Web design has become one of the largest online fields with thousands of people pitting their designs against those of others every day. While the field is still young and growing, there are few designers who are recognized by all and have stood the test of time as their designs prevail over all others. Today, I want to share fifty must-read resources if you want to get started on the path of creating incredible web designs. Remember, beautiful designs aren’t made overnight – this is a process that takes time and practice. Don’t give up – instead, read on and find either a website, article, tutorial, or just some inspiration to help you take yourself and your business to the next level.
A lot of times, there are just a few sites out there in which every article is a must-read to learn more about web design. I’ve compiled ten of my favorite resources that I read every day to get my fill of design news, resources, tutorials, articles, and practices. Most of these you have probably heard of – some may be new – but either way, all ten of these sites deserve your visits and you deserve to read their articles. So dive on in!
- Smashing Magazine – A site devoted to compiling resources for designers, Smashing Magazine is a great place to stay on top of the latest web design trends and news.
- Noupe – Noupe is a web developer’s paradise of resources.
- David Airey – An incredible designer, and a resourceful blogger, David Airey is a great place to learn about design, designers, and web design. That’s a lot of design!
- You The Designer – YTD has been in my RSS reader for quite some time now – this information is simply too valuable to miss out on. Get a taste for the articles below:
- WPCandy – WPCandy is a site all about WordPress, WordPress themes, and WordPress news. This resource is for all you WP developers out there!
- Fuel Your Creativity – An overall great resource for design in general, Fuel Your Creativity has an amazing and inspiring web design section that must be checked out.
- WP Designer – WP Designer has been the starting point for many web designers and developers out there, including myself, so don’t pass up this incredible resource of knowledge.
- Just Creative Design – JCD is another one of my favorite resources for web design articles and inspiration. Read a couple of articles and you’ll be hooked.
- Fadtastic – Fadtastic is a web design trends journal that goes all-out and in-depth with web design.
- A List Apart – Put quite simply by ALA, “For People Who Make Websites.”
- Web Designer Wall – A beautifully designed website with some beautifully written articles, you can’t go wrong with WDW.
- Net Tuts – If you’re a web designer or developer and you haven’t heard of Net Tuts, you probably shouldn’t call yourself a web designer or developer. Enough said.
- Tracey Grady – My deepest apologies to Tracy, with whom I mixed up a link. Check out this incredible article: 10 Seamless Website Designs
I’m a big fan of inspiration – from CSS galleries to news feeds, inspiration is everywhere and is never lacking in numbers. Here are ten inspirational websites to help you with your web design process and ability. I am no advocate of copying or replicating a website design, however there is nothing wrong with putting your own twist on someone’s work. So be a true designer – get creative!
- CSS Remix – A fresh blend of the best designed web 2.0 websites.
- Unmatched Style – Unmatched Style offers the ability to browse their designs by certain tags making it easier than ever to find what you’re looking for.
- Kreativuse – A relatively new site, Kreativuse offers a regularly updated inspiration section along with several articles linking to great posts from around the design world.
- Design Flavr – Design Flavr is a great place to read design-related articles while at the same browse through their inspirational site gallery.
- Web Creme – A clean site dedicated to showcasing the best of the web.
- Best Web Gallery – A CSS gallery with so many sites you’ll get lost in a matter of minutes. This is the place to come for endless inspiration.
- Screen Fluent – With over 7,000 submissions, Screen Fluent is another place to lose yourself in the inspiration.
- Screenalicious – Sporting almost 10,000 submissions, Screenalicious offers endless web design inspiration.
- Full Single – The front page of Full Single offers a lone preview of one web design. To see dozens more incredible designs, just browse through the archives.
- We Love WP – A CSS gallery that focuses on web designs running on the WordPress platform.
- I Love Typography – A fantastic website for typographical inspiration on the web.
- Fave Up – A user-driven website with inspirational sections on logos, business cards, and of course, web design.
- Professional, Clean Hosting Layout – How to design a simple, clean, and professional hosting website design.
- Making Your Own Portfolio Web Page – How to design a personal portfolio web design in Photoshop.
