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Q: What are the ten best WEBSITE DESIGNER FIRMS to help start an E-Commerce Co. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: What are the ten best WEBSITE DESIGNER FIRMS to help start an E-Commerce Co.
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: ecombizman-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 22 Sep 2003 12:09 PDT
Expires: 22 Oct 2003 12:09 PDT
Question ID: 259127
What are the ten best (ten most popular) Massachusetts 
WEBSITE DESIGNER FIRMS to help start an E-Commerce Co. 
that sells less than 100 Items Online. I have a budget of $5000-$10,000
for full site deployment, including server, website development,
website operations capital.

Request for Question Clarification by missy-ga on 22 Sep 2003 13:10 PDT
Hi there!

Whether or not a firm is considered "the best" or "most popular" is
largely subjective.  I've found no consensus as to how one would rank
a web design firm on either scale.

It would perhaps be more to your benefit to look for firms with solid
portfolios, such as:

Animal 57 Productios - Portfolio

Would this sort of listing be acceptable?


Clarification of Question by ecombizman-ga on 22 Sep 2003 21:10 PDT
Yes, missy-ga, The "Animal 57 Productions" or
WEB DESIGNER FIRM is a good start, thus, as you have suggested,
having 10 WEB DESIGNER FIRMS with "solid portfolios" would be an
acceptable answer. Since there are so many WEB DESIGNER FIRMS,
I will be satisfied with a list 10 Massachusetts WEB DESIGNER FIRMS
with solid portfolios like You might also choose a few
that specialize or allow the user (merchant) to add/update/create
additions to their e-commerce websites (add product pictures, etc) online.
I am looking for whatever recommendations (in a list of 10 Firms) that
your experience and knowledge of the business can give me, since
I will be potentially starting numerous online businesses.

                                         Thanks, ecombizman

Clarification of Question by ecombizman-ga on 22 Sep 2003 22:22 PDT
Dear missy-ga,

I think it would also be noteworthy to also include in a
list of the top 10 Massachusetts E-Commerce 
Website Designer Firms, those ranked by a variety of
quantitative criteria like:

1. Annual Revenue (of E-Commerce WebSite Development Firm)
2. Annual Revenue (of E-Commerce WebSite Development Firm Clients)
3. Most Fortune 500 Clients
4. Most Small Business Clients
5. Best Rated in Customer Satisfaction
6. Lowest Cost Development for Basic Full Service E-Commerce Site
7  Best Interactive User Automated Web Page Design and Updates
8. Best Quality E-Commerce Solutions (i.e. by consumer reports)
9. Fastest Turn-Around Time for a simple 5 Product E-Commerce Site 
10. Most Comprehensive E-Commerce Service Portfolio

Thus, you may, if time/effort permits, select these, and other
criteria to produce a high quality "sample" of some of the best
E-Commerce Web Design Firms.

I provided this additional clarification to try to define some
of my criteria for "the best" or "most popular" Massachusetts
E-Commerce Development Sites, although I understand that your
answer will provide as much detail as you can research/provide
in this time-limited analysis of Massachusetts E-Commerce
WebSite Design Firms.

The answer I am looking for will probably be best produced
by the correlation and reference of several sets of top ten lists
of Massachusetts E-Commerce WebSite Design Firms ranked by both
qualitative and quantitative criteria.

                           Thanks, ecombizman

Request for Question Clarification by missy-ga on 22 Sep 2003 22:55 PDT
Hello ecombizman,

I'm afraid your most recent clarification steps far beyond the bounds
of your original question.  Though I have assembled the requested list
(and had intended to add more), your additional criteria render the
list I've compiled essentially useless.

Most web design companies are privately held, so revenues are not
available.  Additionally, most web design companies can provide only a
partial list of their clients, as they are often bound by
non-disclosure agreements.  Revenue of the client firms is not a
predictor of the quality of the design firm in any case.

