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I Want YOUR Vote For The Top 10 Best Designed Websites in the World (2013)

top 10 best designed websites 2014I have created lists of my favourite web designs a few times in previous years (see 2008, 2010, 2012).

I’ve now put together my newest list: The Best-Designed Websites In The World – 2013.

Votes are now CLOSED!

Here’s The Rub

If you know anything about me, you’ll know how strongly I believe that web design is marketing, that it should generate measurable results, and return a profit!

(If you don’t understand why this is true, here’s why.)

The sites that make the this year’s winning list are going to win based on one single criterion, which I’ve drawn from my recent “What’s the single most important thing in Web Design?” contest.

The key criterion is:

“How well does this site achieve the site’s (or owner’s) goals by targeting the right visitors and delivering a great experience?”

That’s what matters in web design! It’s ALL that matters in web design!

So…

  • I’m not looking for cute, sexy design.
  • I’m not looking for edgy, fashionable design.
  • The design doesn’t have to be unique or individual.
  • But it should demonstrate a fresh, creative, and extremely effective process for converting the target prospect.

I want to see sites that have been properly thought out, that show intelligent branding and positioning decisions, accessible and compelling copy, sharp audience segmentation, and where the graphic design supports the serious business of marketing.

That means any website could win. It could be yours.

Entries Are Now Closed!

Thanks,
Ben

About the author

Ben Hunt

Ben is the creator of Web Design From Scratch. He started writing articles about web design to kill time on a long train commute, and is now one of the most influential figures on the subject of effective web design. He has written three books and spoken at multiple conferences internationally.

Timothy - 11 months ago

Here are a few that I think are up to par:
http://www.apple.com
http://www.youneedabudget.com
http://quizzle.com
http://www.farmlogs.com

    Ben Hunt - 11 months ago

    All good and worth considering, thanks Timothy.

Timothy - 11 months ago

Another good one:
http://www.emyth.com

    Ben Hunt - 11 months ago

    Yup! Great book, and a GREAT home page.

Kevin Craighead - 11 months ago

Here is a website a built for a London based accountancy firm that wanted to attract new clients. Their target audience is start-ups in and around silicon roundabout in London. They wanted to get across that they were easy going, fun to work with, and offered the right range of products at a really good price. They were only interested in Limited companies so a bit of work has been done on writing copy that allows prospects to opt themselves out, as well as attracting the right kind of leads.

It has been built with several landing pages for their target keywords such as ‘small business accountants london’. These landing pages lead to sales funnels that describe in detail how the service will help the prospect. Eventually this leads to a contact page where the prospect can book a consultation.

Sound familiar? It should, the concepts come from Ben’s book ‘Convert!’. The on-page conversion optimisation ideas were also heavily influenced by the white papers on the ‘conversion rate experts’ website.

http://www.metricaccountants.co.uk/

Leads from the site have increased fivefold since the new design went live in Autumn with every lead being from a suitable prospect. Much better than their previous scatter-gun approach that meant most prospects were unsuitable.

Currently they are working on SEO and creating more articles in the blog to ensure a good Google rank for all of their keywords.

I’m not sure I can claim it is one of the best sites but it works for them, and they are happy with the results.

    Ben Hunt - 11 months ago

    Thanks Kevin, great submission!

    Great to see a fivefold growth from applying multiplicity and conversion best practice. I’ll certainly explore this site in more detail.

Charles - 11 months ago

I would like to nominate
http://imimpact.com/ – Shane Melaugh’s web site IM Impact. Shane writes and creates a lot of videos on how to create a well converting web site and demonstrates this in his own site.

http://imimpact.com/two-website-success-factors/

No sliders, no confusing graphics and a very clear call to action message- throughout. It is very difficult to be confused on what 1 (one) thing Shane is asking the user to do on the home page as well as on the rest of the site.

    Ben Hunt - 11 months ago

    Thanks Charles. I haven’t seen this site before, and it’s certainly clean and direct. I certainly get the message pretty quickly. It is on the bland side, though.. I wonder if I could get a bit more emotional messaging through the use of imagery. Maybe it’s lacking personality? I’ll review it again, for sure.

