Top 5 Web Design Agencies In The World — May 2022

Updated May 5, 2022

A website is the most critical business tool for any company in 2022. Your web presence is also how people see and experience your brand, so you should treat your site as a strategic asset, especially now, when online is a way of life.

While there are many web design tools and freelancers providing web design services who can build a simple website, professional website design agencies can take it to the next level. We’ve handpicked five web design firms that can deliver a world-class website to elevate your brand and business online.

The World’s Best Web Design Companies — May 2022:

1. Clay

A branding, UI/UX, and website design agency based in SF.

Clay — a website design agency in SF , the #1 in our top web design companies list

Clay is a beloved web design agency in Silicon Valley that combines user experience and brand identity to create websites that excel functionally and aesthetically. Based in San Francisco, they partner with the world’s largest companies and bleeding-edge startups on website design projects ranging from corporate marketing sites to immersive web experiences. While they have clients across various industries, they specialize in crypto and fintech projects offering strategy, UX/UI design, and branding services.

Web design company size: 60+ people
Key clients: Slack, Snapchat, Amazon, Facebook, Coinbase, Cisco
Notable web design project: Marqeta

2. Huge

A global website design company & creative agency.

Huge stands for its name and is one of the best web design companies in the US

Huge (as their name suggests) is a large digital web agency headquartered in Brooklyn and has many satellite offices worldwide. They began their journey in the early 2000s as an internet marketing agency, mainly designing and building websites. Now, they’re a full-service digital agency that offers everything under the sun, but web design services, branding, and web development are still their core specialties. Hire them if you need a professional web design company and believe that size matters.

Creative agency size: 1200+ people
Key clients: Google, Spotify, Hublot, Zelle, Shipt, Nike
Notable web design project: Verizon Blockchain

3. Work & Co

A digital marketing, web design. and web development agency.

Truly one of the best web design companies with development services

Work & Co is one of the best web design agencies that work hand in hand with their clients to design and develop category-defining websites. They’re truly an exceptional web design agency known for their partner-led, hands-on approach. Their web designers favor modernist aesthetics that they widely apply in their work. Founded in 2013 in Brooklyn, the website design company now has 6 locations around the world.

Web design company size: 350 people
Key clients: Apple, YouTube, Nike, Google, Mailchimp, IKEA
Notable web design project: NYC Live Subway Map

4. Firstborn

A digital design agency & web design firm based in NYC.

Rocking web design company since 1997 (also featured as one of the top web development companies)

Firstborn is an NYC-based web design firm that lives by the “Less Talk. More Rock.” motto. Their experienced web designers and developers shape brands for a connected future. This means they deliver not just websites but a wide array of digital products, including mobile apps and AR/VR experiences. They’ve been rocking since 1997 and not planning to retire. They deserved their spot on our list of the best web design agencies.

Web design company size: 42 people
Key clients: Adidas, Foot Locker, Royal Caribbean, Flexport
Notable web design project: Beats by Dre Flex

5. Instrument

A web design firm, digital marketing, and brand agency in Portland and NYC.

Instrument — a web design and brand agency
Instrument is one of the top web design companies in Portland

Instrument is a web design company and branding agency based in Portland, OR, and NYC. They have a cross-disciplinary team of website designers, technologists, and strategists to ensure they’re delivering innovative yet high-quality digital products and web design services. It’s all about enriching the human experience for them. Several years ago, they expanded to NYC by acquiring ThisAlso, a Brooklyn-based brand and web design agency.

Team size: 400 people
Clients: Dropbox, Sonos, YouTube, Patagonia, Xbox, Tumblr
Notable project: Levi’s

Ready to hire a web design agency? We sifted through dozens of common questions asked by the people looking to engage a website design company or build a website.Read the tips below before you start your search for the best web design company!

Tips for Choosing a Great Web Design Company

It can take a lot of time and effort to find a website design company that is a good fit for your project. Before picking your creative design agency among various web design companies, you will spend many hours researching them online since web design is a saturated niche in design.

