The success of a digital agency relies heavily on its website design. A creative agency website is often the first interaction a potential client will have with your business, so it should create an accurate and inspiring portrayal of the work your agency provides. Your website needs to strike the right balance of form and function—it should feel modern, trustworthy and useful, but without looking like an out-of-the-box template.

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While this may sound straightforward, every agency provides something different. That equates to different styles of web design. To help you find an approach to web design that works for your digital agency, we’ve not only broken down what goes into designing an agency website, but we’ve highlighted some inspirational examples that will not only motivate your next site design, but help you win new clients as well.

Website content: what do you need to include?

Let’s start with the basics. There are some elements that design agency websites can’t live without (and some that they can). Here’s the break down:

Work examples

For starters, you absolutely must show potential clients examples of your work. After all, this is the service that you are offering them. Some ways you can present examples of your design work include:

Grids

Grids allow clients to quickly scan a large scope of your work to understand what your agency is about.

blok design website screenshot
Notice how Blok Design uses a grid with small thumbnails to present a wide scope of work without too much scrolling.

Slideshows

Slideshows are often used on homepages by established brands who can afford to showcase a single design on the entire page. Alternatively they can exist on case pages to prevent excess scrolling.

pentagram website screenshot
What’s not to love about high resolution images? This approach lets you see all the details up front. Via Pentagram

Videos

Video is less common, but it can let your clients know that you don’t take shortcuts (not in your web presentations, nor in your actual design work). Additionally it shows that you are engaging in modern approaches to web design.

avex design website screenshot
Do you remember the first time you saw a full screen video playing in the background of a website? We do, and it was pretty exciting. Via Avex

An about us section

Remember, many of your website visitors have no idea who you are, where you are located or what sets you apart from other agencies. The “About us” section of your website should answer all those questions.

spy studio about page screenshot
Via Spy Studio

Contact information

Without this section, you won’t land any clients (but you knew that).

Anagrama contact page screenshot
Via Anagrama

Optional features

Additional context about work examples.

Descriptions and back stories can give clients a better idea of what it’s like to work with you.

Here Design website screenshot
Take note of the concise and useful descriptions by Here Design.

Awards

Show off your impressive trophy collection.

Folch awards page screenshot
If you have an impressive list of awards like Folch Studio, you should probably show them off.

List of clients

Use social proof and let visitors know about your high-profile clientele.

Commission Studio site screenshot
Commission Studio uses their well known client base to help build their reputation online.

Newsletter

Make sure clients don’t forget about you and all the awesome projects you have going on.

Manual newsletter website screenshot
Manual Creative makes it simple and easy to sign up. We love their subtle approach, as newsletters can sometimes feel invasive.

Blog

Show clients how much you love what you do, and how much of an expert you are, by writing about it.

Base Design blog screenshot
If you are as active as Base Design, it doesn’t hurt to unleash your thoughts into a blog as a way of engaging your visitors and allowing them to get to know you on an informal level.

Organizing your agency website

There are lots of different ways you can choose to feature the content above, and each approach will give your site (and agency) a different flavor. Let’s look at some options.

Like a boss

Some design firms put their own brand first. This often involves featuring a large block quote or statement about your firm on the home page, with some key words like “award-winning”. This is the “like a boss” approach, because it puts forth the idea that you are an established, reputable and high-profile agency.

Build screenshot
Agencies like Build and dn&co. need no introduction and their websites reflect that.
DN and Co.

Love at first “site”

For smaller design firms that attract mostly clients seeking a certain look or style, it’s a good idea to feature examples of your design work up front and center. Let’s call this the “love at first sight” approach—or at least that’s what should happen when your clients visit your home page.

The Company You Keep screenshot
The Company You Keep doesn’t hesitate to fill your computer screen with colorful eye candy.

Fishing with a net

Another option is to do a mix, where you include a shorthand “About Us” section mixed in with examples of your work. Let’s call this the “fishing with a net” approach, because it can speak to clients seeking an established brand, as well as clients who simply want to browse your design work.

Bedow website screenshot
Companies like Bedow and Work In Progress don’t leave anything up to chance – they let you know who they are and show you what they do on the home page.
Work In Progress website screenshot

Curve ball

Let’s call this the “curve ball” approach because it’s not what you expect and you’re forced to react. It makes clients dig deeper, and can paint your brand as clever and cutting edge.

How do I throw curve ball, you ask? For starters, think about what your clients are expecting, then give them the opposite! Typically on a design website, visitors will be expecting bright colorful examples with attractive visuals. Instead consider featuring a simple black and white text list of completed design jobs on your homepage (which link to photos and details of course).

Experimental Jetset website screenshot
We love how Experimental Jet Set breaks the mold!

Perfect your navigation

You want to make it as easy as possible for clients to find the info they need. An overly complex design can frustrate and lose potential clients, while a clean, functional one will invite them in. Below are some examples of approaches that will have visitors effortlessly navigating your website.

Straight-forward links

Many firms choose a straightforward approach to avoid clients getting lost on their page. This typically entails some basic links along the top of every page so you can clearly see the whole “site map” from wherever you are on the website.

Glasfurd and Walker screenshot
The straight-forward functionality of Glasfurd and Walkers’ simple website links feels like a reprieve from crazy internet designs.

Hamburger menus

Hamburger menus are the pop out menus that are indicated by three horizontal lines that look like… you get the idea. Hamburger menus have gained popularity for their simplicity, space savings and ease of use in mobile design. The Spy Studio website does a nice job of using a hamburger menu for site navigation in combination with some static links to sort their work page.

Spy Studio projects screenshot
If you need to pack in a lot of functionality, the Spy website is a must-see.

Hovering

Many design firms like to use hovering navigation. This means that links appear or disappear depending on where you mouse is hovering on the page. The main purpose of this is to keep excess text of the page while viewing examples of design work. With that said it also tends to give webpages a more interactive and “organic” feel. Use caution when implementing hovering functionality—while it often looks cool, you need to make sure it is functional and user-friendly. Consider doing some user testing before going live.

The Company You Keep screenshot
The Company You Keep uses a subtle hovering technique that isolates the design being hovering on (and focused on).

How to present your work

You want your work to tell a story that attracts the right type of clients. One way that agencies do this is by either processing or not processing work images on their site. Let’s take a look at how these approaches differ.

Processed

Filtered or processed work can give your agency website a consistent look. This can give your clients reassurance that they will get a reliable product every time. This look is great for businesses that takes on a high volume of work and caters to clients who need reliable work done efficiently and consistently. On the other hand, this approach might give your agency the appearance of working within a limited scope if not used appropriately.

Spin screenshot
Spin makes an especially strong brand statement by processing their work into black silhouettes over a gray background.

Unprocessed

Other agencies like to let it flow and feature a wide selection of different styles and approaches they’ve achieved. This approach can allow you to draw in clients coming from all different walks of life. Additionally this approach can portray honesty and straightforwardness. With that said it can also come across as unfocused if not done correctly.

SocioDesign screenshot
Sites like Socio Design intentionally leave their work unfiltered to let people know that they have nothing to hide.

Take agency over your agency website

This guide is here to help you see how different website designs impact clients’ perceptions of your agency. By using the examples above as inspiration, you will be able to find the right approach for your design firm, create a sharp internet presence and open the door to a new client-base.

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