Whether you’re creating a completely new website or refreshing an existing one, at some point your web designer is going to ask what you want the website to look like. What style? What colors? What logo, photos, or other elements?
Sometimes when I ask that question, clients give me a blank stare. Which I totally understand, because web design isn’t everyone’s thing.
Your web designer will typically talk through some options with you to try and better understand the look and feel you want for your site, but sometimes it’s also helpful to show examples of sites you really like or even sites you don’t like.
Always keep your audience in mind, though. An art gallery website is going to look different than an accountant’s website. They’re dramatically different industries, and sharing information with dramatically different clients. So while you may personally love a specific design, it’s important to consider whether or not it really works for your business.
Here are a few online resources where you can browse web designs and help narrow your preferences before you meet with a web designer.
This site updates daily with new web designs from around the world. If scrolling through lots of different web designs seems a little overwhelming, you can filter the results in multiple ways.
- Website type – Corporate, ecommerce, blog, event, etc.
- Web design colors – That one’s pretty self-explanatory.
- Industry – Architecture, education, health, law, tech, and much more.
- Styles – Big photo, clean, minimalist, modern, retro, and more.
This site allows you to filter by style (animation, bold, clean, elegant, etc.). If you want to narrow results by color, industry, or genre, there’s a convenient search box to explore your options.
They also showcase some specific designers and collections of websites for further inspiration, or you can browse WordPress themes filtered by style and industry.
Bēhance is an online portfolio site for creative professionals, so it includes a wide range of design inspiration. The link above will take you directly to a filter for website design ideas, but feel free to look around at other design ideas as well. You never know where you (or your web designer) might draw inspiration from.
For sites designed on WordPress, there are lots of theme options available. You can select a specific theme and have your web designer customize from there to fit your business, or you can point to certain elements that you like from different themes and ask if they can create something in between.
With WordPress themes, you also have the option of taking the DIY route, although you may run into some challenges with customizing certain aspects of your site.