Who are the highest paid website designers on the planet as of today? These website designers are some of the most sought after custom web designers in the industry. Although there are hundreds of world class web designers in the US alone, these are the top 3 that I follow and look up to as a website designer. These world famous web designers command tens of thousands of dollars per sign on bonus as well as over a hundred thousand dollars a year plus extras. Why do startups and large corporations shell out the big dough for these designers? It must be their ROI. Good design and programming married with excellent copy writers make for a winning combination for many business websites. Not to toot my own horn, but Check out my web design award honor with The Webby Awards, an international recognition for creative website designers around the world.
The average yearly salary for a web designer is around $49k. Small business owners would be hard pressed to afford an in house web designer to design, develop and market their companies website for less than $60k if you include taxes, benefits and retirement.
Young web designer with a dream salary…
James Somers, a Web developer in his mid-twenties, planned to quit the field and become a freelance writer.
He had a sweet first assignment lined-up too. He was going to write a profile about Douglas Hofstadter, and magazines were already lining up to pay him $10,000 to $20,000 to publish it.
But then he got a job offer to go back into Web development.
These were the terms:
“$150,000 in salary, a $10,000 signing bonus, stock options, a free gym membership, excellent health and dental benefits, a new cellphone, and free lunch and dinner every weekday. My working day would start at about 11am. It would end whenever I liked, sometime in the early evening. The work would rarely strain me. I’d have a lot of autonomy and responsibility. My co-workers would be about my age, smart, and fun.”
Although I have dozens of website designers around the globe who I draw inspiration from, these website designers have set themselves up as an elite group of talent that you cannot ignore.
01. Ethan Marcotte
- Twitter: twitter.com/beep
If there’s one man in the web industry who probably doesn’t need an introduction, it’s Ethan Marcotte. One of the web’s best-known designers Ethan is a regular and popular speaker on the conference circuit and, in his own words, the one who “started that whole ‘responsive web design‘ thing”.
02. Chris Coyier
- Twitter: twitter.com/chriscoyier
A world-known CSS expert and HTML guru, Chris Coyier writes one of the most popular CSS blogs on the web, CSS-Tricks. Throughout his career, Chris has published many tutorials, websites, and scripts to help designers improve their skills. A designer at CodePen, Chris can also be found at web design and development podcast ShopTalk.
03. Karen McGrane
- Twitter: twitter.com/karenmcgrane
UX expert Karen McGrane motto is simple – ‘On a good day, I make the web more awesome. On a bad day, I make it suck less’. A content strategist and user experience designer, Karen has over 15 years experience of making big, complicated websites. Currently managing partner of Bond Art + Science, she is also the author of Content Strategy for Mobile.
04. Andy Clarke
- Twitter: twitter.com/malarkey
Andy is a well-known speaker on the conference circuit, and is the founder of a Welsh-based design studio, Stuff and Nonsense, that boasts clients including the likes of The Home Office, STV and the International Organization for Standardization. Andy is perhaps best known for his book, Hardboiled Web Design, which combined the idea of progressive enhancement with responsive web design.
05. Dan Cederholm
Dan is the author of five web design books covering everything from standards-based code approaches to Sass. As well as writing, Dan is a practicing web designer, and a popular speaker. Alongside Rich Thornett, Dan is a co-founder of the popular dribbble.com show-and-tell website that allows designers to upload micro-shots of their work in progress.
06. Sarah Parmenter
- Twitter: twitter.com/sazzy
User interface designer Sarah Parmenter specialises in design for the web, iPhone and iPad. Owner of design studio You Know Who and co-host of the Happy Monday podcast, Sarah can often be found travelling the world to speak at the world’s leading web design conferences. Her client list includes Blackberry, News International, STV and The National Breast Cancer Foundation of America.
07. Dave Shea
- Twitter: twitter.com/mezzoblue
Dave Shea is most famous for his CSS Zen Garden project, which helped spearhead the move from table-based web design layout to CSS-based layouts. The website became very popular, both helping to push the boundaries of what designs could be achieved with CSS alone, and also encouraging web designers the world over to adopt the approach.
08. Jeffrey Zeldman
- Twitter: twitter.com/zeldman
Jeffrey is perhaps the best known of all the people featured in our list. He’s the author of a must-have book, Designing with Web Standards, publisher of books via A Book Apart, Speaker and is the driving force behind the immensely popular industry-leading online journal, A List Apart. Jeffrey is also the founder of Happy Cog studios, a US-based consultancy with clients including MTV, Ben & Jerry’s and Stanford University.
09. Vitaly Friedman
- Twitter: twitter.com/smashingmag
Vitaly is well-known in the web design world for his web design blog, Smashing Magazine. The original blog has grown over the past few years to incorporate a huge set of web design resources, and has branched out into both publishing (with Smashing Books), and workshops/conferences which attract some of the web’s best experts.
Read Adobes complete list of top web designers here.
Webby Award Winning Web Designer