70-80% of consumers research a business online before becoming its customers. If you want to make a positive first impression, check out our list of the top-performing web development companies and find your perfect partner. Ranked based on a custom-tailored evaluation process, there are agencies for businesses of every niche and size. You will also find a detailed guide to help you make the final choice.
We devised a unique methodology to evaluate the agencies objectively and provide you with an accurate picture of their quality. We approached the companies from multiple angles, assessing their technical skills, coding prowess, experience, project management style, and other critical factors like user satisfaction, transparency, and communication.
We perform the evaluation process manually because we believe algorithms cannot provide meaningful context. The following section breaks down every step of the process in detail.
Our journey starts with a website visit. We genuinely believe that apt web development agencies should have responsive websites that are easy to navigate and well-formatted. Navigating through each candidate’s website, we try to determine whether it’s a top website development company that can do for themselves what it's trying to sell to clients.
Once we’ve scouted the agency’s site, it’s time to look at their portfolio. Their past work gives us information about how long they are on the market, their experience in the field, and how many projects they have executed. Although a new kid on the block can perform as well as already established companies, it’s best to have your work with trusted professionals.
Going a step further, we take a look at the case studies. They should also detail the agency’s development process from brief to completion to give us a better idea of what clients can expect. As biased as case studies might seem, they demonstrate the web development agency’s capabilities and expertise. Of course, if case studies aren’t readily available, it doesn’t mean the company isn’t worth their salt.
Web design is the basis upon which web developers, well, develop. True, you can turn to specialized web design firms, but it’s much better to have it done by the same team. Why? Because there will be no problems with the functional aspects when bringing the design to life by coding.
Your website is your bridge to potential customers, and you want it to be as visible and well-thought-of as possible. You can always outsource and hire full-service digital marketing experts. However, the most prominent website development companies will provide basic search engine optimization and inbound marketing and quality content as part of their strategy.
To ensure your company will be provided with more business opportunities, we check the agency’s take on SEO and other inbound marketing strategies. Again, we discover such things by going through their past work and customer reviews. If necessary, we conduct interviews with the project managers using our dedicated section with questions about inbound marketing strategy.
For your site to be visible and accessible, it needs to be hosted on a server. One of the most important things to consider is whether they handle web hosting. The ideal web development service provider should be able to sort this for you. To find out whether the agencies provide hosting, we check their service lists.
Some website development firms won’t provide this service but will recommend a partner agency that can handle this. In such cases, we conduct interviews to determine what kind of hosting the agency’s partner company provides, what security measures they take, and how they handle CMS updates.
It only makes sense that you want a fully functional website instead of an online design with zero useful features. The website development agencies on our list can build a website from scratch - from design to database connectivity. We look for the capabilities of the company by going through their case studies and portfolios.
The full-stack developers listed here are known to maintain the highest standards of excellence, find the most effective solutions, and provide strong technical leadership. Moreover, they have a proven track record of delivering innovation and creativity through unique coding.
As a rule of thumb, top web developers excel in:
Online stores have significantly different requirements rather than informative websites. We have curated a list of ecommerce development companies and made sure that the web design and development companies on it have experience in the ecommerce field and can connect various databases for stocking, delivery, customer info, etc.
There is an overwhelming number of platforms to choose from. Yet, there are several open-source ones we specifically look for to find out if the agency is a good fit for ecommerce website development, such as WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop, and X Cart.
Your website must look and behave the same on both desktop and handheld devices. By checking the web development companies’ portfolios, we ensured that all of the above-listed web developers deliver mobile-optimized websites.
The past projects that each website development firm has completed give us insight into their expertise and quality, how successful they are in serving their clients, and how many mobile responsive sites they have developed in the past.
What happens if you want to change the plan and what about support after the site is live? We test the website design and development companies’ support systems and check user reviews on the web to see how responsive they are. A top web development company always takes a collaborative approach to address any problems that might arise during and after making a website.
