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The Current State of Website Design in Minnesota

Updated July 4, 2016
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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

I can’t be everywhere at once, but I do have a pretty solid idea of the website design market in Minneapolis and Minnesota, and so I thought I’d share some insights I have about the marketing. This little run-down of the current state of website design in Minnesota will conclude with a couple of suggestions for someone looking for the service, but it will also include some thoughts for those in the industry, considering entering it, or otherwise interested.

It’s a competitive market, and there’s a ton of work

I guess partly because there’s so much work to be done – industry seems to be booming in Minneapolis not just for established companies and shops, but startups as well – that a lot of agencies have sprung up to service those needs. The more agencies pop up, the more they have to compete with each other – but as long as the need is still growing and the demand is strong it’s not a worrisome thing from my perspective for the seemingly endless amount of agencies out there.

The freelance market seems to be a bit more slim pickins’

I think because a designer, developer or otherwise craft-minded technician isn’t usually spending their time, or wanting to spend their time on sales and marketing. So companies looking to get into bed with a one man shop will have a little harder time finding the people that can really handle their needs. They may need to go with a smaller web design shop at the 10-50 employee range instead.

I say this being involved with a Slack channel focused on website design in Minnesota, being a web design freelancer in Minnesota myself, and working at a small agency as well.

Not only that but I created a web designer directory for people to find high-quality web designers in Minneapolis. These individuals I’ve included are great, the thing is that they often join forces with agencies and thus a lot of talent get’s absorbed that way.

Here are some real suggestions (if you aren’t a good fit for me of course 😉

Because there is so much need for website design in Minnesota, you may want to get a little competitive to find the right designer or developer for your project. They really may not need the work – and so you’ll want to make it as attractive as possible for them if you can. Stress how breaking into your market will help their career or portfolio and be friendly. The best designers and developers get to choose what clients they work on, and the best will want to work on projects where they get along with you.

  • Jesse Sutherland – Probably the closest thing I could find to what I do, a delightful blend of web design and development. Seems like a very solid and professional choice.
  • Barbara Schendel – A seemingly economical and professional WordPress solution.  (Wizzy Wig Design)
  • Toby Cryns – Another solid and smaller shop – Mighty Mo in town that does solid work.

Though you may not get quite the same man-power as a mid-level agency (and that should be a factor for consideration) if you are looking for value these are three good options.

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  • Snap Agency – My agency, who is on the up and up and creating better and better websites for small to mid-size clients who want a strong blend of quality and value.
  • Westwerk – Solid WordPress development company in Northeast Minneapolis that focuses heavily on WordPress and has a higher end WordPress theming side business.
  • Clockwork – On the pricier side, Clockwork does great work none-the-less if you have the budget to spend.

I see other agencies that do decent work, but besides people on the much higher scale like Gokart Labs and Space 150 there isn’t much that I’m blown away by as far as quality of work. Though many of these smaller agencies create a extremely badass portfolio site for themselves if I look at the sites actually represented in their case studies there’s a lack of attention to detail or in many cases just really no big show of creativity.

Whether you’re a client looking for a web design solution, or someone in or entering the market I hope my thoughts on web design in Minnesota were interesting for you and perhaps will help you clarify a decision for you. There’s very much opportunity in the market in the freelancer to small agency arena, but once it gets to mid-level agencies it requires a clear differentiating factor to help these agencies stand out from the fold.


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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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