With 94% of people citing bad design as the main reason they don’t trust a website, you can’t afford to get stuck with just an average designer. We ranked the best web design companies with the help of our custom methodology. Scroll down to discover the most reputable choices along with insightful tips on what to look for in a web designer, and a simple guide that takes the guesswork out of the selection process.
How to Choose One of the Top Web Design Companies
Beyond knowing what to expect from the web designers out there, it’s important to define what you want in order to find the team that will meet those needs and help you accomplish your objectives.
Set Your Goals
Start by outlining your goals. Consider whether you need only a custom design template or you expect more services like development, branding, and promotion. Then focus on the specifics — will the website support your ecommerce efforts or do you need it just for your company’s digital presence? Maybe it’s just for your hobby or to serve as your portfolio? These questions will help with the initial classification of the website design firms.
Consider the Aesthetic of their Work
What’s your first impression when you look at the previous work of the potential agency? Are the websites they’ve created current with trends? Do they function smoothly and have natural flow? Do they have the vibe you’re going for with your site? Make sure to weed out the agencies whose work doesn’t fascinate you because chances are, you won’t like it on your site either.
Read Client Reviews
It’s important to see what the responsive website design companies offer in terms of client history but it’s even more important to learn what those clients actually have to say about working with them. Reviews on directories like Clutch.co, Upcity, Design Contest, and 99designs but also Google and social media can give you valuable insight into the agency’s level of professionalism and reliability. Choosing an outfit that is trusted by the clients is a pretty safe bet and there are greater chances that you will get good value for money.
Define a Budget
Solid web design doesn’t come cheap. So, don’t get deceived by website building companies that offer unreasonably low prices. Define exactly how much you’re willing to invest in a design agency and find a team that can work within that budget frame but still offer exceptional services. Keep in mind that by investing in robust web design you’ll benefit greater and grow your business faster, leaving a lasting impression on your end-users.
Ask About Ongoing Support & Maintenance
At some point, after the website is launched, you’ll need help with some technical issues related to hosting, domain management, and overall functioning of the website. That’s why beyond web design services, the agency should provide ongoing support and maintenance. You need a team that is available round the clock and easy to contact. Also, you will want an agency that maintains the site and keeps it up to date. That said, steer clear of companies that apply hidden costs to these types of services.
Questions to Ask the Web Design Companies You Shortlist
To further help you narrow down your choice, we present you with a list of questions to ask the agencies you are considering hiring.
How will your design help me reach my goals?
Before going further with the negotiations, it’s crucial that you ask the agency about how they can help your business. Take note of their promises — are they promising to “make you a lot of money” without any actual plan in place? This is vague and unrealistic so you shouldn’t go further with that agency. On the other hand, a design team that can devise a real plan centered around providing responsive website design service and takes all your objectives into consideration is one worth considering.
What is the inclusive cost of the project?
Regardless of the pricing type that you opt for (hourly or project-based), you need to require full transparency from the agency. Ask for the overall cost including maintenance and troubleshoot fees. Some agencies tend to hide these prices so make sure you get the final cost before signing anything so you’re not hit with unexpected costs.
What other services are included in the price?
Most website design companies offer additional services like SEO, content strategy, information architecture, and web development. However, these services might not be included in the price. You should inform yourself about this but also take quotes from dedicated digital marketing companies. Compare the prices before you decide whether you’ll hire a separate firm to work closely with the designer team or you’ll decide to opt for their in-house specialists.
Is development included in the price?
A design-focused agency will only hand you over the designs but if they don’t offer development services, you’ll need to hire a separate web development company to do it. It’s always better to get the work done under one roof but make sure that the price you agree on includes both these services.
How many revisions are included in the price?
If it happens that you don’t like something from the draft version, you should be able to request edits. The usual number of revisions allowed is 2-3. After that, any revisions you might need are billed additionally so you should also inform yourself about the applicable rates.
Who will work on my website?
It’s important to know who will be working on your website and what their role will be. You don’t want to end up with a web design company that outsources the work to random freelancers instead of a full-fledged in-house team. Also, you want a team that is open to communication and collaboration. If possible, meet them in person.
Not everyone is familiar with the basic terminology related to web design and online marketing. Understanding some of these concepts can be of great help when looking for a company to create your website. In this section, we’ll cover some frequently asked questions with concise and informative answers to help guide you in your quest for quality, creative web design.
Is there a difference between a web development and web design agency?
Instead of offering just one of these services, many website designing and development companies offer both. Hiring a single company to cater to all your web design and web development needs can be a smart choice, as the same people will take care of multiple aspects of the website creation process.
Web design vs. logo design vs graphic design — what are the differences?
These terms refer to very distinct types of design. Graphic design covers designing any item that communicates visually. This is done using typography, photography, and illustration. Logo design is a form of graphic design, but one where the product in question — the logo — holds commercial and marketing value.
Finally, web design has additional restrictions. Website design companies need to take into account factors such as loading speed, resolution, and other limitations. Understanding the different types of design can help avoid confusion as businesses often require all of these designs at various stages of their growth.
Custom design vs template — what are the main differences?
Custom professional website design refers to creating a website from scratch that meets agreed-upon goals and specifications, both in terms of aesthetics and user experience. It is an entirely customized project involving research and analysis of the target audience and promoted product or service. For instance, web design firms will take a different approach to realize small business design ideas and solutions intended for a multinational corporation.
Then there are templates, or themes, commonly used in WordPress design, for example. These are pre-made and customizable, created with a general, broader user base in mind. These templates are designed for hypothetical, future users, and offer a base that can be altered and built upon, allowing for a certain amount of personalization.
How can I be sure my website is accessible on mobile devices?
Hire an agency that offers a full suite of professional web design services. Your website will be designed responsively, which ensures that it will look equally amazing regardless of what device is being used to access it. Want to check what your website looks like on a device you don’t own? There are handy web design software tools available that allow you to test how your website performs on any screen size. Screenfly is a popular choice.
I need a website designer only. Do I have to pay for all these extra services as well?
Have no fear — just because the best web design companies offer a whole palette of related services, it doesn’t mean you’re obligated to use all of them. That said, these services are there for a reason, and you’ll likely benefit from them. A consultation will help you make an informed decision and voice your requests.