100 Best Designed Websites (2012)

Over the past few years, I have posted two lists of my top 10 favourite site designs. (Here’s my original (old) list, and a more recent top 10 from 2010.)

2012′s review is here – and this time it’s a big one!

 ONE HUNDRED User Voted

 Best Designed Websites of 2012

100 Best Designed Websites 2012

 

My existing “Top 10″ pages rank really well and get a lot of visits (40,000 per month?) All the sites on the below final 100 list can expect extra visits.

Plus they’ll get a “Voted Top 100 Best Designed Websites” award for extra bragging rights.

 

What Was I Looking For?

What is “best designed”?

Of course, everyone will have their own definition. Let me give you the one I used.

First, it did not necessarily mean that you liked it, or that it showed impressive graphics skill (although that may be the case).

I want to see pages that fulfilled their purpose excellently - whatever the purpose of the page may be…

  • to sell
  • to entertain
  • to inform
  • to communicate
  • or to help you find stuff

I want to promote and reward the very best websites – the ones that have been consciously designed to deliver on specific goals.

I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do with this list now.. I may make an ebook, maybe some videos. Let’s see. Please feel to post your suggestions.

 

Here’s My List

In no particular order, all from reader suggestions! Check out the comments on this post for all the back & forth discussion…

  1. http://bearandmary.com/
  2. http://eyesopen.org.uk/
  3. http://www.themezilla.com/
  4. http://www.onesothebysrealty.com/
  5. http://www.freshbooks.com/uk/
  6. http://www.ncover.com/
  7. http://www.mcmaster.com/
  8. http://git-scm.com/
  9. http://www.intel.com/museumofme/en_US/r/index.htm
  10. http://moodstream.gettyimages.com/
  11. http://waterlife.nfb.ca/
  12. http://incident57.com/codekit/
  13. http://www.detroitventurepartners.com
  14. http://www.sosfactory.com/
  15. http://morehazards.com/
  16. http://www.mediacake.net/
  17. http://www.portent.com/
  18. http://www.eyre-design.co.uk/
  19. http://www.ozarks.edu/
  20. http://www.htc.com/uk/
  21. http://www.shopkick.com
  22. http://www.koozai.com/
  23. http://moneyasyougrow.org/
  24. http://www.bidsketch.com/
  25. http://www.ebuyer.com/
  26. http://rafaltomal.com/
  27. http://www.timeforcake.com/
  28. http://www.oxfam.org.uk/
  29. http://www.bbc.co.uk/
  30. http://www.copyblogger.com/
  31. http://www.harveynichols.com/
  32. http://www.designcodeplay.co.uk/
  33. http://www.6wunderkinder.com/
  34. http://www.playingwithfire.com/
  35. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/
  36. http://tutsplus.com/
  37. http://dribbble.com/
  38. http://www.foundationsix.com/
  39. http://www.lightcms.com/
  40. http://www.sites4contractors.com/
  41. http://feefighters.com/
  42. http://www.shetlandgallery.com/
  43. http://www.skiary.com/
  44. http://lemonstandapp.com/
  45. http://logopond.com/
  46. https://www.mint.com/
  47. http://jquerytools.org/
  48. http://www.crookedlakecottagedevon.co.uk/
  49. http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/
  50. http://www.352media.com
  51. http://www.click71.com/
  52. http://www.jasonreedwebdesign.com/ (hey, it disappeared, bummer!)
  53. http://companieshouse.gov.uk/
  54. http://www.novatech.co.uk/
  55. http://www.microsoft.com/
  56. http://www.getthefive.com/
  57. http://www.worryfreelabs.com/
  58. http://electricpulp.com/
  59. http://www.gpotato.com/
  60. http://www.coffeecup.com/
  61. http://go.magento.com/
  62. http://www.betabrand.com/
  63. http://www.harrisonappliance.com/
  64. http://www.magiciansforweddings.co.uk/
  65. http://www.bottlerocketapps.com/
  66. http://www.exhibitiondesign.com/
  67. http://www.airbnb.com/
  68. http://www.squarespace.com/
  69. http://www.apple.com/
  70. http://www.d10studio.com.mx/
  71. http://www.slidedeck.com/
  72. http://venturi-web-design.com/
  73. http://www.behance.net/
  74. http://www.stationfour.com/
  75. http://www.sarahpeterswebdesign.com/
  76. http://seo-consultant-london.com/
  77. http://www.ghosthorses.co.uk/
  78. http://jenkinstownmotors.com/
  79. http://www.alfredapp.com/
  80. http://get.wunderkit.com
  81. http://getpremise.com/
  82. http://www.darasgarden.com/
  83. http://mayday.wherespresso.com/
  84. http://www.channel4.com/news/
  85. http://thinktraffic.net/
  86. http://websynthesis.com/
  87. http://www.communityelf.com/
  88. http://www.mesacc.edu/
  89. http://www.able2wear.co.uk/
  90. http://www.downloadandprint.com/
  91. http://www.legalzoom.com/
  92. http://www.logitech.com/
  93. http://www.pencilneck.com/
  94. http://www.hubspot.com/
  95. http://forefathersgroup.com/
  96. http://www.yesware.com/
  97. http://www.f-stop.co.nz/
  98. http://www.paymo.biz/
  99. http://cakephp.org/
  100. http://rhyth.im/

Reserve List (nearly)

663 Comments Leave a comment

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I really like this. The initial experience is inviting, immediate, and friendly. The text layout isn’t perfect, and there are some English errors, but that’s all OK. What matters is there.

      Added to my working list :-)

    • ajay doke says:

      nice…
      designs and communications are clear.
      liked it.

    • Tim Reader says:

      Ethical creative agency in Hampstead, London: http://provokateur.com/

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Good enough for the shortlist. The design is really solid, but I do have a personal allergy to detached verbs: “Believe, Look, Think, Watch”… what do they tell me? Nothing at all.

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Almost.. It’s great to see the bold “exactly what we do” headline/strapline.

        However there are some mistakes, like the navigation is hard to read, and intro slide #1 really isn’t readable. I can’t say it’s up there with the best.

    • Tomas says:

      the http://bearandmary.com/ did not displayed correctly in mine Firefox. neither in Chrome. I have managed to get text not to over-lap in opera, to get a chance to read the text with nice design.
      It is common for middle size company admits to disable Internet explorer (to prevent comment code injection from running forums) to which is Internet explorer liable even on a proper websites (known cases from ads)…
      The website needs more work on a coding site in order for it to reach the quality of its original design and fight for tops.

      I recommend http://www.udacity.com Which helped many people searching for brain fulfilment way to go forward including those which could not otherwise.
      Although has a reasonable graphics and realy effective content doing what others tried but far more effectively. Design started last year, but many changes are done at all times…

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Thanks Tomas. Udacity is certainly extremely clear, but I found it quite cold. There’s no human presence, and I was left feeling it could have been more friendly.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sorry, nothing that stands out among that group.

    • ajay doke says:

      aucc.edu.gh
      i saw this site. goood.
      i didn’t see course details. this is excepted by the students frequently.

      • Ben Hunt says:

        The background behind the content is too busy, distracting the eye from what matters – the content!
        Otherwise, it’s a nicely presented page.

  1. Robby Elliott says:

    Hi Ben & team

    We’ve just completed this one after many months of hardwork. It’s our first full e-commerce site. Feedback welcome.

    Hope it makes your top 100. It would be amazing and be a massive boost to our fledgling business.

    Kind regards

    Robby
    Web Designer (not graphic designer ;-)

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Robby. I can’t add http://www.glassesgalore.co.uk to the list. It would need something to make it stand out from the crowd.
      I liked the initial photography, but the logo is doing a bit too much, and the general page design features tend to be a bit too heavy.
      There are a lot of high-contrast edges, making the page a bit tiring to look at for long.

  2. smartylogo says:

    New http://www.smartylogo.com and also http://www.smartylogo.com/members is based on same design.

    Please review it and vote!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Interesting, SmartyLogo feels like an Elegant Theme for WordPress to me, with all the silver grey.
      I found the initial experience a bit thin.. There’s a lot of empty space, the small text is distant and the graphics are not that impacting.

  3. Allan says:

    Fab.com is elegant, airy and
    unobstructive.

    It’s a pleasure to use.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Allan, I don’t get on with that site at all, on first visit. It doesn’t do what a store is meant to do, which is to promote its wares. I was faced with two dialog boxes in succession, at which point I gave up.

    • Joanna says:

      The challenge with Fab.com is that you have to be a member before you can use the site. I agree with Allan that, once you start using it, the site is very clean-looking and simple to use.

  4. testingmouse says:

    http://www.penzugyiszakertok.com/ – informations in hungarian lenguage about how-to-save money for ur future

    http://artistpub.hu/ -bcoz i like it :)and im using it everyday

    http://www.cssbeauty.com/ -about using css for nice, and clear rewards

    i dont a have a vote for the rest 97. im using 300 site in my everyday life, it takes time to choose the rest :)
    cheers
    matt

    • Ben Hunt says:

      penzugyiszakertok.com – very plain and ordinary. I found it wordy and the text too small.
      artistpub.hu – poor readability, not enough contrast on text, small text, and over-designed.
      cssbeauty.com – again, tiny text makes this feel exclusive and unappealing.

      • testingmouse says:

        thx for your comments Ben.

  5. Tricia says:

    I hope it is okay to vote my own sites.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Of course, if they’re great! :-)

  6. Caryn Dahm says:

    caryndahm.com
    My personal work site. I use it to promote graphic design classes that I teach as well as my design services and artwork. It is designed to showcase my skills and provide more information for parents who want their homeschooled children to enroll in my classes.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Caryn. Is is a very conventional site, but very nicely done. I like the branding, and most of the site is very appealing. The home page is one of the plainer pages, though. I would like to see more of your rich content find its way onto there.

  7. Caryn Dahm says:

    http://www.ragtagrubies.com … designed to promote and sell our house and home art as well as our wearable creations.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      A pleasant site. The logo is very pleasant, but it’s in a slightly dead position, and it’s drowned by the very bright red on the header section. To make the Top 100 list, that header section would need to be integrated better with the rest of the page.

      • Caryn Dahm says:

        Hi Ben-
        I’ve reworked the header and wanted to get your feedback. Thanks for your very insightful comments. Have a look now and let me know if it is worthy : )

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Hi Caryn. Now the logo tag sits on top of the Facebook box, for me at least. I’d like to see the logo on the conventional left hand side, with the main navigation items below. (Love the nest picture!)

  8. Darren Bristow says:

    http://eyesopen.org.uk
    If I need to explain it here then something isn’t right ;-)
    All feedback much appreciated.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Definitely interesting. I didn’t find it immediately obvious what the page was about upon first load, so I’d like to see an obvious proposition.
      I like the rest of the layout, though. However, reversed text isn’t much fun to look at after a few minutes.
      One for consideration!

  9. Alex says:

    http://www.mobcc.ro
    i like the menu and first page

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It doesn’t work for me. The stylish photos and the hand-drawn icons do not belong together. Th transitions are gratuitous, and it’s quite small and compressed. I think we can use more space today, as people have more bandwidth and bigger screens (except those on mobiles, who have less!)

  10. Bill says:

    Hi Ben,
    One man band here: http://www.motionhealth.tv

    I have completed the design, initial content, user signup and other basic website functionality. I am now in the process of adding multi-media content all produced in house.

    Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

    Cheers!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Bill. There’s nothing seriously wrong, but there are many areas that could be improved. It doesn’t feel like the site is quite finished yet.
      I generally like to see the logo above the navigation, not below. And there’s a big area of empty space.
      I’m also slightly allergic to the “3 loosely related verbs” method of strapline writing ;-)

  11. David Fleck says:

    http://fleckdistributions.com
    Everyone says it is a nice layout but I guess we will se what an expert thinks.

    • David Fleck says:

      fleckdistribuions.weebly.com/
      Here is my second site.I hope one of them make it.

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Bold white body text on a dark background is a design mistake.

      • David Fleck says:

        That is an easy fix. Thank you for the advice.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi David. The home page makes some significant mistakes, starting with wasting the focal point on a “welcome” message. It just doesn’t shout out what the product is and why I should be excited about it, which is what a site like this would have to do to make the Top 100 grade.

      • David Fleck says:

        How would I go about making the product shout out to you ? Any advise to point me in the right direction ? I am always open to constructive criticism.

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Hi David. It’s all about benefits – what’s in it for me. The best thing I can suggest is to read “Convert!”

      • David Fleck says:

        Thank you for your input.

  12. Leo AW says:

    What about this brand new site http://www.themezilla.com/ ?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Like lots. Great logo, appealing copy, simple.
      If I’m being picky, it could use a bit more colour, and doesn’t need quite that much vertical white space.
      One for the shortlist though. Thanks.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I would need to spend some time with this site. It’s a utilitarian app that seems to try to be all things to all men – a challenging goal!
      The branding and design feel pleasant, but to stand out it will need to be incredibly easy to use.
      I’m not sure that the broad potential functionality will translate into a successful user experience.

  13. TIGERdesign says:

    http://www.ludlowkingsley.com
    combine a modern and vintage style somehow..

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Very pleasant. I’ll investigate this one further. Thanks.

  14. Val Patterson says:

    Check out http://www.onesothebysrealty.com. It’s simple, beautiful, functional — everything a real estate site needs to be in this day and age. Of course, it deals with property in Miami, so what’s not to like?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Val. I really like this site! Great use of large format photographs, giving a high quality feel – which I think was exactly the aim.
      Definitely on my shortlist! Thank you.

  15. Charles “The Web Chef” Coyle says:

    Well of course I am going to say http://www.websitesforchefs.com but I am certainly going to scroll the internet and find you more before the deadline.

    Loved the Course Ben!!! Changed my Life!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Charles, you actually have an effective home page. I think I’ve mentioned before the poor quality of the video testimonial.
      (The SEO panel in your sliders doesn’t come across so well, because the dark test isn’t on a light background.)
      I love the way you’ve targeted your niche. This may have a chance of making my top 100 ;-)

      • Charles “The Web Chef” Coyle says:

        That’s Awesome to hear. I will certainly make those changes asap to help my chances.

  16. Tariq says:

    Ben,

    See what you think of these:

    http://www.freshbooks.com/
    http://www.ncover.com/
    http://www.landingpageoptimisation.com.au/

    And, I am going to put the pressure on you with this one: http://www.qvisionaz.com !

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Tariq, I like Freshbooks and Ncover more than the landingpageoptimisation site. Both worthy of further consideration.

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Obviously I can’t include QVision, as it is my own design :-)

  17. Jonathan says:

    Hey how about this one.

    http://www.possibilitees1.org/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      One to review again later. The site does its job, but I’m not sure there’s anything strong enough to make it top-flight.

  18. Brian says:

    http://southlandchristian.org/ is a very clean site. Not sure if it’s what you’re looking for. but I like the design a lot!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Yes, it’s pretty good. Thanks Brian. I think the logo could be a little larger. Also, it’s hard to find on the site in which city/location this church actually is. It says Lexington, is that Mass.?

      • Brian says:

        It’s located in Lexington, Kentucky. I’m not associated with their website at all though. I just thought I’d suggest it. Thanks

  19. Diana says:

    donniedarkofilm.com
    This is one of my favorite websites, just because it’s so out of the box. Even though it is more than ten years old it still astounds me. It’s certainly not the typical promotional site for a film, but it perfectly reflects the eerie mystery of the actual film, and invites you to become involved (interact) with the story.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Diana. I didn’t explore too deep. I have a lot of sites to review, and I found this slow and a little self-indulgent.
      I remember the film, which twisted my noodle at the time.
      As it is 10 years old, I don’t think I can really include it in 2012′s best sites.

