November 29, 2022

How to Build a B2B SaaS Website

How to Build a B2B SaaS Website

Okay, so you've decided to build a B2B SaaS website. That's great! So how should you get started?  There are six important steps you need to take in order to lay a good foundation for your website. You'll need buy a domain name, build a homepage, set up a blog, set up a database, build a web application, set up authentication, and set up a deployment system. Let's do this!

1. Buy a Domain Name

Buying a domain name is the very first step when building your B2B SaaS website. Typically, this step is done before you even decide on what the company name is, because you'll want your domain name to match your company name, and you'll want to be sure that a domain that you like is available. The best places to find a domain name are GoDaddy, BrandPa, and Namecheap. I personally have bought well over a hundred domain names over the last decade, so this is part of the journey I am quite familiar with. I usually start by searching for available domain names on GoDaddy first. Most of the time, the domain names that you try will be unavailable, but GoDaddy has a pretty good alternate domain name recommendation engine, and it is also the most common place where people sell their domains, so you can often times buy domains owned by other people right from the website.

If possible, you should try and get a .com extension, because it's still king. The public trusts this domain extension more than any other. A good B2B SaaS domain name will have the following characteristics:

  • Between one and three syllables
  • Made up of dictionary words
  • Memorable
  • Unique
  • Easy to spell
  • Easy to say
  • Tone should be professional and trustworthy

That's no easy feat! A really good .com domain can cost you anywhere between $1,000 and $1,000,000. If you're having trouble finding a good domain name, this might be a good time to head over to BrandPa and search for domain names that people are selling. You can usually find some good domain names anywhere between $2,000 and $6,000. I personally have purchased several domains from them.

So what should you do if there's a specific domain name that you like, but you are unable to get the .com? You might consider different extensions that are somewhat popular these days. These include .dev, .io, .ai, .so, and .co. Interestingly, back in the early 2000s, .net was gaining popularity. However, recently I haven't noticed many modern startups using .net. If you are really set on a specific unique domain name, and none of these extensions are available, this is where you can turn to Namecheap as a last resort. They have even more domain extensions available. Be patient. In my personal experience, it can take days, if not weeks, to find a really good domain name. Just keep at it!

2. Build a Home Page

The next step in building your B2B SaaS website is the home page. What is the purpose of a home page? The home page serves as the face of your company. It is the front door. The home page should clearly communicate your value proposition, quickly help visitors decide if they are the right person to be using your product, and then convert them to a user via a waitlist signup page, or an account signup page.

So what are some ways that people build home pages? Most companies either build a home page themselves with code, or use a no-code home page builder like Webflow, Carrd, Wix, Squarespace, or Wordpress. If you look at most early stage B2B SaaS companies today, you'll see that most home pages are built with Gatsby if you want complete control of the source code, or Webflow if you want to take the no-code route. Carrd is an excellent simple landing page builder, but for B2B SaaS applications you'll definitely want a blog, and thus a CMS, which Carrd does not support. Personally, I have built at least a couple dozen home pages in my lifetime with both code and no-code, and Webflow is the clear winner in my opinion. With a massive ecosystem of pre-built templates, a solid CMS (content management system), and a world-class no-code designer to make adjustments, it is unmatched.

3. Set Up a Blog

Okay, so you've built a front door. Now you need visitors. How will they find you? The most cost efficient, scalable strategy to bring visitors to your website is to provide free valuable content that people can discover from Google searches. Leveraging SEO (search engine optimization) this way is the key to most B2B SaaS inbound marketing strategies.

What kind of content should you create? To answer this question, you need to figure out who your ICP (ideal customer profile) is, and what they will be searching for on Google. You'll need to produce content that matches those Google queries, and then has a clear connection to your product after those visitors have consumed the free content. As an example, let's say that you have a B2B SaaS product that provides load testing for your customer's web applications. Your ICP will likely be a technical individual contributor who has been tasked with improving site reliability, perhaps in preparation for an upcoming press release or launch. This person will likely conduct Google searches like "how to improve site reliability" or "best site reliability tools". If you write really high quality articles that match those queries, then this person may find and consume your free content from Google. At the end of the articles that you write, you can introduce your product as a quick and cost effective solution to the problem, and get signups that way. In order for this to all work, it is critical that the SEO on these pages is very good.