The remainder of your new criteria amount to detailed market research
that, in my estimation, will have absolutely no bearing on whether a
given firm can produce a quality site to meet your needs.  Such
detailed market analysis for such a narrow segment of the web design
industry is simply not available, nor am I capable of devoting the
hundreds of hours necessary to create it for you.

As I noted earlier, there is no consensus about who is "best" - there
are thousands of web design firms in Massachusetts alone, but there is
not a single unified rating or ranking system for any of them.  Some
have won awards, some have not.  Some terrific small companies don't
have "top name" clients, but they possess stupendous skill sets.  Some
companies with "top name" clients have produced utter trash for

When choosing a company to design a site for your business, I would
advise that you concern yourself with a company that will work closely
with you to determine *exactly* what you want.  The single best design
firm for you will be the one willing to meet with you, develop your
ideas, and get your site up and running on a reasonable time table
based on *your individual needs*, not based on meaningless statistics
that have no bearing on the potential success of your site.

I wish you the best of luck in finding that firm.  Perhaps another
Researcher will be willing to provide the additional information
you're seeking.  I regret that I cannot.


Clarification of Question by ecombizman-ga on 23 Sep 2003 00:44 PDT
Hi Missy,

Good observations on your part. I am new to Google
so my ability to scope a research question is evolving.

I would be curious/happy to see the list you have compiled
and would respectfully request your general thinking and
criteria for selecting the WEBSITE DESIGNER FIRMS on your list.

You have alot of insight into this area, whereas I am a novice
just looking for a list of good WEBSITE DESIGNER FIRMS from
someone like yourself who has more experience than I do in the area.

I will be happy to see a list of your recommendations for
WEBSITE DESIGNER FIRMS along with a brief description of your
thought process/criteria for selecting them.

Of course I realize that your list is by no means a ranking, but
more of a sample of some good Massachusetts WEBSITE DESIGNER FIRMS.

                     Sincerely and Thanks, ecombizman

Request for Question Clarification by missy-ga on 23 Sep 2003 05:51 PDT
Good morning!

Very well, I shall expand upon the original list and explain selection
criteria for you.  The answer should be completed by mid-afternoon.

Subject: Re: What are the ten best WEBSITE DESIGNER FIRMS to help start an E-Commerce Co.
Answered By: missy-ga on 23 Sep 2003 14:01 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I've expanded upon the original list to include fifteen Massachusetts
web design firms that might interest you.  My criteria for adding them
to the list are quite straightforward:

-- Is their company site user friendly?  Can a visitor navigate
easily, or is important information buried beneath a lot of flash and
glitter?  If you have to hunt for the contact information, you're
probably not going to get a lot of communication from the company
during the course of your project.

-- Are the portfolio sites interesting, but easy to use?  Do the sites
"pop", but still load quickly?  Can a site visitor find his way to the
most important parts of the site with only a few clicks, or is he
forced to wade through twee gizmos and gadgets that get in the way of
finding information? (This required visiting portfolio sites, which
was instrumental in deciding which firms were on the ball.)

-- Does the company insist on custom quotations, rather than cookie
cutter pricing?  A good web designer recognizes that a site is
flexible, and that individual client requirements can have an effect
on pricing.  A good web designer also understands that working closely
with the client both before and during the design process is the best
way to ensure that the clients needs are met in a timely fashion.  If
a company isn't willing to communicate, they're not worth your time.

-- Has the company been around for a while?  Today, any fifteen
year-old can hang her shingle out and call herself a web designer (and
many do!).  Does the company have a body of work that goes back longer
than a year or two?  You want a design firm that's been around,
understands change and flexibility, and will still be here next year
to advise you on changes or upgrades you might like to have as your
business expands.

Obviously, these aren't the only criteria one should consider when
evaluating a company to handle your web design needs.  Of primary
importance is a willingness to design according to *your* needs. 
Before committing to any company, be certain to ask for a full
consultation and a quote.  The right firm will gladly listen to your
ideas, tell you what will work, tell you what won't work, and explain
*why*, and will be forthright about what expenses to expect.

