A Look At The Top Web Design Companies In The WordPress Space

Posted on April 29, 2015 by in Resources | 31 comments

A Look At The Top Web Design Companies In The WordPress Space

Type the keywords “WordPress Design Company” into a search engine and you just might be overwhelmed by all of the choices. You’ll probably see over 75 million results. That’s a lot of design companies.

Within those 75 million results are some WordPress superstars, superheroes, and maybe even a time lord or two. They are the top of the top. The leaders of the pack. But who are they? This article will take a look at who I think are the top WordPress web design companies. But before I tell you who they are, I’ll tell you how I chose them.

How They Made the List

Before I give you the list, I want to discuss how these designers made the list in the first place.

The first thing I did was a Google search. I found as many web designers as I could. They had to be easy to find in a search engine. That doesn’t mean they made the list just because I found them on the first page, and there may be some here that are harder to find, but that’s a start.

I then checked their Alexa ranking. Why? This is an indication of how popular their site is. It’s not the only indication of course, but it helps to narrow it down. For example, if one firm has an Alexa rank of 10,000,000 and the next one is 10,000, keeping in mind that lower is better… I went with the lower ranking. Now, this doesn’t mean that every site here has the lowest Alexa ranking. There are a few that didn’t make it to the next test.

The next thing I did was look at their site. It had to intrigue me. It had to load fast and it had to sparkle. If their own site didn’t impress me then I didn’t go any further. Of course sometimes less is more, so it couldn’t be all shiny with no substance. It had to give me the information I wanted and it had to work well. It had to give me a good indication of the kind of work they do. I wanted cake with my icing.

Next I looked at their portfolios. They had to impress me. I wasn’t necessarily looking for quantity. I wanted quality. One good sample is better than several bad samples. I approached from the standpoint of being a potential client.

The next thing I looked at is their client list. If they’re really that good then they should have an impressive list of clients. Their clients should have names that we’ve all heard before. They wouldn’t just impress me, but they would impress big names in the industry as well. I wanted names that I could recognize.

I also looked at their team. Not all companies tell this information, but it can be an indication of the skills the company has access to and can show how many projects they can handle at once. A team of just a few can produce some impressive work, but they would be limited in how many clients they can handle at any one time. Larger teams can either take on larger projects or more projects.

Finally I looked at what the company contributes back to the community. What do they do for the cause? Do they provide open source code for all to use? Do they provide training at conferences and schools? Do they donate their time to help develop the WordPress core? Do they have a blog with tutorials? A good company will give back and invest in others using the means they can.

These are leaders in the field of web design in the WordPress space. Who are they? Let’s look and see…

WebDevStudios

webdev Studios

Founded in 2001, WebDevStudios is a team over 30 members that include programmers and authors. The team specializes in WordPress, BuddyPress, maintenance, and mobile applications. They do multisite, migration, and custom design. They pride themselves in their WordPress expertise. They contribute to WordPress and BuddyPress core development, develop plugins, and lead training sessions at WordPress conferences across the globe.

They’ve written 7 books about WordPress and WordPress. Titles include:

You may’ve heard of one of those.

Their client list includes:

  • Microsoft
  • Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
  • Discovery Communications
  • MSNBC
  • Time

Their portfolio shows 28 amazing projects that include simple personal blogs to news magazines to commercial sites. Each one gives details about the project and a link to the client’s website.

You can use their contact page to inquire about projects and pricing.

10up

10up

10up has a team of 108 that includes many engineers, managers, strategists, and designers. They provide ongoing WordPress development, testing, optimization, plugin development, and more. They donate their time to open source projects and platforms like WordPress, Vagrant, and jQuery. They have 21 free and active plugins for WordPress.

They volunteer, speak at, and organize industry events all around the world. They donate hundreds of thousands of dollars and hours every year through code, sponsorships, community organizing, their own projects, and sharing their expertise with others. Their blog includes tutorials.

