What’s up guys?, it’s time for a new countdown that we’re sure more than one of you will enjoy. This post is dedicated to all the WordPress fans out there, we have joined together an extended list with over 100 WordPress-powered websites that feature some of the most eye-catching designs on the web. The list will also include BuddyPress-powered sites, which as most of you probably know, consists in an open source WordPress plugin that can turn your site into a fully working social network.
Clean and minimal
There’s been a strong tendency during the past few years toward making cleaner and simpler WordPress interfaces, focusing on content and creating empty spaces. This style can be approached from different perspectives (not only white websites can be considered clean) with the common denominator of having well structured interfaces, elegant fonts and great use of empty spaces.
To classify a site as minimal, you’ll have to consider different aspects such as proportion between empty spaces and content, amount of colors, number of columns and more key aspects that define the style. But there is not a single clean category but actually a few subcategories that can help you categorize a design with higher accuracy, let’s see which ones they are.
Clean by structure
When a site does not have a white prevalence in its interface and fonts are not necessary simplistic but still features a well-organized structure, with everything properly distributed in columns, which are little by the way, we can say that we’re talking about clean by structure sites.
As you can see on this example, the Academic Commons of The City University of New York, a site designed to support faculty initiatives and build community through the use of technology in teaching and learning, features a three column system where all the information is carefully organized, so despite of not having an abundance of white, the site clearly features a clean interface.
Eco living is a place for people to connect and swap ideas. Focused on the environment, health and wellbeing, gardening, cooking and much more.
Kodingen is a cloud development environment, code editor, hosting service, database administration program, and collaboration platform. It includes web based access to file systems and web based FTP and SVN.
Spotify is one of the best ways to enjoy music. Simply download and install, before you know it you’ll be singing along to the genre, artist or song of your choice. The service is currently operating in Europe and looking forward to reach the US.
Explore Speedo is a heavily modified WordPress site that uses custom built plugins, plugins from the community, and PHP tricks to deliver a brand experience for Speedo’s existing and potential customers. The site features technology sections, weekly swim related news, and more.
Clean by color
On this subcategory we find those websites that even when they have less organized interfaces make a clever use of color to generate a sober and elegant vibe. These sites certainly take advantage of color to create eye-friendly websites that can easily be considered as clean; the main colors that you’re going to find on this site are white, grayscale tones, blue, black and pastel colors.
Solo Practice University® is one of the best web-based educational and professional networking community for solo lawyers and law students. By staring at its design, you can notice how the site uses blue, white and grayscale to generate a sober interface that despite of having different elements distributed throughout the site remains clean and elegant.
Plazaa is an useful website where users can recommend to their friends the best restaurants, bars and cafes in Germany, something very useful for those who are planning to visit the country.
On this website you’re going to find all the information regarding fitness and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the site presents a well-designed interface and structure.
The popular site for SURFER Magazine features a wide variety of content, ranging from videos and photos to articles and surf forecasts. It is a great example of a magazine using WordPress as a CMS to deliver both a web version of its traditional content and new content for the web.
The Harvard Gazette is Harvard’s official newspaper, highlighting faculty research, administrative staff, students and events that might interest everyone who’s remotely interested in becoming part of Harvard’s circle.
Clark, the first French magazine about new lifestyle cultures (graphics, art, fashion, music…) was created in February 2001 by guys from this scene. The site uses a highly customized theme and is integrated with Prestashop to power the online store.
This category reunites all those websites that present all the main features of the clean style with a simple and elegant look that organizes the information using different hierarchies and spaces to highlight the main aspects of the company. These websites have usually less elements than the rest as they concentrate on promoting the company and not babbling around.
Beautiful minimal design, the site of this four generation business dedicated to the art of building beautiful dovecotes features a lovely and clean design powered by WordPress, definitely one of the classiest and most attractive sites on the list.
Code for America helps city governments become more transparent, connected and efficient. The site has a visually-appealing and easy to navigate website powered entirely by WordPress, besides, the project has gained notability and has some major sponsors and advisers.
GigaOM Pro was created to address the gap that exists in real-time expert industry analysis on emerging technology markets. The site is focused on four initial verticals: Mobile, Green IT, Infrastructure, and the Connected Consumer. If you observe the main page you will see a lot of white and SansSerif fonts as well as a basic 2 column system, classic from corporative webpages.
This site gathers a group of graphic designers, artists and creative people around their passion for the field. The site features a great minimal design that plays a lot with magenta and white.
The site for Fauna & Flora International makes use of WordPress’ new post types and structure, as well as a variety of plugins to present a wide variety of content, ranging from text content to media.
GNOME is an international community dedicated to making great software that anyone can use, no matter the spoken language or whatever their technical or physical abilities. As part of their GNOME 3 release, the developers decided to build their website with WordPress and do a full redesign of the whole site.
WannaNetwork.com is an online real estate networking community created to help industry professionals expand their reach and enable business opportunities through social media.
ComeRecommended.com is a social networking site where interns and entry-level job candidates connect and learn from potential employers about best practices for today’s job search.