  20. Megan Bennett says:

    Wow, a great opportunity. Thanks Ben. Simple site offering services of salt therapy http://www.saltcaves.com.au?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Megan. I find this site accessible, but design-wise just a little overbearing. The bright orange and black combo is really strong, and the white-on-black nav text doesn’t work great.

  21. Kyle Alo says:

    I’d like you to take a gander at this website.: http://strategicartconcepts.com . It is my personal first website design and exposure. It took two months of studing how to use the gadgets that allowed me to transport my images and choose the layout with it’s color schemes and bells and whistles. It is a standard “GoDaddy” template that I took and for the least amount of money since I had none was to make my work and history and services availible within three movements of the mouse. I think it’s pretty good but I’d like to know what the best means? Your comments are invited.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Kyle. The (massive) background image does nothing to help focus attention on the actual content, so this site unfortunately cannot make the list.

  22. David Fleck says:

    Hi Ben it is me again. I went through 6 colors before I found one that I liked. I was wondering if you would consider my blog again?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi David. Sorry, this will not make the list.

  23. Ron Weitnauer says:

    McMaster Carr is the best example of a website that makes it possible to find any of tens of thousands of items quickly and easily. It’s a masterpiece.

    http://www.mcmaster.com/#

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Ron, you may be right. Sometimes a website just has to display its wares and make it easy to browse. McMaster Carr seems to do that. It’s on my list.

  24. saif says:

    wher’s the list??

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I’ll post my “shortlist” soon. Right now it’s very short.

  25. Geert De Deckere says:

    I really like the new Git site: http://git-scm.com/. It does a great job in educating people about Git. Search is cool. Documentation is very functional. Subtle color scheme. Nice typography. A great new logo. What’s not to like?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I agree. It looks very accessible and appealing. Shortlisted! Thanks.

  26. Craig says:

    Hi Ben,
    I am not suggesting my new site should be in your Top 100 but I would really welcome your feedback.
    This is our first attempt and would value an experts comments.
    Many Thanx
    Craig

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Craig, I’ll take a look, but couldn’t see the site now as I’m on my iPhone and the site’s built in Flash.

      • Craig says:

        Cheers Ben, much appreciated.
        regards
        Craig

  27. Tim says:

    Wherespresso.com.

    I could sneak VeloNomad in – but that was originally a Scratch Media design so a bit nepotistic.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Tim, I like Wherespresso. The logo (graphic/type) work well, and the content is organised. However I feel it needs a focal point that’s bigger and more prominent than everything else on the home page. That area should present the proposition of the site as directly as possible.

      • Tim says:

        I’d be interested to know what that could be!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Tim, the core Wherespresso site needs something added, just a strip that sums up the proposition.

      I remember you also showed me http://mayday.wherespresso.com/. Now that does it. I would change the 1-9 numbers to tick marks, but it’s a very good home page, so I’m listing that.

      • Tim says:

        Your wish is my command!

        Ticks done, adding some “How it works” boxes tonight/tomorrow and tidying it up, before voting commences!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Museum of Me – an instant winner! I hadn’t seen this before, and it’s simply exquisite. Definitely in the Top 100!
      Moodstream is another outstanding multimedia experience, and has to be in my Top 100. You get straight in, and there’s no thinking required, but it works on many emotional levels.
      We Choose the Moon – more of a conventional multimedia experience, which is the right thing. I don’t know if it’s doing anything particularly spectacular. I should spend more time on it with my kids.
      Waterlife – I really enjoyed this website. The visual style is lovely, but I did find the navigation a little cryptic. Certainly good enough for the shortlist though.
      Infinite Oz – An interesting and beautiful movie. I don’t think there’s anything particularly “web” about it, though, to make it “web design”.

  28. Danny says:

    hi ben,

    http://www.tutorswhiz.com

    this is my regular visiting website and i feel good with the colors. love it..

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Wow, I find the home page really visually overwhelming. There are just too many different elements and too many colours.

  29. Ewic says:

    For me this http://www.fusiondub.com :)

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s a smart and pleasant enough site, but typical of its type with nothing out of the ordinary.
      I wanted to click on the 8x images on the home page, but they weren’t links.

  30. Dave Streen says:

    http://www.autohail.com is the best website ever created. My opinion may be a little biased since I created it.
    http://autohail.com/Statefarmhailclaim.html is a new page that I have added after reading some of Ben Hunt’s info. Can’t wait to read more and work with his team.

  31. Jonathan says:

    http://incident57.com/codekit/

    So nice =)

  32. Wally says:

    I’ll submit this for one of the best!!

    http://www.sosfactory.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Lovely site! It fulfils its purpose beautifully, so it’s going on the list!

  33. Timothy says:

    Here’s a good one:
    http://www.detroitventurepartners.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Timothy, I like this very much. On the list, mainly because of its direct and interesting writing. The visual style is suitably edgy, although (again) reversed text should be avoided wherever possible.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Cute design, but it leaves me thinking it’s a template. The logo is on a white background, which doesn’t fit with the grey colour at the top.

  34. Kunal David says:

    Hey Ben,

    Firstly, as always very very interesting concept you’ve come up with out here… Been closely following you/your emails over the past year & have tried to learn as much as was on offer in each of them! So, thank you for that. :)

    Here are a few of the websites we’ve designed, will look forward to your feedback on each of them. Needless to say, would be honored if they made it to your list:

    Prestige Group – http://www.prestigeconstructions.com
    UB City – http://www.ubcitybangalore.in
    Ventura Interiors – http://www.venturainteriors.com
    PMPL Group – http://www.pmplgroup.com
    Golfshire – http://www.golfshire.com

    My best,
    Kunal

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Kunal. These are all competent designs, but all lacking in the same area… The initial visual impression is impressive, but they’re not selling.
      Take Golfshire Club. The links for “Club Memberships” and “Reserve Tee Time” are rotated 90 degrees.
      All the others are lacking calls to action. They don’t shout what they are about, or really invite you to click through.
      So I’m afraid they fall into the “too cool for school” category, and can’t make this particular list.

      • Kunal David says:

        Hey Ben,

        Appreciate the feedback, thank you for it! Would value any suggestions/pointers that you may have, to help achieve that objective as well…?

        And btw, here’s another Art Gallery site that we’ve done, let me know what you think of this as well – http://www.sublimegalleria.com?

        Thank you! :)

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Hey. I can’t go into too much detail on each submission, I’m afraid.

        The SublimeGalleria site looked impressive at first, with large, full images. The navigation, by contrast, feels a bit small. And I really don’t like the way that hotspot images get a dark overlay on hover. Precisely the wrong thing. See http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/usability/mouseovers/

      • Kunal David says:

        Ben,

        Thanks for the feedback, I’ve started to get lost in all the matter available on your site… :) Will hopefully be able to implement some of it soon, in my next design, which I will share with you for your views!

        Till then, good luck with this… I’m going to keenly follow this contest, since I’ll be eager to know the winner! :)

        Thanks once again for all your invaluable inputs! :)

  35. JDS says:

    http://www.midwesternmeats-ky.com I would much appreciate any input I could get. I built the site myself and am not that experienced in web design, however, I feel that it serves its purpose well…? Thanks in advance for any input.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Logo is too big, navigation is too low down, and I’d add an obvious summary of the proposition. What do you do, for whom, and what’s different about the way you do it?

      • JDS says:

        Thanks a lot for your input. I’ll get on the changes this weekend. By the way, you’re awesome sir. I love reading your articles and watching your videos!

  36. ajay doke says:

    utsglobal.edu.in
    This website is the clear and clean educational website I have seen.
    The communication, the navigation is very clear.
    students get their desired courses very fast or they can directly get connected to the website people.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Ajay. I do not see anything particularly remarkable, I’m afraid.

  37. Eamon says:

    I guess you have to be familiar with Agile/Scrum to appreciate it but I like how the design of …
    velocitypartners – http://www.velocitypartners.net
    …reflects what they do.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Eamon. I don’t find the message really jumps out . There are a lot of options presented, and I don’t find the text easy to read.

  38. Jonathan says:

    Wow, this website is awesome:

    http://morehazards.com/

  39. Wally says:

    Hey Ben, I have 2 I have created for you to look at and consider. Your thoughts would be appreciated, thanks!!

    http://www.city.grandforks.bc.ca/

    http://www.komputer-clinic.com/

    • Wally says:

      Oh, I forgot this one we did too. This one is fully custom hand coded.

      http://www.boundarycf.com/

      The other two are custom theme wordpress sites.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Not quite Top 100 standard Wally.

      • Wally says:

        I’m just starting to get into the responsive layouts so mobile will be a lot better on sites I make from here on out. Oh and the welcomemap.ca homepage isn’t going to be all that text any more and will be changed soon. Thank you for all your tips and comments!!

  40. adam says:

    A great band website could be that of http://www.urban-spirit.co.uk, i think it ticks all the boxes, well designed, easy to listen to songs, take a look tell me what you think

  41. Rich says:

    Discovered teamlab.com while looking for some biz tools. Clean, simple layout and easy to navigate. Its a good product that keeps getting better and recommended for any small biz owners.

    A clever site is mediacake.net… but perhaps too clever..thoughts

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Rich, I think that Teamlab is visually appealing, but the content is too focused on features, where it needs to push the benefits of the proposition. I would like to see a stronger message on the home page.

      I like http://www.mediacake.net a lot. It shows plenty of personality, and the company’s wares are easy to view as soon as you arrive. Shortlisted.

  42. Pavel says:

    Very much it is pleasant: http://www.e-kontur.ru/ – “the electronic accountant” for small business

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I agree. It looks great. Unfortunately it’s hard for me to judge the effectiveness of the content, as I don’t read Russian :-(

      • Pavel says:

        http://www.e-kontur.ru/
        Oh, it’s the excellent marketing tool which has involved already more than 200000 clients :-)

      • Ben Hunt says:

        It’s a pretty good design, but could be implemented with a little more subtlety. Overall, it would be hard to see this in the Top 100.

  43. Charles “The Web Chef” Coyle says:

    Check this out. Not wordpress but certainly an eye catcher.http://haveyourcakeatl.com/

    Would like to hear your thoughts.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Charles. I find the background too noisy, and the home page lacks a strong proposition. I also don’t think the mid-tone on the navigation works well with the white text (not enough tonal contrast).

  44. Steve says:

    hi Ben,
    I would like to hear your honest feedback to these:
    http://www.2rock.org
    http://www.brrf.co.uk

    Many thanks

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Steve. (I remember seeing you on GTD!)
      Both these sites make fundamental errors, particularly in their use of colour.
      Page backgrounds should usually be neutral and pale in tone. Body text should be black on a white background, wherever possible.
      Logos and main headings need to be sharp, so overlaying over a photo, or the drop shadow on the BRRF site, don’t help.
      (There’s a whole chapter in “Save the Pixel” which would help you sort all these issues out.)

      • Steve says:

        Thanks very much for your feedback, very useful.

  45. ei ei san says:

    your design is nice .
    http://www.boundarycf.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I think this is very good, but I see one big mistake on the home page. The logo is repeated as a watermark behind the three columns, which adds nothing but detracts from readability.
      Remove that, and the design could make my list.

    • Wally says:

      Thanks for the compliment, I would take that background image out but another company has taken over management of the website now.

  46. Derek says:

    I’ll throw http://www.ubuntu.com out there. Strong brand, clean site and definitely on a mission!

    Do the nominations have to have been designed in 2012? Wasn’t sure.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Derek. Ubuntu.com is clean and appealing. Doesn’t look particularly 2012, but that isn’t the point. The question is, “What’s the best design that’s around today?” I don’t mind if it was made in 1995 ;-)

      I think the Ubuntu site would benefit from some text antialiasing. Jaggedy lettering may appeal to the Linux ethos, but it’s not my cup of tea. I’ll add it to the “possibles” list.

      • Derek says:

        Interesting. What do you consider makes a site 2012? Sounds like a good blog post to me.

      • Ben Hunt says:

        I haven’t really thought about that Derek. I certainly don’t care whether sites look like other bleeding-edge sites, or use any particular fashionable style. But they should choose design features from the best of what’s available today.

  47. Timothy says:

    Here are a few more that I think are good:
    http://www.portent.com
    http://www.areyouahuman.com/
    http://www.duosecurity.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Portent – Very nice. Shortlisted.
      Are You A Human – The size and arrangement of the high-visibility elements is wrong. The first view is confusing. Shame, as it’s a fascinating product.
      Duo Security – Very nearly great. The proposition is right there to see. But I don’t like the overlay of text over other text, and some of the elements are too small. Going on the “maybe” list.

  48. Sarah Peters says:

    Hey Ben,

    I don’t think my last comment went through, so I’m submitting these again:

    http://churchmedia.com/
    http://studio8169.com/
    https://www.postable.com/
    http://postmates.com/
    https://www.shoplocket.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Churchmedia – Outstanding site! It really, really sells. I love the omnipresent reminder of the proposition and price point. Definite winner.
      Studio8169 – Again, does a great job of pitching the proposition. Quieter this time and lets the quality speak, because it’s a low-volume business. Shortlisted.
      Postable – I love this site! I can’t tell what the business model is though…
      Postmates – Sarah, you are on fire! What a great site! I like the vertical stacked “slideshow”, shame the punched nav doesn’t update to show where you are in the stack when you use it though.
      Shoplocket – Another site that does an amazing job of getting their proposition across. I don’t personally like the colour scheme much, but there’s no avoiding the effectiveness of the message.

  49. Sarah Peters says:

    Here’s another one I just love. It’s very bold in color, but it’s not over-designed. And it has a lot of personality without being confusing or obscure. I really like the slideshow/storytelling aspect to it. That’s a style I’d like to try myself someday.

    http://weareimpero.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      You’re quite right. You have a great eye for effective web design ;-)

  50. beachmat says:

    Hi Ben, here are a couple for your perusal:

    http://www.darwintreeservices.co.uk
    http://www.eyre-design.co.uk

    thanks

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Darwin Tree.. nice, but there’s so much detail in the background, the message is going to struggle to get through.

      The Eyre Design site is effective. How many home pages fail to say “This is what we do and for whom”?! Not sure about the reversed white-on-black text though. Will add to the list for review later.

      • beachmat says:

        Thanks for that. The Darwin site used to have a plain white background but the client wasn’t keen on it. I can see what they mean – I think it can look too clinical if that’s not the look you’re trying to achieve.

    • Beachmat says:

      Don’t know if you have access to it, but how does the Darwin site look in IE8?
      (btw this page was crashing my IE8 – I think it was the ad)

  51. Carlos says:

    A potential candidate:

    http://foodsense.is

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I like it. Very clean. The one problem I had was I clicked on the tabs below the splash panel on the home page, expecting to go to those places, but they just cycled the panel. Not great.
      And I’d like to trim a few pixels from the top of the page, to pull all the content a bit higher.
      But otherwise a very appealing and effective website. Shortlisted.

  52. Cara says:

    Ben, I honestly don’t think our site is ready for the top 100 yet, but we’ve made such a dramatic improvement from what we had before (Save the Pixel was a big help, by the way!). I am afraid that the picture on the home page is really to large, and I’m not positive that our “messages” below the picture are right…. I would be most grateful for any feedback you might have though.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi. It looks tidy. I’ll add it to my short list. One fairly obvious thing I noticed is that page headlines (H1s) don’t stand out enough. They’re too small and light in tone.

  53. Ruaridh says:

    Great list so far, the HTC site surely has to go somewhere, a beautifully designed site: http://www.htc.com/uk/
    An even more amazing case study is available at F-i’s site: http://www.f-i.com/htc/global/

  54. Owen says:

    http://www.muzikantenbank.net

    Might not be the most beautiful design using the latest html and css standards, but the site is all about ease of use and has grown out to be the nr.1 site in the Netherlands if you want to find a musician for your band, or am existing band to join. Built to serve a single purpose, connecting musicians in an easy and intuitive way. (while grabbing as much SEO traffic as possible and generating adsense revenue)

    Maybe I’m aiming too high but one can only dream right ;-) All I can say is that it has served it purpose well for the past 13 years.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi. It’s pretty effective. Simple text, without “design” features getting in the way. But it could go further down the “Save the Pixel” path by increasing the size of more important elements and navigation, removing unnecessary boxes & lines etc.