The List:

Located in Boston, award winning Animal 57 Web Productions has
serviced clients such as Bose, Olympus, and the Boston Celtics, as
well as Boston based technology consultants, the Simon Management
Group.  The company offers custom design services, search engine
optimization, shopping carts and online catalogs, and a host of other

Visit their home page here:

Animal 57 Web Productions

Their portfolio (click the subheading to view the sites they've

Animal 57 Web Productions - Portfolio

Phone: (978) 922 - 0648
Request for Proposal:


The Editors Design Group, based in Tyngsboro, boasts more than 400
clients since 1995, including Pizzeria Uno, Lowell Cooperative Bank,
Burlington Engineering and Viking Controls.  Focusing on solid design
and flexible pricing plans, The Editors Design Group offers custom
design and layout, full production processes, search engine
optimization and marketing, and services suitable for a budding
eCommerce site.

The Editors Design Group
1 Bridgeview Circle
Tyngsboro, MA 01879	

Tel:  (978) 649-8333
Fax:  (978) 649-9708


The Editors Design Group - Web Portfolio


Established in 1994, Boston based 1st Omni Web Solutions offers custom
graphic design, web programming, hosting, site maintenance, and a
variety of offline services for your business.  1st Omni's clients
include Reebok International, Harley-Davidson/Buell of Boston, the
Boston Research Group, and Corporate Technologies.

USA Corporate Headquarters
Phone: 888-780-2226
Sales Email:
For a proposal:


1st Omni Web Solutions - Portfolio


Watertown based Keystroke Studios, established in 1996, specializes in
eCommerce solutions, custom design, and site maintenance.  Clients
include confectioner Sparrow Chocolates, Pro-Pictures, Inc.
Photography, and Positive Spin for ALS, a charity group dedicated to
raising funds for the fight against "Lou Gehrig's disease".

Keystroke Studios
William H. Bonney, Principal
16 Oliver Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Phone: (617) 926-2579
Fax: (617) 926-2579


Swanzey Internet Group has created sites for such businesses as The
Essex Mint,, Firestone Financial, and Harvard
Planning and Real Estate.  Swanzey specializes in dynamic content,
eCommerce sites created from scratch, and a committment to full
service and support.

Swanzey Internet Group
P.O. Box 823
Manchester, MA 01944

For a Proposal:
(978) 526-9953


Swanzey Internet Group - Portfolio


Established in 1995, Cape Cod E-Com specializes in custom web design
and eCommerce solutions, including shopping cart software.  Among
their clients are Chatham Jewelers, MultipowerUSA, and GlobalAlliance.
 Cape Cod E-Com focuses on working closely with the client to produce
a well balanced, easy to use site that both reflects the personality
of the business and encourages visitors to return.

Cape Cod E-Com


For a Quote:


Cape Cod E-Com - Portfolio


E-magine Communications of Boston boasts more than 200 clients since
its establishment in 1995, including such luminaries as ViaCord (cord
blood bank) and Concerto Software, as well as e-tailers Wallcoverings
For Less and Plaster Fun Time.  Sites are well constructed, with an
emphasis on ease of use.  E-magine offers custom site design, custom
development for eCommerce solutions, search engine marketing, and web
strategy solutions to get your business noticed.  Also of note is the
E-Z Edit solution that allows the client to add to or change their
site after design and deployment, for the client who likes to get
involved with site maintenance.

eMagine Communications, LLC.
One New Boston Drive
Canton, MA 02021
Phone: 781.828.4500
Toll-Free: 877.530.7993
Fax: 781.828.4405

Contact form:


E-magine - Portfolio

E-Z Edit Content Management


Founded in 1996, BackBone Media Group focuses on design, development
and content management for businesses, and has serviced companies such
as DealTime,, and the Abacus Group. 
BackBone Media promises clients personalized attention, and the
creation of a searh engine friendly, content rich site to boost your
business and get you noticed.