    Shane - 10 months ago

    Thank you for submitting my site, Charles!

Ismail Sheikh - 11 months ago

I think this one of the best designed websites and would attract any web designer, computer programmer, or anyone who is interested in learning the arts of programming and mastering all types of a computer’s language. I think the best website ever designed should go to Teamtreehouse

URL: http://teamtreehouse.com/

    Ben Hunt - 11 months ago

    Thanks Ismail. It’s certainly modern, clean, and fairly obvious what’s on offer. I’m not sure I can see what makes this site exceptionally attractive or likely to convert.

      Ismail Sheikh - 11 months ago

      what’s wrong with it? It looks pretty nice, just like motorola’ website and some others like google, or microsoft. You’ve got to be kidding if you’re saying its not that good.

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    I revisited the site, and here’s my problem..

    Without clicking on, say, “Learn how” (the very pale button, with white text on a light grey background), I really don’t get it. There’s just too little above the fold to inspire me to look further.

    However, when I *DID* click on the button, the explanation was GREAT!

    So, I think it’s a well-designed site that’s let down by at least one serious flaw.

Doug - 11 months ago

OK, this site isn’t perfect (but what site is!), and it’s obvious that there isn’t the same kind of marketing budget that the likes of “apple.com” have!

I spent far too long working my way through lots of bland “corporate” sites (even some where it really wasn’t obvious if they did domestic installations or not).

http://www.treeworkflooring.co.uk/

So what do I like about it?

I like the simplicity / clarity. There are two main options on the home page. “This is how your floor could look” and “This is what you need to know”.

The pictures of the previous projects are fantastic and show the end results, in lots of different styles/materials. This was a refreshing change from the catalog of manufacturers images of the individual boards!

It’s nice to be able to filter the portfolio gallery by the different materials/options.

And while the information could almost certainly be presented better – the key here is that the information that I needed to answer my questions was there.

This is the one that made me pick up the phone.

    Ben Hunt - 11 months ago

    Thanks Doug.. Certainly some good elements. Nice to see a smiling face, and you can’t get much more direct than, “This is how your floor could look”. Worth further consideration.

Dennis G - 11 months ago

Nothing too fancy in this small website, not even a high traffic site, but it does it’s job. Convert visitor into potential client. Since re-structuring it’s homepage a couple of months ago, it has a significant increase in conversion. Not the very best but certainly a good point to start. The optin on the near footer of the homepage does the conversion, which tells that visitor was actually convinced with the content above.

http://myfreelance101.com/

    Ben Hunt - 11 months ago

    This isn’t going to make the cut. The headline “Best Solution for your Online Presence” is far too generic. It doesn’t identify the target market, the problem, or give any reason why your solution is better than any other.

Dennis G - 11 months ago

Thanks for your humble opinion Ben, but honestly, I also don’t know why it works, since re-structuring it like that, it works, specially the Free Consultation which leads to actual client.

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    Regroup.us: The blocky caps headings are hard to read, and the typography generally isn’t very accessible.

    PureVisibility.com: “Forget traffic. You need conversions.”… Really?? What are you going to convert, genius? Also lacks any powerful immediate benefit or distinction.

    artonicweb.com: I really like the home page.. It’s very simple, and the focus is on the product. However, the frame flip rate on the slider is a bit too fast. Also, it’s missing a high-level “Who we are, what we do, for whom, and why we’re different” statement.

    imscalable.com: This is a very good home page. It has distinctiveness, social proof, benefits, and cost justification. Great to see! My only concern is, a LOT of space above the fold is used to communicate four minor differentiating factors: Reliable, Consistent, Trackable, Growth.. Would any agency promote itself as unreliable or inconsistent? No. So how is this informing the visitor. If they used that top area to state what they do, for whom, it would be an excellent page! Certainly a contender though.

Timothy - 11 months ago

Another one:
http://www.highlevelmarketing.com/

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    Looks OK, but I’m missing the human touch. It would be great to have some faces on there. I like the simple calls to action, which go some way to categorising the visitor. I couldn’t call it a super-elegant solution though.