Their long list of clients includes:

  • Google
  • Time
  • ESPN
  • Wired
  • Sales Force
  • Automattic
  • Variety
  • AT&T
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Western Digital
  • Tech Crunch

Their portfolio contains 14 projects that includes a college, mobile apps, business websites, entertainment websites, blogs, etc.

You can discuss your project design and pricing through their contact page.

Tribe

Tribe

Tribe is a community of developers and designers that specialize in WordPress, mobile, and rapid prototyping. They have built over 400 sites that attract over a million visitors per month each. Some even have over 20 million unique visitors each month. They work with custom layouts, galleries, social media, community sites, event management, forum integrations, live streaming, and more. They’ve been in business for over 14 years and have a team of over 30 freelancers.

They’ve won 6 Webby Awards, 2 Interactive Media Awards, the Gov 2.0 Grand Prize, a Communicator Award, a W3 Award, and a few Mayoral Commendations. The founded the Freelance Camp, speak at conferences, an invested over $300,000 into WordPress and Chili open source projects.

Their client list includes:

  • eBay
  • Direct TV
  • CNN
  • BlackBerry
  • NBC
  • Holiday Inn
  • Boeing
  • Ask
  • Seagate
  • Verizon
  • Westinghouse
  • Motorola
  • And more

They show off their work through one of their 4 blogs (Articles, Technology, Lifestream, and Tribe News. You can subscribe to each one individually). This means that their portfolio can be a little difficult to find as you have to sort through job postings, awards, interviews, news, etc. Topics include updates to their own plugins, tutorials, interviews, etc.

You can talk to them about your design or development project through their contact page.

Crowd Favorite

Crowd Favorite

Rather than being just a design or development agency, Crowd Favorite sees themselves as a business partner. Their specialties include branding, design, user experience, development, integration, and maintenance. They work with BuddyPress, bbPress, and WooCommerce. They work with large enterprises and connect a variety of existing corporate systems. They perform heavy customization, data migration, software integration, and more.

Their team includes designers, developers, project managers, quality assurance specialists, and architects that specialize in all-things WordPress. They work from 6 different offices from around the globe.

The team teaches at WordCamps, they sponsor Junior Achievement, etc.

Clients include:

  • Direct TV
  • National Geographic
  • MailChimp
  • Mozilla
  • Disquis
  • NVIDIA
  • Yahoo!
  • Microsoft
  • Monster
  • Tech Crunch
  • Discovery Education
  • Starbucks
  • Walmart
  • And more

Their portfolio includes case studies from 7 select projects with more projects and information on their blog under a category called Case Studies. This includes projects for clients such as colleges, blogs, and websites of all sizes from large to small. They also have info about plugins and themes.

You can contact them about projects through their contact page.

Human Made

Human Made

humanmade is a design agency that works with large-scale sites and big-name clients worldwide. They are part of the WordPress.com VIP Partner program. They provide strategy and consulting, code reviews, accessibility reviews, content migrations, and code and hosting management. They do full site builds, migrations, custom development, WordPress network development, maintenance, and more. They specialize in big projects with high traffic that are technical and tricky. They even provide sample prices on their site.

The team is active in the WordPress community by developing plugins, tools, and they speak at WordCamps and Meetups.

Clients include:

  • Skype
  • Sony
  • PayPal
  • Samsung
  • Clickbank
  • News Corp
  • Automattic
  • Digital Trends
  • And more

Their portfolio shows 29 samples that includes basic websites, news blogs, personal blogs, online magazines, etc.

You can contact them for information about projects through their services page.

Daddy Design

Daddy Design

Daddy Design provides many online development services including WordPress. They can design and create a custom website or blog and make it SEO friendly. They can develop custom themes, plugins, widgets, layouts, and more. They like working with clients that are starting a business, branding their own merchandise, and bringing their businesses online. They strive to work at affordable prices for companies of all sizes.

They’ve been in business since 2006. Their team consists of programmers, designer, social media experts, copywriters, and WordPress experts.

