Top 5 Web Design Companies — 2023
Top Website Design Companies, web designers for startups, B2B, SMB, enterprise, SaaS and small business. Best Web design agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area (SF), New York Greater Area (NYC), London, Portland, Los Angeles Greater Area (LA).
Last updated: February 1, 2023
There are 644 million active websites on the Internet according to Netcraft. Today having a website is fundamental for any type of businesses. But even these days when we have tens of web builders, local next door marketing agencies and other solutions, we still sometimes need a unique website designed by experts.
We’ve surfed through a few hundred web design companies to help you find the best website designers. Check them out, look at their portfolios, contact them and see who can design a great marketing website for your business.
Find the right web design agency for your project
Ramotion is a digital product design agency focused on marketing website design, mobile and web product design (UI/UX), Front-End and Mobile Development. They use ReactJS, Webflow, etc.
📍San Francisco, CA
2. Jordan Crown
High-end WordPress web design agency & development company
👤 Top clients
Comcast, T-Mobile, LinkedIn
Blue Fountain Media merges imagination with technology to deliver human-centric digital experiences that move brands and businesses from now to next. Leveraging data and the potential of digital, our deep expertise in B2B and B2C website design and development
📍New York, NY
👤 Top clients
CDK Global, SONY, Microsoft
Full service web design & front-end development company, established in Seattle, WA in 2005.
👤 Top clients
Boeing, Philips, University of WA
marketing agency that creates unique digital customer experiences through beautiful websites, engaging video content, and measurable brand strategies
📍Baton Rouge, LA
👤 Top clients
TED, NASA, Verizon
What people say about this list of website design agencies:
With an enormous amount of new businesses that are opening almost every single day, the necessity for organizations to establish a strong marketing website has become more critical. As a result, the demand for professional web developers has increased significantly over the years. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of web developers and designers will expand by 8% between 2019 and 2029.
As the new technology has made its way and replaced an old one, web design has become increasingly accessible throughout the years. Throughout different countries, lots of enterprises have devoted themselves to assisting businesses in enhancing their online presence through the building of visually stunning and interactive websites. Some companies specialize in various facets of marketing, while others focus exclusively on web design.
Many of them also specialize in the construction of e-commerce platforms for small businesses that are looking to establish a solid presence in the online retail market. Therefore, let’s examine more carefully the topic of web designs, see what kind of work processes they offer and just what makes them so good that lots of companies are constantly searching for them.
Why is it important to hire a web design agency?
As of today, the consumers of the IT industries today, have a lot of expectations for the company’s websites. It must be intuitive, flexible, visually beautiful, and enjoyable. People want to see your website perform flawlessly across all devices and browsers out there. A business’s website has evolved into a major sales channel that must work perfectly and it should serve as the key point for brand expression. Web design has shifted toward user experience, which for almost 50% of business owners, became very critical.
A well-designed website creates an important first impression of your business. It is a revenue machine that offers ultimate user satisfaction, resulting in devoted clients. That is why you should construct your website with the assistance of website design companies.
Reasons why you need a web design company right now
Boost your company credibility
Every single marketing website out there has the power to increase your company’s credibility. Thus, by having it, not only will you stand out from the crowd, but you’ll also enhance the personality of your company. The first impression always matters. If you want to make a special and unique brand, you must have a professional and functional website that will directly communicate the right information to your potential clients. Without it, customers will have doubts whether your business does exist at all.
Reach out to your target audience
A polished marketing website can serve as a professional salesperson that can greatly assist you in constructing a clear and consistent message towards your target audience and connect with potential customers. Once you have it, a lot of people may want to learn more about your products, how to contact you, your unique selling proposition (USP), etc. Since your website provides an opportunity to significantly boost your customer base and generate more revenue for your company.
Your website is your real store
For entrepreneurs and business owners who may not have a physical store, a website can serve as a virtual one. Even without any solid brick, you can present all of your products in an excellent approach that makes it easy for clients to navigate through each of them. A marketing website is similar to a physical one, however, this one is located on the web and requires no physical work.