Backbone Media, Inc.
240 bear hill road
suite 202
waltham, ma 02451

Web contact:


BackBone Media - Portfolio 


Providing eCommerce solutions for small and medium sized businesses,
WSI Internet Consulting and Education offers an unusual approach to
wooing clients, concentrating on education first.  The firm has
designed elegant and highly usable sites for clients such as 
O'Krent's Abbey Flooring Center in San Antonio and Suki Salon in
Newcastle, Australia.  WSI explains their process from idea, through
development, to deployment and beyond, with a focus on educating the
client about the solutions available to him.

Principal Consultant Pat Chieffalo


WSI Gallery


Page Crafters, of Marshfield, offers custom design and development
services, ongoing maintenance, and hosting on their secure servers,
and has created a number of eye catching, easily navigated, user
friendly sites for clients such as Cheesecakes, Etc., and Atlantic
Coffee, Inc.  Page Crafters has been in business since 1994, but owner
Pat Traynor has been involved with the internet since its baby days in
1978!  Page Crafters is committed to quality client care and solid

Page Crafters
1483 Main Street
Marshfield, MA 02050

Web contact:


Page Crafters - Client Sites


Boston based WebGrow, Inc. specializes in eCommerce solutions for
small and medium sized businesses.  They offer comprehensive web
design, development, maintenance and hosting, with an eye toward
creating complete online business solutions.  WebGrow has created
eCommerce sites for companies such as Multiplier, FabricPro, and
Download Press, as well handling graphics and catalogs for Bose,
Cober-Muegge, and Vicor Power Solutions.

WebGrow, Inc.
1 Henry Street
N. Billerica, MA 01862
Phone: 978-663-3801
Fax: 978-663-9144


WebGrow - Portfolio


Amusingly named Chainsaw Interactive has created unusual and
eye-catching sites for companies such as Sam Adams International,
Boston Paintball, and the Beacon Hill Athletic Club.  The company
specializes in Flash, Secure eCommerce solutions, and custom
application development.  Chainsaw Interactive staff have experience
in traditional advertising and marketing, but prefer to focus their
energies on web development and helping businesses gain internet
visibility.  They offer online marketing, search engine optimization,
and a host of services designed to keep your site's development on

Chainsaw Interactive
PO Box 1183
Boston, MA  02117-1183


Chainsaw Interactive - Missions Accomplished


Established in 1996, Silvana.Net boasts a client list that includes
the Army National Guard, Electrolux, and the Springfield Symphony
Orchestra.  Silvana.Net creates custom sites targeted for your
business market, using well organized data and easy to use interfaces.
 Silvana.Net emphasises close work with the client, to ensure that the
client's needs are put first.

12 Allen Place
Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 585-0985



Silvana.Net - Portfolio


Studio Intrepid crafts custom designed, developed and maintained
eCommerce sites, starting at just $999 for an online store offering 15
items or less, and starting at $3,000 for a store with unlimited
items.  The company's page is straightforward and easy to navigate. 
They do not list their portfolio online (you need to contact them for
details), however, there are no adverse reports about them with the
Better Business Bureau, and all contact information is readily
available.  I would normally hesitate to use a company that does not
openly display its portfolio, but Studio Intrepid's ease of use,
emphasis on ease of contact, and forthright listing of what tools they
use, how they use them, and what one might expect to pay points to a
refreshingly honest style of doing business.  Definitely worth
checking out.

Studio Intrepid
22 Windward Drive
Newburyport, MA 01950



Milford web design and technology company Ashdown Tech has been
crafting custom eCommerce solutions since 1994.  Showing an emphasis
on customized systems, Ashdown Tech offers full design, development
and deployment, as well as hosting and maintnenance for a
comprehensive service package.  Among their clientele are the Milford
Bank and Trust, and New England Security and Communication.