Choosing the best web design or web development company is not an easy thing. Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

Once you have a shortlist of potential web design agencies (including also the given list of top web design companies higher), these are the next steps to take:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the web design company, using their social media and website. Do you like the usability and aesthetics of their website? Is their message clear or confusing? How do they describe themselves? When was their website last updated? What work have they done and who are their past clients?
  2. Their website is a good place to start because it gives you a good feel for the agency. If their website is buggy, never updated, or hard to navigate, that is a huge warning sign. Also, take a look at their social media. If they often post and have followers, that means they have a good reputation and are active. Check out their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds for a glimpse into the heart of the agency.
  3. Look at their website design portfolio. A deeper dive into their responsive web design portfolio is always a good idea, so you can see what kind of work they have done for others before hiring them for your own project. Look beyond the detailed case study. See what the live website looks like. Is it mobile-optimized and user-friendly? Does it perform well? The site should work perfectly as well as look inviting.
  4. Figure out your budget. Set aside a budget and then you can find an agency that can do the best possible job for that amount. Look for smaller boutique agencies if you’re on a limited budget. They can provide great work at a moderate price. Pay well and they will go out of their way to do a perfect job since most web designers aren’t good at sales and will often agree to your terms and then have a lack of interest in the project.
  5. Consider a website design freelancer or local web design company. Offsite firms can reduce costs but don’t forget your local options. A lot of the time, local agencies will be a better fit, culture-wise, even if they aren’t as cheap. You will also be able to have regular face-to-face meetings to eliminate the issues that can crop up with remote collaboration.
  6. Check online reviews and ask for client references. Due diligence is always crucial, even if the company you’re looking at seems to be professional and offers great examples of past projects. Check professional review websites as well as reviews on Google and so on.

FAQ: How to Find a Web Design Agency

The following questions are often asked by those seeking to hire a web design firm:

Q: How much do websites cost in 2022?

A: Although you can find plenty of information online about this, the numbers do vary and tend to depend on the size and complexity of your project, as well as the reputation and location of the agency. Let’s take a closer look at this, using some real-life examples:

  • An offshore website design agency (perhaps one in India, Latin America, or Eastern Europe) will charge between $45 and $70 per hour depending on their reputation and skills. Expect to pay about $60 per hour for consistent communication and good quality work. Expect a bill of between $25,000 and $40,000 total for a basic 4-page website if you’re using an offshore web designer. If you want more pages, require specialized skills or your project is more complex, it should cost closer to between $45,000 and $60,000.
  • A US-based web design company typically charges $150 to $300 per hour. US locations (NYC, LA, and San Francisco) tend to charge the most. Even a basic website with a few landing pages can cost an eye-watering $250,000 to $500,000 at those prices and if you want a total web design and web development of an established corporate website the price might even exceed $1 million.

Q: How much do agencies in San Francisco and NYC charge for web design?

A: You can find out online the cost of such a project. The average cost of website design can be about $10,000 for a website built by a freelance web designer or $50,000-$70,000 if hiring a web design agency. Although this figure applies to Eastern Europe or India-based companies, you are looking at much more if you choose an agency based in the United States, especially one in San Francisco or New York.

The cost of living in the US, especially in places like San Francisco, NYC, and LA is one of the highest on the planet. Also, every local web design agency is competing with the best companies in the world for the same talent. This means depending on the experience they can expect to make somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000 a year.

There can be confusion when a client reads online that $40,000 is a typical price tag for web design services but they are charged ten times that amount because they are in San Francisco, NYC, or another expensive US city. Despite the price, it still makes sense to choose a local agency because nobody else understands the nuances of the culture quite as those firms do.

Q: How long does it take to build a website from scratch?

A: Of course, a lot depends on the website you’re looking for, along with plenty of other variables. If you’re a SaaS startup looking for a standard website you will need various pages on the site including a homepage, about us page, contacts, products, and maybe a couple of others.

Depending on a website agency’s level of expertise, they might begin with a couple of weeks of discovery and research enabling them to better understand your requirements and goals, gather design references, and analyze the competition. Next, they will work on wireframes so they can establish web design concepts and core layouts in order to figure out the feel and look of your future website. That will take another four to six weeks on average.

Once the concept is established, the next step is to move along with designing animations, graphics, photos, and/or videos, plus creating a responsive design for every page. For this hypothetical website, you can expect around two months for the web design production process.

Content management system integration and website development can be done at the same time as the website design production, taking somewhere between six and ten weeks to complete, depending on technical requirements.

So to summarize all this, a basic customer site with about 6 pages can take around 16 to 18 weeks from beginning to end. Be careful of website designers who make claims like ‘we can do this in 3 weeks for $12,000’ because they might be using a cheap template they have already used for hundreds of other clients, especially US-based ones.

Q: Where are the top web design agencies located?