Generate more potential customers
Without a website, an entrepreneur is risking a lot, for one he might lose potential clients and potential revenue. Whether you’re building a website for marketing or personal use, it should be robust to attract potential customers or leads and a good amount of traffic. An engaging website with good quality content and a polished look will engage the users letting them interact with your website and buy your product or services.
Increase the brand presence
One of the primary reasons you want to set up your marketing website for your company is to promote your brand to potential customers. By doing so, you will present what your brand stands for, your identity, ethos, and your vision. That way you may boost the chances that your customers are going to purchase your products or services. There is a possibility that there are several companies in the market providing the same thing as you do. Thus, a website is critical in making a clear advantage between your company and the rival ones.
What does a web design company do?
Website design firms construct an interface design of the future website that is assessed with clients to find the most fitting result. Often, they are being mistaken for web development companies, which on the contrary, take these design sheets and code it from the beginning. The process of website design development can be described in the following way.
First, a web design company begins with wireframes that put the layout, format, and structure of a future design. Then they add colors, graphics, and typography. Once completed, the design team will demonstrate this result to clients. Once approved, the design wireframes will be given to the web developers, who will create and develop a website from the very beginning.
How much money do website designers make?
The average salary a web designer can make in the U.S.A. is typically capped at around $52,000 per year. The hourly rate for a professional in a US web design company can vary from $100 to $175 per hour, depending on the type of business project you need to implement. There are also other options that you may consider, let’s take a closer look at them.
The cost of a web design project can hugely vary depending on the business industry your business is working in, the list of requirements you have, and the target audience. But typically the cost varies from $1,000 and up to $100,000. In some cases, the fee can go up even more.
Apart from the factors that we have already mentioned, here are some others that can significantly change the total cost:
- Number of pages
- Number of features
- Complexity factor
It is beneficial for a company or even a brand to pick up this type of payment, as most of them require a variety of website projects.
A Results-Based Fee
The results-based fees are used to see whether any of the KPIs (key performance indicators) have been reached for the client to proceed with the required payment.
Such KPIs can be these:
- High website’s SEO rankings
- Increase in a traffic
- The percentage of conversions is higher
A flat fee is a more standard option that lots of companies are choosing. Whether it will be a monthly or yearly fee, commonly they are used for periodic consulting or website management.
If you want to choose this type of payment, these agencies commonly improve:
- System updates
- Integration management
Web design agency process
To assess and to understand whether the chosen web design company is a competent and experienced web agency, you should always look for the design process that they are doing. The expert companies who are closely collaborating with their clients are very transparent about their work. The following are the core steps in the web design process that you should look for from a web agency.
Any professional web design company should always start their initial work right from the client-side. It is mostly done to understand the client’s business objectives, target audience, assess the current website, and gather other core requirements. Frequently, this research will be done via the interview process to ascertain what they truly want and what motivates them. In some cases, some clients are pretty skeptical to spend their time on this research process as they see no worth in it. However, it is the most critical part of the entire web design process.
The second step involves the research process on the client’s business competitors and a detailed examination of their websites. A professional web design business will produce a very detailed report that directly presents the most beneficial practices on how to overcome the rivals, additional ideas, and some mood boards for design inspiration.
Wireframing and UX Design
Modern websites prioritize usefulness above aesthetic design. Having said that, a web design agency should always create a customer journey map for your marketing website to outline the user’s navigation experience. Based on that, they will design wireframes for each page to discover the critical layouts and arrangement of the content. Certain firms sometimes will do preliminary user testing on web designs to get early feedback before proceeding further in the web design process.
Visual Design Concept
The development process of a visual design concept is different if compared to the wireframing stage. A web agency will firstly investigate several graphic and web design opportunities to find just the right appearance for your website while considering your brand attributes, before making a clear decision at the very end. Additionally, the web agency can easily demonstrate it to your target audience, to determine whether there could be anything else that they need to add.
Production of Design
After your web partner has finished the wireframes and design assets, they should begin design production. During this process, most of the firms will create final mockups for responsive design, animations, and other digital assets that were somehow necessary to the web development process.
