We’re a web design company and we need our technology to support us the best it can. We want everyone to be set up for success and that means using the best technology we can get for our team. Being so tech-reliant, we’re generally up to date on the latest trends in gadgets and computer peripherals that are out there.
We’ve done our fair share of testing out equipment and finding out what brands are worth it and how to get good products. We have a rule that everyone should be running at least 2 monitors or a widescreen to be the most productive. I personally really thrive with 2 monitors and the ease of use I get from it. So, with all the employees we have and have had, we’ve gone through a lot of computer monitors.
When it comes to the best monitors for web design, I think we’re well-positioned to give advice - because we are a website design company who has probably purchased over 50 monitors in the past few years.
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Why get the best monitors for web design?
There are a lot of options on the market. With any product and commodity, there can be a big variation in quality and value. It can be tempting to get the lowest priced monitor but I’d highly advise you to up your budget just a little bit to get something better. It really can make a difference to go with something that has a little bit better stats.
The reason to get a better monitor, for us at least, is because we’re staring at these things for hours every day. We want it to look good. If we’re designing something to be pixel perfect, we want those pixels to be perfect (the monitor pixels). We want to literally be able to see everything that we’re able to see in the best color and light possible.
We also use laptops and the screens can be small in length and width which can make things appear smaller. A monitor can be larger while still showing the same amount or more details because you’re not cramming as much stuff in a screen.
With that said, not everyone has access to the best monitors so they might not get the most out of the design. Their monitor might not be as vibrant or as bright as ours so it may look different to them. We get that it can happen but we still strive to make it look as good as possible for us.
Let’s go over some computer monitor terms that are important
Inches - with any screen, the size of it is described in inches. Typically something like a 24-inch monitor. This is the measurement of the diagonal length. The standard these days is 21 or larger.
Response time - usually in milliseconds, this is the amount of time it takes the monitor to make changes to the color of a pixel. You’ll want something under 10ms and under 5 for gaming.
Hz or Refresh rate - This is essentially the number of frames per second that the monitor can display. This is more important for gaming where literally milliseconds can make a difference. You’ll want at least the standard 60 but 144 is preferred.
Contrast ratio - This is the ratio of the difference between the darkest blacks and the whitest whites. The standard is 1000:1 to 3000:1. The higher the first number the better the contrast difference.
Resolution - this can be shown in several ways such as 1080p, HD, 1920x1080, 1440p, etc. We never go below what would be considered High Definition, which is 1080p or 1920x1080.
There are more terms that are thrown around when looking at monitors, and most of them really only make a difference if you’re trying to get exact colors or are a serious gamer. We decided not to go that route for our monitors because not everyone has those and we want to design websites for the regular person and not someone who has a specialized monitor. We want to see what the majority of people will see so we use monitors that are just above mid-tier.
ASUS 24" 1080P Gaming Monitor
This is the monitor that I use - 2 of them actually.
Not only am I a designer, but I’m also a gamer so I want the higher-end stats on my monitors. Both of mine have been great and I’ve had no issues with them. The color is perfect and their dynamic contrast ratio helps with that.
Being a gamer, I want high refresh rates so it’s good that this supports 144hz. It helps make things seem smooth and clear when there’s motion.
I don’t use the stand that’s included - I have it mounted using a mounting system. The point is that it has the standard mounts on the back to fit any mount.
When designing, I’m easily able to see what I’m doing and can tell that this monitor makes a difference when I switch from my laptop screen to this monitor. There is a big difference in brightness and contrast which makes things look clear and crisp. This helps when staring at the screen for hours when all I’m doing is moving pixels to the best spot - I need to be able to see those pixels easily.
For most designers, this monitor might be overkill. But if you’re a person who plays video games or watches a lot of high quality videos, this monitor might be a good option for you.
ASUS VA24DQ 23.8” Monitor
The majority of our office uses this monitor.
It’s not the best monitor and it’s not the worst. It’s the middle of the road and that’s what we want! We want our designers to be making things on what might be the average of monitors so that we know what other people might be looking at when they get to a website we design.
We really like how this monitor hits all the basic requirements at a great price. It’s the perfect size with the required refresh rate and resolution. One perk is that the bezel around the screen is small, which we like just for aesthetics. When we have tons of computer monitors around, we want them to have a low profile so we don’t feel like we’re living in a monitor factory. This also makes it look better when we put 2 against each other - having that small bezel makes the monitors more or less seamless.
That said, it’s not the best monitor and could definitely be better but it doesn’t need to be. The only time it would matter is if you’re a really high-performance user and need the best, otherwise, this works just fine. There’s no real reason for anything better than this and that’s why most of our office uses this monitor.
AOC CQ34G2 Super Curved Frameless Gaming Monitor
One of our developers uses this.
We didn’t buy it for him, he got it himself for his home workstation during Covid. He claims to really like it! He also games on it, which probably isn’t the best but he says it works fine.
For web design, this monitor is great, however. He’s able to see everything he needs on one monitor and set up spaces for different things in different areas of the screen. I personally don’t like that method of organizing things - I prefer 1 item per monitor and find it faster with Windows snapping to be able to drag something and have it auto-size to the screen size. He likes it though.
Looking through the stats, it does look like it meets the minimum requirements that I listed above. I am skeptical and kind of think it’s a gimmick and you may be paying mostly for the widescreen and curved instead of an actually good monitor. But, our developer and the reviews say this is a good monitor so it probably is. If you’re not looking to try something new, go with the Asus mentioned above. Or maybe go with 2.