Written by Sabrina Dougall Reviewed by Robyn Summers-Emler Updated on 1 August 2022 On this page Methodology KD Web: Best for online shops The Web Kitchen: Best for educational groups Kota: Best for travel companies OMdeSIGN: Best for startups NerdCow: Best for transport and environmental sectors How do I choose which web design agency to hire? What's the difference between a web designer and a web developer? Next Steps FAQ Expand Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral. KD Web and The Web Kitchen are our top picks for the best London web design agencies.We've thoroughly researched and compared the top website design and development firms to produce this final list. Scoring each one based on their range of services and customer satisfaction, we're confident these are the website makers to trust.So, read on for more details on these London-based web agencies, or check out our guide for best web design companies for small businesses in the UK. What kind of website do you need? Business Online shop Not sure Clicking one of the above icons will let you request a match with a trusted web design agency partner. Research methodologyHow did we choose which web design agencies are the best in London? Of course, competition is hot and there are many that did not make the cut this time around. None of the agencies on this list have paid to appear here. We searched databases of web design agencies, filtered by location (set to London), client size (set to small businesses with annual turnover of <$10M) then ranked by their customer review ratings. We selected companies with the highest customer review ratings which had comparable service offerings (the majority of their business made up of web design and development). Then we calculated an average customer review score for each agency based on their ratings across five separate review platforms.We scored each agency on their service offerings, each receiving a point or half a point if they offered certain services relating to web design, web development and digital marketing. These scores were added to the customer review average for a final total. Each agency's point total was then converted to a percentage then a five star rating. We've rounded each five star rating to one decimal place for easy reading. KD Web: Best for online shops (ecommerce) web designs KD Web 4.1 Compare quotes Review summary KD Web surges ahead of the pack when it comes to custom-built ecommerce websites. With speedy Magento hosting and a wide range of ecommerce-specific capabilities, the development team are sure to deliver a secure and powerful shopping site for your business.Impressively, they manage their own hosting servers, which improves the continuity of service for the client. Namely, you can have one convenient point of contact for all matters relating to your website, rather than needing to contact an unknown company in the event of a hosting issue.They boast a wider range of CMS options than other providers so you're not just limited to WordPress. In the web development phase, the team is so focused on getting the right result that they'll even bring in focus groups and independent evaluation to ensure the final outcome is as excellent as possible for the client.Strangely, KD Web's own website betrays a few imperfections. There are a couple of typos, some pixelated images and a layout that feels very old-school. That said, their website clearly works well and their portfolio demonstrates a range of stylistic capabilities. Even so, some of the images on portfolio sites are used repetitively and this shows a lack of attention to detail. This indicates that the client needs to be eagle-eyed to spot discrepancies the KD Web team may miss.While they offer some social media services as well as SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, they don't offer email marketing as The Web Kitchen does. Read more + Read less - Strengths Manage own hosting Wide range of CMS options 4.9 average customer review Weaknesses Repetitive imagery use on client websites Typos on their own website The Web Kitchen: Best for educational groups The Web Kitchen 3.6 Actual score was 3.64 and this is rounded to one decimal place Compare quotes Review summary The Web Kitchen (TWK) is a small yet highly regarded web design agency, offering a fairly wide range of services. The main extra benefit is their digital marketing consultation and brand asset creation, which not all agencies offer. With that boon you'll be able to access and influence a broader audience of potential customers than you'd otherwise be able to. Their Sea Mirror web project won honourable mention in the prestigious 2021 Awwwards. Honestly, their creativity in web design and UX in particular is innovative and unforgettable.TWK will take care of web hosting and backup as standard, with an optional extra of ongoing maintenance (which includes SEO). A surprising omission from their offering, however, is their lack of in-house copywriting so you'll have to sort that out yourself.Their target market is diverse, including educational institutions, large telecoms firms and luxury architecture. Read more + Read less - Strengths Innovative UX design (award nominated) Video production and editing in-house Highly rated by customers Weaknesses No copywriting available in-house Kota: Best for travel company web designs Kota 3.6 Actual score is 3.56 but we've rounded to one decimal place Pricing Around £40,000 Compare quotes Quick overview We like Kota for their funky, modern web designs and groovy web graphics. Far removed from clunky, old-fashioned web designs of yesteryear, Kota creates responsive, reactive and interactive websites for design firms, luxury travel companies and hospitality companies.Given their experience, we recommend Kota for travel companies specifically because they know how to optimise for web users in this niche. Matching font style, image choice and page layout to the refined tastes of the clientele, Kota created an atmospheric holiday