Unique and effective content is very critical to the success of your website and serves as a core for your website design. To ensure that the content a web agency will produce, you should always prepare a document explaining how and what you want to express from your website. Try to collaborate with the web agency’s copywriters to portray the most effective and efficient text. It is recommended to execute this step before the web design development.
All of the previously produced design assets will be converted to HTML/CSS/JS code by web developers. Occasionally, there is a need to add new material or manage current pages without the assistance of the developer. In that case, you’ll need to have a content management system. In any given circumstance, your web design partner should monitor the developers’ work-in-progress to ensure that the result they are implementing is consistent with the concepts they generated.
Before releasing your website, ensure that it has been tested and has no bugs. It makes no difference how beautiful your website is going to look unless it is going to function well. Even if you engage a professional designer to establish your presence online, you should double-check the finished product for the most obvious errors.
How do I start a web design agency?
Step 1: Business Mission
Doing something you’re exceptionally talented at will not be enough to help you develop a profitable business. You also must have a value and a mission of your job that directs you forward. You will never be developed as a professional web design agency if you will simply create a business model that overpays for low-quality designs.
Therefore, decide on the type of firm you’re going to develop. Whether you choose to develop a web design firm that is experienced in one certain field or go big by offering various marketing and design services, ensure that your company has a clear vision. A vision that will drive you wild until your mission is accomplished.
Step 2: Business Model
Once you’ve decided how you’re going to manage your business, you can start the most tedious and longest phase of business: conducting research and completing legal paperwork.
Start by obtaining a business license for your web design firm. You’ll also need to obtain business insurance for your enterprise. This procedure varies according to the country you reside in. If you’re creating a web design agency in the United States, you should obtain additional information about obtaining a business license from the SBA website.
It is time to conduct some research and determine who your competitors are. It makes no difference whether you target domestic or foreign clients. The web design market will always stay competitive. Conduct research to understand how your competitors do their business, the type of work they provide, and the approaches they use to obtain clients.
Step 3: Ideal Team
Do not consider trying to do all of the jobs on your own, regardless of how capable you are. Avoid developing a company with an insufficiently sized crew. Rather than the two facts from above, form a team of members that bring exceptional expertise to all of your tasks for your web design company model. And no exceptions: seek the best of the best for your team.
If your budget is too tight to hire skilled designers, you can always make an affordable choice for a remote team in your organization. Numerous startups are utilizing this method to produce outstanding work.
Step 4: Make a Portfolio
This part is the most enjoyable out of all the previous ones. You need to design your agency’s website and assemble your portfolio. Try to develop a website that looks like a web design studio, which is filled with your company’s identity. Put your skills and experience to work and create a marketing website that demonstrates how you stand out from other web design competitors.
You should also begin establishing your portfolio as soon as possible. When any potential customers will approach you, they will want to get examples of your work and you must be prepared to astonish these clients with your designs.
Perform some unpaid tasks to generate quick impressions. Locate potential clients yourselves and offer to redesign their websites for free in exchange for a mention of your business on their company website. Create stunning website templates and make them freely available online. These are the things that will help you to quickly establish your portfolio.
Step 5: Marketing Strategy
If you will simply sit in your office waiting for a miracle to happen to have a lot of potential clients that will appear out of thin air, then you will never acquire any clients at all. You must constantly advertise and promote your business. You might begin with your company blog and develop a distinctive brand voice further down the road. Participate in web design communities to gain more exposure for your portfolio.
After that, develop a content strategy and select the appropriate social media channels. Rather than attempting to conquer every social platform, focus on those that are suitable for your company strategy. Consider joining Behance and Dribbble to demonstrate your design abilities.
What website design services does a professional web design company offer?
Apart from the obvious production of a website design, there are other responsibilities that a lot of professional web design companies do. Here are 9 major website design services that you should always keep in mind, whenever someone is mentioning that they are “professionals’’.
Custom website design
A professional web designer understands that each website requires a distinctive approach and design methods. They will surely create one that is consistent with your objectives, your brand image, and the guidelines of your company. A website that accurately portrays your brand and successfully communicates your message to your target audience, will always engage your potential customers, resulting in a higher conversion rate.