      • Owen says:

        Hi Ben, huge update, the site has been fully redone using Twitter Bootstrap as CSS framework. Can you have a look if it qualifies for the reserve list maybe? :)

  55. Eamon says:

    what about this one …

    http://www.shopkick.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I love it! Great, compelling content.

  56. Grant Lewis says:

    Try this one Ben, http://www.wechoosethemoon.org/index.php

    • Ben Hunt says:

      That one has been mentioned Grant. I will spend more time on it, maybe at the weekend with Henry (5). I’m not sure there is anything particularly “web design” about it. It’s more like pure multimedia delivered through Flash and a browser.

  57. Sam says:

    http://www.sohars.com

    Pretty good site for a local mower shop.

  58. Bill says:

    I found this website the other day and instantly liked it. very inviting, easy to navigate and easy to read font size / style which is critical for an article intensive site.

    http://www.koozai.com/

    And they’re a UK company. Imagine that!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      That is a GREAT home page! Reads beautifully and sells with style. Thanks Bill

  59. timothy Kanatha says:

    the whole website is like one big painted canvas,absolutely fabulous.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I looked, and I didn’t get what the site is about. Visually impacting, but no message, so for me it’s a miss.

  60. Niall says:

    Check out http://cupcakefactoryba.com.ar/

    I like it. I don’t like hearts at all but they give it a great sense of perspective, especially with the bigger hearts being blurred.

    What do you think?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hmm. I find it visually really confusing. My eye is just not drawn to any content, but to the powerful visuals going on all around.

  61. Sarah Peters says:

    Here’s one I came across this morning:
    http://moneyasyougrow.org/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I like that it’s done without Flash. The information is accessible, and it’s interesting to browse. It is US-centric, so some of the info is not relevant to the rest of the world. But a very nice site. Going on the shortlist.

  62. Ian says:

    Here is a contender guys for – http://www.job2teach.com !

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Ian. I don’t like the tones & gradients on this site. The background gradient goes one way, and the boxes have the same white-to-pale-blue go the other way. That just doesn’t work for me. I’d make the content boxes white.

      • Steve says:

        Hi Ben,
        Is it really so big issue not to have white background and black text? If there is very pale gradient, should not it be OK? Should really ALL pages have just WHITE background? Is it really so anti-SEO to use colours?
        Many pages have e.g. black background and white text, which I like as it is less tiring for eyes and white letters seem bigger on white background as in design generally white colour makes things seem bigger.

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Hi Steve. Good questions. In general I would say yes, use black text on a white background wherever possible, unless you have a really strong reason not to. We don’t get books or newspapers using “reversed” text for body copy, for good reason. Some tabloids use it in very large type headlines to give gravitas, but I think readability is always compromised slightly.

  63. JDS says:

    I would like you to take a look at this site. Possibly not in the top 100 but would like your insight on it.
    http://www.persistentpeddler.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi JDS. It’s pretty awful design-wise. The site looks like a perfect candidate for my next book (about niche marketing), though.

      • JDS says:

        Would you please tell me what you mean by the design is bad? I would like some pointers here. I’m not asking for free advice. I’m buying your course next week. (Big Payday) ;)

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Hi. I’ll give you a few tips.

        The background colour creates a strong contrast line with the white content area, which draws the eye away from content.
        Justified text is a bad idea for reading on screen, and your paragraphs are too long – big square blocks of words.
        The navigation is barely visible, black on a mid-tone background.
        And the logo has both white and black overlapping two different mid-tones, which makes it quite weak.
        The colour combinations don’t go together at all.
        And the various design features, like the “Sales Tips” button, logo, and newsletter sign-up look totally unrelated.

        Hope this is helpful.

  64. Haya says:

    I just stumbled across this site and i think it’s really neat and perfect for the clientel they are trying to reach (moms, kids, etc.)
    what do you think? http://www.pishposhbaby.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I don’t think there’s anything special about the design at all.

  65. Sarah Peters says:

    Here’s a good one: http://www.bidsketch.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I like it. There’s an immediate proposition. Visually it may be a little thin.. I’ll add to the list to review later though.

      Thanks again Sarah!

  66. Derek says:

    I’ll throw a few more in;

    http://www.timeforcake.com/ has been my favourite site of the week. They kept my attention and their blog and free pdfs are really good.

    I tried to find a good nomination in the charity sector which I found quite difficult. I did however really like the http://www.oxfam.org.uk/ site. Very clean and bold.

    I like this site from one of the CopyBlogger gang, http://rafaltomal.com/ . Not sure that there is a strong enough call to action though, but does it matter so much on a personal site?

    I think the US http://www.amazon.com/ is looking a lot cleaner than the older UK site. I’ll nominate that for consideration too. I think you’re a bit thin on eCommerce entries so I’ll nominate http://www.ebuyer.com/ as well since I always find it really easy to use.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Derek.

      I can’t love Amazon.com, or really admire it, don’t know why. I know it works, but there’s no design at all. I feel like some important elements, like the search, are now so pale you struggle to see them.

      I love ebuyer, on the other hand. Simple, bold, strong. That’s in.

      Rafal’s site is lovely. The chop from the light content area to the dark background will be tiring after a while, which isn’t ideal, but the first impression is brilliant.

      From a pure design basic point of view, Timeforcake seems slightly unusual, with odd size proportions, like the small logo. BUT the content does an OUTSTANDING of selling them! Winner!

      I think the Oxfam site is effective. Part of me wants to exclude it because it uses *that* wrap-around nav bar thing (so 2010), but I’m not a design tosser, so it goes in.

      • Rafal Tomal says:

        Ben, thanks for listing my website in this post. I really appreciate it!

        Derek, I’m glad you like my design. I’m not trying to sell anything through my website. I want visitors to find out more about me and read my blog. I have my portfolio but I’m not trying to offer any freelance services, so no ‘call to action’ is needed here.

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Got it, thanks Rafal. So we’re right that the design correctly reflects the goals.

  67. Derek says:

    One more for luck;

    http://www.bugherd.com/

    Just because the name makes me laugh! Actually, I do think the video on the main page is really good.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      You know, this nearly made the shortlist. But it suffers from the coder’s curse… tiny piddly text! Text should be sized according to its importance, every page should have something that’s most important, so every page should have some big text!

    • Erin Pheil says:

      Interested in Ben’s comment about the odd sized proportions.

      We actually spent 2 – 3 weeks working on them, especially above the fold on the homepage. We focused on the things we knew (from click tracking and analytics) our visitors cared about more than anything else, and we didn’t want our colorful logo to distract our visitors’ attention from the other, more critical components we wanted them to focus on.

      Our best clients care about results and the quality of our work. That’s what was given heavy emphasis on our homepage, above the fold. And of course though, before we displayed those things, we needed to make sure we made it crystal clear what our company actually DOES, especially considering our name. That was first and foremost. Then came results + work.

      We’ve had great success with our slightly non-standard layout. We do get many clients who call and tell us they would like to work with us because our site really emphasizes our devotion to focusing on actual results, vs. just pretty designs.

      Thanks again, so very, very much. We’re so honored by Ben’s mention (and thank you for checking out/liking our site, Derek!).

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Hi Erin.

        I think that one of the secrets of page design that is emerging to me from this study is that a landing page needs a hierarchy of attention-managing features.

        Obviously, there should be one thing that first attracts the eye. But then a page needs a progression of other things, so the eye can move through in an efficient but unhurried flow.

        When I look at the TimeForCake home page, I see the initial focal point, the H1 that uses the orange background (highlight colour). But then, I can see four other H2s above the fold, which have near-as-dammit the same type size. And the type size in the logo and strap line is around the same too, as are the two boxed links after the intro paragraph. So I think my eye gets confused about where to settle.

      • Erin says:

        Hi Ben,

        What you say of course makes sense. The big question this creates, though, I believe is this:

        How can the goal of guiding the eye be integrated and made compatible with the knowledge that different visitors who use the web in different ways (methodical, humanistic, spontaneous, competitive) who are at different rungs on the awareness ladder are all arriving at a site with very different pain points and goals? Depending on the type of site one’s talking about, designing too much of a landing strip that guides the eyes straight to one or two features only might be encouraging some visitors to go the wrong way.

        No one page can be all things to all people, but top level pages that see a wide variety of visitor types need to be well designed so they don’t guide the right people in a direction that’s wrong for them.

        It’s a continual, fascinating, ongoing challenge. And the answers, as you share with everyone in Convert!, are always partially subjective until they’re tested.

        Thanks for your ongoing commentary and communications. Everyone benefits when you share, Ben.

        Have a great week,
        -erin

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Hi Erin. I think you’ve gone on to answer your own question.

        Multiplicity is one of the solutions – helping you predict what someone wants before they arrive.

        I think everyone needs a focal point: “Start Here” – but obviously some pages are menus, galleries, pick ‘n’ mix, and that’s fine.

        This really is the question that lurks at the dark centre of visual design, and – like painting – it needs to be answered every time within its own context.

        There are rules, but none of them applies in every situation. You need to master those rules and then to apply them with common sense and a subjective sensitivity.

  68. Derek says:

    Another one I forgot to nominate was the BBC site, http://www.bbc.co.uk/ . Interested to hear your thoughts on it.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      You’ve got to love it.. In you go, Auntie.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Paul, there’s too much wrong with the navigation on Watch Gallery. The top area is awkward, I don’t like the navigation font, or the glow on the current item.

      Of the other two, I’ll put Harvey Nichols through, because it does a better job of the complex drop-down navigation. Net-a-porter is very small and fiddly. Compare Next.co.uk, which is just a bit more effective.

      (Note, I’ve reviewed previous incarnations of the Harvey Nichols site twice in the past, 2001 and 2004.)

  69. Donovan says:

    great css scheme switcher really vibrant colours…sexy site
    http://www.designcodeplay.co.uk/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s pretty effective, and I think projects the right impression.
      I don’t agree with a 20% first-time discount.. sends the wrong message to existing customers, and tells everyone else that their rates are inflated.
      Also, having a colour switcher with a message saying “We can’t make up our minds” is probably not what you want to hear from expert designers.
      Shortlisted.

      • Jason Wintermeyer says:

        Stumbled on this post a few weeks, really appreciate the feedback you gave our site we have since adjusted the content/layout slightly based on your comments – many thanks for this :-) (Jason Design Code Play)

  70. Kaushal says:

    Speciality tea website
    http://www.darjeelingteaxpress.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Not bad, but the navigation could be much clearer.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      They all make serious fundamental errors with colour.

  71. Paul says:

    Also, forgot to mention this one – http://www.6wunderkinder.com/

  72. Colin Dunbar says:

    I’d like to recommend this one…

    http://www.bronsondunbar.com

    Thanks.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Don’t like the mustard colour or the logo much, and there’s a lack of black for tonal bite. I think we’ve seen better designer sites.

  73. avukonke says:

    Well there’s two sites that I recently encountered in South Africa and Nigeria respectively that do their job very well. I found what I was looking for and the information was excellent. the sites are http://www.nigeria.to and http://www.southafrica.to

    The sites are not very good looking, but they fulfill their purposes wonderfully

    Avu

  74. Connie Schultz says:

    Seems to be getting a ton of traffic by using outside resources such as Facebook, Yelp, and a scheduling program. It seems their local community links to them for pet grooming services, which is also a big bonus.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sorry Connie, that’s not very nice at all.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Newborn Baby is not class-leading design, and the Appetite site doesn’t say what it does.

  75. Ravi says:

    I feel this site http://www.merriam-webster.com/
    is pretty good, which is more informative. Good source of learning through videos, visual quizzes etc.

  76. Kieran Martin says:

    This is a plain website for a community based centre for helping people having difficulty finding employment. As I said its plainn but gets the job done. It give cv advise, interview advise and you can also download cv templates etc.
    http://www.mayocentrefortheunemployed.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Looks like a template, and the message just doesn’t come through. “Creating Futures” means what? And one of the most noticeable bits of text on the page says “Sidebar Menu”. Not polished enough to be among the best.

  77. Sam Willis says:

    This website is extraordinarily well design
    http://event.ly

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s OK, but we’ve seen much better examples of this style.

  78. Dave Vranicar says:

    Best B2B website I know of is:

    http://www.hubspot.com

    Their competitors, all in the business of marketing automation. also have good sites:

    http://www.marketo.com
    http://www.pardot.com
    http://www.eloqua.com

    But I think for all the reasons that are important to you, Ben, HubSpot’s is the best.

    Dave Vranicar

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Dave. Hubspot’s site is certainly the best design of the bunch, but it feels thin, somehow lacking solidity. I’ll put it on the reserve list.

      • Dave Vranicar says:

        Ben, I’m a little confused by your responses to some of these suggestions.

        In all your writings, you focus more on the marketing effectiveness of websites over the purely visual elements of their design. Yet in your quick assessments of these suggestions, you seem to be making snap judgments based on purely visual elements of the designs.

        Maybe you’re doing so because you have to sort through so many entries so fast. But I hope that in your final list, you take time to evaluate and comment on the marketing strategy and the business effectiveness of the websites in addition to their appearance.

        After all, business effectiveness is what you preach over esthetics.

        Dave

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Hi Dave. I totally get where you’re coming from.

        The subject is “100 Best Designed Websites”, not best-conceived or most-comprehensively-implemented… I am focusing particularly on the first impression, which is so important. How does the visual design effect the purpose of the site (in particular the home page) to a first-time visitor?

        I appreciate that’s quite narrow, and that is partly due to the volume as you say, but it is important enough to be worthy of its own list.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sorry, nothing outstanding among those designs.

      • Said Suleiman Juma says:

        Oops, what criteria do you use to classify those websites?

      • Ben Hunt says:

        I look for sites that execute their marketing objectives elegantly and effectively. Beautiful graphic design alone isn’t enough.

  79. Benyamin Ruslan Naba says:

    Hi Ben!
    I like to introduce my own company website, already been revised after reading your 50 guide to ceate best website through email ;-). Thanks a lot Ben!
    http://www.estubizi.com
    http://www.ticketboxestubizi-simaeru.co.id

  80. κατασκευή ιστοσελίδων θεσσαλονίκη says:

    some greek sites that i think that are the best are

    http://www.denuparxei.info
    http://www.osarena.net
    http://www.linuxmint.gr or com
    http://www.fogiocom.gr

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sorry, nothing that makes the grade.

  81. Nitnellav says:

    Hey,

    Kickstarter.com really has a special place in my heart. I regularly use it to support great ideas. Its my way of doing a bit of “good” in this world. I find it neatly designed and very effective in what it wants to accomplish.

    Kind regards

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Good enough for the reserve list. Thanks.

  82. Pat Shea says:

    I like mine, but I’m biased.
    http://www.medicalclaimshelp.org/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s plain and simple, but it does what it sets out to do very well. Shortlisted.

      • Linda Nicholls says:

        Thanks Ben. I’ve learned a lot from you.

  83. Ninad says:

    Here’s a good one: http://www.greatstartgreatday.co.in

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Ninad. It is pretty well designed, but the navigation wraps on my computer (so “Contact Us” is invisible).
      (Plus, I have a small ethical issue with the site. Cereals are not the best way to start the day, and Indians have so many more healthy options.)

  84. Péter says:

    http://bortarsasag.hu/
    Online and offline wine stores.
    Consistent and elegant use of black, white and grey colors.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Smart, but not up there with the best.

  85. Pramod says:

    This website id basically for business people who belong to HDPE piping industry & this is quite useful for them.
    http://www.phoelindustries.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Seriously? I think you’re link spamming here Pramod.