Dave - 11 months ago

http://www.worldhailnetwork.com

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    Thanks Dave. World Hail Network is tidy enough, but I don’t think its benefits jump out immediately. There’s a heading, “Bringing the Hail World Together”, but it doesn’t have any WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). The top-level summary is hidden in the middle of a paragraph of text (“The World Hail Network is your one-stop-shop for fast and accurate hail repair answers”) so that just isn’t going to get spotted quickly enough.

Nura Mailittafi - 11 months ago

hahhah !!!!! in what ever work you specialize on,there are thousands of prior and experts already there. Thank to those expert that always works to separate skilful web designers and unskilful designer.
HELLO BEN !!! thanks again on your worked. I spend a lot searching on apple.com,but i found everything cooled attractive;especially how info on every page are provided.THANKS again,hope you will not stop your mission about every things ;GOOD LUCK !!!! NURA MUH.D

Augusto da Costa - 10 months ago

I am really proud of you Ben Hunt for you tutorial video of web design. it was really help me to improve my acknowledge of designing web. you are the best web designer that i have met. May God bless you long life…

WiL - 10 months ago

http://www.LookCT.com

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    I guess this is a very new site WiL. Thanks for posting. While it gets a lot of things right, I find the red with horizontal lines really distracting and hard to look at, so it falls down on some basic graphic design.

mehak - 10 months ago

nice Ben hunt best of luck. it was really help us to improve our acknowledge of designing better web. you doing good job BEN HUNT. I m proud of you.

alex - 10 months ago

http://www.onlycoin.com: great animations.

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    It got me to watch the video, and the video did its job. I’ll certainly review the site again.

    (However, one thing concerns me.. You tap the button to switch between cards, then hand it over to a waiter or clerk.. What happens if they accidentally tap the button as they receive it?)

Timothy - 10 months ago

Here’s a real estate website that I found:
http://www.duffyrealtyofatlanta.com/

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    Thanks Timothy. Certainly looks interesting. I’ll review it again when I shortlist.

David Nicol - 10 months ago

Hello Ben,

We would like to nominate http://www.pipeline-accounts.co.uk/

Pipeline Accounts is a specialist division of Aberdeen-based Bon Accord Accountancy serving contractors working in the energy sector.

We have worked with Pipeline Accounts over the past year to evolve and improve their site considerably, adding a range of features and functions but always keeping usability and conversion at the forefront of everything we have done.

The site has played a huge role in helping Pipeline Accounts to greatly exceed its expectations, and they are on target to secure 1,000 clients by the end of the next financial year.

Clear calls to action on the homepage help channel visitors to the right area for their needs, and then multi-step forms help people to sign up as a paying Pipeline Accounts customer quickly and easily. These forms include a real time check of company name availability through Companies House.

Pipeline Accounts director Martin Watt says: “The Pipeline Accounts website generates around £10,000 of new recurring annual business for us every month, so I can only view it as a resounding success!”

We hope that you agree that this site is worth considering for the 2013 Top 10 Best Designed Websites, and we look forward to your comments.

Many thanks.

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    David, I’ve looked at the home page, and it’s actually very good… not perfect, but worthy of further consideration.

    It does a great job of communicating the basics: who we are, what we do, who we do it for, and giving some focus.

    How I’d improve it..

    1) More benefit-driven, at the top level. Why would *I*, as a contractor in this sector, take action right now to work with these guys? There’s no killer proposition. It says, “We specialise”, but doesn’t really drive home what the benefit of that is to me.

    2) Good to see segmentation of the market in the 3 panels, but they headings are vague. “Why Pipeline?” / “Already a Contractor?” / “New to Contracting?”. You can’t rely on those being attractive enough to make someone read through the solid block of text that follows. So I think visitors need more of a carrot that gets their interest.

