Top 10 Best Designed Websites of 2008

top 10 best designed websites 2014

Note: This is my top 10 best designed websites from 2008!

” Here’s a slightly more recent list of best designed websites from 2010 ”

” And here’s my LATEST list of One Hundred Best-Designed Websites (2012) ”

Here’s my list of my top 10 best designed websites in the world. These are just my personal preference of the best website design – you don’t have to agree, but I’ll try to explain why these web designs work great and why I like them so much.

My top 10 best web designs:


Apple is the best example of striking the balance of simplicity (white space, strong type) with rich imagery sensitively-applied.

It’s also a big, varied, constantly-new site with loads of content, which always feels easy & enjoyable to navigate.

For solving the numerous demands on the UI so elegantly, this is, in my opinion, the best-designed web site in the world today. screenshot


Clear, open, fresh, simple. When you arrive at this site, you’re under no doubt what the site does, or where to start looking for what you want. The design is positive and happy. A consistent contender for best website design. screenshot


The website sells icons, so it lets the icons rule, showing its wares from the first page.

The colours and typography are solid & strong, projecting a trustworthy brand while not getting in the way of the proposition. screenshot


“Why We Whisper – restoring our right to say it’s wrong” is a book about freedom of speech in the USA, written by Senator Jim DeMint and J. David Woodward, and has one of the best designed websites of this year.

The page design is a great example of pixel-saving in action, with very little complexity going into the page background, leaving room for large, clear typography. I love the flourished rules between the quotes.

If I have a couple of criticisms, the page doesn’t tell you up-front what it’s about.. relying on prior knowledge or even reading, which may be a lot to ask. Also, a lot of the text is red. Maybe it would be easier to read in black.

(Another very worthy simple & impacting book site is “Gangs of”, book by Ted Nace.) screenshot


The guy’s an illustrator, so his site has to:

  • Show his work
  • Be interesting and characterful

It does both these things really well, qualifying it as one of the best website designs of the year!

The graphic design is designed around Alex’s work, with intelligent typography and just enough pixels used to give the site background its tattered, rich vibe.

I love the way his portfolio page uses gradients to suggest the work in a print context. screenshot


Another icon maker, doing bigger, richer icons, so the the site showcases them bigger & richer.

Bold, flattish colour creates a strong first impression and still lets the product stand out. screenshot


Tony Yoo’s collection of recommended web resources is a great example of strong graphic elements balancing to make a site that’s bold and easy to use, and a great example of early “Web2.0” best website design.

Big text, simple nav, high usability, all wrapped in strong colour and finished off with nice graphical touches. screenshot


Another illustrator’s site (Kevin Cornell). What can I say about this that I didn’t say about Alex Dukal’s site?

It embodies the essence of Kevin’s style, and – if you look – does an excellent job of filling the space with content, needing almost no page furniture at all.

Count how many things on the page are both navigation and content. Everything has had the touch of the illustrator’s brush, so the site is just saturated with his talent. screenshot


Dan Cederholm’s personal wine review project provides a neat, cleanly-designed interface, featuring an intelligent colour scheme and fantastic simple logo.

Easy to use and fun to browse. This site strikes the balance just right.

It might be even better if the main content area were lightened, to distinguish it from the supporting content areas. screenshot


Oh so 2.0, but I just love it. You know what gets me every time? Acres of balanced white space, easy-read text and cute content graphics combining to tell a simple story. First-rate. screenshot

Note: This list is from 2007. Here’s my newer list of best web designs from 2010!

A few more…

Here’s a trio of nicely designed sites from Pro Web Design Alliance members. Check out Excavation New Jersey, Quality Web Design UK and Homes Staten Island.

Want to Design Like a Pro? Here’s How!

About the author

Ben Hunt

Ben has over 20 years' experience in web design and marketing, and is one of the most influential figures on the subject of effective web design. He has written a bunch of books and spoken at multiple conferences internationally. In 2015, Ben created Open-Source Marketing, which promises to turn the practice of marketing upside down.. Find out more at

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