A: Often the best web design company will be whichever is nearest to your location. Hiring a local web design company means you don’t have to worry about language barrier problems or cultural differences. It also eliminates a lot of remote work inconvenience. There are several cities in the US, such as New York, LA, San Francisco, etc, as well as in Europe with many designers and top creative website design agencies concentrated in one area:

  • New York City: A lot of financial services companies and fashion brands call NY home. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this city has many traditional digital marketing companies who also design websites and run their clients’ campaigns. Freelance web designers based in New York, especially Brooklyn, are often readily available and have a lower price point than agencies.
  • San Francisco: Tech companies from startups up to industry leaders can find web design firms based in the San Francisco bay area. These design companies are experienced in creating websites for apps and startups. They will merge user experience and the brand to make an excellent website for the client.
  • Los Angeles: Plenty of digital marketing at this location revolves around the music and movie production industries. A lot of creative agencies based in LA specialize in interactive internet experiences, especially video, 3D, and special effects, since most of their clientele is music and movie artists.
  • London: You can find many traditional companies based in England’s capital, including fashion, consulting, and finance operations. London is famed all over the world for brand identity companies and the high-quality websites they can create.

Q: Where should I look online to find top web design firms?

A: Web design is the most popular element of information technology and digital design. For this reason, there are plenty of awards and communities recognizing top web designers and mobile app designers. Look at Dribbble and Behance to find anybody from top web agencies to freelance web designers offering their services.

Top web design companies often submit their work to various web design awards so they can gain recognition among their peers in the industry. Awwwards, The FWA, CSSDA, and the Webby Awards are just some of the most respected web design awards.

Web Design Process: How do the best website designers and top agencies build websites

Look at a web design agency’s process to get a good feel for their competency. The best design agencies will work as a team along with your digital marketing department. They will be open and transparent about every step.

A top web design agency has a clear and efficient process for web design projects. Photo by UX Indonesia on Unsplash

The following are typical web design process steps that you can expect from a web agency:

  • Discovery. Any web agency worth its salt will begin its development process with workshops with the client to understand their goals, transfer knowledge, audit the current website, define the target audience, and compile all the requirements they need for the project. The user research part of the team will probably interview your customers to discover their motivations and requirements. Web designers should be a part of that process to get the correct perspective. Some clients might feel doubtful when it comes to investing in discovery but it’s actually the most important part of the entire web design process.
  • Research. The next phase, research, typically involves analyzing competitors’ websites and digital solutions plus general trends in industry web design. The web designers will compile an in-depth report which covers their recommendations and best practices as well as design inspiration mood boards.
  • UX Design and Wireframing. You don’t need to hire a traditional graphic design agency to build your site. Any good web designer in 2022 must be a talented UX designer first of all. Conversion optimization and usability are the main focus areas of modern websites, more so than graphic design. Despite this though, you should expect a design company to make a customer journey map and sitemap to figure out how end users are going to navigate the website. After this, they can make a wireframe for every webpage to discover key layouts as well as content organization. Some agencies like to test the web designs on potential visitors to gain feedback early in the project before going too far with it.
  • Web Design Concept. Next up is all about aesthetics. While the previous step concerned user interactions and experience, this is about your website’s look and feel. The web design agency will explore web designs and graphics based on your brand identity and their research. They can also run these designs by customers to see which they prefer.
  • UI Design. After the design concept and wireframes are done, the web designer then proceeds with UI design production. They will make their final responsive design mockups, animations, illustrations, and other assets required to begin web development.
  • Copywriting and Content Creation. A good website must have good content and that’s just as important as great web design. You should have a solid idea of what your website must convey in order to get the best results from the design agency you hired. After that, you will collaborate with an agency copywriter to polish up your message and then produce the final copy. This all needs to be done before the website is designed.
  • Web Development. Web developers have to convert all designs into JS, CSS, or HTML coding. You might want to manage existing web pages or add new content without having the developer do it, so you have to implement a content management system (CMS). There is no need to go into much detail about that here since this guide is about web design, but it’s still worth hiring a US-based top web design company instead of an offshore one for this project.

The web design agency will continuously review the work and work in progress from the developers to make sure what they are implementing is compatible and consistent with the designs they are creating. It is also vital to follow web accessibility standards to make sure the website is optimized for visitors with disabilities.

Website accessibility compliance levels. Image — bostondigital.com

Before your website is launched it must be thoroughly tested and bug-free. Regardless of how nice your site looks, it isn’t worth much if it performs poorly or doesn’t work right. Even if you hired the best professional web design agency, you must double-check their work for typical web design mistakes they might have missed.

Another good way to optimize the website before releasing it to the public is usability testing. You don’t even have to hire a costly web design agency to do that for you. Let your family and friends test-run the site to get their feedback. Also, recruit a small group of five to ten unbiased users.

How to attract customers to a newly-built website

Some of the best web design firms offer digital marketing services and content marketing too. Photo by Diggity Marketing on Unsplash

Even though there is nothing magical about a new website, it’s possible for them to work magically sometimes. A well-designed website can help a business to grow its customer base by itself. So, how exactly can that happen? A website that has been developed and designed from scratch by a reputable and trusted digital company is more likely to be successful.