Their blog includes web design tutorials. The tutorials include many topics about WordPress, plugins, handling custom code in themes, custom post types, adjusting settings in responsive sites, creating custom buttons, etc.

Clients include:

  • Nike
  • IBM
  • TNT
  • Universal
  • Spotify
  • Elle
  • VEVO
  • SanDisk
  • Wacom
  • Stanford
  • And more

Their portfolio shows 31 WordPress projects. Projects include blogs, news sites, magazines, restaurants, hotels, vacations, schools, e-stores, etc.

You can contact them for a free quote through the Request a Quote page.

WordPrax

WordPrax

WordPrax works with clients from startups to established enterprises. They do custom WordPress development for $18 an hour. They develop custom plugins and themes, SEO optimization, perform site migrations, provide 24/7 tech support, and follow ISO 9001 processes.

They have over 350 WordPress professionals and they’ve done over 50,000 projects in the 10 years they’ve been in business. Clients choose the team structure and reporting procedures. They don’t mention anything on their site about community activities, but I still included them in this list because of the client list and quality to price ratio is extremely high.

Clients include:

  • CNet
  • Popular Science
  • Kodak
  • Texaco
  • Cushman and Wakefield
  • Asos
  • Daa
  • Timr
  • And more

Their portfolio includes 15 projects ranging from schools to personal blogs to business. The projects are screenshots that open in a lightbox, giving you a close look at the client’s homepage.

You can contact them about your project through their contact page.

Range

Range

Range is a WordPress.com VIP partner that performs migrations, plugin development, code auditing, theme development and customizations, branding, UX design based on data, WordPress hosting, and website scaling.

They have a small team of 5 that consists of developers, designers, a project manager, and a creative director.

They love using open source tools in their development and they love giving back to the community. They’re active in community development, they’ve provided free plugins and themes, contributed to WordPress core releases, taught 45 sessions to the global community, and they comment in repositories. They share their code and speak at international WordCamps. Their blog provides articles in web development concepts. There’s even an article about photography.

Clients include:

  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • Disney
  • Ooyala
  • And more

The portfolio includes 32 case studies which gives some information about each project with lots of photos of the finished work. Projects include personal blogs, e-stores, community multi-sites, magazines, schools, news sites, personal branding, etc.

You can contact them about a project through their contact page.

WerkPress

WerkPress

WerkPress develops WordPress websites from basic sites to enterprise-level. They will also customize your current website. They use their design process to:

  • Discover – learn about the client’s culture, market, customers and competition
  • Create – use the talent’s to solve problems visually and technologically
  • Evaluate – refine the work and evaluate it against the client’s project goals

They have a team of 17 that specialize in WordPress design and development. The team consists of designers, UI/UX strategists, and creative directors. They regularly speak at and attend national WordPress events. They provide many articles about WordPress design on their blog.

Clients include:

  • NASA
  • Whirlpool
  • Flipboard
  • Glitter Guide
  • Boise State University
  • Traackr
  • Redline
  • Aveda
  • And more

Their portfolio is found at their parent division: WestWerk. The portfolio includes 12 samples that includes Boise State University, River Rush Brewer, Minnesota Opera, Pikes Peak Brewer, Marsh, KingSolutions, Essential, RN Construction, Sharper Management, Del Sol, Mien Kielo, and the United Nations.

You can contact them about a project through their contact page.

Wrapping Up

Well, that’s a look at the top web design companies in the WordPress space. They all have some things in common: they provide high quality services, they have an impressive list of clients, they have a great-looking portfolio, and they all contribute to the community in one way or another.

Now I’d like to hear from you! Did I leave out your favorite? Do you disagree with one of my choices? Do you have a design company to add? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Article thumbnail image by Faberr Ink / shutterstock.com

31 Comments

  1. Great article. I’d just add few more: fruitfulcode.com with a lot of european clients, ironpaper.com (awesome magazine-like sites), as well as hariscizmic.com with a lot of automotive/entertainment clients.

