A series of tests on W-shaped beam-to-column connections subjected to quasi-static cyclic loading was conducted to assess their ductility and energy dissipation capabilities. The specimens represent beams in ductile moment resisting frames undergoing alternating lateral loads. The aim of this study was to assess and compare the rotation capacity and energy absorption of locally web-stiffened beams with unstiffened beams. Of direct relevance to seismically designed moment resisting steel frames, the experimental results of this research clearly highlight the superiority of herring-bone style web-stiffened specimens over vertically web-stiffened or unstiffened specimens. Key words: earthquake, response, steel, moment resisting frames, stiffener, cyclic loading.