These web design companies have plenty of website designing experience as well as knowledge of how to design them from beginning to end and how to get them working perfectly. Web design companies focus on building the right user experience to convert more visitors into customers and create a site that users will like, using the best up-to-date approaches.

Having a website created by a digital design agency doesn’t naturally mean your conversion rates are going to increase though. You need to have a website built in a way that ensures visitors will want to become customers. If a visitor finds the website simple and pleasant to use without problems or confusion, they will develop a positive feeling about the company, service, or product, and data supports this fact.

While search engine optimization is a must, digital marketing strategies and conversions are vital for a company’s web presence, as every converted visitor is a new customer and customers are the best advertiser you have. They will tell family, friends, and even strangers online about businesses, services, and products they like.

Top 10 Web Design Mistakes (and How You Can Avoid Them)

Anyone familiar with the World Wide Web knows the internet is packed with poorly designed websites. However, these websites tend to result from basic, avoidable mistakes. Hiring a top-rated web design company is the only way you can guarantee a professionally designed website, but this isn’t always a possibility.

Common web design mistakes are easy to overlook. Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Even if you hire an agency, it is still worth learning a few simple things about web design yourself in all parts of the process. These are ten massive web design mistakes any reputable web design company should avoid:

  1. Unclear Vision, Brand, and Voice: Design and branding are strongly connected, and web design should bring the vision, voice, and story to life. If a website can’t clearly show visitors what your company is all about, one of the most crucial website design functions has been lost.
  2. Confusion Navigation: Whenever someone visits a website, they should be able to easily and quickly get to where they want. The logistical organization of web components facilitates navigation. A good example would be a clear, strategically located call to action (CTA).
  3. Disconnected Information: Bad link organization is usually the culprit when a website’s information isn’t connected sensibly and logically. For example, if a link on the homepage is labeled ‘products’ but instead of taking visitors to a products page, it takes them to a general information page, the usability of your website is suffering.
  4. Too Much Advertising: It’s never a good idea to overload web pages with advertisements. Like you, no website visitor wants to be bombarded with advertising. A good website designer will use strategic advertisement distribution so the ads won’t be distracting or excessive.
  5. Hidden Information: This should always be easy to find. The location of a webshop or contact information should be self-explanatory and usually accessible with one or two clicks. The web design should avoid obscuring the website’s message to visitors.
  6. Too Much Information: It’s essential to curate information so your visitors can see everything has its purpose. Avoid information overload because visitors will leave if the page is too busy or confusing. Ensure intentional and selective placement and strongly consider a minimalistic website as your design concept to streamline and simplify as much as possible.
  7. Colors that Clash: A basic understanding of color schemes and palettes is essential for the design. Clashing colors can undermine the intended feel of your brand. Choose a color scheme that can accentuate and represent your brand.
  8. Overlooked Details: Every detail is vital in web design. Something tiny like a missing comma or wrongly spelled word can give an otherwise professional website an amateur feel. No detail is too insignificant or small in web design.
  9. Disproportionate Visuals: A designer must develop a scheme of proportions if web pages require different sizes of visuals. If not, everything is going to look out of place and awkward. It takes practice to perfect, but it’s important to ensure a visitor focuses on the visual and not on how big or small it might be.
  10. No Optimization: Websites have to be optimized — there are no exceptions to this. Unless a website is fully optimized, it will lose access to many potential visitors. Screen website optimization is more critical than ever since sites must look and function just as well on phones and tablets as they do on a desktop computer screen. SEO optimization is also vital. This means the website is constructed with search engines in mind. To achieve this, your site needs a solid content management system.
Customer journey mapping for website UX
Customer journey mapping ensures consistent website UX. Photo by UX Indonesia on Unsplash

A website design should primarily focus on user experience, which concerns having your customer as your priority, ensuring you understand their wants and needs, and offering them whatever they visited your website looking for.

Although some of the things that make a website poorly designed should be obvious, this knowledge doesn’t make the actual design process any easier. Perhaps you realize that creating a website is out of your wheelhouse, and that’s fair enough — it can be very complex and time-consuming.

Suppose you have decided to hire a web design professional instead. In that case, this means you are willing to pay for your website project to be completed professionally and on time. So how do you ensure you will get what you’re paying for, and how do you choose the right agency from so many web design companies?

Top Web Design Agencies Can Help Grow Your Business

A word-class web design agency is going to offer more to you than just a well-designed website that wows customers, positions your brand as a leader, and sells your products or services.

They become part of your digital marketing team and will help you with every element of running your business on the internet. From website updates and maintenance to SEO tips and conversion optimization, a good digital web design company or marketing agency is going to have your back at every stage of the project.

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Andy Zenner

Andy Zenner

Seasoned UX designer and amateur writer

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