Planning and Wireframing
As we mentioned before, the start of any web design for a professional web agency begins with the research and the wireframing. What you will do is collaborate closely with the marketing and design teams respectively to ensure that your professional partner considered all aspects and aimed for success.
The competitor’s research is one of the must-have website design services that any professional web agency should have. By understanding your competitors you will gain a certain advantage on how to overcome your revival and stand out among them.
All web design companies that claim to have a polished front-end development should not only guide you through the creative process, but we also demonstrate an in-house programming team that will handle most of the code for your front-end web development, bringing your website to life across all devices.
After establishing and promoting your marketing website, any professional web design agency must have after-launch support. And that also involves the development of SEO campaigns along with the Semantic Core updates for all of your creative landing pages.
New visitors are good, but hot leads are even more desired than that! The conversion-focused design and strategies that will place your marketing website in the first place are essential features that a professional web agency should provide to you. Whether you want visitors to call or complete an online form, it is their job to make all CTAs (calls-to-action) functional.
Copywriting and Content Strategy
The content of your website is the living soul that will pass on the message of your brand to the customers’ minds. Compelling content increases conversions engages users and provides a competitive advantage.
Content Management System
A CMS is also an essential feature out of all other listed website design services. Almost 50% of all small businesses already have a CMS installed into their hosting platform. That doesn’t only mean simple website management, but it also means that you’ve got to create and manage your blog.
All of these things are handled by professional web design companies. However, some of the companies may be involved in a more specific and narrow job. Thus, having a more different approach compared to all these points. If you want to know more about them, we are highly suggesting you look through the articles that have a list of location-based companies. For example, you can check out the San Francisco website design company list. Or if you are located in LA you may be interested in the Los Angeles web design agency article. Additionally, the New York web design company article has a lot of critical information that directly touches on the specificity of work and points out how you can find the right company there.
What makes a website designer good?
To truly understand what exactly qualifies a designer as a good one, we need to understand one thing — web design work is not a simple tool that can be instantly applied to any digital product. This is important since depending on the business industry a web designer is working in, he may use different sets of skills and apply relevant knowledge to a given task. Therefore, to differentiate a good web designer from an unprofessional one, remember three criteria to consider: experience, style, and specialization.
The first one, experience is a critical factor in determining the level of professionality of a given web design company. The more finished and successful projects they can demonstrate and provide, the more likely that the given web designer is an excellent expert. You should examine their portfolio by yourself and assess whether they do possess the necessary skills and expertise to be capable of delivering your project.
Style is the second point in this list. It is more of a subjective factor, as it reveals almost everything about a web design company. If a style of a web project has been inspired by minimalism, there will be people who may like the results and there are those who will close the browser tab and never open it up again. So the next time, you’re going to assess the quality of a web designer, think about your preferences and compare them to those that you see before your eyes.
The last point — specialization refers to the type of design work or a group of highly specialized tasks done by a web designer. When a web designer has a lot of tasks that are too broad, it means that they do not excel at something in particular, which is not a good thing in the business world. Thus, it is recommended to find a web design firm that specializes in a narrow branch of web design.
What to do once you hire a Website Design Company?
Once you have already established a definite website design company candidate for your project and have made certain arrangements, do keep in mind that the process of web design is not an easy one. So for an entrepreneur to understand that everything is progressing smoothly, he needs to ensure the following points with the web design agency.
Understand what kind of roles and responsibilities are there in the web design team. Since you are a direct link between your company and your web design partner, you must see a clear division of tasks and coordination cycle during the web design process. And when it comes to communication, be frank and always ask for detailed answers or deadlines. You must make sure that everything is going according to the plan along with your requirements.
Set the deadlines
Inquire about process updates and ensure that your web design partner understands what is expected of them by the end of the deadline. Participate in the process and keep a careful eye on its progress to avoid any mistakes or potential risks.
Concentrate on anything that has to be executed on time. It can be the payment for the services your web design agency has provided to you. Or it could be certain changes that might not intersect with your requirement, but they will be necessary. Allow for unexpected challenges and establish a strong working relationship with your web design company to address post-launch issues.
