Looking for inspirational resources for your next web design project?
You’ve come to the right place. We have a roundup of some of the best inspirational resources available to help with your next website project.
We’ve also collected helpful information about why finding the right inspiration is so crucial these days, how to approach your hunt for inspiring designs, and some alternative places to get your creative juices flowing.
But we respect your time. If you’re only itching to find web design inspiration, you can skip to that section here.
If you are interested in why finding the right website type and web design for your business is more vital than ever, keep reading.
Places to get web design inspiration
- Content Snare Weekly
- Commerce Cream
- CSS Nectar
- Template Monster
- Brutalist Websites
- Elementor’s Monthly Showcase
- The Great Discontent
- Web Design Ledger
Why websites are more important than ever
A company’s website is one of the first points of call for any new customer considering a product or service.
But it’s not like the early days of the web. Back in the wild west internet days, simply having a site was enough to be successful. Only a handful of companies saw the early potential, and anyone bold enough to create something would rank and do well.
Not today. Now, there are well over a billion websites in existence. More than 250,000 new sites are created. Every. Single. Day. That’s staggering to think about.
Visitors are spoiled for choice & make snap decisions
Because of this glut of options, visitors are more spoiled than ever. They’ve been trained by years of browsing to make snap judgments about new websites.
Researches suggest anywhere from one-twentieth of a second to 50 milliseconds. That’s about as long as a TV show's frame flashes on a screen. Even crazier, the researchers said this reaction time is around the length of time (20 milliseconds) it takes for a signal to reach the brain from your eyes.
They almost literally can’t judge you any faster.
They move on if your page design isn’t pleasing or something’s broken. Worse yet, three-quarters of consumers will straight up judge your company’s credibility based on your website design.
Years of loyal customer service, product development, and more are out the window because someone cheaped out on their company website. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to fight this trend.
How to effectively embrace this new user behavior and improve your website design
Thankfully, designing and building a professional website is easier than ever.
If you do your homework and study design trends, user behavior, etc., you can build a website that performs and converts beyond your wildest expectations.
Great minds have spent countless hours studying user behavior data and using that information to create proven and tested design styles.
Their research results are available for anyone to learn from and adapt to their needs. There’s no point reinventing the wheel. Find what has been proven to work and use it as a baseline for your homepage design.
If anything, there might be too much information and examples out there for you to wade through, though.
So, before we get into where to find web design inspiration, we have a few tips to help you maximize the time you spend looking at website designs.
Tip 1: get inspired, within reason
You want a good-looking website. Hell, while you’re dreaming, one that wins awards wouldn’t hurt. We’re right there with you.
But take a moment before you run off to look at the last year’s “Best Website Awards.” As you search, you’ll discover some truly spectacular websites online. Websites so well designed; they have Jonathan Ive debating early retirement.
Surely, if you only had one of those websites, you’d be golden, right?
Simply copying a well-designed website will not guarantee success for yourself. Something that worked for one company or product is not guaranteed to work for another.
Many see a site with stunning, large minimalistic images and immediately respond to the look. They want that for themselves but don’t stop to consider if they have the images required or if their product will suit that style?
You should absolutely take a step outside of your comfort zone and industry from time to time to see what’s possible. But don’t get lost in the clouds.
As you find inspiration, dig in deeper. Ask questions about the website’s purpose. While searching for inspiration, remember a key point: well-designed does not always mean well converting.
Tip 2: look for matching intent
Website design is constrained by display formats. People are viewing either on a computer or a mobile device. At this point, most of what can be done has been. We’re not saying someone still can’t come along with a crazy new breakthrough. But, you’ll quickly notice that most sites have a similar feel.
So how do the top performing websites differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack? The best websites are more than a pretty design. They have been designed and built for a specific purpose.
Do you know the intended purpose of your new website design? If not, maybe pause your design search and dig deeper into that before flitting away time looking at pretty websites.
When you’ve grasped the intended purpose of your website (generate email signups, download an e-book, make direct purchases, etc.) keep that intention in the back of your mind while you search. Don’t just look at what’s the most fashionable.
Analyze the websites that are converting best for what you want.
If you’re promoting an e-book, find sites with the most e-book downloads. Some of their popularity will undoubtedly depend on the content they’re offering. But, a well-built website focused on getting visitors to download also helps. Study what they do well and what you could apply to your site.
