This paper presents two-step design methodologies and performance analyses of finite-impulse response (FIR), allpass, and infinite-impulse response (IIR) variable fractional delay (VFD) digital filters. In the first step, a set of fractional delay (FD) filters are designed. In the second step, these FD filter coefficients are approximated by polynomial functions of FD. The FIR FD filter design problem is formulated in the peak-constrained weighted least-squares (PCWLS) sense and solved by the projected least-squares (PLS) algorithm. For the allpass and IIR FD filters, the design problem is nonconvex and a global solution is difficult to obtain. The allpass FD filters are directly designed as a linearly constrained quadratic programming problem and solved using the PLS algorithm. For IIR FD filters, the fixed denominator is obtained by model reduction of a time-domain average FIR filter. The remaining numerators of the IIR FD filters are designed by solving linear equations derived from the orthogonality principle. Analyses on the relative performances indicate that the IIR VFD filter with a low-order fixed denominator offers a combination of the following desirable properties including small number of denominator coefficients, lowest group delay, easily achievable stable design, avoidance of transients due to nonvariable denominator coefficients, and good overall magnitude and group delay performances especially for high passband cutoff frequency ( ges 0.9pi) . Filter examples covering three adjacent ranges of wideband cutoff frequencies [0.95, 0.925, 0.9], [0.875, 0.85, 0.825], and [0.8, 0.775, 0.75] are given to illustrate the design methodologies and the relative performances of the proposed methods.