25 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs and Startups
If you’ve been searching for the best business websites, chances are you’ve turned up the same selection of giant industry and finance news sites time and time again.
While Forbes, Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal are the big players for business news, there are lots of lesser known gems out there.
So, we thought it’d be more useful to bring you a collection of the very best sites from all the key areas of contemporary business: from sales to marketing, social media to eCommerce.
Consider this your startup starter-kit – a handy guide to those specialist websites where you can find invaluable practical advice, digital tools and insider knowledge from practitioners who are bona fide experts in their respective fields…
There are a huge number of websites dedicated to providing information on startups and entrepreneurship, but what makes Funders and Founders stand out is the way in which they present all this knowledge.
You see, all of the material on F&F is presented visually, through the use of impeccably designed infographics.
Through their site you can also access their tool, Adioma, to make your own graphics, and see some of the exceptional visuals Funders and Founders have produced professionally for their clients.
Even if you don’t need your own infographics made though, it’s more than worth visiting just to browse the existing collection – showing off everything from tech salary guides to how the biggest companies got started.
If you’re looking for startup advice, it stands to reason that you’d want to ask someone who’s already made a success of it themselves.
That’s where Dharmesh Shan comes in: the young entrepreneur launched his own software startup at 24, going on to win numerous awards, generate substantial revenue and ultimately sell the business in a multi-million dollar deal.
At OnStartups, you can benefit from his insight into what makes a software startup succeed. The blog provides not only lessons from Shan’s own experiences, but valuable industry research and case studies too.
It should go without saying that business and technology go hand in hand, which is what makes Ars Technica such a valuable resource.
Founded in 1998, this is a tech news site pitched at technology experts and professionals, providing in-depth yet accessible coverage of the latest trends, software releases and pretty much everything else from within the tech sphere.
Simply put, if you’re interested in keeping up to date with the latest developments in the world of technology and science (and how these might affect industry), Ars Technica is your go-to source.
It would be incredibly obvious to direct a new business towards WordPress.com, so instead we’ll point you in the direction of the great minds behind it…
As well creating the giant free blogging service, web developers Automattic are responsible for a number of products that are near essential for anyone launching their own website (another of which we’ll discuss later in the list).
If you’re at the point of launching the online aspect of your business, there’s a high chance you’ll find something of use (if not outright necessity) by stopping by the Automattic site and browsing their wares.
Shopify is one of the largest eCommerce platforms around today, so their website is already a likely pit-stop for anyone looking to set up online transactions for their own business.
Just as helpful as the service itself though, is the site’s blog section – home to a rich variety of articles on eCommerce, online business and just retail in general.
Whether you’re just seeking inspiration, or practical help to guide you through the process of establishing an online presence, it’s highly probable that Shopify has the answers you’re looking for.
Web design is an often overlooked yet absolutely essential consideration for any new business setting themselves up online.
Designmodo is a fantastic source of material on all things design-related, whether you’re a web design amateur or an experienced professional – and it’s conveniently searchable if you’re looking for help with a specific technical issue or likewise.
With everything from practical tutorials, design inspiration, coding help, WordPress guides and much more, this site is a great aide for designers, developers or anyone who just wants to know their UX from their UI.
As you might expect, the Small Business Administration knows a thing or two about helping fledgling companies get a foothold in the marketplace.
The US government agency provides support to the nation’s small businesses, but their website contains a heap of advice for international visitors too.
With an emphasis on helping businesses establish themselves and achieve economic stability, many of the articles on the SBA site offer timely lessons about financial prudence that are unfortunately too often ignored.
Another niche website for developers, Stack Overflow is an excellent destination for anyone having coding or programming issues.
The reason? You can post any coding-related question, and it’ll likely be answered within minutes by the site’s 6.9 million strong community of experienced programmers.
Irrespective of how basic or technical your query is, the highly active network on Stack Overflow means you won’t be waiting long for a response, and more often than not it will provide just the solution you’re looking for.
American seed funding company Y Combinator has been recognised by Fortune as “a spawning ground for emerging tech giants” – as such, their website provides an intriguing look into the world of startup accelerators.
Maybe you’ve got questions about how the process of seed funding works, or wish to take a look at YC’s extensive research as featured on their blog – there’s a wealth of startup-based knowledge available here.
You can also visit the Hacker News forum for a curated selection of recent articles from around the web submitted for discussion by the YC community.
As one of the most popular template-based website builders, Wix.com is naturally a good source of web design help.
Regardless of whether or not you’re planning on using their (very intuitive) web builder, the sites collection of practical advice on web design and related subjects is staggering.
Aside from the expected tutorials on using the Wix platform itself, there’s also a multitude of posts on SEO, social media, email marketing, online advertising, eCommerce and even art and photography!
An award-winning author and keynote speaker, Solis’ blog is home to countless articles offering his up-to-the-minute insights on new and emerging trends in business, marketing, tech and more.
There’s a reason Solis is part of a select group of invite-only Linkedin influencers: because his publications and reports are at the forefront of contemporary business analysis.
We’ve talked about websites where you can have your coding questions answered by experts, but what about one that can teach you to do it yourself?
Codecademy aims to do just that, by providing its users with access to free, online lessons in coding. Their interactive lessons are custom-built for online learning, and subjects include coding languages, tools, APIs and data analytics.
Basically, if you’re tired of relying on expert programmers, or even just want to gain an understanding of the fundamentals to apply to your own website, then Codecademy is a great way of enhancing your web skills.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is something that all businesses must become familiar with if they want to maximise their online operations.
