One of the best tools available to entrepreneurs of all stages and ages is the ability to create a professional website. For founders based in New York City, the option to launch a .NYC website gives New Yorkers an official way to own their own identity online and establish a stronger Internet presence.
New York City is the place where success takes many shapes and where there are infinite ways to dream big. If you work or reside here, you do so for a reason. .nyc is the official web address of New Yorkers. Now, your business, organization or idea will have a powerful way to use your location as proof of your value and success. Any person, business, or organization with a physical address within the five boroughs can register a .nyc address.
A professionally-designed small business website and domain will encourage potential customers to learn more about your product or service and, with proper local search engine optimization, can help you reach your target audience. To recap:
- A professional web domain
- a user-friendly and well-designed site,
- and SEO.
You now know the three main ingredients to launching a business website, but where do you start? The key is to take cues from other established websites and figure out what works–and what doesn’t–for your brand. Here is a portfolio of some of the best .NYC websites to help inspire you as you build your online brand.
Balancing Tone & Voice: This bakery specializes in French breads and pastries in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. Its homepage instantly portrays the old-world aesthetic of small-batch baking, with flour sprinkled across a countertop filled with basic cooking tools. The photos and layout are formal, showing they take the art of bread baking seriously. A quick scroll down highlights what makes its location so special: “Our store had been a print shop for more than half a century before again becoming a bakery.”
It also strategically and meaningfully incorporates video into its multimedia, as it presents a video of the old print press the the owners saved. “It was still working when we unplugged it last fall! What do you think? Should we plug it back in and print our menus ourselves? It's a shame this awesome old technology doesn't do croissants!” The text adds a dash of personality to the small business website, giving the small business bakery a soul.
Vibrant Colors = Welcoming: T.W.I.N. (That’s What I Need) is a twin-owned company focused on making good products, honestly. Founders Isabella and Alicia Serrani are from Toronto but run the business in New York City, the fashion capital. The logo and website are just as colorful as its clothing pieces, which include a bestselling puffer jacket and scarf blanket. The featured items are bordered by a thin frame of red, blue, green, and yellow on a white background. The same colors are incorporated into the logo. The fun array signifies it is a dynamic fashion line that is inclusive and welcoming to shoppers of all backgrounds and sizes.
“This collection is full of different personalities. But what unites them all is the continued commitment to sustainable practices and inclusivity,” states the website.
Equally important is the website is efficient as it is aesthetic, as it is easy to navigate with a top menu bar that breaks down all the clothing categories, from dresses to outerwear.
Also on the homepage is how it is committed to sustainability, from using natural fibers to utilizing sustainable packaging.
Incorporating Video: SITU describes itself as an unconventional architecture practice based at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It was founded in 2005 by four friends studying architecture at the Cooper Union.
“We use design, research and fabrication for creative and social impact,” it states on its website, SITU.nyc.
Its website is also unconventional and steers toward the cutting edge of design. A clean homepage with a large hero image, quickly animates to video of the team at work and its bustling headquarters. It’s a fantastic use of moving imagery for a homepage that loads instantly.
The website also serves as a professional portfolio of the firm’s past works, which looks like a glimpse into the future of urban design. The team worked on a Bay Area Tech Campus, comprised of four buildings interconnected by indoor walkways. “The workspace design prioritizes user adaptability, offering a system of modular power, data-integration and acoustic/visual screens to enable teams to reconfigure their own environments.”
SITU also showcases how it contributed to the development of the Little Island Landscape Seating. “We designed and built seating amenities across Little Island that contribute to the park’s distinctive character.”
Be Bold, and Be Informative: Sleeves Up Productions is a creative production company based in New York City. The homepage is set on a black background, allowing the bold text and video portfolios to take center stage.
Just as important as its homepage is its Method tab in the menu bar, which succinctly yet transparently describes what the company does and how.
“We write, shoot, and edit videos for any screen,” founder Erika Kramer writes on the website. “Whether you need a 15-second ad spot or a two hour feature length film, we can make it happen.”
She and her team have 10+ years of experience in creating both scripted and unscripted content, able to produce engaging and effective video content for any platform from start to finish.
While portfolios, menus and methodologies, providing some context for the founding story could be key to setting your business apart. That’s why the founding producer takes time to share her entrepreneurial journey, and ends her story by weaving in her connection to NYC: “Kramer was born and raised in the Bay Area, but ditched the calm serenity to embrace the enchantment, chaos and discomfort of Manhattan.”
When Minimalism Takes You the Extra Mile: Superegg, meanwhile, states its NYC roots upfront: “Superegg hatched in NYC.” The premium vegan skincare line’s website design is clean and minimalist, just like its ingredients. The layout expertly spaces out text describing how it is committed to vegan, plant-based and sustainable beauty. The images are large yet the content is light and simple, resulting in a website that is easy to navigate and digest.
But for any type of ecommerce business, more important than design and beauty is making sure the user experience is seamless and efficient. Its Shop page features its main products, and call-to-action purchase buttons. It offers many payment methods, including Klarna, Google Pay and PayPal. It even allows for subscriptions, which gives the business the opportunity for steady revenue streams and to build an ongoing relationship with the customer.
Last but not least, the founder’s story further delves into what makes Superegg a NYC brand: “Erica Choi is the founder of SUPEREGG and a NY-licensed esthetician. As the leading lifestyle influencer behind Egg Canvas and the former VP of Digital Design of Barneys New York, she has worked over a decade partnering with renowned brands in the luxury fashion, beauty, and the hospitality industry.” Any founder that can survive in the fashion and beauty capital of the world can indeed thrive in the world of online sales.
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