25 Examples Of Clean, Effective And Beautiful Web Design

Lately I’ve been having conversations with several people about what is clean, effective and beautiful web design. Seems like I inspired a few of my professional and casual acquaintances to start their own blog from my post on the importance of building your personal brand.

I’m really glad to be motivating people and never have a problem answering questions. Since I had a few people ask me similar questions about what is great design, I thought I’d put some examples together. (Side note: this is yet another great reason why you should have a blog: you can “reply to all” in an open format, along with discussion and just relink to it in the future when the subject comes up again.)

I probably view more than 1,000 websites each week, so when something is unusually good it stands out from the clutter. The web is expanding an incredible amount daily – with both well designed and poorly designed sites. With such a tremendous amount of competition, standing out is a huge key to success.

Before viewing these examples, please check out my previous post on what defines a good small business website to get the background on my thoughts on strong design. The elements described in that post are certainly represented in many of the sites I’m about to share with you.

The examples below include sites that:

  • Are impeccably clean
  • Have personality
  • Stand out
  • Are extremely effective
  • Are well thought out and usable

Some of these are blogs, some of these are businesses, and some of these are web 2.0 services. The design you choose for your site depends upon what your goals are. However, in my mind, effective and clean design transcends the genre and purpose of your website and just involves keeping certain vital elements in mind, such as usability, function and purpose.

The point of this post was not to peg good design to one specific type of .com, I just wanted to share some sites that really stand out. Of course, good design is subjective, however as someone who spends much of my time seeing what resonates, I think I have developed some aesthetic sense for what works.

Hopefully these will give you a bit of inspiration on what you want your .com or blog to look like.

Here we go – I’m not going to editorialize these or write comments, I’m just going to present them – keep in mind the design, elements and interface on these sites you think works and make note of them for you when you develop your next .com:

25 samples of clean, effective and beautiful design – click each image to visit the site and see the design live


Ars Technica

Blog Herald

Chris Brogan

Chris G

Dosh Dosh

Zen Habits

Marketing FM


Noah Brier

Smashing Magazine


Read Write Web

Torrent Freak

Web businesses/services:



SEO Book

Van SEO Design

37 Signals

Wake Interactive

Expression Engine






Just a note: there are countless examples of great web design. I chose to showcase just a few I’m a fan of, but there certainly are a plethora more. Feel free to leave a comment and link us to some design work you think is ultra-effective, stands out and is otherwise exceptional.

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