The Internet is full of inspirational material when it comes to creating website designs. From simplistic and effective to elaborate and visually stunning, creators have made an impact while pushing the boundaries of what technology can deliver. However, site owners need to know the difference between emulation and reproduction.
It’s one thing to be inspired by someone’s designs, but it can be problematic when copied. One of the primary goals any site developer should focus on is creating a unique appearance. However, that doesn’t mean that one cannot be inspired by the layout of another.
WordPress offers a great canvas when it comes to implementing this reference material. From the moment the WordPress hosting account is created, developers begin to scour for ideas and inspiration. Here are 10 web design sites that developers should bookmark to fuel their creative engines.
1. Deviant Art
Deviant Art has been around since 2000. It’s one of the premier locations on the Internet for virtually anything artistic. In this case, the web interfaces area of the site is loaded with great ideas ranging from basic principles to engaging interactive designs. Because of the popularity of Deviant Art, it’s constantly being updated with new materials. There is also a social element to the site allowing visitors to comment on the available projects.
One of the most amazing sites in this list for demonstrating web design is Awwwards. This site allows anyone to submit their designs to be judged by the masses. Full of some of the most amazing interfaces across the Internet, inspiration can easily come regardless of what industry the designer is focusing on. The site allows visitors to follow specific collections of interfaces such as eCommerce, filters and effects or responsive design categories.
Another site that promotes competition among developers, CSSDesignAwards brings together some of the most intriguing and well-sculpted programming skills across the web. The system is easy to use and designs can be filtered by a variety of tools. For example, users looking for themes centered around the color blue simply need to click on the box to see available themes that use shades of blue as its primary color. JQuery, flat designs, responsive and even WebGL can be searched through in this collection of amazing website designs.
4. Webdesign Inspiration
There are more than 210 pages worth of websites saved on Webdesign Inspiration. Others are able to submit their artistic layouts, which means this is another site that continuously grows. Not only does the site allow visitors to add these ideas to their favorites and special lists, but links accompany the sites to allow easy access to see the design live. Categories can be filtered by colors, types, industry and styles such as minimalist or parallax.
5. One Page Love
One Page Love has an exceptionally long list of themes and templates that are inspiring. In fact, many of them can even be downloaded for free. Designs can be browsed by templates for apps, HTML, WordPress and more. Virtually any kind of a website is listed in One Page Love with literally hundreds of pages to browse through for inspiration.
6. CG Society
When it comes to graphics, backgrounds or other website imagery, some of the best graphics can be found at CG Society. Although this site has less to do with web interfaces and more with the graphic side of things, one cannot help feel inspired by the artwork that is available. Like others in this list, CG Society offers a sense of social interaction as visitors can follow accounts, like images and directly contact these graphic designers.
7. CSS Zen Garden
Although it’s perhaps one of the smallest sites on this list, CSS Zen Garden does have presence when it comes to fueling ideas. With more than 200 layouts available, users can see the different ways a website can be assembled for engaging an audience. One of the most important aspects of the site is the collection of icons that range in the thousands. These icons can be used in a variety of purposes and are available for commercial licensing. It may be worth the exploration for those who need icon graphics for their design ideas.
8. Land Book
Landing pages are important in marketing platforms. Whether it’s for eCommerce or other business venture, designers can be inspired by the pages in Land Book. This is a vast collection of landing pages for everything from portfolios to online stores. Each individual image comes complete with links back to the original site, number of times it was viewed and sharing options such as posting it to Pinterest. For those in a team environment, these kinds of additions make it easier for everyone to be on the same page.
9. Unmatched Style
Unmatched Style is a site that showcases the designs of others. It has a bit of a social element to it that allows visitors to comment on layouts while displaying the developer’s bio. While it does seem more like a promotional site for artists, Unmatched Style does have an extensive library of designs to browse. Sites can be arranged by color, tags and even categories depending on various industries. The best part is that it’s a constantly growing site as more designs get added to the list.
10. Logo Pond
The overall layout of the site isn’t the only aspect that may require inspiration. Sites like Logo Pond can help developers come up with ideas for designing the logos as well. These graphics are a major part of marketing and branding, which makes them a priority for many owners. In fact, the right logo placed in a WordPress theme can greatly alter the site’s appearance.
Building an amazing website starts with proper WordPress hosting. However, it’s up to the site’s owner to make something that stands out from the rest. From color schemes to the use of plugins and widgets, it’s sometimes easier to see what WordPress can handle rather than experimenting through trial and error. Bookmark reference materials that inspire creativity when designing the layout of the website. It’ll be easier to come back to later.