      David Nicol - 10 months ago

      Thanks Ben – it’s great to get your thoughts about how to improve the site further. I agree with what you are saying, and we can definitely do more to really get across the benefits of using Pipeline Accounts. Cheers!

carl - 10 months ago

Hi Ben,
Here is another site – http://www.sheffieldprivatepregnancycare.co.uk

cheers

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    It’s not a bad home page Carl, but there are issues. The “Explore Our Services” text feels rough and hard to read, and each of the service descriptions is cut off (I assume by the WordPress theme?). Also, there’s a lack of tonal distinction between the page background and main content area, and the service panels are very dull in mid grey. Not best of breed I’m afraid.

Jacob - 10 months ago

Wistia, because they communicate what they do about as boldly as possible: http://wistia.com/

Wish I could submit our new site design, but it will miss the deadline. I hope you run this again in 2014 :)

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    Thanks Jacob. Certainly worth looking into. I’ll shortlist it.

marian - 10 months ago

Hi Ben,
what do you think about this: http://www.myforexanalysis.com (it’s quite new)

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    Hi Marian. I quite like the site, and I appreciate how there’s some proof on the home page (something too many sites neglect). Visually, though, I don’t get on well with all the grey, and would love to see a human face too.

Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

I’m going to add this site, which I came across recently.. http://noonebelongsheremorethanyou.com/00025

Kelvin dengler - 10 months ago

http://Www.thugmnews.com

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    It’s hideous :-)

      Kelvin dengler - 9 months ago

      Its bad?

Greg Wierenga - 10 months ago

Hi Ben,
I’m a big fan of video on the homepage explaining the sites service. http://esite.com

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    It’s a good home page, although I found myself staring at the large graphics in the middle of the screen for a while until I noticed the video “Play” button.

    Some of the copy could be made more effective, e.g. on the “Why Us” page the headline is, “How we meet your website needs”… Hmm.

    I will review again later.

Konstantinos Margaritis - 10 months ago

Hi Ben,

Although i will post a greek website and you might not understand the content, i believe it worths exploring it.

The website is addressed to teachers and librarians, parents and children, providing information and resources about books and reading. Operates out of commercial practices in order to establish and cultivate the relationship between children and books, and through this, to boost the development of children’s critical thinking. Last but not least, bookbook.gr hosts writing competition and various games.

What worths observing is the top menu with the gears and the left menu with the tabs that are pure CSS3, Javascript and HTML5 and no Flash technology is involved. CSS sprites have been used for the creation of the site in order to provide better effects, animations, instant hovers and performance.

1) Home page
http://www.bookbook.gr

2)Summer competition for kids. In case you want more info about this competition let me know.
http://www.bookbook.gr/e-εργαστήριο/869-οι-«διακοπές»-ενός-ντετέκτιβ-ο-κλουζ-στην-ελλάδα

3)CSS3/JS/HTML5 poem game)
http://www.bookbook.gr/e-δραστηριότητες-λέξεις-και-κείμενα/841-οι-στίχοι-των-ποιητών-συνομιλούν-μεταξύ-τους

I wrote a small manual for the poem in case you want to have a memory from bookbook.gr :
There is a predefined collection of phrases at the bottom of the page that can be used in order to create a poem. By dragging phrases in the notebook they are added to the poem. By clicking ready(red button writing Ετοιμο) the poem is automatically added to the article with all the poems and a set of options are presented. There is a requirement that you should enter a name in the input which is on the right side of the red button. The game supports printing the created poem and getting a PDF version of the poem. BY clicking “δημιουργία pdf” you can get your pdf with the song you created on the notebook.

Let me know what you think.

P.S. Due to the fact that christmas is coming, bookbook.gr is currently on a christmas theme with nice snow effect. In case you would like to turn it off, there is an umbrella on the top left side of the site which toggles snowing.
P.S.S. The website will be soon moving in a VPN in order to adjust with the increased visits and enhance the navigation experience.

Best Regards and Merry Christmas

    Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

    Thanks Konstantinos.

    I don’t know much Greek (!) but I can spot a few basic design errors, like the animations that run constantly, always trying to draw your eye away from the content.

    I don’t think it can make my top 10, but I appreciate the submission.