  86. Jordan says:

    I’m personally a big fan of this website: http://dresdencodak.com/

    Kind of non-traditional, but I think it’s really well done compared to other webcomic sites out there.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Good enough for the reserve list, but not hugely engaging.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Yes to Smashing Mag, Tuts+ (although the orange on the home page is overbearing), and Dribble makes the list (being slightly better-executed than Behance).

      Boston Globe is really good, but seriously let down by the fact that you can’t see what is a link!

      Cognition is elegant, but too cryptic.

      6Wunderkinder is already on the list.

  87. Mateusz Kocz says:

    http://www.bewita.pl

    The website is written in polish so here’s the Google’s translation: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=pl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=bewita.pl

  88. John McDougle says:

    Here are my suggestions. I have gone for small sites selling services to the property market. I have issues with the copywriting and reversed out text but I think they do a good job of presenting very ordinary things and making them interesting. I have only used them and have no connection otherwise.

    http://www.osbornesigns.co.uk/
    http://www.wirralsafepat.co.uk/
    http://www.jamesthesweep.co.uk/
    http://www.speerdade.co.uk/index.html

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks John, but nothing special in that list. Wirral Safe PAT is the best of the bunch.

  89. Jada’ says:

    l love the animation that was embedded on the front page
    http://www.spiderwebexperts.com/

  90. bertot says:

    I live in Mongolia and for a so small country and just a few web designer I think that many mongolian website deserve to be mentioned. I, for example, use often this website to check the local news (http://www.mad-mongolia.com). I really like the design.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      There’s something I like about the long scrolling home page, but I didn’t appreciate the initial view above the fold. I’ll put it on the backup list.

  91. terrence says:

    i made though….
    http://www.wampserver.com/en/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Not up to the mark, I’m afraid. The background image is lovely, but the logo is over-effected, and the message doesn’t jump out.

  92. matthew hunt says:

    Ben,

    Not to be a self promoter, but here are few we’ve done in the last few months:

    http://www.belezamedicalspa.com
    http://www.playgolfalberta.com
    http://www.hockeyot.com
    http://retireathome.com
    http://www.torontopersonaltrainer.net
    http://www.evergreenbeauty.edu
    http://www.immigrationlawyercalgary.com
    http://www.torontodj.biz
    http://www.tessosgoodmakeup.com
    http://descriptivevideoproductions.com

    I see a lot amazing sites in this growing site. Great idea! We love great design, but we usually focus on creating high converting websites. Been doing a ton of A/B split testing the last year and kinda have a bit of a formula on how to create sites that convert well and get low bounce rates. Most of the sites above actually have bounce rates under 20% and most even between 7-12%. Which I think is amazing. Now it’s a little lower then usually b/c all traffic is extremely targeted and b/c it’s local. Local targeted traffic usually always converts well.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Matthew.. You’ve set me a problem here. Each of those sites is very good. None is groundbreaking, but that isn’t the brief…
      And I can see how they’ll all do well, which is the brief.
      I’m going to put them all on my reserve list to review later. It’s likely one or more will get in my final list.

  93. Anil Kumar says:

    This great Collection.
    http://creativewebcreation.com/
    very nice, innovative and Creative Design well Done

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sorry, it lost me at the Flash loader.. Why do people think it’s okay to have a loading movie that makes visitors wait several seconds while telling them absolutely nothing? Some nice effects, in fact, but because of the flash movie it has to be a fail.

  94. Michael Simons says:

    cssmania.com is also cool.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It does a pretty good job, but the navigation and general UI features are not perfect. Reserve listed.

  95. mrhery125 says:

    We are the Churches of The Detroit Metropolitan Association of The United Church of Christ.
    Our Association is 31 churches strong and growing!
    We are united in our faith and diverse in how we express that faith.
    Top 100 Best Church Websites

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Clumsy design in places. Not up to the mark.

  96. Roger Wilsher says:

    This a comprehensive website that provides a one stop shop for people’s pet care needs.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sorry Roger. It’s too cluttered.

  97. Church_Clown says:

    My all time favorite:
    http://www.robots-dreams.com/
    Don

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Don, I’m sure it’s interesting, but the design is extremely ordinary today.

  98. Hans says:

    The BBC site http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ .
    I visit it many time per day.There is a news site which I once visited sometime ago and I haven’t return since because I was struggling to fine what I wanted.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It is extremely effective. The main BBC site is already on my shortlist. I’ll put this one on reserve to reconsider later.

  99. S2D says:

    Just Check it !
    http://s2designs.in/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Pretty good, but the important body text is crammed into tiny boxes, which lets the home page down badly.

  100. Dawn says:

    Hi Ben! How about checking this one http://www.easywebsites.ky out? Interested on reading your comments on it. :-)

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Dawn. It’s cute and somewhat original, but the animation doesn’t really support the message.

  101. Jonathan says:

    OK, Here’s the list:

    http://www.sites4contractors.com/ — Not the nicest site, but the message is so damn clear!

    http://webstandardssherpa.com/
    http://bearfood.com/
    http://www.foundationsix.com/
    http://lightcms.com
    http://reverseburo.com/
    http://dealotto.com

    That’s all I got

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks man.

      Sites4Contractors makes the list! You don’t have to be pretty to be good at your job (unless you’re a model or something).
      Web Standards Sherpa is pretty, but I don’t think it’s effective at getting its message across. Reserve list.
      Bear Food, again it’s cute, but somehow ineffective.
      FoundationSix – that’s a 3-pointer!! On the list!
      LightCMS – I’ve seen a few nice versions of this site over the past 3/4 years, and they’re always effective. It works, so it’s in.
      ReverseBuro can’t make the list, because I don’t know what the hell is going on. Too cool for school, but doesn’t hit the brief.
      Dealotto is almost great, but I see one glaring error.. If these are deals, why don’t they publish the discount amount? Am I missing something? Reserve listed.

  102. Alison Menzies says:

    Hi Ben

    Here are 2 websites that I admire for different reasons…
    Ali Brown, for her amazing content…I use this as a constant resource and inspiration.

    The bourn creative team… well their website is something I aspire to, but can’t seem to get it working for myself :)

    Good luck on the hunt…(no pun intended) looks like it’s harder than I would imagine to find good contenders for your ‘top 100 list!’

    http://www.bourncreative.com/
    http://www.alibrown.com/

    Best wishes

    • Ben Hunt says:

      There are some very nice things about the Bourn site. But I don’t like the way the logo seems to say “Born Creative”, and the informative text doesn’t need to be so grey and boxed in. I’ll put it on the reserve list.

      Ali Brown is clean, and the photo is good, but the busyness of the header section lets it down.

  103. Joel says:

    Hi Ben, I always think this one is kind of unique:

    http://www.wampserver.com/en

    The English is obviously not written by a born Englishman, but I get a kick out of the design and find it easy to use.

  104. Charles says:

    Let’s nominate something very differently http://www.suheda.info

    This is really going to be interesting.

  105. Charles says:

    I;ll also give you http://www.talk2tinkx.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I like the big photo, but the rest of the design is shabby and uninformative.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Nearly great, but doesn’t tell me what the site offers. It feels like I already need to know the brand when I arrive.

      • David Maria says:

        Unfortunately it is one of those sites that is controlled to a minute degree by the client and recently they relaunched a new line of lip sticks and lip glazes and they are using a single image to promote the new product line.

        Before the launch of the new line that space was taken over with content that would have addressed your concern, and as some point the new product line image will be removed and the normal content will return.

  106. Theresa Delgado says:

    Hi Ben!

    Thank you for the opportunity. I’d like to submit ‘my’ new site – http://theresadelgado.com

    If it doesn’t make your list, I’d be interested in your first impression.

    Have a super day – Theresa :)

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Theresa. It’s nearly really good, but there are a few weak points. The temporary main heading doesn’t help you understand the proposition. The stock photography is unconvincing, and the graphics (like the red arrow) don’t look like they belong.

      • Theresa Delgado says:

        Thank you for looking Ben! I appreciate it.

        I changed the the main heading to what it should be.

        Regarding the “red arrow”, would you remove it, change the color, or put something else?

        Thank you for your time, I value your opinion – Theresa :)

        PS: I’m working my way through “Convert!”

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Theresa, there’s nothing wrong with red arrows. They can be very effective. But all your design features should look like they belong together. Pay attention to 3D effects in particular.

      • Theresa Delgado says:

        Thank you Ben!

        I get it!

        Have a great day – Theresa :)

  107. James Bliss says:

    http://litmus.com/

    Great typography, use of colour, layout, images, etc. etc. Fantastic email marketing (well, that is their business), super analytics, great technology and an awesome service (yes, I use and thoroughly recommend their services).
    Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with Litmus but I do know the CEO personally.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks James. Great home page, great writing, clean and appealing design. Approved.

  108. Karin says:

    Square Planet. My boss just showed me this website – super clean and simple. http://www.sqplanet.com/index.html

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I don’t find it very engaging, and the made-up words are a bit silly.

  109. Steve says:

    I have tried to submit http://www.workflowy.com but unsuccessfully.
    Maybe this time…

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Steve. It looked interesting at first, but I got a call to action to sign up for something, before knowing what the thing was. It can’t make the list for that reason.

  110. Azfar says:

    Here is my recommendation:
    http://www.caas.gov.sg
    http://www.mara.gov.my

    • Ben Hunt says:

      CAAS is pretty clean, but entirely unremarkable. And the Mara site didn’t load properly for me at all.

      • Azfar says:

        Just want to know what do you mean by “entirely unremarkable” ?

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Nothing special or effective enough to point out.

  111. Angellica says:

    Hi. I’m sending this site from a company that I hired to design my own website. I thought their overall look was nice, and was actually what convinced me choose them. Well, besides being something I could afford. lol
    http://www.cosmicwebcreations.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      The look is 10 years out of date. I’m not just talking about style, but our knowledge of effective visual design for marketing has moved on a generation since this site.

  112. Matt Gee says:

    This site has really gone through great make overs. At least I think it has. What do you think, Ben?
    http://www.christianchatcommunity.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Matt, I think it’s absolutely awful.

  113. Kevin says:

    Hi Ben, I saw this site and it really stood out to me. It makes something dry and banal like payment processing understandable at a glance:

    http://dwolla.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Kevin. It’s nearly really good, but there’s no strong focal point. The lack of tonal contrast makes the page feel insipid. It’s like everything’s trying to shy away.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Not bad at all, but not outstanding.

  114. Alex Heller says:

    artsygeek.com has a hip-retro design. The ‘About’ section is super-cute too.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Alex, the design makes a few mistakes. The retro coloured line draws your eye away from the real content. And the fonts aren’t readable enough.

  115. Nat says:

    Check it out! Any comment would be great!

    http://www.nataliazoerivera.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Nat. It’s appealing, but the brief is to get your message across powerfully, and the home page fails to do that. It’s talking in a wistful, abstract, intellectual way. It doesn’t say, “Here’s what I’m going to do for you!”

  116. Stephen says:

    Hi Ben.

    One website that I go to frequently is http://thedigitalbits.com/

    I have been going to thedigitalbits.com for years now as it is quite comprehensive in listing dvd/blu-ray news, panel discussions, cover art and industry inside information as well as reviews and product reccomendations.

    Very cool site.

  117. Mark says:

    http://www.sweetparsley.com/
    Trying to work within the constraints of Volusion. I respect your “eye” and will work toward that end

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sorry, this cannot be called good design. Much of the text is distorted, which makes it far less readable, so it falls at the first hurdle. There’s also a significant lack of solidity.

  118. David Maria says:

    And just a few more possibles:

    http://www.hdtpools.com
    http://www.ultimateproductsforlife.com
    http://www.boiseimage.com
    http://www.artfaire.org

    Thanks Ben, have a wonderful weekend.

    David

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sorry David. I’m guessing this is your portfolio you’ve given me here. But they’re not up to the best of 2012.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      FeeFighters is a slam-dunk winner! Straight on the list.
      Contender.com is interesting. I like the initial page, but the app doesn’t work as well as I’d like. It shows shows for which there are no tickets available, and fails to show current/best prices in the results.

  119. Hosam says:

    Here’s my own website:

    http://www.funarama.com

    What do you think?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Very well executed Hosam.. It’s almost excellent, but the initial view doesn’t really tell me clearly what’s on offer.
      Added to the reserve list.

  120. David Nicol says:

    We’re proud of this site we recently launched: http://www.shetlandgallery.com/

    It isn’t explicitly ‘selling’, but hopefully it still inspires people to desire the artworks that are on display.

    Keen to know your thoughts.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi David. I really love it! On the shortlist :-)

  121. James Rawl says:

    Hi Ben,

    I tried submitting http://www.drypro.ie earlier today but it seems to have been removed?
    This is my site and it’s fairly new (6 months)
    I have been getting good feedback, with a lot of visitors impressed with how clearly the site conveys what is for sale and what the product actually offers.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi James. It does many things right, but yellow text on mid-tone blue background will be unreadable to anyone with impaired vision, and is really not pleasant for the rest of us.

  122. Bruce says:

    I’m a huge Yankees fan and after finding this website I’m an addict.
    http://www.riveraveblues.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Bruce. The content may be great (and that’s coming from a Sox guy), but the navigation – damn! Any chrome reflection effect must be used with extreme caution.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Mm, naah. Hiredmyway didn’t render properly, and the family tree video site makes a big mistake… a continuously moving animation at the edge of vision, which makes it hard to look at anything else.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Yes. It’s a bit grey, but you can’t deny it works. The message, people! It’s all about delivering the message. That’s what web pages are FOR. Approved.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Timothy, I’d change a few things. I don’t believe horizontal lines should extend past the content to the edges of the screen, for one. Also, the heavy condensed caps font in the navigation is hard to read.

  123. Diane says:

    More interested in what you’ll have to say about it :) http://www.wolfmediaplus.com

    Thanks

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Diane, the messaging is not sharp enough. “Set your sights higher” and “We can help” say nothing at all. And the bold white text on a gray gradient background is heavy on the eyes. Not one of the better designers’ sites I’ve reviewed.

  124. jamsheedofar says:

    sir, this is my first website the host.Now iam fresher so that lote of mistake in it. so please informe theres mistake.God Bless You….
    http://www.pxlindia.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Black text on red background.. mistake.

  125. Kushal says:

    Hello Mr.Ben Hunt.
    I am Kushal.I have my own website as a suggestion.Though it isn’t knowledgeable about something,it is a total time-pass site.I would like you to check it out once.
    I will further email you with other suggestions too.
    http://kushallegend.hpage.co.in/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Well done for making your first site. It is, unsurprisingly, wrong in almost every possible way. But the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  126. Jimi Gautam says:

    This website is regarding science, research, health and experiments. Very useful for new experiments knowledge.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Feels cluttered, and I really dislike the putrid yellow-green colour. Links don’t show up clearly enough.

  127. Darren Bristow says:

    An amazing guesthouse in Scotland run by Claire Holmes and her partner Tom http://www.Skiary.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Darren, there’s lots I really love about this site, and it got me thinking about booking…

      I don’t like the way the text is presented though, which causes me a problem. First, it starts low down and you have to scroll. Then it’s “reversed” – white text on a dark overlay.

      Go on – I’m going to put it on the list. It isn’t perfect, but I did engage with it, so it worked.

  128. Jimi Gautam says:

    How about this one

    http://lemonstandapp.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Very good design, and the message comes through loud and clear, so it’s making the shortlist.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Nearly great. But the first headline doesn’t tell me anything, “We love your mobile devices”.
      And it’s almost too big & close-up.
      Reserve listed.