When is the right time to hire a Web Design Agency?
After reviewing pretty much every single question that an entrepreneur might have in his mind and now that you know the beneficial effects of a website design company, it’s probably time to let you know when exactly you should cooperate with one. Here are a few core points that you should consider for cooperation with a web design agency.
Understand what kind of objectives and goals you want to achieve with your marketing website. It could be an awareness increase of your brand or setting up another channel for gaining more revenue. Once you have a strict list of all milestones you are required to accomplish, you will be one step closer to having your ideal website.
Start with building and designing your marketing website only when you are confident that you have enough funds to pay for it. You should not ignore the quality nor the time required for it to be finished, as it will serve as your online image for your online clients. Once you establish your business objectives and will have enough capital, you can safely proceed with it.
The right time to change your web design is when you want to grow your website to the maximum level. Such a website can take your company’s image and business objective to a completely new level. With integrated new social media channels, enabled SEO campaigns, and content marketing, your possibilities will be everywhere.
Try to understand whether you are currently satisfied with the user base that your website has right now. If not, then it is a serious reason to go for a complete website redesign process. A poor marketing website with a weak design means a low customer base. Once redesigned, the majority of your components will be updated and upgraded, which will enhance your customer base.
Ahead of the competition
If you do want to stay competitive and to secure as many customers as possible, a marketing website is the right thing made for you to always stay ahead. With a website, you are at the wheel of the communication between you and your target customers. You get to expand it and you get to work directly with it. With such a tool as a marketing website, you can stay on top of other competitors.
FAQ on finding the right web design company
Common questions people ask while looking for an agency
Q: How much does web design cost?
A: All website agencies focus on different customers (startups, enterprise) and they use different engagement models (fixed price, project-based, performance-based, time&materials, etc.). Some website are just ‘business cards’ like marketing websites, others are complex e-commerce platforms. Depending on that, the price varies dramatically. But designing a straightforward 5–7 pages marketing website with a US web firm would cost anywhere beyond $30k+. In our opinion, e-commerce website or web apps have no specific limits in budget and should be treated more like UI/UX agency projects with iterative approach with constant improvements. Some meaningful results in key performance indicators of the website can be achieved in a month or so and could start from $25k+.
Q: How web design agency process usually go?
A: Following a process for your website design projects has a lot of advantages from improving expectations with clients to better quality end products. Sometimes though “process” can become something of a dirty word, evoking thoughts of increased paperwork and extra time spent do everything BUT designing the website.
Process doesn’t have to be a pain. Hitting the high points can be enough to reap the benefits, without adding a lot of overhead. Identifying the phases of the project and the key activities with their deliverables will help keep things on track, allow you to communicate expectations and progress with your clients or stakeholders, and make sure nothing gets missed. There are many ways to break things down, 5 phases, 7 steps, or other methods. We’ve organized a basic process into seven main web design steps; define, research, design, develop, test, deliver, and maintain.
Every web design project should start with goals and objectives. The specific steps here depend on the type of project and whether you are working with clients or internal stakeholders. Typically, however, this comes in the form of interviews with them to discover more about the organization and the purpose of the site.
- What kind of organization is the website representing?
- What do they do?
- Who will be using the site?
- What will they be trying to accomplish by going to your website?
- What are the major features needed?
The purpose of this phase is to identify and document the major goals, scope, features, and even level set on your process and deliverables. The plan should also include roles and responsibilities. For example, will content or graphics be provided by another team? Will the client provide any of these elements?
Next, you’ll begin looking more at best practices, user needs, and competitive / market research. Figuring out the good, bad, and ugly of trends and competitive websites helps guide your design choices, taking advantage of the best and avoiding the worst.
The data you collect begins to inform your design including what pages, features, and over all architecture of the website. Deliverables for this stage include:
- Brand identity and specs
- Functional requirements
- Site map
- Competitive assessment
- Style Guide
For designers, this is the area we excel at. That doesn’t mean there is no place for process to keep us on track. Starting with the deliverables from the previous step, you can start moving from low fidelity sketching to higher fidelity mockups and finally publishable assets.
