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Gatsby Best of 2021 Agency Awards: The Winners

Jeff James
March 3rd, 2022

We already know that people who work with Gatsby are among the best web developers and designers on the planet, so we wanted to do a little something to recognize and celebrate the great work that web agencies—of all sizes!—do with Gatsby. That’s why we launched the first-ever Gatsby Best of 2021 Agency Awards, which is a new awards program designed to recognize the best Gatsby partner agencies and the best Gatsby websites created by those agencies.

After several months of submissions, we began the task of winnowing down our pile of entries into finalists—and then winners—in each of five categories. For this first installment of the Gatsby Best of 2021 Agency Awards, we decided on five categories: Best eCommerce Site, Best Content Site, Best Charity / Non-Profit Site, Best Site Design, and our most prestigious award: the Best Agency of the Year.

Our team of internal judges—including Gatsby co-founders Kyle Mathews and Sam Bhagwat, and VP of Engineering Dustin Schau—then helped us review the finalists and provided input and feedback on who should be selected as winners. So with a hearty “Thank You!” to our esteemed judges (and also to all the agencies who took the time to submit entries) we’d like to announce our Gatsby Best of 2021 Agency Awards winners! 

Winners of the Gatsby Best of 2021 Agency Awards

Best eCommerce Site 

Winner: Attach Digital

Client website: Willow and Cole 

Our judges were impressed most by the Willow and Cole website by Attach Digital. Gatsby Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Sam Bhagwat said “Willow & Cole has a great brand, and their site really reflects that. The name, the design, and the color palette of the site make it feel like a much bigger company than it is.” Our judges were also impressed by the Vieren website by Hunterlily & Co, especially the fast-loading, super-sized images on the product detail pages. 

Best Content Site

Winner: Mediacurrent 

Client website: Pennsylvania State University (PSU) News 

The scale and scope of the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) news site was a standout for our judges, as the PSU news website gets millions of annual page views, powered by a team of more than 250 content editors. Over the years PSU News has built up a massive online repository of more than 65,000 articles, with more than 900 disparate RSS feeds distributing content to dozens of other sites in the PSU website network. The remaining finalists in this category were also impressive, with multiple judges commenting on the novel content approaches that client sites like Nanolumens, Chef Club, and Yoga International took.

Best Charity / Non-Profit Site

Winner: Eric Howey Web Development

Client website: BC Alliance for Monitoring Mental Health Equity

All of the finalists in this category impressed our judges, but the clean, elegant design of the BC Alliance for Monitoring Mental Health Equity site stood out for many. “It’s a clean, well-designed site that provides a great visitor experience, all while serving up timely information on an important cause,” said JD Peterson, Gatsby’s Chief Marketing Officer. This category also served as a great example of the breadth and variety of Gatsby agencies, with smaller agencies like Eric Howey Web Development competing effectively with larger, more fully-staffed firms like Ultro, Webbers, and Velir. 

Best Site Design

Winner: Woolly Mammoth and Focus Lab

Client website: LaunchDarkly 

One of the most competitive and difficult categories for our judges was the Best Site Design category. All the finalists in this category demonstrated superlative design skills, so choosing a winner wasn’t easy! In the end, however, the LaunchDarkly site redesign by Woolly Mammoth and Focus Lab emerged as our favorite.  “Visiting this site feels like I’ve opened a beautiful portal into the LaunchDarkly universe,” said Molly Misek, Gatsby Product Design Manager. “The expert use of typography, color, illustration, and animation should inspire everyone who designs Gatsby sites — including Gatsby’s own design team.”

Agency of the Year

Winner: Webstacks

Another tough category was the one that arguably provides the biggest honor: Agency of the Year. There are thousands of brilliant web and design agencies that use the Gatsby Framework and Gatsby Cloud to develop, deploy, and host client websites. Our task was made easier by being limited to choosing from among only the entries we received, but even that curated list still took a fair amount of discussion and case-making to narrow further. After the final votes were tallied, however, Webstacks emerged as our winner.

“We chose Webstacks in light of its impressive number of Gatsby-powered sites launched and how fully those sites take advantage of what Gatsby has to offer,” says Zack Urlocker, CEO of Gatsby. “We’re delighted to give Webstacks our first ever award for Best Gatsby Agency of the Year.”

On their entry form, Webstacks added “[We] can’t wait to continue building the fastest websites on the internet for the most ambitious companies in the world on Gatsby. Cheers to 2022!”

Congratulations to all of our winners!

Prize Information 

The five winners of the Gatsby Best of 2021 Agency Awards will receive: 

  • A $1000 donation to a nonprofit organization of the winning agency’s choice from a list of Gatsby-approved charities and nonprofits, including those outlined in our Gatsby Supports Ukraine blog post.
  • A custom digital award logo
  • A physical award plaque
  • Gatsby swag for the team at the winning agencies
  • Promotion in this Gatsby Best of 2021 Agency Award blog post and in the March 2022 Gatsby Gazette email newsletter 

All finalists in all categories of the Gatsby Best of 2021 Agency Awards will receive:

  • A custom digital award logo
  • Promotion in this Gatsby Best of 2021 Agency Award blog post and in the March 2022 Gatsby Gazette email newsletter 

Winners and finalists will be contacted via email by Wednesday, March 9th, 2022 to arrange prize fulfillment. Please contact Jeff James with any questions!

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