    Merry Christmas to you!
    – Ben

      Konstantinos Margaritis - 10 months ago

      Hi Ben,

      Thank you very much for your comments.

      Can you please tell me to which animations you are referring in order to find a way to reduce them.

      Best Regards
      Kostas

      Ben Hunt - 10 months ago

      Hi Kostas.

      From memory, there was snow falling over the screen, which is cute but does nothing to help people find the content they want.

      There was also some machinery whirring, up at the top right I think.

      Animation can be a great way to draw attention, but you must only use it when you want to draw attention to the most important content on the page, otherwise it will be counter-productive.

Jordan Dick - 10 months ago

Hi Ben,

Here are a couple of sites built to sell, with some well thought out copy. Both are mobile responsive.

http://genplusinc.com/
http://northeastremodelinggroupinc.com/

Thanks for considering this.

    Ben Hunt - 9 months ago

    Thanks Jordan. Those are both great sites, because they deliver the complete message you need in order to know whether this is the right company for you.. and that is a RARE thing. Great work!

    I personally feel the GenPlus site is the more effective. It just reads easier than the NERG site, because the overlaying of the photos and text with semi-transparent layers on the latter create a bit of fussyness… but I’m splitting hairs, this is exactly the kind of site I’d like to see in 2013’s top 10!

    Ben Hunt - 9 months ago

    Imsmart.com – I really liked the site, but I was frustrated that I couldn’t find out which phones it was compatible with! It took me several clicks before I got to the “Specifications” page. Worthy of the shortlist, but would be even better if it had compatible OSs right there on the home page.

    Renault – clean, white background, and does a good job of providing access to quite a lot of information, but I personally didn’t find the site engaging.

    Apple – it’s a great design, but it isn’t recent. The Apple site is always among my favourites, but I don’t think it has moved forward in 2013 so it doesn’t really deserve a place this year.

    Auto Republic – again, clean, but it felt all white and sterile. Plus I kept finding myself drawn to the grey gradients, which are somewhat outdated. The site just doesn’t make good enough use of contrast and colour, on a purely graphic level.

    JustEat – I’ve used this site myself, and the mobile app, and it simply works great. Shortlisted!

    HTC – Pretty good, but I was put off by the white-on-black navigation in caps, and the body text is tiny-tinsy-weeny.. Really doesn’t help me to interact with the content. A fundamental error.

    Android – I really liked this site. The unusual spatial panning on the features was intriguing and very usable (although on the third one the text overlapped a dark phone image, so I couldn’t actually read it), but overall it’s a very accessible and well written site. Shortlisted.

    Skype – The new site is good, and I’m interested to see the bigass hero photos going up and behind the top nav. Not 100% sure it works, but interested. The site is very simple and the copy is great, although maybe it uses a couple of gradients too many. Deserves to be on the shortlist though.

    Zoopla – It’s simple and plain and it works. I’ll revisit this one. Nothing really engages me, but then I have to ask, does it have to??

Timothy - 9 months ago

Ben,

Here’s a website that my team built for a career counseling company.

http://www.coldcollar.com

I believe that it’s a strong candidate for your list because of the strong offer on the homepage and the clean, modern design.

-Timothy Howse

    Ben Hunt - 9 months ago

    Thanks for the suggestion Timothy.

    I think it’s a good home page, and it has the 2013 look with the massive hero photo, but there are a few things that stop it from being great.

    The navigation tells me NOTHING about what’s on offer. So the signage is broken.

    The strap line, “Employment Results. Career Solutions.” has “Designed by committee” written all over it. It’s almost meaningless. So I’m struggling to discern who this is for, what’s on offer, and what’s special about this site.

    Once I started scrolling, I got the headline, “Find Solutions That Are Right For You”, which is about as generic a headline as it’s possible to put. I could put that on my site. Most websites could. It says almost nothing, as though the site is afraid to put its balls on the table and make me a PROMISE.

    So I don’t think this can make my shortlist.. But with a few changes, maybe it could.

      Timothy - 9 months ago

      Ben,

      Interesting feedback.