  129. Jimi Gautam says:

    Hi Ben this is very good website for the logo lovers

    http://www.logopond.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      You’re right. It’s simple, but does exactly what you want. Shortlisted.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hmm. Get Out Today is interesting, but I don’t think it inspires me enough to want to get out. It should show stuff that’s actually on, with nice imagery, without making me sign up.

      I’m intrigued by Secrets Confessed, but there are two problems. Design-wise the logo has black-on-black, which is a big mistake. Also, where are the secrets? I see an RSS feed, so maybe they’re there, but I’d like to snoop other people’s secrets for inspiration.

  130. Yingying says:

    Hi Ben,

    I know a great financial management website called Mint (http://www.mint.com). Its interface is neat and clean and most important, it’s FREE! and they make it very clear on the website. It’s more like a platform than a website. The moment I used it, I fell in love with it and put all my credit card on it.

    The other good website I know is a Chinese e-commerce channel website (http://guang.com). Not sure whether you want to take a website in a language other than English, but this one is really well-designed. It has awesomely neat interface and also a great business model – it connected e-commerce websites and put great products under different themes for visitors. For example, it has a theme for Hamster now, and if you click to view, it shows you all kinds of houses, toys, snacks for hamsters. You can then simply “Like” a product, or if you want to buy, it redirects you to the seller’s website.

    Looking forward to your top 100 websites soon!!

    Yingying

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Yingying.

      Mint is an excellent home page. It has always been a pretty site, but it has got sharper and simpler over time. Shortlisted.

      Unfortunately I can’t understand enough of guang.com to be in a position to judge its effectiveness.

  131. Wally says:

    So i’ll make a few more submissions. I’m really curious about your thoughts on this site I created to try mimic flash with jQuery. It was my previous site for my company but I put it back up on my new domain.
    http://www.prowebhost.ca

    Here’s some others I think can be contenders:
    http://www.stompsneakers.com
    http://pressfortruth.tv
    http://sixrevisions.com
    http://www.newgrounds.com
    http://www.tokyoflash.com
    http://unity3d.com
    http://www.newtek.com
    http://jquerytools.org

    So i think that’s all for now!!!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Wally.

      I don’t get on with the prowebhost.ca home page. It says “.mainMenu” where you expect the logo to be, which is just wrong. And I think it has spacing issues.
      I find Stompsneakers a bit oppressive. It makes me want to sit back in my seat.
      PressForTruth is interesting, but the visual design is quite heavy, doesn’t really help that all-important first impression.
      Six Revisions is perfectly clean and tidy, but didn’t engage me. Maybe it’s because it’s Monday morning ;-)
      NewGrounds… Overload! I need to go and bathe my eyes.
      TokyoFlash again is a bit on the tech geek side, over-designed, just not 2012 in my book.
      Unity3D is OK, but there’s no strong identity, and there are much better examples of that kind of layout in the list already.
      NewTek, I didn’t get it. Who, what, why, huh?
      JQueryTools… Finally! I can put one on the list! It isn’t perfect. The text is on the small and grey side, but geeks don’t seem to mind that. Some beautiful graphics, and the message comes through.

  132. nick says:

    rt.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Interesting, but not the most elegant way to show lots of content.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sorry Nick, I don’t like that at all.

  133. Helen says:

    Hi. I want to recommend a site of one of my friend, I like it very much. I hope, like you, too.

    http://www.round-interactive.ru/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hmm, I was curious, but the more I looked, the more the cartoony graphics seemed to take the focus. The content/message isn’t jumping out.

      • Helen says:

        I think you’re right. I have not thought about it.

  134. Connie Schultz says:

    What about any of the following:

    http://one-source.biz/index.html
    http://www.sustainablelivinggroup.org/
    http://www.energy-strategies.net/

    I feel all the navigation is easy to use and for the most part the designs are “clean” which seems to be the trend right now. Your thoughts?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Connie. Sorry, I don’t agree with you. I think these are all over-designed, with the effort going into the wrong areas.

  135. Jeya Santhosh says:

    Hi Ben. How about this one?
    http://www.tatamegapixel.com/index.asp

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s hard to say exactly why, but this didn’t work for me.

  136. Devin says:

    http://www.2ezclan.net

    Well designed, fully responsive and becomes a full fledged web app on apple devices. For kicks, try accessing it on an iPhone or an iPad.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Devin, it’s very good, but not quite outstanding enough in its delivery. The navigation recedes from view, the text is too light, and the white on white icons are barely visible. I’ll put it on my reserve list.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Not up to the mark. Too flat, stock images that don’t go together, and flimsy weak typography.

  137. Jeya Santhosh says:

    Hi Ben. Have a look a
    http://www.damthemovie.com/3d/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I didn’t get past the loading movie. Why designers take liberties with visitors’ attention in this way I’ll never understand.

  138. Jason says:

    http://www.croydeholidayhome.co.uk/

    This is one of ours that we attempted to do something a little different to our usual fair.

    http://www.crookedlakecottagedevon.co.uk/

    This one thtas a bit more traditional. I’d certainly apreciate your thoughts.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Of the two, I think Crooked Lake Cottage is the most effective. It has a simple job to do, which it does effectively – but not brilliantly.
      It has a few weaker points. I’m not keen on the footer gradient, or the height of the (pretty) header, which pushes the content quite low.
      I’ll add Crooked Lake to the list, but I’m not 100% sure it has the quality to go all the way. We’ll see.

  139. Johnny says:

    Ben, just curious: At what resolution do you view all these sites?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Uses a very modern style, but I don’t think it’s implemented anywhere near as elegantly as several others on the list.
      From a design-geek point of view, I’m quickly going off the wrap-around effect. More critically, the text on the wrap-around really doesn’t stand out, and the four feature callouts underneath feel confused.

  140. Dana Tartal says:

    Hi Ben,

    Here’s a work in progress but I’d love to hear your first impression. :)

    http://www.mymainstreet.ca

    Thanks!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Dana, this is looking very good, although it’s not finished. I don’t care much for the bright blue background, I find that tiring.
      The opening text is great, “Our business is getting your business found online (and for just pennies a day!)” … a good stab at an irresistible offer.
      It’s not best of 2012 quality yet, but I would be interested to see the final product.

  141. Steve says:

    Hi Ben,

    Just had to book a table here (Newcastle venue) for a client and this place had me sorted in about 30 seconds.

    Effective and quite oldy-worldy?

    http://www.browns-restaurants.co.uk/home/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Steve. I like Browns restaurants, and I’ve looked at this site twice now. I don’t quite feel it portrays the warmth and quality of the Browns experience (which is what they sell). The design is a bit cold and aloof. It could be turned up a couple of notches and would be very good.

  142. Derek says:

    A few more;

    http://www.352media.com/ (like the video & YOU focussed)
    http://teamtreehouse.com/ (nice design & like the badge system)
    http://www.click71.com/ (a favourite of mine)
    http://www.jasonreedwebdesign.com/ (the first site using vertical menus that I’ve liked & works well)
    http://www.darwinpay.co.uk/ (the exciting world of tax!)
    http://www.freeagent.com/ (more tax!)
    http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/ (so much better than the last time I visited)
    http://www.logitech.com/ (always liked this clean site)
    http://www.novatech.co.uk/ (good eCommerce site)
    http://www.parcel2go.com/ (colourful parcel deliveries)
    http://copyhackers.com/ (is this one allowed? – still a good site)
    http://www.microsoft.com/ (not visited in a long time – so much cleaner than I remember – Windows 8 theme I guess)
    http://www.mozilla.org/ (always good on the graphical side)

    I can’t believe how difficult it is to find sites that I think are well designed – the web has a long way to go.

    This is a great post Ben, your comments remind me of a mini version of the site reviews you do on the Pro Web Design Course. I’m making some useful notes!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Derek. A bunch of great suggestions here!

      http://www.352media.com – Yes, the copywriting is particularly good. And it made me smile a couple of times. Included, bringing me to the halfway point.
      http://teamtreehouse.com/ – Very likeable, but the initial headline isn’t great. Too open-ended, and doesn’t tell me what’s on offer. Almost great. Reserve listed.
      http://www.click71.com/ – You can’t call it brilliant, but I think it’s very effective. One big irritation… It’s one guy with one laptop, and there’s a link to “Our Work”. Aaaagh!! But it’s good enough for my list.
      http://www.jasonreedwebdesign.com/ – I love it. It’s a little reserved. He could do more by way of call to action, but maybe he doesn’t need too many leads. Added.
      http://www.darwinpay.co.uk/ – The content is great, but I really don’t like the colour scheme. If the home page did a slightly better job of punching me on the nose with their irresistible offer, I think it would be on the shortlist.
      http://www.freeagent.com/ – I feel like I’ve seen it all before, and don’t care for the thin white text on a dark background on the home page. Reserve list.
      http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/ – You know what, this site now does an elegant job of presenting quite a complex offering in a simple way. Plus, it now works without the www. I’ll shortlist it.
      http://www.logitech.com/ – There are so many great things about this site, but they’ve really messed up by putting all the links in bright light blue. That’s inexcusable, excludes a chunk of the audience, and for that reason they can’t make the shortlist.
      http://www.novatech.co.uk/ – Good enough for the shortlist. It’s hard to get excited about ecommerce sites, but this one does a great job.
      http://www.parcel2go.com/ – There are a few good sites that do this service. I couldn’t live with the brightness of the colour scheme for more than a few minutes though. Too overwhelming.
      http://copyhackers.com/ – It is a friend’s site, and I do like it, but there are mistakes. There’s space wasted at the top, and – more importantly – pale green link colour?! Reserve list.
      http://www.microsoft.com/ – You’re absolutely right. An incredibly complicated site executed really elegantly. I did get stuck on the Windows Phone site with no means to get back to the main site, but that’s forgiveable. Shortlisted.
      http://www.mozilla.org/ – Delicious, again. At one point I got thrown into a completely different layout, which was also good, but the new theme is amazing! Simple propositions delivered perfectly. Shortlisted.

  143. Morten says:

    Hmmm, i think this is quite good. Nothing wrong with making ppl smile.
    http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Of course. That would have been one of my suggestions. Great, bold, “in your face” marketing.

  144. Esther says:

    http://www.kragtgroep.nl

    A Dutch website that translates what the company stands for. Simple, effective but high quality Interior design.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Get the Five – It’s attractive and neatly designed. The content comes through well, but I don’t get the proposition of the site from the home page. I think it badly needs a strap line to say what it’s for. I’ll add it to the list, but it may not make the final 100.
      Design Milk – Clumsily designed. The ads at the top really don’t help the design, and the navigation is poor.
      Worry Free Labs – I’ll put this on the list. While I don’t much like white text on dark backgrounds, the way they let you browse a wide selection of work from the home page without scrolling is very well executed.
      City is Burning – I like the personality that comes through, and the design textures are curiously fresh. I think it would be better to have a photo alongside the “Hello, I’m…” message, and the fonts could be more readable. Reserve list.
      Electric Pulp – Does its job with personality. I like that the home page is “Work”, getting straight to the point. i.e. “What we’re about is the work we produce for our clients, and that’s the first thing you need to know.” Listed.

  145. carl says:

    Hello Ben,
    I will suggest this two sites

    http://www.makingpeoplefree.org.uk/

    http://www.mansag.org/mansag/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Nothing distinctive in these designs.

  146. Victoria says:

    http://www.refdesk.com — use this site at least once a day

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Positively awful design. Thanks for sharing.

  147. edgar allan says:

    Bootleg Radio
    http://www.bootleg-radio.com/

    No labels. Just great music!

  148. Marian says:

    Hello Ben,
    what do you think about http://forexsignals.cz?

    Thank you for your opinion.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Marian. It’s clean and the content is pretty good, but lacks some personality and call to action. I’ll put it on my reserve list.

  149. Wian Rifqi Dwi says:

    I think, autodesk.com, udk.com & square-enix.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Autodesk is OK once you get past the white-on-black home page, but nothing really that stands out.

  150. Musashi says:

    http://www.gpotato.com is my favourite

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks. That is an engrossing and, actually, very effective home page. Might be better if the first slide gave the proposition, but it’s there lower down anyway. Listed!

  151. Doreen says:

    I was just looking for a new ecommerce solution and found this site:

    http://go.magento.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Doreen. Great suggestion. It’s on the short list.

  152. Doreen says:

    Here’s another site I just found: http://www.coffeecup.com/

  153. Ben Hunt says:

    I just found this one today, and I love it so much I’m going to add it to my own list.. http://www.betabrand.com/

    • Karin says:

      Hi Ben,
      Would love to hear why you love this site. I found it too busy. I suppose it’s clear what the site is for, but I have no desire to shop there – it’s overwhelming. My personal opinion, of course, so would love to hear your experienced opinion!

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Hi Karin. It is busy, but sometimes life is busy. Sometimes great restaurants and stores are busy. Sometimes busy can be part of the experience, as long as you can still get what you need.

        What I love about this site is the amount of personality on display. It’s different, in a good way. I find myself liking it, and liking is a very helpful lead-in to buying.

  154. Derek says:

    How about;
    http://css-tricks.com/
    I debated about this one because of the distracting frog image, but it is a site I use & like, so I’ll throw it in there.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      There’s something that immediately didn’t work for me. I think it’s because there are high-noticeability elements dotted around the edges of the page, so there’s no central focal point (i.e. the Content!)

      Looks cute, but it’s a design fail.

  155. Helen says:

    May be… this site?

    https://www.keycaptcha.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s interesting, but the home page doesn’t achieve much. It would be far better to have a demo right there on the home page.

      I think the product is better than the website.

      I’ve put it on my reserve list.

  156. Lesley Eden says:

    what do you feel about this?
    http://www.exhibitiondesign.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Lesley, I think that site works really really well! It gives you a taste of exactly what they do – create experiences. Listed!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Absolutely ROCKS!! Makes the list.

  157. David Willmott says:

    How about this one http://www.magiciansforweddings.co.uk

    • Ben Hunt says:

      David, that’s a bloody good website.

      I LOVE how you’ve put “Amazing Feedback” as a nav item. You’re selling in a place that people don’t usually sell. But nav is usually scanned, so that’s the perfect place to differentiate. Great job, listed, +1d etc…

      (I don’t like the style of the testimonials though, all smudgy, breaks the mood.)

  158. Sharath says:

    Hello Ben How about this ?
    http://florotech.com/
    http://www.thegalleryhues.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Florotech, I don’t get it at all. I understand “Services” but what’s “Works”? You can’t tell above the fold what the site is FOR.

      And Gallery Hues is not easy on the eye. The massive Lichenstein-style background is very busy, even though it’s pale. I would prefer to see larger, richer shots of the artwork.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Actually, that site does its job very well indeed! (Web designers out there.. here’s a hint. Don’t forget to SELL!)

      I would add another call to action at the end of the main content. Also, it would be good to see what they mean by “appliance”. If I need my dryer repaired, does that count?

      But in terms of effective design (i.e. solving the marketing problem) it’s among the best. Listed.

  159. Sam says:

    My vote goes to the site design by Concrete Cloud http://concretecloud.co.uk – i’ve come across this site on fb or twiter a few times now and it always captures my attention! Love this site.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s a decent implementation of the prevailing style, but I don’t think it’s one of the best. Don’t know why, but I don’t quite connect. I’ll put it on the reserve list.

  160. thiết kế web says:

    I think that what you published made a lot of sense.
    However, what about this? what if you were to create a killer title?

    I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your blog, however what if you added a post title that makes people desire more? I mean Wanted – Your Recommendation for the 100 Best Designed Websites is kinda boring. You could peek at Yahoo’s home page and see how they write post titles to get people to click. You might try adding a video or a pic or two to grab readers interested about what you’ve written. Just my opinion, it might make your posts a little livelier.