- Tutzor – Tutzor shows us how they redesigned their website with this well organized PS tutorial.
- Aqua Layout – A tutorial walking you through the process of designing a simple “aqua” style website.
- Design Studio Layout – This is a great resource to show you how to design a layout that a design studio may use.
- Real Estate Layout – As millions of real estate agents move online, it can never hurt to have the knowledge to design a real estate website.
- How To Slice A Web Design – A video tutorial walking you through the process of properly slicing and dicing a PSD image into usable web design images.
- Create A Sleek, High-End Web Design From Scratch – PSD Tuts shows us how to design a nice website design through this in-depth and thorough tutorial.
- From PSD To HTML, Building A Set Of Website Designs Step By Step – Net Tuts walks us through the coding portion of building a very professional looking web design.
- How To Create A 3D Shelf Element Similar To Dragon Interactive – PSD Tuts shows us how to create that sleek looking shelf element seen at Dragon Interactive’s website.
- 30 Most Inspirational Designer Web Designs
A post compiling 30 inspirational web designs from the designers themselves.
- 30 Most Inspirational Dark Web Designs
If 30 is the new 20, then dark is the new light. This post is a compilation of beautiful dark web designs.
- 30 Most Inspirational Light Web Designs
Here are 30 light web designs to get you inspired.
- What Does Your Website Say About You?
David Airey shows you what your website is really saying about you.
- Free Design Templates
Smashing Magazine brings us a collection of free design templates.
- 35 Designers x 5 Questions
What happens when you ask 35 designers 5 questions? 175 quality responses.
- 50 Designers x 6 Questions
The second installment of designing questions brings more practical web-design related questions to the table.
- 10 Designer’s Checkpoints To Be Aware Of
Our last article from Smashing Magazine brings you 10 checkpoints that all designers should keep in mind.
- Footer Design Showcase
A fantastic collection of inspirational and creative website footers from around the web.
- What Everybody Ought To Know About Usability And Web Design
A great article explaining the importance of usability in website designs.
- A Design Is Finished When…23 Pro Designers’ Opinions
How do you know when a web design is finished? Here’s what 23 professionals have to say.
- 30 Websites To Follow If You’re Into Web Development
If you’re this deep into the article, one would assume that you are into web development. If so, here are 30 sites you should follow.
- 20 Blog Designs That Stand Out
Want to stand out among millions of sites online? See how others are doing it and how you can too.
- 9 Common Reasons A Website Is Not Drawing Visitors
Having trouble getting visitors onto your site? Perhaps one of these 9 reasons can explain your troubles.
- 20 Useful Tools To Make Web Development More Efficient
In the fast paced online world, time is money. So learn how to save time and earn more money!
- 5 Excuses For Discrimination In Web Development
Are you discriminating against your visitors? It’s time to find out and right your wrongs.
- 3 Key Prerequisites Required To Succeed As A Designer
We all want to succeed, but many designers lack these elements of success. Do you have them?
- Seven Reasons You Shouldn’t Charge By The Hour
Are you charging your clients by the hour? If so, you may be hurting your business and your wallet.
- 11 Ways To Gain Exposure As A Web Designer
A fantastic post designed to guide you through the process of gaining exposure as a professional designer.
- 53 Steps To Follow If You Want To Become A Freelance Web Designer
A list of 53 logical steps to making it as a freelance web designer and developer.
It can be great to read the articles and browse CSS galleries for inspiration, but none of that will do you any good if you can’t design in the first place! Here are ten tutorials to get you started creating beautiful website designs. Remember, it’s all about the journey – not the destination. Just because a final product of one of these tutorials doesn’t interest you doesn’t mean the tutorial is worthless. Complete each tutorial step by step and you will walk away from the process knowing so many new techniques and styles that you’ll be able to start designing your own websites.
Articles are the bread and butter of this post. I want to show you all some articles that will truly help you take your designs to the next level. From inspiration posts to guides, any of these articles can, and will, help you with the creative process of website design.
Got something I missed? Drop a comment and let me know!