      I am thinking about making the following changes to the site:

      1) Navigation – what do you think about using titles in the navigational menu like: “Move Up”, “Get Interviews” and “Get Jobs”?

      2) Tagline – I agree that it is a weak part of the site. What do you think about “Career Solutions That Work”?

      3) Sub-Headline – I agree that “Find Solutions That Are Right For You” is too generic. What do you think about “Finding Your Next Job Just Got Easier” or “Take Control of Your Career”?

      Would this make it strong enough to be considered for the shortlist?

      Let me know.

      -Timothy

      Timothy - 9 months ago

      Ben,

      I made several changes to the site, based on your suggestions:
      1) Changed the tagline to say: “Career Solutions That Work”
      2) Changed “Find Solutions That Are Right For You” to “Take Control Of Your Career”
      3) Made the Services drop-down menu much more benefit-oriented. For instance, instead of saying “Interview Training”, it now says: “Get Interviews”, “Get The Job”, “Lead The Pack” and “Find Great Employees”

      Let me know if these changes will make it strong enough for the shortlist.

      Ben Hunt - 9 months ago

      Hi Timothy.

      Good on you for taking critique and making changes. However, I think overall they’re still too generic.

      (I’m giving you direct feedback and advice here because you’re a former Pro Web Design Course student.)

      1. Tagline. How many websites could “Career Solutions That Work” apply to? Lots! So how does it help identify your proposition? What’s unique about your proposition? Or consider this… What’s the Unique Buying Proposition? Why should someone go to YOU and NOT anyone else? Would YOU use your services? Why? Condense and distil the essence of that reason into a few words and you’ll have yourself a tagline!

      2. “Take Control of Your Career” could apply to people already in jobs as well as those seeking a move. So it doesn’t accurately describe (as in, draw a circle around) WHAT YOU OFFER either. Think “What’s In It For Me?!” and try to find the final benefit.

      Here’s a good exercise you might try.

      If you “Take control of your career”, it means that.. (what)?

      Or “Take control of your career” so that…

      Then you’ll get something else, a deeper, more personal benefit.

      Now ask the same thing about THAT benefit. e.g. “Take control of your career”, so that you “Get the job and salary that you want”, so that you “Achieve your maximum potential at work and in your life”…

      I don’t have the answers, but you do.

      3) I like the new Services drop-down. It’s a great improvement. Here are some thoughts..

      Maybe “Get MORE Interviews” would be better than “Get Interviews”?

      “Get your/that perfect job”? better than “Get The Job”?

      “Lead the Pack” doesn’t make sense to me. What it seems to be selling, to me, is making yourself highly employable or irresistible to employers. Again, leading the pack could apply in multiple scenarios.

      What’s the specific benefit your prospects are looking for? The one that’ll make them click with baited breath? The one that’ll make them whip out their credit card without a second thought?

Sarah - 9 months ago

http://www.formulafive.com.au

    Ben Hunt - 9 months ago

    No, my eyes were jumping all over the home page, not knowing what I was looking at, or why I should be interested. It fails on the most basic tests, sorry.

The Weaver - 9 months ago

I would like to nominate the finest artistic network

http://www.artgrove.com
Art Makers + Art Lovers = Art Grovers

http://www.artgrove.com/manifesto
Let us all unite, create and combine our efforts
to raise artistic awareness.

See you around on –The Grove–

    Ben Hunt - 9 months ago

    Thanks Weaver. I found the site interesting (I’m an art lover and hibernating artist).

    The home page is good, although maybe uses a few more words than necessary, and the proposition isn’t crystal clear.

    I wanted the navigation to drop down without my having to click on it, too. A minor niggle.

    Also, I’d love to be able to choose larger thumbnails, and to be able to scroll through pictures in the lightbox using left-right arrows.

    So it’s a good site, and I hope it does well, but it isn’t one of the best of the year.

Rahul - 9 months ago

It seems interesting to me….

http://www.orionentertainment.co

    Ben Hunt - 9 months ago

    It is interesting, but also opaque and inaccessible. A fine example of what NOT to do, in my book.

Comments are closed