You might really enjoy the look and feel of an e-commerce website. But that site’s design and purpose have little to do with a site meant to generate a phone call.
It’ll help focus your search when you filter out sites with design elements that don’t match your intended goals.
Tip 3: step away from the screen
Don’t think you must do all your web design research at the computer. Web design inspiration can strike just about anywhere.
Artists have a long history of exploring nature and their communities to find inspiration sources. While you can’t neglect looking at other websites, that doesn’t mean that’s the only place you’ll find a good idea or two.
As great as the world wide web is, it can actually cause us to get a bit tunnel-visioned at times. Some of the sites we’ll mention later on are spectacular resources. But, they can create a bit of a hive mind mentality in folks that spend too much time viewing them.
To break out of that rut, as the new slang says, “touch grass.” Step away from the computer. Take a stroll outside and get lost in a new neighborhood.
When was the last time you:
Ventured out into your local art community?
Your local art scene is a fantastic place to brush up on the latest trends in your community. This can be especially impactful for local businesses looking to attract more local viewers. What subjects are local artists working with? How are their spaces set up?
Took a tour of the work of local graffiti artists?
Local street artists have their pulse on cutting-edge trends. Yes, they might skew towards a younger audience. But graffiti artists’ work work with fonts and colors impacts art at all levels. Graffiti art and murals have come a long way from names on the sides of trains.
Visited the live theater?
Most modern theaters still frame their work in a 2D perspective and layout that matches a computer screen. Stage designers are experts at suggesting locations using shapes, lighting, and color.
Explored a new neighborhood park or community area?
Just getting outside and viewing your natural surroundings can profoundly impact your creative energy. You also might spot a new sculpture or public work of art that sparks your imagination.
Traveled the world?
Travel is easily one of the best ways to get unique inspiration. You’re forced to leave your comfort zone when you visit new and exciting places. Walking new city streets will undoubtedly reveal new color pallets and design elements you have never seen before.
The details are what matters
For sure, some of what you see outside or in the art world will not apply to your new website design.
Think fashion shows. A lot of what sashays down the runway cannot and should not be worn by regular people. Attendees look at textures, colors, and other details that will trickle down into everyday fashion.
Similarly, don't expect everything to translate when you’re out in the wild. While taking in various forms of inspiration to get your creative juices flowing, you will see a lot of shapes and patterns that absolutely won’t apply to website design.
But every little thing helps.
Maybe you notice new color palettes or new design patterns that spark an idea for you. It could very well be the minor detail that pushes your next website to the next level.
Tip 4: don’t neglect to look for mobile web design inspiration
Stunning, wide-screen websites designed for high-end desktop screens are genuinely captivating.
Unfortunately, that’s not how most people visit websites.
Mobile phones surpassed desktops back in 2016. They rule the online browsing world. But most people are still thinking about their site design as a desktop-first experience.
Really think about web usage statistics and your intended audience when looking at web design inspiration. Don’t get swept up into thinking you need a super flashy desktop experience. Some customers tend to browse online solely. If anything, you might want to flip the script and design for mobile users first and then desktop users.
The “tried and true” graphic design inspiration websites
If you’ve stayed with us to now, thanks. If you skipped here from the top, no worries!
The sites we’re sharing with you are the industry standard sites to go to and find web design inspiration. You will see spectacular sites created by some of the best minds in the industry. It’s easy to lose yourself as you explore.
Keep our tips above in mind while you peruse the sites to maximize your time. Try not to fall down too many rabbit holes of awe-inspiring websites with little value to your needs. But if you’re like us, you just might lose hours scrolling and scrolling.
Content Snare Weekly
Shameless plug time! Our web design weekly newsletter delivers tips, tricks, tools, and more to help you improve your business. We have a regular section centered on design inspiration. You enjoy web design inspiration delivered straight to your inbox every week, no searching required.
A digital platform owned by Adobe Systems. Adobe is synonymous with design, so it’s no coincidence they own and manage Behance, one of the leading sources of website design inspiration. You can filter by region to check how designers in different countries differ in technique and style.
Dribble has long been a go-to place for designers worldwide. You can browse everything from animation to mobile web design. Dribble has helpful filters like color schemes, tags, and more to help you narrow down their extensive list of examples. You can also follow designers you enjoy to get updated with their latest work.