Be sure to include not only design work and deliverables but steps for stakeholder reviews and user testing. This phase can be further broken into iterative steps. It results in deliverables like:
- Mood boards
- Graphic assets
- Design system or reusable assets like menus, buttons, templates
Once the design is complete and user-tested, web development can begin. Even if you aren’t doing this phase yourself, stay engaged. Keeping in close contact with the web development company can help reduce bugs and issues later on. Careful documentation doesn’t always answer all the questions developers have, and occasionally things get interpreted differently than you’ve intended.
Testing takes many forms. User testing is complete back in the design phase, a test team probably handles technical testing, but there are still parts of the testing phase you’ll need to handle.
- Functional test: verify that the goals of the site are met, check that it looks right on a variety of browsers, look for unexpected edge case scenarios, and ferret out any inconsistencies, spelling, or other errors.
- User acceptance testing: you’ll likely manage and act as a liaison between the client or stakeholders and other teams
Now it’s time to go live. Again, likely a different team will be responsible for migrating the site to a live server, but it’s important to stay involved to ensure everything goes smoothly. You’ll also be handing off your own deliverables or archiving them for future enhancement or maintenance projects.
- Roll-out plan
- Graphical and other assets
- Maintenance plan
- Specs and documentation
The work isn’t done after you deliver the site. Depending on your client or stakeholders you may or may not own this phase. Keeping the website up and running, as well as fresh is essential either way. If you won’t continue to own design elements of the website, make sure your client has everything they need from a technical and design perspective to make updates or fix issues.
Processes don’t have to be clunky and time-consuming. For more in-depth information, check out some of the great resources offered by experts like Nielsen-Norman Group.
Q: What are the main locations of the best website agencies?
A: The tech world today is getting more and more globalized, and lots of key players are becoming remote-friendly. It is related to both their employees, contractors and external agencies they hire. Location makes a much smaller difference now. However, lots of web design companies gathered in the main tech hubs and big developed cities of North America (San Francisco Bay Area, New York NYC, Los Angeles Greater Area, Seattle, Austin, Portland, Boston), UK (London, Manchester), Canada (Vancouver, Toronto), Australia (Sydney, Melbourne) and Western European cities like Berlin, Amsterdam, and Paris.
Q: Beyond the list above, how to find and hire web designers online?
A: One of the options would be to find them at design community websites like Bēhance (by Adobe), Dribbble, Google Search.
Q: How can my website attract customers?
A: A question that is asked among various business owners, which is a valid one. To increase a website’s visibility, one should launch a search engine optimization, (or SEO campaign, in short). Without it, you won’t have any chance for your website to rank well in different search engines, resulting in a lack of active users for your firm.
SEO can be treated as a collection of various tactics and techniques used to increase your website’s ranking in the designated search engine. As a result, it will be visible online for your target audience. SEO techniques may include keyword research, generation of unique content, and responsive website development, therefore it is tightly linked to web design.
Q: How long does it take for a website to be created?
A: The process of creating a website is not fast whatsoever. By combining all of the procedures involved in the website development, one could estimate that it takes from 12 to 16 weeks to complete a fully functional website. The time might vary depending on the given requirements, business objectives, design team, and other facts as well.
With that being said a web design firm must have a good understanding of your project objectives and ideas. After that, they should conduct target audience research, create wireframes, update them (after discussing them with you), build and design the website, and make final adjustments.
Web design tips from the best website designers
Your website is the face of your company or organization. It’s often the primary way a customer or client meets you and decides if they want to do business with you. Lots of people want to include unique interactions, the latest trends, or some other flashy technique. Ultimately though, the users of your website are looking for something simple, with a little personality, that gets the job done. They are visiting your site for information and to complete some task or another. Here are some tips for striking the right balance with classic design and a user focus.
Users Need to Find You
You can have the most beautiful, informative site on the web but if no one can find it, it’s useless.
- Learn a little bit about SEO, or hire an expert to help you out. When people are searching on Google, they are usually looking for something specific. Unless they already know your company, they will be looking for a company that does what you do. Make sure they can find you.