Ashdown Technologies
119 East Main St.
Milford, MA 01757
Tel: +1 508 478-1234
Fax: +1 508 478-1244



Ashdown Tech - Portfolio

I hope these give you a good idea of what sort of web design companies
are available in Massachusetts.  I've done my best to ensure that only
companies with a committment to client communication have been
included, and have taken care to investigate their portfolios (where

If I can be of further assistance, please just ask for clarification.


Search terms:  [ "web design" massachusetts ]

Request for Answer Clarification by ecombizman-ga on 23 Sep 2003 15:08 PDT

I am satisfied with your list of Massachusetts 
WEBSITE DESIGNER FIRMS, and now I want to adjust
and expand my question (or submit a follow-on question)
to search for the 


similar to:

once my WebSite(s) is/are Designed.

Should I submit this as another Google question to continue this
research/exploration of E-Commerce Development Resources ?

                      Thanks, ecombizman

Request for Answer Clarification by ecombizman-ga on 23 Sep 2003 15:23 PDT
The reason I wanted to continue researching this is because
I think that the

similar to:

may be better and providing powerful/price efficient HOSTING,
while the WEBSITE DESIGNER FIRMS you listed may be more attentive
to the interactive communication involved in WEBSITE DESIGN.

However, you can recommend whether this is a follow-on question
or a bonus answer to my original question.

               New At This, ecombizman

Clarification of Answer by missy-ga on 23 Sep 2003 16:03 PDT
Good evening!

I'm pleased to know that the designers list suits you!

You are correct that design firms will be more attentive to the
interactive aspect.  While some design firms do offer hosting
services, hosting is, by and large, a completely separate component.

I'd suggest that you submit this as a separate question, as it falls
beyond the scope of your original query.

A few words of caution:  big revenues do not necessarily equal a
robust hosting solution.  I learned this the hard way, and that rather

I design and maintain my own websites, mostly resources for
communities I belong to.  When my partner and I outgrew our first
host, we switched to a very popular, very profitable host with a
strong word-of-mouth reputation.  Earlier this year, they shut down
without warning, taking the sites of nearly 62,000 customers with
them.  If we hadn't been smart enough to retain local backups of our
sites, we would have lost them all.

Hosting, like web design, is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.  The
kind of hosting you will require is going to depend on the kind of
site you have built, and what services you'll require to keep all
aspects of the site functioning.

I would strongly advise you to solicit the opinion of your chosen web
designer, and listen well.  It's part of their job to talk to you
about the hosting you'll require, and they'll have a good grasp of
what you'll need from the techie's perspective.

As with design, most hosting companies are privately held, so revenues
are not necessarily available.  Likewise, how much money a hosting
firm brings in is in no way a reliable indicator of whether or not
they will be a suitable host for you.  A large host may very well rake
in millions of dollars in profit each year, but still have problems
with reliability and uptime.  By contrast, a smaller host may not see
as much in the way of profits, but have a loyal customer base and a
reputation for absolute reliability and terrific customer support.

Consider looking into hosting industry reviews for a good indication
of which host will be best, as opposed to revenues, which really won't
tell you how well they treat their customers or how often their
customers' sites are down.

I do hope you'll come back and point us to your site when you're up
and running!

Good luck!

ecombizman-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $50.00
Missy, Thanks for the insight into E-Commerce Website Design
and Hosting. Your experience and observations are appreciated.
I am very new to this Google process and also a novice in the
Website area, so I am learning which steps to take to develop
business plans for E-Commerce operations deployment.
Thank you for your research and experienced advice.

Subject: Re: What are the ten best WEBSITE DESIGNER FIRMS to help start an E-Commerce Co.
From: 6lps-ga on 09 Oct 2003 05:43 PDT
Hi there, you could also post you e-com project on and see
which firms are prepared to do it for your budget. Take care, Paul

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