Luckily, the SEO blog from marketing tool provider Ahrefs is here to help, with hundreds of posts on the subject – thoroughly researched, expertly written and neatly categorised for your convenience.
Almost everything featured on the Ahrefs blog provides step-by-step instructions on improving the SEO of your website. If you’re looking to improve your ranking on Google, this is a great place to start.
There are more marketing blogs out there than you could ever hope to read, but this one from Infusionsoft stands out among the crowd.
The content on Infusionsoft is clearly written and instructive, and covers a number of key areas including digital marketing, PR, advertising, sales, growth and customer service to name but a few.
Articles like the budgeting guide for Facebook ads (pictured above) are a perfect example of the blog’s straightforward and practical style, making it of great use to any small business owner looking to bolster their marketing knowledge.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of ethics in business, which is what makes this blog from the Better Business Bureau (a US non-profit aimed at advancing marketplace trust) so vital.
Although the articles posted here are generally aimed at keeping the public aware of the latest scams and shady business practices, they also serve as a timely reminder to any budding entrepreneur as to what is expected of them, and how to avoid damaging consumer trust.
Not to mention the fact that business owners are invariably consumers too – there’s nobody who doesn’t’ benefit from being warned about a new fraudulent business trend, after all!
As one of the eight largest advertising networks on the planet, it’s something of an understatement to say that Ogilvy & Mather are experts in branding.
This is reflected in the excellent material which they publish on their website, whether that be the variety of individual articles on advertising or the more comprehensive ‘Red Papers’ that are available to download, completely free.
The site is essentially a library of advertising knowledge that you can access at any time – an essential source for anyone who wants to learn more about building their brand.
The Buffer blog is as interesting a case study as it is a great source of informative and entertaining posts.
By targeting their content at key influencers and tailoring it for maximum shares, the popularity of Buffer’s blog (and by extension, their app) exploded – a shining example of content marketing done properly.
That popularity is well deserved too, with Buffer’s articles on social media and online marketing being some of the very best around.
They’ve also now expanded to produce additional blogs on work culture and development (with a fourth, BufferHappiness, coming soon) which unsurprisingly maintain the high standard and massive share-ability of the original.
WooCommerce is the second eCommerce platform to feature on this list, and another website which supplements its main product offering with an incredibly useful and well-maintained blog.
As you’d expect, the bulk of the posts are dedicated to news and advice about conducting online transactions, but there’s also a slew of intriguing customer stories and case studies, not to mention a dedicated section for developers.
As with Shopify, this is an eCommerce blog with universal utility, even if you’re not a user of their highly popular platform.
As one of the largest registrars on the internet, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself on GoDaddy when setting up a website for your business – so while you’re there you might as well benefit from the wealth of advice and support contained within.
From entrepreneurial finance to business planning, the sheer variety of niche topics featured on the GoDaddy blog make it a more than worthy addition to your small business reading list.
Getting the most out of your social media channels can be the difference between success and failure for a lot of online businesses, so Social Media Examiner have made it their mission to assist you in doing just that.
Maximising engagement on your posts, targeting Twitter ads, choosing a live video platform – these are just a few examples of potentially tricky social media dilemmas that Social Media Examiner can help you with.
Of particular interest is their annual social media marketing industry report, which provides key insights into the latest social media trends and is available free from the site.
Another website which publishes resources for designers and developers, Smashing Magazine is noteworthy for multiple reasons.
Firstly, its one of the most active and popular publishers of this kind of content, so there’s an endless stream of articles and books (both physical and electronic) addressing every aspect of web development and design.
As an added bonus though, it’s also one of the best places to go to find developers for hire – especially valuable for small businesses on a tight budget.
Our last design focused site to appear on this list, Awwwards (as the name suggests) is a competition body recognising the very best in web design.
If you’re just starting out online, it’s worth visiting for inspiration alone. Or, if you’re particularly pleased with your own site’s design, submitting it here could result in some welcome exposure for your business.
Unsurprisingly, the Awwwards website itself is beautifully crafted and easy to navigate, making it exemplary of the very thing which it promotes.
Gaps – so called because the site’s aim is to track online startups to uncover gaps in the market – makes for fascinating reading for any entrepreneur.
The format for Gaps’ reports is simple but brilliant: showcasing an online success story, and then highlighting the potential for the same approach to be used profitably in another niche.
Even if you’re not looking to build on any of the presented business opportunities yourself, the case studies listed on Gaps will give you a unique look into the inner workings of some ingenious startups.
In case you haven’t noticed by this point in the list, but absolutely everyone has a blog these days. Content marketing is now a universal tactic for driving traffic to sites and interest in services.
And what could hammer home this point more than a blog about blogging? Copyblogger are dedicated to “teaching people how to create killer online content” – the kind that will enhance your brand and help build your business.
It’s the most popular blog of its kind, and with good reason: each and every day the site is updated with fresh, original content about the newest trends and strategies in content marketing. There’s no doubt that this is the place to go to keep ahead of the copywriting curve.
If you’re seeking even more helpful resources, our very own Business Toolbox is home to a number of free eBooks and webinars covering a range of business topics, including:
- The Authentic Leadership Guide explains the concept of authentic leadership, providing tips and strategies for putting it into practice, as well as an insider view on leadership from industry experts
- The Power of Disruptive Thinking webinar looks at how disruptive thinking can be used to challenge existing business models, and benefit the contemporary business leader
- Digital Disruption: The Future of the MBA – a chance to catch up with the University of Aberdeen’s Dr Ian Heywood as he outlines the latest trends in MBA study and online executive education.