- Use a simple URL for your site, and clear naming conventions for your pages and content. This can help with SEO, but it can also make it easier for people who have heard of you but can’t quite remember all the details to look you up specifically. If your page URLs have underscores, capital letters, abbreviations, or other special characters it’s really hard for your people to remember it, type it correctly, and actually get to your site.
- Establish a social media presence, keep it active, and connect to your site. One marketing company likens this to using the right bait. It isn’t directly SEO, but it helps get your name out there in more places and can drive traffic back to your site.
It Has to Look Good
There has been a significant amount of research on just how quickly visitors to your website spend deciding if they want to stick around. It turns out most people have already formed an opinion based on their first impression within 50 ms. Google even found that sometimes it takes as little as 17 ms. If it is ugly, busy, confusing, or otherwise unappealing at first glance, this first impression influences the user’s opinion of the site and your business. Even if they spend a minute or two scanning the content, they’ll likely go elsewhere. You can find more detailed information on great visual design, but here are the basics.
- Use Pleasing Colors
- Be Smart with White Space
- Keep it Simple Over Flashy
- Include Non-Stock Images and Graphics
Getting Around Must be Brainless
As with the visual design, cues about your content and whether it will meet your visitor’s needs are nearly instinctual, if not necessarily accurate. According to a Nielsen Norman Group article, people searching the web are like foraging animals. The images and words they see first greatly influence whether they are going to stick around to search or navigate further.
Here are ways to help them see your value.
- Make it absolutely crystal clear what you do/offer. If a potential customer is looking for pots and pans but your home page features lots of pictures of small appliances, that forager’s scent is not going to be very strong.
- Scrolling can be better than clicking, but it’s best to put all the really good stuff at the top. The more clicking or scrolling to be done, the shorter the user’s attention span.
- Navigating your site should be easy. Menu structures need to have short, clear labels, and there shouldn’t be too many options to quickly scan and interpret.
- Including a search option for sites with any breadth is absolutely essential. After all, they searched to find you in the first place right? Many users head right to the search box. This is the quickest way for them to check if your might have want they need.
- Consider hiring an expert in website conversion. If your site is not generating the leads or sales you expect, digging a little deeper into details of calls to action, graphics, and text might be worth a look.
Offer Something Different
Your site can be simple and usable, but still stand out without resorting to hiding navigation in a carousel or raining triangles with parallax scrolling effects.
- Use the visual website design and writing to reflect your brand personality.
- Speak the language of your target users/customers.
- Offer unique content or differentiating products/services.
Many online retailers follow the same basic formula. This is good because users know exactly what to expect, but it doesn’t do much to set any of them apart. We tried Googling “hiking boot” and got result after result of white backgrounds, left-hand navigation and filtering, and product images.
Vasque does something a little different. If you click a little deeper you find a pretty similar product layout, but they use vivid imagery and a unique, but still simple, layout to draw visitors in.
How to Choose a Web Design Firm?
Getting a website that presents your brand, fulfills marketing goals, and most importantly, resonates with the audience requires two-sided cooperation. It is not just about calling the agency and asking the new or updated version of your online presence. It is all about finding the website design firm that will hear you out and do its best to make your dreams come true.
More so, with a sheer diversity of web design firms, you are spoilt with choice. Therefore, some prep job should be done to filter out the best from the rest.
Let’s walk through some vital points that will help you to secure the best website design agency.
Check the web design agency official website
First and foremost, visit the official website. It is vivid proof of the capabilities and technological expertise of a web design firm. Although it is not an indication of design style since the professional website design agency caters to your branding and style guidelines, still its overall image hints whether the company follows the trends and implements the latest techniques.
Note several important things:
- Is the website design responsive?
- Is the website mobile-friendly?
- Is the website accessible?
- Does the website provide the best user experience?
- Does the website have great usability?
- Does the website include all the vital information: about page, team page, portfolio, contacts, feedbacks from clients?
Check portfolio of website design agency
The second important thing to do is check out the portfolio to see real-life examples of web design firm work. If there are some case studies, go for them. They give insights into what tasks and challenges the company has successfully faced. More so, the portfolio is a great way to assess skills and capabilities.