  161. James Rawl says:

    Hi Ben,

    I have previously recommended this site
    http://www.drypro.ie
    which you gave some good feedback on but decided it wasn’t up to scratch.
    i have now made some tweaks and would be interested to hear what you think now

    Thanks
    James

    • Ben Hunt says:

      James, remove the “welcome” message, move your intro heading above the rotating images so it’s the #1 most noticeable thing, and rewrite the first paragraph to be punchier, and I’ll add it :-)

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Can’t make the list with that intense background colour. Plus the logo’s low-quality and in the wrong place.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s quite effective, but the tonal contrast on the logo is all wrong, and I don’t care for the inverted tabs on the navigation. I can’t say this is an example of the best of 2012.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      There are a couple of things that don’t work for me in this design.

      The major problem is that the site doesn’t really provide a distinguishing UVP.. I get the overall message, but that’s so generic, it could apply to any recruitment agency.

      What’s special about this one? Why does it apply to me specifically? What do they do that others don’t? Why should I care enough to submit my details?

      So I do think it needs to tell more, and maybe be more specific. I’m not even sure if it applies to my geographical area. Every person I see on the site is Asian. So in which countries does the site operate?

      I also find the colour combination too primary. Orange-red, blue, and yellow all on the same design feel very childish.

      • Qarau says:

        Awesome!! Thank you Ben for the constructive criticism. Their logo color was the orange-red and blue and they’re based in Singapore. I’ll see if I can convince the client to tweak it a bit. Thank you again and keep up the great work. I’ve learnt so much here and hope to sign up to your course soon.

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Qarau, I could find no mention on the whole site that they’re based in Singapore. That could be a serious issue.

      • Qarau says:

        Thanks for that Ben. They didn’t have that in the copy but I am thinking of adding “in Singapore” to the end of of the home page headline. Appreciate your feedback.

    • Qarau says:

      Just came across the Body Shop site.
      http://www.thebodyshop.co.uk

      • Ben Hunt says:

        I find it pretty confusing when I first arrive. I think I was expecting something more magazine-like, maybe fewer large features. My eye didn’t know where to land, and there was no first message. Reserve list.

      • Qarau says:

        Great feedback Ben. I think the bottom portion of the landing page has a little more order then the top. I like their inside pages though.

  162. Simon says:

    Hi Ben,

    Just discovered u! I’m starting a web business with my partner and I think your site and info will be of great value, so thanks for that!

    I would like two put up two (similar sites):

    http://www.airbnb.com (my favorite!)

    http://www.istopover.com

    What do u thinks?

    Cheers

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Simon, I love Air BnB.. definitely going on the list. Thanks!

  163. Johnny says:

    Squarespace.com changed their website.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      They have, and I absolutely love it!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      That’s graphic art. I don’t see any web design happening.

  164. Eamon says:

    I like …
    http://www.d10studio.com.mx/

    and for original navigation system I [think] I like ..
    http://www.bcpinfini.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      D10Studio could make it. I really like their contact form, the navigation is easy and clear, and the quality of their work comes through, which is the whole purpose of the site.

      I can’t add BCPInfini, because I got stuck with its original navigation system. Total fail.

  165. Aurora says:

    Take a look at http://www.stockpix.biz please.
    Thanks,
    Aurora

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Aurora.

      This breaks so many rules it can’t possibly make my top 100. The animated background must add a lot of file size and bandwidth, and does nothing but totally distract from the content of the site. The logo is far too over-designed too.

      Sorry

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hmm, interesting.

      At first I didn’t think the typeface worked very well, and there were too many things changing before my eyes, but then I was drawn into the site.

      The content is good, but I don’t think the layout and tonal/colour choices really help you enjoy browsing. I’ll put it on my reserve list.

  166. TME says:

    We recently re-designed our website – we’re a web design and online marketing agency in Kent – http://www.tmesolutions.co.uk – think we’d make it? :)

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s very pretty, but all style over substance. I think the site is too extreme, going overboard on the tricks.

      I don’t like the menu bar that follows me around. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

      But, most of all, I can’t get the content. Reversed text is hard to read, and it’s small. The contact form is very fussy.

      The middle bits on the home page (like “How we do it”) are sharper, but the slider in there still feels like it’s throwing too much at me.

      I’m disappointed, because an awful lot of skill and creativity has gone into this. But in terms of DESIGN – the crafting of effective communication – I can’t put it on my shortlist :-(

  167. Jacob says:

    I think http://www.crazyegg.com/ is pretty good, although perhaps a bit text-heavy.

    I’m not offering this as an example, but as you’ve given some comments on most sites anything you have to say about http://www.writing-skills.com would be enormously helpful to me. I’m trying to apply the insights of Convert! to it, as and when managerial approval allows.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Crazyegg is quite pleasant, but not a great example of execution of the type.

      The first impression of writing-skills.com was “business template”, but on scanning the first 10 or so things that I saw, I really didn’t understand what it offered.

      I didn’t understand what “business writing trainers” meant.. Is it something to do with running shoes? It’s not 100% crystal clear, so how about, “We teach great business writing” or “Courses in effective writing for business”.. it takes a few more words, but at least it’s unambiguous.

      • Erin says:

        Hi Jacob & Ben!

        Got a notification about the mention of CrazyEgg and thought I’d share the case study that was just written up on their new homepage design. It’s challenging to nitpick a new design when it’s increased their revenue by 510%. Pretty impressive.

        Here’s the link to the conversion case study I just read on the CrazyEgg homepage; hope you find it as interesting as I did! Just wanted to share…

        http://www.conversion-rate-experts.com/crazy-egg-case-study/?awt_l=6pKAU&awt_m=JGC2ZabsmznbKj

      • Jacob says:

        Thanks a lot for your feedback, Ben. I’d never considered the line beneath the logo before, just taken it as a given – shows what a pair of fresh, expert eyes can do!

  168. TIGERdesign says:

    Hi!
    i don’t know how a website like “behance.net” get to the “other Possibles” list..
    it’s platform and design one of the best user experience sites i know :)
    hope everyone have a look at it and say they opinion

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks for the feedback. It caused me to go back for a new look. And I really enjoyed my visit. The content is great, and the design makes it easy to get. I’ll bump it onto the main list!

      • TIGERdesign says:

        I’m happy you find behance.net interesting. i can’t wait to see the final list.. i’ll visit every site on the final list and give it a try.
        cheers :D

  169. Caleb says:

    This should absolutely be on your list: http://mostlyserious.io/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Caleb. It didn’t really make me feel happy or inspired. I have seen a lot of agency sites, and I really find myself drawn to the ones that put their personality all the way out there. I didn’t get that from this one. The b/w photos on hover puzzled me in particular.

  170. Karin says:

    I just received a link to the new website for Cost Plus World Market and think it’s pretty nice looking and mostly user-friendly. The one thing that I think is missing is a clear description of what they do…but Cost Plus has the advantage of a well-known brand. What do you think, Ben? Thanks!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Karin. I definitely got that first impression, “What is this?” followed by, “Is this for me?” I had to scroll down to the phone number to discover that the site is US-based.

      It is pretty nice, though, giving quite a rich experience, and I like the way products are themed. The cart and checkout work quite well too.

      I’m going to add it to my list for another review later.

  171. Chris Olberding says:

    Hi, we’re a design agency in Jacksonville, Florida and recently redesigned our website – http://www.stationfour.com. Also, the work we recently did for Peterbrooke Chocolatier is being featured in a web design magazine published in England in the next couple months – http://www.peterbrooke.com.

    Thanks.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Chris. I totally love your site! The way the whole background switches on the home page slider is really fresh, and all the content is totally sharp. On my list!

      Really not sure about Peterbrooke… the intensity of the royal blue combined with magenta just made me want to close the window.

      • Chris Olberding says:

        Thanks! Quite an undertaking. Appreciate the feedback.

      • Ben Hunt says:

        I totally appreciate that. Your team did a great job of executing a clear vision.

      • Chris Olberding says:

        Submitted our site without really going through all the 400+ comments and great and awful sites above, which I just did. Just wanted to say good job, I know it’s not easy telling people that their hard work isn’t very good. Best of luck.

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Thanks Chris. It’s known as the “Your baby is ugly” conversation :-)

  172. Sarah says:

    Hi Ben,

    Here’s my personal site, just launched last month: http://www.sarahpeterswebdesign.com

    A colleague’s site, just launched today: http://www.seo-consultant-london.com

    I notice you don’t have too many magazine-style sites on your list, curious what you think about this one I did for a non-profit organization: http://www.lifebeat.org

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Sarah. I’ve added your site and the SEO consultant site. Both very sharp and well-focused. Great work!

      (On your own site, maybe tweak the levels/contrast of the smaller top photo of you, as it’s a little duller than the main shot.)

      I’d love to add the Lifebeat site. It does a good job of communication, but it isn’t quite best-of-breed.. I’m not a fan of mid-tone backgrounds, and I don’t know why it has the black strip across the top. The overall effect is a little too high-contrast for me, a bit harsh. I’ll put it on the reserve list and review later.

  173. Paul de Wouters says:

    she’s a beauty
    http://www.ghosthorses.co.uk/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Paul.

      I did find it painfully pale in places – a bit like the desert where Cpt Jack Sparrow got marooned in Pirates of the Caribbean 3.

      But then I did spend several minutes on the site, because I really LIKED the experience. And I guess that makes it effective.

      Listed :-)

  174. Greg Wastl says:

    How about http://www.abookapart.com ?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s well laid out, but I really struggle with the poo-brown link colour. It’s a little too pale, and I don’t like the hue. Maybe I’m being really picky.

      I’ve always loved AListApart.com, and although its design is classic, can we really say it’s best of breed for 2012? I dunno

  175. Jordan Dick says:

    Hi Ben,

    Here’s a couple I am particularly proud of. Don’t know if they are worthy of your list but I thought I’d take a shot.

    http://hudsonvalleydivorcemediation.com/
    http://jenkinstownmotors.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Jenkinstown Motors.. it’s actually hard to know how to improve that home page! It is very, very good marketing. On the list!

      Not sure about the divorce mediation one.

  176. Sue Brettell says:

    Hi Ben — I’ve enjoyed reviewing sites you’ve given a thumbs up to in your comments. These are a few on my personal wow list:

    http://beargryllslive.com/ The branding and images capture the essence of Bear Grylls and the world he inhabits perfectly, while the site is considerably easier to navigate than Bear’s usual environment!
    http://www.alfredapp.com/ Many app sites are beautifully designed: this is one of my faves
    http://get.wunderkit.com/ 6Wunderkinder is on your list, but this deserves consideration in its own right
    http://getpremise.com/ In my opinion, this eclipses Copyblogger, a related site
    http://www.darasgarden.com/ There are a few minor items I might tweak on this site, but it’s still one of my favourites.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I found the Bear Grylls home page to be initially pretty, but ultimately lacking in substance. There just isn’t enough content to convince me to look further.

      I love the Alfred app. In 15 seconds, I scanned the page and understood everything I needed to know. Excellent marketing! On the list.

      Likewise Get Wunderkit. I actually watched the whole video, and the rest of the home page was sensationally good! Listed.

      By comparison, Get Premise felt cold and colourless. I really don’t like the “Action, Access, Acceleration” headings. They’re fuzzy and insipid. However, the content is very good! It makes a strong argument to buy the plugin. Just goes to show, the first step to great marketing is: have a great product :-)

      And I really can’t fault Dara’s Garden. Another one on the list.

      • Sue Brettell says:

        I just had to add another of my absolute favourites …it’s become my default for researching Apps: http://appstorm.net/ I love the way the content is organised and the consistent presentation of individual posts. Their appraisals are well considered and helpful. (I’d nominate Envato in general for their strong branding and navigation across all their sites, but there are so many of them!)

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Thanks Sue. I don’t love it, personally. I find the background really dark, and there’s a unnecessarily massive difference in size between headings and text, even on an index page. It doesn’t jump out as best of breed.

    • Sue Brettell says:

      Hello Ben, looks like your list is almost complete. I have a last minute suggestion. Most games sites are an assault on the senses, but this little gem of a site is as beautiful and unusual as its products. I know you might dislike the dark background, but in this instance it helps to emphasise the colours and artistry of the games. http://amanita-design.net/

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Hi Sue. There’s nothing wrong with the Amanita site, but the content is very thin. I think it could do a lot more to sell me the games than just show one still screenshot. Doesn’t really convey any sense of fun.

  177. Tim says:

    MaydayCoffee.com.au

    It does one thing only. Sell subscription coffee and takes your payment.

    Needs a bit of polish, but…it’s whole aim is conversion

  178. Sue Brettell says:

    I find many magazine style sites too busy and disorganised. Considering the vast amount of content, this one is very attractive and easy to navigate: http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s pretty good, but I don’t much like the grey body text colour, the cyan link colour is too much for me, and the background is also a little bright.

      Compare e.g. my design for Marisa Peer’s site, which has a similar pastel feel, but retains sufficient contrast to make the text readable.

  179. Tim says:

    Ben,
    App Fusion – http://app-fusion.com/.

    A mate from Sydney who now lives overseas and is an absolutely KUNG FU php/html/iOS developer. Smartest person I’ve met.

    His website is awesome. Did it himself.

    Tim

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Great call Tim. This is great! It’s a little light in terms of line weight and tone, but it works.

  180. Derek says:

    How about, http://www.getmiro.com – maybe a bit too Applesque, but I like it. Clean and simple.

    Interested in you thoughts on this one (just been redesigned), http://thinktraffic.net

    Also, nice looking agency site, http://fortyagency.com

    Not the most attractive site, but I thought it was a different idea, http://theopaphitissbs.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Miro is very good, but the first pageful somehow doesn’t work. I think getability is the issue. There are 2 nav bars (which don’t give great “You are here” signage), then a split intro panel. It’s lacking the essential focal point that explains the proposition.

      I love ThinkTraffic – going on at #85.

      Forty does a lot right, and I like the headline. But… it’s visually harsh. The text looks unantialiased (try saying that after 2 beers!) and the background is busy, drawing the eye more than the subdued navigation. Too many mistakes to make the list.

      And I can’t put on Theo’s site.. Orange text on a dark blue is a crime. And the rounded corner graphics are straight out of the Best Designed Websites of 1999 cookbook.

  181. Rob Saunders says:

    Not ones to ow or own trumpet, but have a look at our website http://www.daydreamdesigns.co.uk – we are a Welsh design agency, who are fueul by caffine, but high on inspiratin!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sure, blow away.. That is a very pleasant site, artistically. But the home page doesn’t work for me (i.e. for you) in my opinion.

      There are too many cute things distracting you around the edges, and what REALLY MATTERS – your differentiating message – is lost in tiny white text on a mid-tone blue background. You can’t get away with that, I’m afraid.

      Check out the designers’ sites that have made my list, and see how much more effectively the message gets across. Maybe review, redesign & resubmit, cos the style is gorgeous.

    • Derek says:

      I really like the 5 second countdown to make an impact (on the skinny site page) – very clever.

      • Sarah says:

        I agree, and I think the “skinny” version of the site should replace the main site! On the main site I found my eye bouncing around the page looking at the illustrations, but when I clicked on the skinny version, I started reading. And what would you rather have someone do, look *at* your website or actually read your message?

        And if you think about it, isn’t everyone “short of time” on the web? If you CAN deliver your message in 5 seconds, why not do it? The other site seems rather self-indulgent to me, compared to the shorter and simpler version.

  182. Robin says:

    Great job Ben.

    All of your designs were great. You did an awesome work. You can see my designs here http://www.hireawiz.com/local-services/phoenix-web-design. Check out once while being free.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Robin. Are there any examples that you believe could make the Top 100 list?

  183. Jonathan says:

    well, it’s a simple site but I have to try to get promotion some how!!! =)

    genesissandbox.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s a nice start Jonathan, but there’s a lot of space at the bottom of the header, and the right-hand column content isn’t that clear.

      I also like to see a name and picture if someone’s talking in the first person. Who’s “I”?