This is the site for you if you want to cut straight to the list of award-winning websites for design inspiration. All work at Awwwards is vetted by a jury of renowned designers and industry experts. The quality of work is unparalleled but might not always be within reach for small businesses. But the site features impressive work, and you can search why it ranked so high with clearly listed ratings for things like design, usability, creativity, content, and mobile.
This is a site where you can go to get e-commerce web design inspiration. Everything is fully vetted, so you only see the cream of the crop of e-commerce sites (we couldn’t help ourselves). If you need to create or design an e-commerce site in Shopify, Commerce Cream should be your first port of call.
We mentioned that you can’t and shouldn’t overlook mobile designs earlier. Pttrns is the place to go for everything related to mobile designs. You can browse galleries of great work, learn the rationale behind the designs, and even purchase mobile design templates to help you get started.
Sites submitted to CSS Nectar are so confident in their results that they pay to list themselves. Sites on CSS Nectar are “triple vetted,” so not just any site can appear in the results. This means you get a solid list of curated websites to check out, saving you from scrolling through feeds of less than stellar websites.
You don’t have to buy a website template from Template Monster to browse their website examples. Their filtering system is designed to help people find website templates to purchase, but this also makes it easy to narrow down your results to a style you need inspiration in.
Tired of looking at safe? Want something with a bit more design edge? Brutalist Websites features sites pushing the boundaries of website design. You might not find the highest functioning websites here, but you’ll definitely discover something unique.
Elementor’s Monthly Showcase
Even if you don’t use Elementor to help build your website, you can enjoy perusing the curated list of sites in Elementor’s Monthly Showcase. They pull examples from multiple industries and update their results monthly, so there’s always something new to explore.
At DesignRush, you can check out award-winning websites sorted by industry. This is a great jumping-off point if you’d like to start your day by looking at the best websites available for a particular segment.
The Great Discontent
If you’re feeling bored scrolling through endless feeds of spectacular website designs, take a break with The Great Discontent. Here you can read stories and Q&As with some of the industry's best designers. Peek behind the curtain to see what makes them tick, their inspirations, etc.
Think Pinterest for design inspiration. Unlike other sites you scroll through to look for inspiration, Designspiration lets you build up a personal repository of design inspiration you can return to at any time.
The genius of Calltoidea is that you can browse design for specific pages on a website. Often we give too much importance to the home page (which is vital), but 404 pages, About Us, and Contact Pages can be just as important.
Not every source of web inspiration needs to be a dedicated website listing service. Pinterest has long been a favorite spot for designers in every industry. There are fantastic examples of website design as well as color theory, print design, and other potential sources of web design inspiration for you to browse through.
Httpster is another excellent resource that provides solid filtering options. Choose to filter designs by style or type of website, either by industry or visual details. You can scroll through their monthly curated lists or explore on your own.
If you’d like to scroll for web design inspiration while on the go, look no further than the highly popular Instagram. Check out the feeds of top web design minds like @jessicavwalsh or accounts that focus on web design like @welovewebdesign.
Land-book updates its site daily. So, it’s an excellent choice for creatives searching for a steady stream of web design inspiration. They feature landing pages, portfolios, blogs, and more.
This site grew from a humble, personal blog and became a must-visit resource for anyone in design. At Abduzeedo, you can find stunning web design examples and articles on photography, design, and user experience. You can come to get inspired or find tutorials on how to do things you see on the site.
The awards at Cssdesignawards are given out by an international web design and development committee that strives to find the best freelance designers and agencies working online today. They love highlighting those who are pushing the boundaries in UI and UX.
Web Design Ledger
A resource for more than web design inspiration. You can find articles on web design industry trends at Web Design Ledger, roundups of web plugins, articles from industry leaders, and more. A great place to find inspiration while keeping your pulse on the web design industry.
Go and find your inspiration
We hope you use these sites wisely.
Remember: while there are some fantastic designs out there, they won’t be the right fit for every need.
Don’t start a new web design project like so many others and focus only on pretty colors and fonts. Consider the needs of your target audience, industry trends within your niche, and most importantly, the desired outcome you want your visitors to take.
Your site should be working for you.
Also, remember, there are websites that break every known convention and still deliver a memorable experience. You don’t always have to stay to what’s tried and true. But, having said that, what’s tested will often perform best for most users.
Do you have any sites or other sources of web design inspiration? We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
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