Pittsburgh Web Design: An Evolution

The City of Pittsburgh has changed rather remarkably over the past few years. It’s reputation, as outdated as it was even 10 years ago, for being smoke and black skies, a dying link in the rust belt, has given way to numerous internationally recognized environmental events and the G8. Bike lanes and more and more parks and paths line the streets every month. Young people from around the country are beginning to recognize it’s importance as a cultural hub, somewhere you can go right now and be a part of the change, not just show up when it’s all said and done and reap the benefits. In the arena of Web Design, it’s no different. Just three years ago the city was primarily dominated by both freelancers and big companies alike using outdated methods of building websites, and not just the antiquated means of slapping tables inside of tables, but some who literally used Photoshop’s Save for Web… interface to create sites.

That has changed now, and there are several designers and developers out there doing a wonderful job, helping to put us on the map and making sure that local businesses have a great look, great functionality, and are standards compliant. Using the same criteria from my last go at this, we’ll review the top 10 search results for Pittsburgh Web Design and see how everyone is stacking up.

Review the Criteria

It’s a 2 point system, I’m modifying it a little to be a bit more fair than perhaps I was last time. You either get 0 or 1 points for each of the criteria models.

  • Web Standards. If your site is built using a modicum of web standards, you get a point. If not, you don’t.
  • Design. I won’t let personal taste come into play, if your site has nice, crisp graphics that look like they were created in this century, you get a point. Otherwise, a tattoo of a 0 on your forehead.
  • Content. Content is King, or so someone who thought that C and K were the same letter came up with, and if you’ve got a well written homepage, point, if you sound like an SEO whore, nothing.
Company Web Standards Design Content Total
Andy Weigel 1 1 1 3
ClickNathan.com 1 1 1 3
2440 Media 1 1 1 3
Blue Archer 0 1 0 1
Cagintranet 0 0 1 1
Scarlet’s Web 0 1 1 2

Their were a few surprises I stumbled upon during this little revisit to my former experiment. Not surprisingly, a lot of the companies that were in the top 10 results four years ago aren’t anywhere to be found, several seemingly not even in business anymore as their websites are now those weird SPAM/link sites with a picture of a Russian girl on them. Nauticom, who I guess is now going under the name Consolidated, is not really even in the picture. They still somehow have their website up in the rankings, but it links to some type of default theme. A web design company who is using a cookie cutter theme, somehow that seems just wrong to me. Only two of the sites (myself being one of them) that were there last time still are. And for the first time in three years or so, I’ve been knocked out of the number one position for a week or more by Mr. Andy Weigel. Congrats to him for having such a nice site and obviously doing great work to get him where he is.

Regardless, it’s still nice to see that we’ve made some progress, from 2 out of 7 sites passing this little litmus test to now 3 or 4 out of 6, depending on how you look at it.

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