      • Jonathan says:

        Great Points!!! Sometimes it’s hard to see things when you design/build/etc yourself. Thanks for that extra set of eyes!

  184. Derek says:

    How about http://websynthesis.com/ – direct and to the point.

  185. Derek says:

    While I’m in a WordPress mood, how about http://yoast.com/. Is the message clear enough?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Quite right. I like Yoast, but the home page seems to assume you already know who he is and what he does. You have to click on the three offering links to find out anything that differentiates Yoast from his numerous potential competitors.

      I liked the big graphic on the WordPress Plugins page, but that isn’t applied consistently across the other offerings.

  186. Kerry says:

    Hi Ben, please take a look at our website – I hope this will be one of your top websites — we have a fantastic reputation, deliver a great service and as ever keen to build on our business and ultimately customer service.

    Best regards
    Kerry

    http://www.chimneycowlproducts.co.uk

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Kerry. Thanks for submitting. It’s great if the website does lots of business for you, but I can’t see anything that makes it best-of-breed in design terms.

      • Kerry says:

        Hi Ben, I though that you were looking for a website that was…

        “They just need to get their message across GREAT!”

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Yes, and where the design facilitates that. In the case of your site, there’s an awful lot of text on the home page that’s all the same size. There is no prioritisation to help you get your bearings. Lots of information, sure, but it needs to be more organised.

  187. Kathy says:

    I’m a journalist who learned new media skills only recently, at 48, then started working as a business manager at this shop. I have the luxury of observing daily trends so I fit those concepts into my web design (this is the third iteration). Our business is up far, far over what it once was, as people don’t use the Yellow Pages anymore. They search, for words like “frise” and “furniture repair” and of course, “upholstery” and they find us and learn. Our bounce rate is very low, and people spend up to six minutes reading our “news” page after an update. I’m hoping to build a web writing and (simple) design business on the side, so this business job is great practice for me.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Kathy. I appreciate the rich and dark feel, but I really had to look at everything on the page to figure out the geographical locality of the business. I eventually found the City/State below the fold.

      I also feel there’s too much space at the top – too much attention given to the chair, when it should be used to get your basic proposition and benefits across to the prospect.

      • Kathy says:

        Regarding home and office upholstery: Yes, I am aware of that issue, too much space at the top. Shows my limitations as a designer. I have planned to address it but just haven’t had time. Good thought about geographic location, too. OF course, people don’t tend to outsource upholstery, so we are all local, but it should be more obvious. Thanks!

  188. Lyndon says:

    I hope you look at http://www.chibimoku.com…best regards!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sorry, I can’t decipher what the site is about from the home page, which is a big fail.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I think I’ll add CommunityElf. It’s rare to find a site where you know exactly what the proposition is, and to which markets it’s offered, within a few short seconds. Great job.

  189. Aaron Wood says:

    You might want to consider the Fresh Ink Group Website (actually a pair of websites, one for promoting Books and Authors, and another to showcase their publishing services) The main site is above, and the publishing site is at publishing.freshinkgroup.com.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I don’t get on with all the unnecessary boxes, with their drop shadows, or the pale orange text colour.

  190. Allan says:

    This site doesn’t make you think.

    You can’t miss its USP and it’s so visual a cave man
    will get it.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Allan. I think it’s very nearly very good. But… the continual animations are actually distracting. Anything that moves at the edge of vision HAS to attract your attention – away from your actual message.

      I think I would prefer to see a bigger intro area, with larger screenshots. I want to see exactly what the thing does, and why I should care, and that didn’t come across straight away. “Simple, visual & free” are all good, but “free” isn’t a unique differentiator, “simple” is one of today’s entry-level requirements, and I don’t really get the benefit of “visual”.

      Now, I suspect that there’s something about the visual-ness which is where the USP lies, but I didn’t discover what it was.

      What does this let me do that I couldn’t do before?

  191. pawneet says:

    this is the most beautfull site u ever seen it

  192. Claude Cote says:

    Yes, I’m voting for my own website, but from what I’ve seen from some of the others I don’t see why I shouldn’t. The design concept behind my website is to my a portal for access to all of my various on-line profiles and the various different aspects of my on-line and off-line life.

    And quite frankly, some of the other websites in the list looked exactly like the free website templates in WP and others sent me running in the first 5 seconds, with no any way to clearly see what the website was even for.

    So if you like it, awesome! If not, I would appreciate some constructive criticism as to why not.

    Thanks,

    Have a great day!

    -C

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Claude, but that type of light-on-dark design will never make my list. It’s just too harsh on the eyes.

  193. mary says:

    Our website just launched this week and for an educational institution,it’s designed with future students and current students in mind. It is easy to navigate and informative. We did a lot of research with students and potential students to ensure we gave them the information they wanted and needed to succeed. Check it out. Thanks!

    http://www.mesacc.edu

  194. mary says:

    Check out Mesa Community College: http://www.mesacc.edu

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Mary. I thought the home page looked good – definitely up there with some of the best education sites. But some of the other pages are great – really using the vertical space well. This is going on my list, and I recommend everyone have a browse round this site, because it does have some very interesting angles on layout.

  195. June Barrack says:

    Hi Ben
    After doing your pro web design course I had the pleasure of doing some keyword analysis and SEO for this very niche site. The home page and site rank has recently increased from a 3 to a 4 – good news!
    Any publicity for this small company would be fantastic.

    http://www.able2wear.co.uk

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi June.

      There’s so much that works about this site. But I have to say I truly hate the colours. That dark gold/mustard doesn’t work, I don’t like the gradient on the navigation bar, and there’s a usability issue with the links down the left hand site (you can’t tell they’re links until you mouse over them).

      But… how much do those things matter? Only testing would tell. The fact is, the things that matter are there. You get what it’s for straight away. You know where to find stuff. I’m going to add it.

  196. Rebecca Zappacosta says:

    http://www.downloadandprint.com/

    We’ve been working at implementing your rules for headlines, landing pages, and sales funnel. Using your “tree” as a model to bring people from articles up the awareness ladder towards our closer page. We’ve made the next step buttons larger and above the scroll line plus at the bottom of the page (so they don’t have to go to the top to take the next step). We still have more to do but we’d like to be a contender for your list.

    Thanks,
    Rebecca

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Rebecca, that is a really nice site to browse. Does so much right, it has to be on the list.

  197. Wally says:

    Good morning Ben, here’s two custom theme websites I just launched, I still have to make them responsive which I’ll be doing in the next couple weeks.

    http://www.pressfortruth.ca/
    http://www.blfruitstand.ca/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Wally. I find the background on the PFT site is too busy, drawing attention away from the content. The link colour is also a bit too bright.

      The BLFS site is nice, but I just can’t get past the bright green background colour. It’s just too intense for me.

  198. oisinc says:

    I built this (with help) for my new business, Oisin.

    http://www.costello-irish-jewelry.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Pleasant site, but feels a bit empty and all grey/white. I’d like to see much larger photographs. The links should also be coloured.

      • oisin says:

        workin on the links, not sure i get larger images, the actual product images or other visuals? thanks for feedback, oisin.

      • oisin says:

        pleasant..hmm..

    • Ben Hunt says:

      The visual design is fine, but I had to read quite a lot before I could find anything that might interest me. It was all about the author, all “me, me, me” and frankly I got bored.

  199. Bera says:

    I really like how they present the information. Very usable and easy to navigate around the site.

    http://www.legalzoom.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Yes, I really like the home page. The rich hovers are innovative and work really well. I would like to see a strap line that tells me what to expect as soon as I arrive, but the site is executed brilliantly. Listed.

  200. Derek says:

    The recent posts don’t seem to have a link to the sites. Any chance you can add them so we can see what you are referring to?

  201. Misa Milas says:

    http://www.logitech.com/
    It is amog the best sites: content, functionality, graphic design,

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Great site, love it! Listed.

      • Derek says:

        mmm…I recall a certain Web Designer saying, “they’ve really messed up by putting all the links in bright light blue. That’s inexcusable, excludes a chunk of the audience, and for that reason they can’t make the shortlist.”.

        LOL – I’ll let you off – just this once.

  202. Owen Garratt says:

    http://www.pencilneck.com

    Although we still have a couple processes to iron out, the overall look and flow is ready – and it’s right outta Save the Pixel (Egad I hope you like it!!) – we went for clean and ‘getability’…

    any feedback is appreciated! :)

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Owen, there’s an issue with nav bar overlap, but I really enjoyed going on your site. I’ve seen it before, and it has moved on a long way. The intro video was great, and the site has bags of personality.

      “Personality goes a long way.” ~ Jules, Pulp Fiction

      I’m going to add it at #93 on the understanding that you fix the navigation overflow, k? ;-)

      • Owen Garratt says:

        Thanks Ben!!! It shall be fixed within the week!

  203. Aaron Wood says:

    You could try the Moonfire Web design site. (webdesign.moonfireartstudios.com).

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Mm, no. It’s visually very confusing, with odd combinations of sizes, tones and colours. I didn’t get it at all.

  204. Timothy says:

    Here’s a website that you might like:
    http://www.quickenloans.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Timothy, I very nearly added the site. There’s a lot I like about the home page, but it is lacking the single most important thing – the proposition.

      It tells me rates, and various pieces of information, but the overall proposition is somehow missing, which is frustrating.

      And the strapline is crap.. “Engineered to Amaze” could apply (equally badly) to countless companies.

      • Timothy says:

        Ben,

        Thanks for the feedback on the Quicken Loans website.

        Can you clarify what you mean when you say that “overall proposition is somehow missing?”

        Thanks.

        -Timothy

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Sure, you look at the home page and you can’t quite tell exactly what you’re being offered. Ideally, a site’s name/strapline/navigation should give you a very good impression, and the first headline you see should nail it.

  205. Devin says:

    Mr. Hunt I would be curious to know what you think about this portfolio website:

    http://icedive.ca

    It is fully responsive and relies on a minimalistic approach where indicating information is never repeated. By that I mean, you realize it is a creative’s website from the logo. The menu tells you it is a business. The hover on portfolio items gives an interactive and inviting approach to investigate. The website’s main purpose is to serve as a valuable assest in client presentations but I wanted to know what you thought in terms of its call-to-actions and marketing ability. Analytically the majority of new unique visitors spend at least 4:00 minutes browsing. So by not having a main splash page with a large heading and description with a slideshow as most favoured “best designed” websites have, it is still doing a good job, just a different approach.

    Also check this one out: http://mpffa.com
    It is a private Buddypress website for a large Firefighter Union based in Markham Ontario Canada.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Devin, with icedive, I feel like I’ve been hit in the face with a portfolio. It’s a lot to take in visually, and I was left reeling with no explanation or sense of where I was.

      There’s no reason not to put the vital info on your home page: Who you are, what you do, who you do it for. Then show your portfolio. I couldn’t even tell if this is identity, print, web, or what.

      The MPFFA site loaded very slowly for me (news in particular, and didn’t come up until I reloaded). It’s a nice enough theme, but there’s no compelling content. Without content, you can’t have effective marketing.

  206. Phil says:

    Great ideas for apps, love the design, navigation, easy to find everything etc.
    http://manytricks.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Phil, there’s a lot I don’t much like about this home page. The logo’s in the wrong place, the classic filler word “Welcome” is the first thing you see, and it doesn’t tell me what kind of apps they make (MacOS, iPhone, iPad, all of these??), everything is quite small, there’s no focal point to the page, and the footer links are quite hard to read (white on grey).

  207. Cath Powell says:

    http://silverbox.co.nz/powai/
    Greetings from Beautiful New Zealand! Find a spot in
    NZ that is a hidden gem. Best regards, Cath

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Doesn’t quite work for me, Cath. I don’t really know what I’m looking at with the home page. Is it the region, or a place to stay? The initial view is nice, but doesn’t answer that primary question.

      And I find the introductory paragraph (in large text) confusing. It isn’t properly-formed sentences.

      My advise is to include a shot of the property itself, and write so that anyone can understand it.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I spent 30 seconds on the home page, and didn’t understand what I was looking at. Falls at the first hurdle.

      I’m guessing it’s a training programme of some kind, but I had to piece that together from clues. You can’t rely on anyone doing that and expect a good conversion rate.

  208. Renee Tucker says:

    Hi Ben,
    I’ve followed your emails and examples and video website designs for months. This is what I’ve got so far. I know it needs work (when are they ever finished??), but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished with your help, as a single mom of two young boys and a full time job.

    http://wheredoesmyhorsehurt.com/

    Thanks for considering it!
    Renee Tucker

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Renee, actually, that’s nearly a very good home page. The thing that I think lets it down is the interactivity on the “click your horse” section.

      I expected to click on it, and to be taken to a new page that summarised the most common issues. Instead, I hovered, and was prevented from clicking on the area by the popup box, which then wanted to be clicked. It just puzzled me a little.

      (Note, is “horse help and equine information” there for the benefits of SEO? Don’t bother. Use your titles and headings to make a better user experience, and the search success will follow.)

  209. Andy Nolan says:

    Hi Ben,

    Our website has evolved over nearly 5 years, we are soon to bring additional running and cycling products which will be a challenge, however we feel we have a solid framework and menu structure to add to and keep the same feel.

    Regards

    Andy
    http://www.tgstore.eu

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Andy, nearly a great site. One thing I needed to know, though, is “Do you ship to where I live?”, which should be answered above the fold on the home page. I know I can pay in GBP/EUR/USD, but can I actually get what I want delivered?
      (Compare e.g. http://www.tennisprostore.co.uk/, which has “we deliver worldwide” right there as soon as you arrive.)

      I find the main body text too small, and the very contrasting wrap-around headings really draw my eye away from the main content.

      I can quickly spot a few areas where I think you’ll be able to improve your conversion rates, e.g. “Add to basket” button is too low down the page, could be bigger, and the white text doesn’t stand out against the bright green.

  210. Kushal says:

    I would Ike to suggest this site.
    I feel that it’s simple and fun to hang around on Internet.
    http://kushallegend.hpage.co.in

    • Ben Hunt says:

      You’re kidding me, right? It certainly looks like “My first attempt at a website” and can never be among the best. Don’t worry – my first designs were awful too. You need to read “Save the Pixel” before you do anything else.

  211. Robert Clarke says:

    http://www.op-ed.ca

    I’m biased, as it’s my company – but I took everything I learned from your Pro Web Design course Ben :)

    Other than ours, my vote is for Mailchimp.com.

    Cheers!

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Robert. It’s a very impacting page. I actually felt like I had to lean back from the screen.

      The 3x central panels look like huge buttons, and don’t work terrifically well. They have a drop shadow all around, plus a reflection beneath, which suggests they’re both lying and standing on a surface. Just slightly over-designed.

      The 3x blue buttons underneath are too pale. The white text doesn’t stand out against cyan blue.

      Not sure whether “Select Clients” is an instruction or a shortened version of “A Select Group of our Clients”.. I reckon it’s the latter, but it does cause a spot of friction.

      I also feel the top of the page is too high-contrast. Lots of black and white is a bit harsh on the eyes.

      Overall, it’s doing many things right, but needs to find some visual balance in order to work really well. I think I’d also like to see a bit more detail about what you offer, and who your target market is. “Businesses” is really broad..

      • Robert Clarke says:

        Thanks for taking the time to provide some feedback Ben!

  212. nura says:

    Hey Ben!thanks so much again!before i begin to say something let me drop this new website http://www.sarauta.net Ben something really happen B.S,but let say nice,Weldon,uomh!here online business page look even batter that most pay visitors attention.first is http://www.logitech.com , http://www.hubspot.com,i will be back on some quote,thanks Ben .

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi nura.

      Logitech is already on my list.
      Hubspot was on the reserve list, but on second view I loved it, so I’ve promoted it into the top 100.
      Sarauta.net was a real mess, sorry.

