The best web design sites and services the internet has to offer
The best web design sites and services the internet has to offer. Given how essential web design is for businesses—you can’t do much without a web presence—it would be safe to assume that the process of creating a website would be less complicated, not more. Unfortunately, between digital strategy, UX and product design, interface design and development and mobile and tablet versions, the list of web design sites and services you can enlist to get a standout website seems to be growing everyday.
The good news is that there are services that make web design much easier and more affordable, provided you know where to look. We’ve done the work of sifting through the internet’s endless resources to round up some of the best web design sites and services for different needs and preferences.
*Please note: because the scale of web design projects vary, most design firms do not disclose prices but give quotes on a project-to-project basis. The prices given for the firms listed below are estimates based on research done by Clutch.
Table of Contents
Before we dive into our top picks for the best web design sites and services, it’s important to note that this is far from an exhaustive list. The internet is a big place, and there are a seemingly infinite amount of companies to choose from. For this article, we searched for the highest rated sites, making sure to represent variety in location, services and pricing tiers, all while keeping the article concise and to the point—we know you don’t have all day. Consider this a place to start; it’s always wise to do some additional comparing and contrasting yourself.
Best sites to find and compare web design services
If you’re unsure of where to begin looking, why not do what we did in preparation for this article? We scoured the internet for reputable sources that vet web design companies and compared their rankings with user reviews. With that said, here are the best sites to find and compare web design services.
Clutch is a website that conducts market research, including phone interviews with agencies and their past customers, to collect vetted information in one place and make hiring B2B firms much easier. You can view lists and stats on everything from marketing agencies to web and app development firms all in one place, and their site boasts data on over 150,000 firms.
Specialties: Agency data that includes marketing and advertising, software development, web/app design, IT
The Manifest, Clutch’s sister company, is an online publication that provides resources and how-to’s for businesses navigating the tech industry. Most importantly, their annual top 100 shortlists (like this list on web design) are a great place to find verified statistics and information on web design firms to hire.
Specialties: Agency shortlists and informational guides on digital marketing, web design and development, software development, app design and development
Sitejabber is a website that collects user reviews for online businesses and web services. While the insight you’ll find here isn’t vetted (anyone can post a review), once you’ve made a shortlist of businesses this can be a great secondary resource to check to see what real users are saying about them. Sitejabber even has a browser extension that allows you to see reviews as you shop.
Specialties: User reviews for online businesses
Best digital strategy and consulting services
Web design can be a costly and exhausting process. Imagine going through it to find that your design not only missed the mark, but you weren’t aiming for the right target to begin with. You might think you know what your website is supposed to accomplish, but that doesn’t guarantee this is going to match your users’ exceptions. This is why it’s critical to start your web design process with a solid digital strategy.
While digital strategy largely resides in the business consulting realm, it influences how the design will look and function. A good consultant will perform the target audience research, competitor research, brand audits and more to help you articulate what problem your website will solve and construct tangible goals for your design. Most designers will do this as a part of their design process, but if it’s within your budget and if your website stands to be fairly complex, it’s worthwhile to consider hiring a professional who specializes in digital strategy. While it is best to complete this step before you get a web design, you can always hire a consultant to audit your existing website and strategy.
TalMix is an online portal connecting hiring managers to a global network of business talent who are available for hire on a contract or permanent basis. You set up an account, upload your project details and TalMix’s algorithm matches you with a list of job seekers that meet your criteria. Their talent vetting process requires “extensive senior level industry experience” and “strong academic credentials.”
Specialties: General high end business consulting
Location: London, UK
Top clients: Staples, A&M, Foresters, Coople
Pricing: Varies depending on the talent (priced in pounds); Undisclosed platform fees
Graphite is an online service that connects business owners with business consultants. You create an account, describe your project and Graphite’s account managers will curate a list of prospects for you to interview. Although the vetting process is not made explicit, their site boasts that only 1 in 20 candidates make it through and 65% have advanced degrees.
Specialties: Business strategy and consulting, marketing, IT, data science
Location: San Francisco and New York
Top clients: Danaher, Sephora, Gilead, Sequoia, NEC
Pricing: Varies depending on the talent; Undisclosed platform fees
Expert360 is an Australian-based consulting platform that provides business talent for everyone from startups to enterprise clients. Once you create an account and post a project, you will be automatically matched to a list of candidates. Though Expert360 does vet its talent, including reference checks and phone interviews, there seems to be more variety in expertise and pricing than TalMix or Graphite.
Specialties: Business strategy and market research, IT, sales and marketing, operations
Location: Sydney, Australia
Top clients: Coca-cola, Uber, Virgin, Metcash
Pricing: Varies depending on the talent; 15-20% platform fees
Best UX design services
UX (user experience) design is an important step for planning how users will interact with your site. While digital strategy can help you come up with big picture goals for your website, a UX designer will provide a skeleton for exactly how your website will fit together and how its information will be relayed piece-by-piece for users. These wireframes will essentially provide the roadmap for the visual design of your website to follow.
Though UX design is much more critical for apps than general web design, if your website includes user functions such as profile management, shopping and messaging, you have functionality befitting UX expertise.
Qubstudio is a UX firm whose founders share a background in traditional design and branding, though these days they focus on delivering user experiences. They manage to be affordable for small and mid-market businesses while still delivering highly rated, top-notch quality services.
Specialties: UX/UI design
Location: Lviv, Ukraine
Top clients: Oracle, Finova Financial, Scoutbee, SoftServe
Pricing: $50 – $99 per hour; $10,000 project minimum
Momentum Design Lab is a UX studio that boasts Silicon Valley expertise with a global mindset. Their design process lasts between 16 and 32 weeks and includes every step from UX strategy to product realization.
Specialties: UX/UI design, digital strategy
Location: San Mateo, CA
Top clients: Ticketmaster, Sony, Toyota, AT&T, Verizon
Pricing: $150 – $199 per hour; $25,000 project minimum
Brave UX is a studio that prides itself on being brave enough to make tough choices on the behalf of users. Their singular focus on user experience lends itself to the design of complex apps, making them a great choice if your web design will need to incorporate higher levels of user functionality.
Specialties: UX/UI design
Location: Washington, D.C.
Top clients: AOL, Marriott, Royal Caribbean, Discovery
Pricing: $200 – $300 per hour; $50,000 project minimum
Best web design template sites and website builders
When it comes to building a website, the easiest and cheapest option by far is to use a template from a website builder platform. These sites allow you to simply choose a theme, drag and drop images, enter text and have a finished working website within a matter of hours.
If that sounds too good to be true, there are significant drawbacks. A template inherently means that customization is limited and your site will have a generic look, often the exact same look as the thousands of other businesses that have used the same template. Template sites also rarely offer anything beyond basic functionality. But aside from these negatives, the site builder option can act as a great temporary solution if you don’t yet have the budget for something more extravagant, and you certainly can’t fault these platforms for their ease and speed of use. With all that said, here are the few template sites that break the mold. Read more about the differences between website builders and web designers here.
Squarespace is a website builder that offers sleek design templates and speedy results no matter whether you are building a blog, a professional website or an online store. They also make it possible to integrate third party apps and tools to your template to cover your bases if you need extra functionality. Plus, you can work with a Squarespace Expert to get a custom web design.