bookings website for a travel company.Kota performed extremely well on customer review ratings, scoring 4.97 out of 5 on average. Former clients were particularly enthused about the SEO elements of their new website designs, meaning it was easier for them to appear high up on search engine results pages. That's good news for company visibility and usually means more web traffic.You can rely on Kota for in-house custom motion graphics, animations and video. These services are really hard to find within web design agencies, which is why Kota is such a hidden gem. Read more + Read less - Strengths Strong SEO skills (appear on search engines) Very high customer satisfaction Video production, photography and animation Weaknesses Prepare to invest at least £30,000+ Kota web design pricingDon't expect to nail down Kota on a final price before you've had an in-depth consultation. However, some clients have shared their approximate spend on recent web design projects:Nine months WordPress design and build $50,000 (£41,000)Six months WordPress redesign and logo update £40,000 ▶ Read more: How Much Does a Website Cost? 2023 Definitive Guide OMdeSIGN: Best for startup web designs OMdeSIGN 3.4 Actual score was 3.36 but we've rounded to the first decimal place Compare quotes Quick overview OMdeSIGN make genuinely one-off websites for independent boutiques, startups and small businesses. While some agencies pretend to listen to your ideas and then pull out a generic template design at your next one-to-one, these guys will build you something quirky, professional and memorable.A particular USP is their copywriting service, which is hard to come by among web design agencies. Generally companies prefer to offer web development plus digital marketing and this may involve outsourced copywriting if you're lucky. Their expertise in ecommerce means OMdeSIGN can product website copy that's aimed at sales customers, and designed to convert online purchases.That's why we recommend OMdeSIGN for start-ups, who can't afford a few quiet months on sales. The agency's SEO (search engine optimisation) and visual branding services will get some much-needed attention for small start-ups in competitive markets.There's no in-house photography or video production, unlike Kota, so OMdeSIGN lost points there. Also their digital marketing services are a little thin on the ground compared to Kota. They'll offer some basic pay-per-click advertising advice but it's not really part of their core offering. Read more + Read less - Strengths Experienced in online sales conversion Website backup and maintenance In-house web copywriting Weaknesses Only use WordPress No photography or video production NerdCow: Best for transport and environmental web designs NerdCow 3.1 Score of 3.13 rounded to one decimal place Pricing Around £20,000 Compare quotes Quick overview NerdCow can build you a decent good-looking website with the USP that they work faster than your average web design agency. The small team achieves this by only working with one client at any one time, and they promise to keep in touch with you constantly throughout the process.They work with a few different CMS (content management systems) including WordPress, Webflow and Shopify, for selling online. That'll give you a little wiggle room on the kind of website you need, and give you a better chance of ending up with one you can edit yourself somewhat easily.NerdCow lost points for offering no other digital marketing or brand asset creation to speak of, unlike all of its competitors in this list. Their target market is environmental startups, transport and logistics firms and B2C ecommerce companies.However, they'll take care of ongoing website maintenance for you and keep you in the driver's seat of how much budget you're spending on their work. Read more + Read less - Strengths Cheaper than big agencies Speedy website build Regular communication from the team Weaknesses No extra brand asset creation Tiny agency means work capacity is limited NerdCow web design pricingIt's always impossible to guess at pricing for your specific project because there are so many variable factors at play. However, a client who engaged NerdCow in March 2022 said their website was delivered in April 2022 and paid around £20,000. How do I choose which web design agency to hire?Because ‘web design agency' is a broad term that covers lots of types of company, you should first begin by narrowing down the scope of your project. If you're approaching a web design agency saying “I want you to build me a website”, the first thing they'll say is “What type of website do you need?”.Here are some examples of specific website projects:An online clothing store with category pages for womenswear and menswearAn artist portfolio with a gallery page and contact pageA landing page with an email sign-up formA log-in portal for a database of documents with different access levelsA restaurant website with booking functions, an interactive map and menu download optionsConsider the size of your company and outline a realistic budget according to how much a website costs.Define your website goalsAs far as general guidance goes, you want to engage an agency that will ensure you meet tangible goals. So you need to have done some thinking about what your specific aims are. Whether that means gaining X number of conversions per month, generating Y number of sales leads or Z number of email sign-ups per week – it's time to get really precise about why you're hiring a web design agency.But beyond KPIs, it's perfectly fine to have looser brand-based goals such as:Improve the credibility of my brandEnsure customers can find the information they need about my servicesDisplay my portfolio in a professional wayBuild brand awarenessAdvertise my new product rangeBecome an authority in my niche What's the difference between a web designer and a web developer?Say you've narrowed down what type of website you'd like built. Now you need to know exactly who to hire for the job. Let's