  2. Excellent article! I was looking for a web design company for a client of mine and you just show me the way… 🙂

  3. You forgot one: Catfish Creative. (me) 🙂

    • Not bad 🙂

  4. Really impressive. It’s always funny when client are asking “Isn’t wordpress for blogs only ?” or “WordPress is a bit too weak for my company”
    These references will answer to these common questions 🙂

    Thanks a lot for sharing.

  5. How do they manage to get such a profile clients ? I’m sure it will be every web design company’s dream to be on that list 🙂

  6. Interesting but it is not the best of the world. It is the best of the english word). In every country in Europe, There is quite astonishes wordpress web agencies, with huge international brands.

    The criteria could also take care of the size of the brand or the company the agency works for and also what they have done : consulting, strategy, marketing, design, development,…

    It is hard to classify this sector, this is the reason why your top 9 is interesting.
    Also, you should keep in mind that numerous web agencies hire freelance or small studio to do the job….

  7. If there are 75 million WordPress Design Firms, then every third adult in the US and EU are WordPress designers??

    I don’t get the point of this article. Your clients are the competitors of these big guys. You should celebrate the advantages of using a small, personalized, local vendor instead of these giants.

    • Agreed Daniel. The rich get richer.

      • I’m not going to argue the point that ET users are probably not the ones who would be likely to hire big design agencies like WDS and 10up and Range. I think that’s implicit.

        Full disclosure: I am a developer for WebDevStudios. Also, I am not rich. I spent many, many years struggling as a freelancer before I joined WebDev. I would argue that none of us — even the execs at the big agencies listed — are “rich get richer”. And there is a place for bigger agencies with larger development teams.

        The single mom who’s trying to create an online store for selling handmade cloth diapers isn’t likely to drop $20k to have a team of 10 build this huge complex site for her. She’s going to want something more within her means (either piecing something together using a premium theme, like those that Elegant produces, or hiring a smaller design agency/freelancer).

        Likewise, even if Microsoft wanted to hire a small, highly talented team or individual freelancer to take on their sites, said team/individual would be so overwhelmed by the scale that it would be ridiculous. Personally, if I was still freelancing, I’d laugh at jobs that large. I’d have no idea how to even submit a quote for them, let alone take on the task single-handed.

        What’s more, many agencies give back to the greater WordPress community because we can, and because we know how important WordPress is to our livelihoods. We contribute to WordPress core or build WordPress plugins or themes that are freely available in the WordPress plugin/theme repositories or on GitHub. We organize WordPress meetups in our areas or teach or speak at WordCamps. We organize those, too. We’re actively involved in making the software we all use and love better for everyone.

        While WebDev doesn’t generally work with Elegant Themes, specifically, if we had a client and they wanted a site built with — or based from — an Elegant Theme, we’d absolutely do it for them. We wouldn’t try to dissuade them or say “we can totally do it better.”

        WordPress-specific agencies are not competing with individuals or freelancers, it’s a totally different type of project and client..

        • That was a great post/reply. Thanks for that clarification. I think the point of the posters was that ET should have made a post more about discovering small agencies rather than focusing on the high profile companies.

    • Thank you. finally some sense in this regards.

      ET’s clients are basically freelancers/small business that offer web design services for their clients !

      what’s the point of this article? that ET isn’t needed? or our (freelancers/small businesses) services isn’t needed?!

      Promoting major companies?!

    • Well I guess that shows how open minded elegant themes is. To tell you the truth I like the post, it seems unbiased to me and relevant to its title.

  8. I wonder if another subsequent piece could widen the scope a bit and look at agencies that are experts at WordPress but don’t necessarily present solely to that niche. Some of these sites seem to produce huge quantity (“350 fulltime programmers”) and list household name brands among their clients, but I would love to see another foray into the landscape with more of a focus on smaller, craft-oriented collectives (as opposed to agencies). Two that come to mind for me are Levatas and Digital Telepathy. Both can do WordPress extremely well, but their home page or lead story is not necessarily about that. How can we find more diamonds in the rough like these companies, rather than WordPress factories?