Checking the customer reviews and testimonials is among the most important steps when shopping for the best website developers, with the latter being more important to us. Anyone can put up a portfolio of beautiful designs. Still, we need client satisfaction for more precise insight into their performance that will confirm whether each website development company delivers all that it promises.
Web development isn’t the most affordable thing in the world, so it’s necessary to hire a company that will serve cost-effectively. To ensure this, we cross-tabulate the prices of the best web development companies and see if they are worth the price based on market prices and the quality of services they are providing.
Project management plays a huge role in the development process and can vary from agency to agency. Virtually every professional web development company has developed its unique process. Knowing their process, how they implement it, and manage their projects will help you choose the best web development agency for your business.
How a project is managed can have a significant impact on its success. The two most popular methodologies are Waterfall, a.k.a the "traditional" approach, and Agile, a specific type of Rapid Application Development often implemented using Scrum.
In the Waterfall methodology, the process of development is streamlined, passing phases one by one. The transition from one stage to another happens after the previous one is completed. This methodology follows a strict work structure, which is why it's the better choice for short projects.
Agile is a team-based, time-focused approach to development and often the preferred choice for top web and app development companies. It enables creating a project incrementally, dividing it into phases called "sprints." Each sprint has set deliverables and defined the duration. Agile allows changes and adaptations at any step and relies much on customer involvement, especially during the review process through the daily build and end-of-sprint demos.
In the process of web development, you can't afford to run the risk of mismanagement. That's why your web design and development company should use tools like Asana, Basecamp, or Trello to take care of all project-related communication. Each of these tools is designed to help you track project statuses, understand where your money is being spent, set milestones, and meet deadlines effectively.
Planning the website is an essential step because it represents the basic outline of the site. The top web development companies will ensure they are building the right website by conducting research that would involve positioning and targeting the market.
Furthermore, they would take special note of your goals and your unique brand identity as essential components of a successful website. This process involves creating a wireframe and sitemap to give the developer insight into what the site will look like and how the pages will interact with each other.
The software architecture is the scheme on which the efficiency of the system depends. Good software architecture should be robust yet easy to maintain. Also, it should be flexible and usable in the long-term and adaptable to changing requirements. Most importantly, the software framework needs to be communicated properly, which leads us to the next point.
UML is a visual language used to communicate detailed information about software architecture efficiently. The UML diagrams are deemed to be an integral part of web development that is easily recognized and understood. They help in evaluating performance, tracking, and security. UML diagrams are highly flexible - the modeling elements and interactions in a UML diagram can be easily customized to suit the specific domain or technologies used.
The best website developers will provide documents created during the planning phase. These documents define the site architecture and identify the essential creative and technical requirements. Mainly, they provide insight into how the business brand is to be applied to the website, what is the overall online strategy, what framework will be used, how marketing will be integrated, what are the site features, and more.
Commenting on the code is essential to note as it helps in extending the project in the future. Web development agencies should describe and explain complicated code for those working on it in the future. Comments can help you remove sections of the code during site testing and debugging while also leaving them available for later use.
Studies indicate that 40%-60% of all downfalls found in software projects can be traced back to mistakes made while gathering requirements. Use Cases integrate these requirements into a package that describes the interaction of the user with the system. This is where users and domain experts play an essential role. Other stakeholders also have valuable input - they can easily understand the Use Cases and eliminate misunderstandings about the system’s functionality.
Website designing and development companies use version control systems to enable you to keep track of the changes made to the code. These systems help streamline the development process while maintaining the history of changes within the code. GitHub and Bitbucket are among the most used version control systems.
In the tech sphere, skills become obsolete quickly. That’s why you need to choose the best web development company with an adept team that can embrace new technology trends and loves learning.
Choosing the back-end technology depends on the technical capability of the website development company. From Node JS to PHP to Ruby - there are many different languages available to web developers. Each of them has different characteristics, ecosystems, and support that will influence the decision-making process. While there are specialized Node JS, Ruby on Rails, and PHP developers, top-tier web development companies can use various technologies to make the backend user-friendly and functional for your customers and your team.