  213. krishna bisht says:

    hi ben check these links
    http://zatse.in
    http://movies.zatse.in

  214. Susie Reynolds says:

    I find this a very informative and useful website.
    http://sarahkey.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It looks very old today. Best practice has moved on, and got a lot better. The mustard colour for navigation isn’t very nice, and the layout is haphazard.

  215. Tom Steenhuysen says:

    Please have a look at http://kidiso.com and let me know if you feel the message is coming across great.
    We are already working on a next version of Kidiso, so your professional feedback will have great influence.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Sorry Tom, I didn’t see enough on the home page to make me want to proceed, or even an easy way to get more. It needs to say what it’s for.

  216. David says:

    Great example of storytelling both with words and design.
    http://forefathersgroup.com/

  217. Pat says:

    I came across this site today — I liked it, but would be interested to know what you thought. https://creditorwatch.com.au/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s OK, but there’s an awful lot of heavy darkness at the top of the page. And there’s a button that says “Get started today” which has red text on a red background. Fail.

      • Pat says:

        Thanks Ben appreciate your comments – point taken re the darkness – I read as taking my attention to what the site is about and the offer then looked at rest.

  218. Misa Milas says:

    Hi Ben, look et this site! It is ver nice!
    http://www.cookinglight.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Misa. It is very good, but not quite up there. The usability is great.

      I found it a bit busy, particularly with two animated advertisements.

      I would make the branding larger, drop the display ads, and make headings and the navigation a bit larger too. There are also a few unnecessary lines and boxes, which could be stripped out.

      Would have been great design 5 years ago, but today doesn’t quite make it.

  219. Dushyant Kanungo says:

    will you consider http://dushyantkanungo.com/ . As a portfolio website, I analysed my old website via on page Google Analytic for a year to zero down on link combinations as well as Information Design.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I really can’t get on with light text on a dark background. I find it very tiring. And you need a new profile photo – this one makes you seem lazy.

  220. Robert Clarke says:

    Hi Ben

    I’m a Mac guy, but I’ll place my vote for http://www.microsoft.com. So many of these sites seem to blend together with their WordPress looking themes, and Microsoft seems to stand out.

    Having said that, would have to know a little bit more about the criteria. Are we looking at pure aesthetic appeal, or are we grading them for their “Convertability” as well? Not seeing a lot of irresistible offers either.

    Cheers,
    Robert

    • Ben Hunt says:

      MS is already in there at #55 Robert.

      The criteria… good design! I’m happy to explain what I mean.

      The purpose of design is to create a solution that facilitates some goal: to sell product, to get sign-ups, to spread a message etc. Design is the overall problem-solving process. On the web, this will result in the design of a site architecture, page layouts, and graphic design elements.

      What I’m looking for is websites where all the visual design does an excellent job of supporting the site’s goal.

      To break it down, that means: feeling right, looking right (i.e. appropriate), helping to communicate the site’s purpose and proposition, and making it easy to know what to do next.

      Really basic stuff, in other words. But it’s bloody hard to find websites that actually do it well… I’ve been trying to find 100 good ones for months now…

  221. Time Sheet says:

    How about Replicon’s Cloud based design?

    http://replicon.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Nearly… But the home page is lacking in tonal contrast. There are lots of light tones, but very little that’s darker or coloured to draw the eye. The result is wishy-washy.

  222. Eamon says:

    This is pretty nice http://www.yesware.com IMHO

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Yup, I got it. After 15 seconds, I understood the proposition. Great site, in other words.

      Personally, I think the logo is too small, and the strapline is FAR too small.

      Also, the cutout for the “you are here” navigation state is unnecessary and actually distracts.

      But all the fundamentals are there, so it’s going on my list at #96.

  223. Derek says:

    I’ll take a punt with couple of PWDC/A student sites that I really like (for different reasons).

    http://www.inklighterwebsites.com/ I’ve always liked Tony’s site. I think his personality really comes across. Just feels like quality to me.

    http://www.headturningmedia.com/ I really love the hard hitting marketing style of this one.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Inklighter… does a lot of things right, but I don’t think the colour combinations work (important for a designer’s site). The bottom panel is too close to the tone of the background, so it almost disappears. There are much better examples of this style on this list.

      I also don’t really think the main headline works: “Business web design can be cheap – get a budget website…” Is he selling cheap websites, or is it a play on words? I suspect it’s being a little bit too clever (very very hard to succeed).

      Head Turning Media is good, with some well written copy, and has a lot of useful elements (testimonials etc.), but doesn’t quite work together. I find some of the elements look out of place, like the bright colours of the logo clashing with the duller colours elsewhere. Just needs the colours/tones/whitespace tightening up.

  224. Marie says:

    A beautiful site, selling a beautiful product.

    http://www.carecushion.co.uk

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I really love the concept, but it’s let down because most of the beautiful product images are hiding away in the shadows.

      The site is selling these gorgeous, unique cushions, so that’s what should really jump out.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks. I’ve already addressed CrazyEgg.

      ClickTale is okay, but there are a few things I just don’t like.

      Purple and yellow for starters.. I know it’s a taste thing, but is that combination to anyone’s taste? I don’t like the shadow on the navigation bar, that the main heading is in a normal-weight font, and the main feature image (call to action to watch the video) is too small.

      Lots of nitpicking, but the overall effect on me was underwhelming. Shame, because I think it’s a good product.

      Powervoice.. I love the logo, but I looked at the page for a bit, got distracted by the moving video, and didn’t get it. It just didn’t give me anything to start caring about.

  225. Sue says:

    http://oulalacouture.com

    This website is under review and is very close to being finished, but definitely ‘a must look at’! It captures and peaks interest, captivating the audience in discovering what else is inside.

    Visually, it will sell itself and keep customers motivated and enthused to give it a second look time and time again.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      I always feel nervous when I hear someone describing the “intrigue factor” of a web page. It rarely works, in my experience.

      As for the design, I find the logo hard to read, because of lack of contrast and too much drop shadow. The strap line is even harder (and has an extra apostrophe).

      Bottom line, although I find the photography striking, the home page fails to tell me what’s inside, and without more of a scent I was not intrigued enough to start digging further.

    • nura says:

      yeah something amazing,i just visit the hope and other page,but look nice.but there something wrong with page,there is too dark colors and too much red color and there is no clear information to the visitors.please sorry let hear from the master fisrt.

  226. Tammy says:

    This is a group dental practice website unlike any other: http://www.DawsonDental.ca.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Tammy, for me there are too many things going on that don’t directly push the benefits of Dawson over its competition.

      The home page above the fold is very busy, with a lot of different textures and tones. The main “Reserve an Appointment NOW” button doesn’t stand out, being the same blue as is used in several other places. And there are too many fonts in use. The overall effect is, you have to pick at the information, and there’s no clear “POW” of a great proposition.

  227. Kunal David says:

    Ben,

    Great to see your list nearing completion… I’d sent in a few a couple of months ago when you began this contest, unfortunately those didn’t make it through. But have been keeping up with your competition & trying to implement some key things in our design.

    Hopefully some of these new suggestions make it to this famed list of yours:

    http://www.ezzygroup.com – a brand new construction company, where the first thing was to build its brand – hence the flash treatment…

    http://www.artbengaluru.in – a contemporary art festival in South India. The festival concluded last month, which is why the timer has been reset for next years event.

    Do let me know! :)

    Hopefully waiting…

    Kunal

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks Kunal.

      Ezzy Group doesn’t work for me, although it’s visually appealing. I just don’t get what’s on offer. I’d have to click into the site, and I shouldn’t have to.

      Art Bengaluru suffers from the same problem, to a lesser extent. The home page fails to tell me what it is, and why I should care. The navigation is somewhat cryptic, and when you do get to some real content, it feels a bit spread out.

      Sorry, but neither site is really up to the standard.

      • Kunal says:

        Cheers Ben, appreciate your views… It’s nice to know that Ezzy is visually appealing, that’s a start! :) While the website is doing quite a good job for us, perhaps looking at it through your perspective might help us bring a bit more dimension to it…

        Art Bengaluru, cryptic – lol! The idea was to try & be unique and intelligent, conscious decision – but perhaps like you said the inside doesn’t do justice…

        Views taken, your list nearly seems to be drawing to an end. Let’s hope I can work my current site onto that list before it closes, else will try the next time!

        Thanks so much for your views though, appreciate it as always! :)

  228. Chris says:

    This site is for a photo lab. It allows customers to upload their photos and order various printing and farming options online.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      It’s nearly excellent. I love that the clear introductory headline says exactly what’s on offer.

      There are a few issues though.

      I think the logo is a bit thin. It would be great to see something more solid, and add a global strapline. (“Turn your photos into works of art” is great!)

      The introductory block, with the call to action, isn’t central enough. It sits too far over to the left of the page, which makes it seem less important. It needs to be in the main eye flow.

      There’s an issue with the reflections. The right border of the b&w picture of the man’s face appears in the reflection, when it shouldn’t. It should be masked off.

      The horizontal summary of the services offered joins onto the footer, and seems like an aside, as it’s also dark like the footer. I’d like to see that come clear of the footer, and maybe be on a light background. (It might be nice to see “From just $15″ as well.)

      And on the product pages, the content is too stretched vertically, so that the main action is below the fold. I’d advise moving the form and the instructions side-by-side.

      The question is: Does it do enough right to make it onto the list? I think it’s clear enough, and just easy enough to use, that it deserves a place. But I’d love to see my recommendations implemented.

      • Chris says:

        Thanks Ben,

        I appreciate those comments, and all relatively easy to address.

        Chris

  229. nura says:

    hello BEN! this website “http://www.artbengaluru.in/” I found nothing on what the side tell the visitors,i confused but maybe! be course i just wake-up now sorry.

  230. Sue Brettell says:

    Hi Ben, moi again …I’ve just been researching Project Management tools. A lot of the sites are not very engaging or easy to grasp. I figure if a site’s UI isn’t terrific, it doesn’t give me confidence in their tool or app. This one is an exception: https://www.getquantify.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Thanks again Sue.

      GetQuanitfy is poorly designed above the fold. “Getting things done” is an insubstantial promise. I’m intrigued by the look of the app (not as pleasant or as rich-looking as the soon-to-be-discontinued Wunderkit), but it looks powerful. I’m tempted to try it, but I have several projects running on Basecamp right now.

      I missed the fact that you could click the organiser to get feature updates (tour) on the first pass. Not obvious enough.

      The rest of the page gets much richer, but the icons are possibly too big (I am hard to please, aren’t I?) There are some good descriptions of features, which do a pretty good job of answering, “What will this do for me and why should I care?” but they’re far too buried, and – importantly – there’s no hint that they’re there.

      When you look above the fold, you’re left none the wiser, and that creates no inclination to look further.

      • Sue Brettell says:

        Well now you’ve pointed them out, Ben, I can see the mistakes on GetQuantify. I really appreciate that you are essentially giving us a free tutorial in web design appraisals …not to mention some great visibility for the final 100. Huge thanks.

        I think this time I’ve found one you’ll love …though I’m not rushing out to place any bets!! :) http://www.paymo.biz/

      • Ben Hunt says:

        Go on then Sue, I’ll let that one in.

        It isn’t perfect… I’d drop the outline box round the 3 headline features, and make the graphics larger (taking up no more space); the form to sign up is so pale it’s almost invisible; and the headings (like “For Businesses”) should all be bold. But the content is excellent, so it’s making the list at #98.

  231. Eamon says:

    a couple more I like …

    http://www.loosecubes.com
    http://www.prezi.com

    and one that probably wont make the list but may help
    as a prop if you ever feel the need for sarcasm:

    http://www.lmgtfy.com

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Eamon, I’m really intrigued by the Loosecubes concept, but the home page failed to get it across. In my opinion, the “How it Works” page should have been the home page, because it achieves that job. That said, the design is pretty good, but I find it a bit bright/light/thin to want to look at for long. I’ll add it to the reserve list.

      I’ve used Prezi before, but it suffers from the same issue as Loosecubes. It’s too light, and severely lacks solid darker areas for your eye to rest on. That is, surprisingly, quite a poorly designed home page!

      LMGTFY… :-)

      • Eamon says:

        Thanks, I see and agree now

        Perhaps once you have your 100 you could bullet point your opinion on which sites do what best and why

        …not that you don’t already do more than enough for us : )

  232. Tina says:

    Thanks for sharing this post to us. Improving your business’s online presence will increase web traffic and generating sales.

  233. Derek says:

    How about http://cakephp.org/. The only think I’m not too keen on is the menu bar, but the rest of the site looks good to me.

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Interesting one Derek.

      It seems a bit wordy at first, as it talks a lot about features that won’t mean much to the casual visitor.

      But, the information that’s on there does its job: of summarising why a PHP developer should be interested in this.

      I don’t care for the download link.. I think it looks more like a logo, and would be better if it were more conventional.

      I think it’s a good case study, so I’m listing it.

  234. Sue Brettell says:

    Hi Ben …I’m not connected with the sites I’ve nominated; I’m just interested in great design. I’d love to see another freelance designer included. (Maybe one day one of my own designs will be up to scratch.) I love the way this designer gently mocks his French identity and the tool for modifying his logo with your favourite moustache! http://salleedesign.com

    Simple and effective: http://asana.com/
    Ditto: https://workflowy.com/
    Even simpler: http://rhyth.im/
    Not sure what you will make of this one! http://checkthis.com/
    Misc: http://www.rafflecopter.com/ http://www.proposalpad.com/

    • Ben Hunt says:

      (Thanks Sue.. A few of these may have made the list if it wasn’t nearly full.)

      Sallee Design – very pleasant, but doesn’t really sell.
      Asana – Didn’t get what it is
      WorkFlowy – Should put the intro video first, then the sign-up form.
      Ryth.im – Exceptionally beautiful way of delivering a simple step-by-step message. Gets the final spot!
      CheckThis – very nice.
      RafflieCopter – Lacks focal point, so feels fussy.
      ProposalPad – outdated colour scheme; don’t like the full-width horizontal shapes.

  235. Pingback: Crooked Lake Cottage: 1 of 100 Best Designed Websites of 2012

  236. jerin says:

    its my company site plz give vote for my site

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi Jerin. Sorry, but we’re not taking new submissions.

  237. JB says:

    Hi Ben,

    I was wondering if you have any recommendations for creating video for a site, looked around but couldn’t find any.

    The other tutorials out there really suck.

    Good day mate!
    JB

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Hi JB. Great question! I don’t really have specific recommendations, but it’s a good idea for a new training product!

  238. Brian says:

    pencilneck.com

    Found this so fun and engaging, I spent way more time on the site than I had planned. Nice and wacky blend of information, salesmanship, entertainment, all with a distinctly personal touch.

  239. Jon Salton says:

    Hi Ben,
    I just wanted to say thank you for including our site http://www.f-stop.co.nz on you top 100 list. Many months went into the construction of the site as we wanted something different! A very clean looking site that was easy to use was the objective and we are very happy with the outcome.

    Best Regards

    Jon

  240. Rob says:

    We’ve just completed updating our website and it’d be great if you could cast your critical yet honest eye over it.

    Although fear may keep me from coming back just in case you do.

  241. Dan says:

    I can tell a lot of effort went into this list. Needeless to say it has some great examples of websites for their particular niche. Thanks for sharing with us a piece of your brain, these type of inspiration gems are invaluable!

  242. Indy Goraya says:

    Hi Ben,

    just wanted to say a great list you got here, it good to see some quality over quantity . i really appreciate your hard work on this. Why cant other people follow suit and offer things of value then rubbish.

    great work keep it up.

    Indy Goraya

  243. Lester says:

    Perhaps I’ve just become epicly lazy, but screenshots would greatly enhance a post such as this.

  244. Arianna says:

    Is there a new list for 2013?

    • Ben Hunt says:

      Not so far.. I don’t have plans to make one this year.