Creative web development, responsive web design, and functional UX design go hand in hand to create the best and most beautiful websites. The Motor City continues to surprise us with great work that helps our industrial businesses, retail shops, food and beverage sellers, nonprofits, and more showcase their brands and tell their stories.

Here’s our 2016 countdown of the best websites in Detroit, as ranked by the best web design and development team in Detroit.

  1. McClures Pickles


Pickles, relish, olives, and Bloody Mary mix. McClure’s sticks to the necessities with its foodstuffs and focuses on quality execution. The same is true for its site, which is a nice blend of classic Midwest Americana aesthetics and modern responsive web design and UX design principles.

  1. Valentine Distilling


The spirits produced by Valentine Vodka have won a slew of international gold medal prizes. Founder Rifino Valentine prefers quality craftsmanship over cutting corners with his products, and we think, with his website. Competing portals, including an online shop, tasting room, and product info, are nicely balanced.

  1. Detroit Mercantile Company


Robert Stanzler’s Detroit Mercantile Company sells a varied stock of vintage and new merchandise, from books to apparel to knicknacks. The store’s website reflects the same eccentric character combining a number of contrasting elements, such as a standard left side menu and modern masonry content block layout.

  1. Rust Belt


The Rust Belt Market takes a more minimalist approach to its website for more than 50 independent businesses, artisans, and startups, plus a bar and event space. The design is mobile friendly and responsive and the content is laid out in a logical and progressive format, emphasizing the user experience journey.

  1. Shinola


Homegrown quality features prominently in this year’s list of companies and websites. Shinola, a maker of fine watches, bicycles, and leather goods, aims to “define American luxury through American quality.” Narrative content, both words and multimedia, feature prominently across the site and serve as a great complement to refined product imagery.

  1. ROCO Real Estate


Real estate investment firm ROCO manages $700 million worth of multifamily properties across 11 states from its home in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills. ROCO’s straightforward approach to their website takes the shape of a one-page design, with a beautiful downtown cityscape header followed by masonry layouts for their many property listings and glowing press reviews.

  1. Lear Corporation


Lear Corporation is a top auto industry business here in Detroit, making seats and electrical systems for next-generation vehicles. Lear’s website embraces the “show, don’t tell” philosophy, leading with a full-width header video showing the journey of their auto seats from drawing concept to engineering to testing. Well-organized menus and hierarchical content blocks reveal a good underlying UX design for this corporate site.

  1. Ponyride


Ponyride, the brainchild of Slows Bar BQ co-owner and property developer Phil Cooley, offers commercial space at under-market rents to social entrepreneurs, startups, and artists in the city’s Corktown neighborhood. Ponyride’s site is an excellent example of how to do a nonprofit website correctly. Hierarchy is key, with the four front-page portals tailored to different user audience journeys.

  1. Floyd


Furniture company Floyd is one of the startup tenants of Ponyride. The company takes a radical new approach to furniture, selling tables and platform beds that consist of sturdy frame pieces, customizable tabletops or planks, and tension cables to hold things together. The site makes great use of autoplay video as well as shareable content pieces. Thoughtful product entries make an unusual product easily understandable.

  1. The Detroit Wallpaper Company  

detroit wallpaper

The Detroit Wallpaper Company produces custom wallpaper patterns and colors for commercial and residential clients all over the world from its shop in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale. While the site’s layout is well-designed and the product photography is beautiful, the best part of Detroit Wallpaper’s site is a custom color editor tool that lets site visitors experiment with pairings of hundreds of colors and patterns in a digital showroom setting.

Looking for even more beautiful, functional Detroit websites? Check out our best-of website list from last year.

Time for your business to update your existing website? Call us at 313-338-9515 or email to learn how our full-service digital agency can help you showcase your brand and tell your story.

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