  9. Great article!

    Here’s an idea for another post in the future…. A similar report, but about some of the top *small* WordPress studios and designers. I’d love to see a similar list that focuses on standout companies that are just run by one or two people. (More like me and my one-man-show). I love being a solopreneur. 🙂

    Thanks again for a great post. I don’t know how you do it, but you always come up with new and exciting topics that really get to the heart of making more money as a WP designer. Keep up the good work.

    • I’d love to this as well, I’d be able to relate to it more and possibly learn some cool stuff.

  10. I’ve hired a couple of design agencies who have redesigned a big company’s homepage or blog just for fun so they can list it in their portfolio. Meaning that they may never actually have worked with those companies. I got fooled by that trick.

    So unless you verify that they’v worked with these big companies you really don’t know for sure.

    Of course, if they’re bold enough to state in writing that they’ve worked with certain companies, I’d probably believe them. But if their work only shows in their portfolio it doesn’t mean that they’ve actually worked with them. Consumer beware.

  11. Brenda,

    Great article. These are definitely some fantastic design companies. Although I wouldn’t have taken Alexa rankings into account. I guess I can’t object too much, though, because it seems to be the way to do it: whoever wrote the Best WP Design Companies article over on WP Mayor back in January, for example, must’ve have used basically the exact same methodology you did.

    Although, to your credit, you list a couple companies WPM missed; their readers had to point them out in the comment section.

    Somewhat surprisingly, not one studio that wasn’t on their list or recommended in the comments for it made it through your involved selection process. I guess it just goes to show you that, even with 75,000,000 potential options, a handful of firms really, dramatically, dominate the market. Right?

  12. Good to see the par, and more importantly how to pivot a branch that could help us rise above the cloud. How many of these firms are using EG? These seem like much bigger agencies doing custom design and development than I’d expect the cruz of the EG user base.

    Thanks again.

  13. that is nice list compiled and variety as well. Why dont you have Top Elegant Designers – max portfolio links you show you come to top.

  14. Good article, but 75 million results does not mean there are 75 million web designers! Every page from every firm will be listed, possibly multiple times.

  15. This is terrific, can wait to look through all their work! I just love the WordPress platform and just wanted to share that I’ve created a ton of tutorials on WordPress for eHow.com too.
    Susan

  16. Very informative article for me, be familiar with only webdevstudio others are new for me. So thanks for share this blog post.

  17. Buying a theme and configuring a few plugins is not the same as what larger web companies do. We build a lot of custom functionality into clients sites and having a team with varying abilities means we can take on almost any project including those from big companies who need to make sure what they want to accomplish gets done..

    It’s not competing, its a different game.

  18. Great list. Would be great if there are also some suggestions on how best to pick amongst these companies if we want to hire one? Eg which might be better for certain types of industries and verticals.

  19. Those who are looking for the best web design companies to design their website will find this post very beneficial. Thanks a lot for posting such an informative post.

  20. Our expertise will help you build brands and generate traffic, leads and sales through your website.

  21. Really great way to dissect valuable information from those who’ve already succeeded in doing this. This will really help me in my case studies and backlinkings. Thanks a lot Brenda!

  22. Thanks for gathering the list together. It would be an honor to be included in a “Small WP Firm” list. We are 100% niched in WordPress, WordCamp organizers (WCSATX), Meetup Group Organizers & Instructors (YouTube Channel). We make our living, support our kids, and budget for fun all because of WP.

  23. Thanks for this article – just what I needed!

    Finding a good, competent, reasonably priced web developer is one of the biggest issues that businesses face and if you’re not technical it is a minefield.

  24. Thanks for sharing!
    Good website design company is not just about how your site looks. In fact, the most important elements are often unseen. The best web design companies boost your site’s performance by using a well thought out SEO marketing campaign.

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