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Startup by Designmodo review

Say, you’re a startup and want to have an online presence fast. Or, you’re a marketer who wants a website for a new project – fast. Lastly, you’re graduating from a single-page, business card-like presence and want a website that can fulfill many tasks. In all 3 cases, you value convenience and speed as well as design. Enter Startup by Designmodo.

Startup‘s is a drag-and-drop builder (ok, sounds pretty standard) based on the frontend open source framework Bootstrap. Bootstrap is a very popular frontend toolkit and it makes life for web developers very easy. For non-web developers, frontend means all the things you see and can interact with. Knowing now how Startup is based on Bootstrap, you know that you’ll get a mobile-first website.

You may remember Slides5 that focused solely on building one-pagers. Startup is made by the same company, a team of designers and developers. And with Startup, Designmodo wants to please developers, designers, and companies alike.

Pros and cons of Startup

Like many website builders, Startup too is browser-based and can be had for a monthly subscription. But, it’s not your run-of-the-mill website builder in that it gives you also all the plumbing (that is the backend), also known as the smarts so that everything is constantly updated.

This means it’s not what is commonly considered a content management system but a generator that will give you clean and understandable HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code. Similar to Slides5, Startup is used by household names such as Google, Microsoft, Adobe, and Disney.


  • Very intuitive user interface
  • It very fast and has almost no loading times
  • Get your ideas out of your head and build the pages you want in almost no-time
  • It’s based on the Bootstrap framework, so all blocks are mobile-ready
  • The blocks are well-designed
  • A large library of blocks, animation, styles


  • You need to have basic knowledge of web development

Who is Startup for?

As a code generator, Startup will help you quickly design or mock up your website. This means, you still all the logic, smarts, plumbing, and general infrastructure, in short, the backend, for running a website. Once you put together your website design, you have to export the files and upload them to your server and make the frontend work with your backend.

This means you need to have a basic understanding of web development or are willing to learn. Then, you also need to know about your backend – the smarts – or have a programmer at hand to put it all together. When you export the files, Startup will give you all the code, HTML, CSS, and Javascript, needed for your frontend.

How easy is Startup to use?

You don’t even need to create an account to start designing your website. You can start for free and are taken directly to the editor. Of course, if you want to export the code, you need an account.

Don’t let the blank canvas scare you

Startup takes a different approach to building the pages of your website. Instead of selecting a theme and then working on it, you start with a blank canvas. Startup is a drag-and-drop generator equipped with more than 300 ready-to-use building blocks. You build your pages by dragging and dropping them from the sidebar into the canvas.

Drag and drop the blocks into your page

The editor is easy to learn, navigate, and to use. It’s really a good tool to think up new design ideas. Once you have completed designing all your pages, you export the code containing HTML, CSS, JS, images, etc and if need be, customise them. Of course, for this task, you need to have a basic understanding of web development. When you’ve completed customising, you upload everything to your server and make it work with your backend.

Startup design

For different parts of your page such as header, navigations, forms, and more, you’ll find a number of blocks that you can use to build up the pages of your site. As Startup is based on the framework Bootstrap, you can rely on them being mobile-optimised. The blocks themselves are well designed and modern, even catchy.

How to manage your ecommerce store in Startup?

Startup gives you all the files you need for your frontend, but you need to add a shopping cart solution to your site yourself. You can do this for example with an Ecwid widget and then manage your store within the dashboard of Ecwid.

Startup integrations

Similarly to including a shopping cart to your Startup website, if you know how to code, you add custom code and so add any service or product that offers embedded code or a widget.

What marketing and SEO tools does Startup have?

Since you get all the files for the frontend, it’s your responsibility to take care of adding any metadata needed.


This also means you’re responsible for adding any tracking and analytics you want.


Startup is a static website generator and not a content management system, so blogging is not within the scope.

Payment options

Shopping cart software normally includes a range of payment gateways. For example, if you use Ecwid, you add a few lines to the code and Ecwid takes care of the rest.

Startup security

Make sure that your hoster is reliable as you and they are going to be taking care of everything related to maintenance and security. As a static file generator, it doesn’t fall into the scope of Startup.

Startup customer support

If you’re subscribed to a paid plan, you get priority support. You can chat with the support team 24/7. The team usually replies in a day. You can also find answers in the searchable knowledge base.


Including the free plan, you can choose between 3 plans. You need a paid plan so that you can export all the files of your website.

Current pricing of Startup

Is Startup the right tool for you?

Don’t confuse Startup with the conventional website builders that do everything and cater to everything. Startup caters to a very specific need of developers, designers, and also companies who want to quickly get the designs in their heads out and as perfectly coded web pages. Especially for developers, or teams that have developers who then can make the frontend work together with a maybe already existing backend, Startup shines.

Startup is also a solid option if your website doesn’t need a blog or any dynamically updated content but still has more than one page. In both cases, you’ll get mobile-ready, clean, and understandable code that you can work on to further enhance your site.

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