Now that we have a clear understanding of what the outcomes are, how should you go about building your blog? Very few people these days build a blog and CMS themselves with code, because platforms like Webflow and Wordpress have made it very easy to get started. As mentioned in the last section, Webflow's CMS is unmatched, and it is a much more modern approach to blogging vs Wordpress. Thus, I also recommend using Webflow for your blogging needs. In fact, did you know that both the home page and blog for this website is built with Webflow? It is!

Be sure to add the Google Analytics code snippet to the custom code section in the Webflow project settings to track page metrics. Also, you should set up Google Search Console to track SEO page ranking of your webpages. I would also recommend using Ping-O-Matic every time you publish a new blog post in order to notify search engines that your blog has updated.

Make sure that your home page, blog, and other marketing pages are all on your root domain. For example, points to my homepage, and points to my blog. These two destinations are on the same domain, and thus all of the domain authority built up from the blog will also apply to the home page and marketing pages. It would be disadvantageous to put your blog on a subdomain like because Google sees subdomains as completely different properties, and thus the domain authority you built up for your sub domain will not apply to the root domain.

4. Set Up a Database

At this stage, you've set up a home page and a blog. Congratulations! You now have the foundation for an inbound marketing machine. Visitors will start to trickle in. Before you begin building your web application, you will need to decide on what kind of database to set up in order to store web application data, like user information or data specific to your business. When it comes to databases, there is no mainstream standard. No-code centric databases like Airtable (relational), Supabase (relational), and Firebase (key value store) are pretty popular because they are incredibly easy to set up, integrate, and maintain. Databases designed for higher volumes are more common though, like AWS Aurora (relational) or AWS DynamoDB (key value store).

So which of these should you choose? Or should you use multiple? Most B2B SaaS web applications will use a relational database of some kind in order to query tables to get specific information without data replication. For example, you may have a Users table, a Features table, and a UserPermissions table, that you want to query in order to know what features are available to a user based on their permissions. However, at high volumes, sometimes relational database queries can get slow or expensive. If on the other hand, you want to store and retrieve unstructured data, and read write performance is critical, you might consider a key value store database instead. Other names for key value store databases are NoSQL or unstructured databases. If you are unsure which one to choose, I would recommend starting with a relational database.

5. Build a Web Application

Now it is time to build the meat of your website, which is the web application. Typical B2B SaaS web applications consist of a signup page, login page, user permissions page, security page, billing page, etc. If you are using Webflow for your homepage and blog (highly recommended), you'll need to use a subdomain for your web application. Typically you will see B2B SaaS web applications use the "app" subdomain, for example

Great! So now how will you build it? Although there are a handful of no-code web application builders available like Bubble, Softr, or WeWeb, these platforms aren't quite ready to support a mature B2B SaaS company. If you look at B2B SaaS companies today, you'll find that nearly 100% of them are built with code.  Until recently, most modern B2B SaaS web applications are built with React and Express with SSR (server side rendering). Today, most modern B2B SaaS web applications are built with Next.js. Next.js is a superb choice for building modern B2B SaaS web applications because it is a layer built on top of React and is designed specifically for performance by utilizing SSR and edge functions.

6. Set Up Authentication

Next, you'll need to decide how users should be authenticated. In general, you have two paths you can take. You can use a free open source authentication framework, or you can pay to use an authentication platform. NextAuth is a free open source framework that can serve your customers whether they are startups, mid-sized companies, or enterprises. It supports email and password authentication, as well as many OAuth providers like Google, Twitter, and Github. NextAuth only provides the plumbing and APIs, so you'll need to build the authentication UI and manage user databases. If you want everything that NextAuth provides but are also willing to pay for a vendor to manage your user database and information, you could use an authentication platform like Auth0. If you prefer to be completely hands off and use a vendor that provides everything including UI, you might want to check out a premium authentication platform like Stytch, which also supports pass codes and magic links.

7. Set Up a Deployment System

At this point, you now have a functional web application ready for production. Time to launch! Many modern B2B SaaS companies host their applications on AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and some companies host on Google Cloud. More recently, a lot of newer B2B SaaS companies have been deploying their Next.js applications on Vercel. Vercel is a deployment company built by the creator of Next.js, and it is a layer on top of AWS. Vercel enables you to deploy your Next.js web application around the world to a network of edge servers like magic. Instead of spending a weekend configuring AWS and countless hours maintaining your own EC2 instances and Lambda functions, you can spin up infrastructure and deploy with Vercel in just minutes. Best of all, it is incredibly inexpensive to get started (just $20/seat/month).


Nice work! You're now ready to go forth and build the next unicorn B2B SaaS company. Good luck!