if standards are not respected, ... your tips will be useless.
What do you think about this website http://www.365jobsearch.com. Seems like a wierd name for a job site.
365jobsearch.com sound good for a job site name. It's not the name that matters but getting jobseekers and employers. Look at monster.com the name says nothing about jobs but the have lots of jobs. It's all about marketing.
365jobsearch.com is just a startup site. It just started up earlier this year. I know the owner. Just give it time and I am sure it will become a popular site like the others.
http://www.365jobsearch.com a good site all they need
to market. Very user friendly, needs to work on homepage. Let's see how they do in a year.
Thanks for the Link Michael
thanks for your tips guys. well my problem is that im ugandan, computers arent much of a thing for most people. What does one have to do to survive in a world where technology flies as fast as a Ferrari and yet it always seems easier for the big companies to do almost anything
'Who's behind it' seems quite weird) Having some experience as a customer, I can assure you: i don't give a damn who's behind it)
But still, all tips are quite useful)
Nice article, keep up the good work. :)
nice place for startup companies to get exposed is http://www.eesycheesy.com
Purchase your hosting and domain with the greatest site ever ;-)
i am in a real mess, my guy has left that handled my website, and i have no idea about such
anyone out there that can help me?
my website goes to china in china google and that is how i run my company help
Great article! Exactly the kind of thing we at Startups Guides like to promote.
I find often Start-ups don't actually realise that their new websites aren't up to the job. I am aiming to try and help inform them *before* they go out and get some numpty off the street to build them a naff site.
They simply need a helping hand. :)
Many thanks for the tips