A framework will make the web development process more effective because it provides pre-written solutions for features and functions commonly used on sites. Most website and app development companies have a framework or platform they use the most. Your job is to make sure that the framework is one that other web developers will be able to work with should you need to change the web dev partner.
Another critical thing to consider before partnering up with a web development company is how widespread are the technologies they use. This is very important because you want to assure other web development experts can easily find the technologies used in case you want to change your agency in the future.
Security is one of the most critical things in the process of website creation. Your web development agency should provide protection and maintenance of the plugins and CMS to ensure the site’s optimal performance. We make sure to evaluate the web development firms against our criteria for cyber security providers before listing them here. Still, before closing a deal, make sure that they will inform you what's their take on securing web apps and APIs.
Moreover, consider whether they have experienced DDOS attacks and if they implement CDN. Finally, ask them if they test Use Cases to discover vulnerabilities and whether they use automated tools like Black Box Scanner to identify weaknesses or conduct a manual search.
Additional tech-related things to consider before hiring a website development firm
Every other programmer can develop a website; it’s efficient code that differentiates great website developers from programmers. They should be able to ensure maximum work with minimum code.
A professional web development company would provide server-side scripting optimization for better performance of the website. Also, consider what kind of performance metrics they can promise on your website. Speed and reliability should be among them.
SEO, for instance, is a relatively technical thing that programmers should understand to give a marketing edge for the website. You need to ask them whether they develop with SEO in mind. This means using canonical tags, no duplicate pages, easy ways to update content, descriptions, and meta titles. While you can hire some of the top SEO agencies to optimize your website for online success, the top-of-the-line website development companies are also expected to take care of content highlighting to make it more readable and improve time on site, which, in turn, will help in improving search rankings and conversions.
Other things to consider include:
It is vitally important to know who will be working on your website, how you can get in touch with them, and how frequently they report on updates. Typically, agencies with nearshore teams produce the best web development services instead of agencies that outsource their work. Hiring an agency with an in-house team allows you to be in close contact with the person whose hands are on your website. Also, it's advisable that you meet in person the team working on your site so you can exchange ideas and thoughts first-hand.
Before hiring a web development services company, you need to clarify what type of website you want. A web app, a CMS, a simple custom-made website with content, an ecommerce website, or a business website with landing pages that can convert well - all these website types differ in many ways, including content and functionality. That’s why you need to decide what you are going for before hiring the agency. This information will help them get a clear picture of your expectations and start working towards the set goal immediately.
Web development agencies' prices vary greatly depending on the project and the company you opt for. Naturally, custom website development will cost you more than website templates. You will get the most accurate information after consulting with the web development service provider of your choosing. Web developers will set a budget frame only after they see the requirements and understand all the details about your site.
This, too, depends on the site’s complexity and the features and functionalities you want to add. Top web developers have a straightforward process in place and can give you a rough estimate of how long it will take to get the website up and running. You should keep in mind that the whole process might take a while, but it’s important not to rush it - you wouldn’t want to launch a half-finished website, would you?
Web design and web development are two different aspects of the website building process. Each of them requires a unique set of skills. Web design refers to the aesthetics and usability of a website, while web development aims to bring the web design to life and make a fully functional website. However, you can easily find website designing and development companies that provide everything under one roof.
Considering the growing number of mobile device users, it’s fair to state that having a mobile-responsive site isn’t a requirement - it’s a must. Mobile responsiveness will ensure that your users have a great experience and increase the visibility of your site on search engines. Luckily, you can find a bunch of excellent mobile and web development companies on our list.
Choosing the coding language should be discussed with the selected web development firm. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach - it depends on the features and functionalities you want your site to have.
WordPress and Drupal are the most common platforms of choice; however, some web development companies will work with other ones or build a custom one for you. The choice of the CMS depends on the complexity of the website and how easy you want to add or edit content.