Ask yourself several important questions that may help to sift out the professionals from the inexperienced agencies.
- Do the works look professional?
- Do the sites work fine across all browsers and devices?
- Have any of the websites won awards?
- Do the sites seem similar in scope?
- Do the sites come from your niche?
Do your homework
It is time to give a call to the web design firm to set up a meeting. Though, no rush. It is time to make a list of interview questions. There are some essential issues to clarify. So, what should you ask?
Have they ever worked with companies in your industry?
You do not want to end up with a website design agency that has not worked with companies in your industry. A web design firm with experience in your field may cater to the best result and help you stand out from the market and achieve your goals.
However, if they do not have experience in your niche but still may provide you some impressive results in other areas, this still can be a good option.
What tactics do they use to ensure the best customer experience?
To ensure high conversions, you need a user-centered design and a hyper-personalized interface. Therefore, it is important to know what tactics website design agencies use to create the best customer experience. If these tactics old and stale, then turn away and never come back. The ever-growing demands of the market should be monitored constantly and treated with respect.
What tools do they use?
You may not be an expert in web development or web design; still, knowing what tools are in use is vital to ensure your website meets all the current standards and requirements. Therefore, do these steps.
First and foremost, make sure all the tools are licensed, including visuals like images, gifs, animations, icons, videos, etc.
Second, ensure tools and techniques are up-to-date. Although it is a double-edged sword since all the pioneering technologies have low browser compatibility, still no one wants to end up with a Flash-based website when it is highly recommended to use HTML5. Tools should be relatively modern and time-tested to ensure excellent performance and high speed.
Third, ensure the web design agency code to the best coding standards so that your final website works consistently across all popular browsers and devices and meets DDA compliance and W3C guidelines.
Finally, ensure CMS that underlies project benefits the website, and you are pretty comfortable using it. The deal is, every CMS has its own merits. The website design firm should explain to you why they choose this option for your website.
What steps would the project involve?
It’s in your best interest to know how things will work and what you should expect. The right web design agency will walk you through each step of the process and explain why it is important.
Do they have training?
The right website design agency should provide training. After all, most of their clients are non-tech-savvy people who require basic knowledge to handle their new or updated online estate efficiently.
How updates or changes to the website will be managed?
The ongoing maintenance and optimization services are crucial for any company. If you do not have an in-house developers’ team, you might know how future updates or changes to the website functionality or design should be handled.
Make a list of things you think you’ll need to update fairly frequently: CMS, scripts, plugins, blog posts, or gallery. Can you do everything by yourself or address all these issues to the website design firm? Make sure you are on the same page.
What other services do they offer?
Getting a new website is not the end of your journey. On the contrary, it is just a beginning. Website is your platform to advocate brand, promote products, reach marketing goals, and cash in revenue. Therefore, at a minimum, you should be asking about those extra services as:
- Do they do SEO?
- Do they write content?
- Do they do ongoing digital marketing?
- Do they do email marketing?
Although the web design agency should not cover all those areas (e.g., being a branding agency in the same time), they should still make your website suitable for all those platforms to deliver the results you want.
Last but not least
We all know that first impression counts. Finding the best website design agency is no exception. Pay attention to how the company handles the first phone. The person who answers reflects the overall policy of the company.
If he or she jumps right into a hard sell, then it is probably not for you. If the person asks about the details of the project, then it deserves a shot. Please bear in mind that you will work with this website design firm for quite a while. Therefore, this cooperation should be comfortable for both sides.
Several important questions to ask before signing a web design firm contract
- What is the final cost for the project? This will reveal all hidden charges and help to avoid unpleasant surprises with the final cost.
- When is the deadline? This helps to stay on track with your website and monitor the process.
- What is included? Some essentials like SEO, content strategy, information architecture may come as an extra and require further discussion.
- Who is going to work on your project? This helps to ensure you will work with an in-house team.
While there is much more to designing an engaging site, these designer tips should help get you started. With maturity your site can be conversion-optimized, tested, tweaked, and modernized as trends change. Good bones will last forever.