quickly look at the difference between web design and web development.A web designer: Focuses on the overall look and layout of the website. When a user comes to a website, how will they find the information they need? Which buttons will they click to reach the page they want to find? A web designer must answer these questions and think about the user experience (UX) of the website. They are a visual designer with a talent for colour schemes, choosing imagery and matching fonts.A web developer: Also known as a programmer, the web developer builds a website from code in the ‘back end'. This means we only see the results of their code, but we don't see the lines of code appear on the website. It takes many years to train in programming languages such as HTML5, PHP, Java and C++. They will build the functions of the website so that it functions from a technical perspective.A web designer will create ‘wireframes', simple diagrams of web page layouts. They'll focus on how the page looks on different devices.In short, a web developer creates the product designed by the web designer. It's important to know the difference because not all web design agencies actually have web developers on their team. You need to understand who you are hiring and their level of expertise. For example, you should hire a web agency with web developers if you need a multi-functional website with a bespoke technical spec.Yet, if you need something simpler such as a beautiful landing page with a simple sign-up form, you'd most likely be fine with only web designers. Web development is much more involved, in-depth work which usually takes several months to complete. Web designers may be able to produce some eye-catching and well thought-out website layouts within a few weeks. They may then brief their in-house web developer team on the website build, who'll make it from scratch. Next StepsThe best London web design agency depends on exactly what you need and what your priorities are. We recommend choosing an agency that can demonstrate expertise in the industry or sector you need a website for. With that in mind, you should definitely check out the work of these top web design agencies:KD Web: Best for online shops (ecommerce) – 4.1/5The Web Kitchen: Best for educational groups – 3.6/5Kota: Best for travel companies – 3.6/5OMdeSIGN: Best for startups – 3.4/5NerdCow: Best for transport and environmental sectors – 3.1/5If none of the above particularly take your fancy, we'd recommend you get tailored pricing information using our 🎁web design agency finder tool. If you click the options of what kind of website you're looking for, we'll match you with trusted web designers and ask them to get in touch.Whichever web design agency you go with, make sure they explain you how they'd go about bringing your vision to life, giving you a very clear blueprint of pricing, services and a time-limited plan of action. Let us find a trusted web design agency for you What kind of website do you need? An online shop Something else Just answer a few questions – it only takes a minute FAQ What different kinds of websites are there? There are 10 main types of websites:Blog websiteCorporate websiteEcommerce website (online shop)Portfolio websiteLanding pageCrowdfunding websiteOnline magazineVideo streaming websiteEducational websiteWiki or knowledge hubYou can find out in detail about each of the different types of websites in our in-depth guide. All kinds of people can run their own website these days. If you can make the time to regularly update the content, images and legal compliance of a website then there's no reason you shouldn't go for it. Bear in mind it can be really tricky to keep your website looking professional and trustworthy unless you get some help from a web design agency or freelancer.While it's possible to build your own website with a DIY website builder, this is really only a money-saving option if you're not looking to scale your business in the long-run. Since a website is the online profile of your business or organisation, you want to give the best impression possible. You can convert more sales or sign-ups with a credible website than you can with a half-hearted DIY attempt, so think carefully before choosing the type of website you need. What are the best web development agencies in London? If you need an online store, we recommend KD Web for their solid track record in building secure ecommerce websites. They came out on top in our research largely thanks to their high customer satisfaction score: achieving 4.9/5 on average for customer review scores.The Web Kitchen (TWK) is a reliable web development agency with a specialism in creating websites for the education sector. They've done several projects for Oxford University over the years, so that's a strong endorsement for their services. If you're in need of a website for an independent school, creative college or adult learning course then TWK is an industry leader. Our research found swathes of satisfied clients and you can check out their portfolio for examples.Aside from the above, Kota is a modern creative web agency that consistently produces excellent websites. Though they're not cheap, you can expect outstanding results so long as you trust their creative instincts. Written by: Sabrina Dougall Web Marketing Expert Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master's in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation. Reviewed by: Robyn Summers-Emler Digital Growth Editor Robyn started working on Expert Market in 2021 as a specialist in business websites and digital marketing. As the Grow Online Editor, she ideates, commissions and optimizes content on Expert Market that helps businesses thrive in online spaces and maximize their ecommerce potential. Covering everything from choosing a website builder to scaling a social media marketing strategy - Robyn uses her expertise to help startups, SMBs, and larger businesses realize digital growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.