This site is all about watch-making, from the best artists to the latest trends. You can register to ask for a specific piece, submit your own ideas and stay up to date with the latest events.
Dot Kite is a professional company of entrepreneurs, designers, sociologists, engineers, artists and story tellers offering fresh, intelligent stories and innovative experiences through design. The site uses a highly customized theme, extended WP functions, AJAX data loading, and complex custom-built jQuery functions.
These sites can present all the features from the previous categories with the difference that they’re specially designed for blogs, which means that they’re usually 2 or 3 column systems with space for advertising, sliders, social boxes and more. Many of the most popular design blogs actually have a clean style e.g Smashing Magazine.
Start Something That Matters is the blog of TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie. In 2006, Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need.
Unstructure is an open discussion platform for business professionals, bloggers and contemporary thought leaders to discuss and debate action ideas that would aid the evolution of business.
A Brazilian social network destined to democratically create and build a public policy of digital culture, integrating citizens, government institutions, state companies, civil society and the market.
The Tufts Roundtable Commons is a social blogging community specifically created for Tufts University students, faculty, professors, alumni and staff.
Hosted by John Boardley, this website besides showcasing a beautiful design is a must-seen reference for graphic/web designers and just everyone that’s into typeface design.
Considered as a counterpart for the clean section, dark websites have one unique standard that identifies them, lots of dark colors, specially black. These websites are usually employed by videogames companies, corporations and sites that want to show a sober design without relying on white. Inside the dark category we can find some subcategories that we’re going to mention right now.
These websites have the trait of using tons of black and darker colors along with very vivid tones that generate a lot of contrast. This technique allows the designer to highlight the important information while maintaining a sober and elegant design, let’s see some websites that make use of this style.
hMAG is a high-end luxury magazine for the Hoboken, New Jersey market. The company provides quality articles and its main goal is to promote the town treasures. If you explore the whole site you will see how vivid colors such as cyan, yellow and magenta are used to highlight important elements of the site while the rest of the page features lots of black, grays and white.
Coming of Age is a free, interactive classroom resource featuring primary sources, artifact explorations, discussions, and activities for learning about the Holocaust.
A beautiful website that started as a project by Kelly DeLay who decided to shot a picture of the sky every day, trying to always display clouds on their photographs except for cloudless days.
Also known as Andre the Giant Has a Posse, this site features a street art project and phenomenology experiment by artist and skateboarder Shepard Fairey, you can find posters, stickers and more.
Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1978, Timberline Lodge is one of Oregon’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing more than two million visitors every year. Considered an architectural wonder, it’s still being used for its original intent, a magnificent ski lodge and mountain retreat for all to enjoy.
Leeds City College used WordPress used to power its site and also create a course catalog that contains more than 2,000 courses, it has become one of the most influential colleges in UK.
A creative agency focused on delivering top quality products, ranging from video to editorial products. The site presents a catchy design that combines a black & white color palette with some green touches.
This style applies to all the dark-styled websites that don’t make use of color to generate contrast but instead of that rely on the composition to stand out the important content. These sites usually don’t have more than a few gray scales along with lots of black and white.
KB24 is the official website of the famous NBA player, Kobe Bryant. The site includes the latest news about Kobe, online store for anyone who wants to have his limited edition gears and products on shop.
KevJumba is the personal website of Kevin Wu, famous for his YouTube channel “KevJumba”. The website has a blog section, a community, and also sells merchandise.
Virgin Media Pioneers is a UK website that aims to connect young entrepreneurs with established business experts. Their purpose is to clear the gap between young people with great ideas and the people who can help them make things happen.
ScenePR is a media, arts, and entertainment network. The company started in 2004 as a small gathering of filmmakers that has since grown into 5000+ members from the art, film, fashion, music, social/digital media industry.
Site for the world-class saxophonist James Carter where fans can find audio excerpts from his latest work, a biographical video, and discography. Jamescarterlive.com demonstrates the flexibility of WordPress in how a very artistic, non-blog, site can be developed on the platform.
Bowers & Wilkins is a British loudspeaker company that produces reference quality hi-fi and home theater speakers. Its WordPress-powered website features a lovely combination of SansSerif fonts and minimalism.
Many sites are characterized for presenting a single color throughout the entire site in different intensities and hues. These sites are similar to clean pages though the fact that they have a color different to white and/or black painting the entire interface makes them worth of having their own category. Usually the reason to employ monochromatic themes is to generate a specific vibe by taking advantage of the psychology of color, green for hope, white for peace, etc.
This site is as a destination where Volkswagen enthusiasts can enjoy exchanging their stories, pictures and videos of passion for VW, its products and its philosophy, their leaderboard is probably the nicest section of the page due its use of BuddyPress. As you can see on the site, there’s a permanent presence of Blue throughout the site, which clearly demonstrates how monochrome sites look like.
Tasty Kitchen is a lovely website where people can learn and share their own recipes (every day new recipes are added), you can make your search based on ingredients, flavors and more. This site has a general presence of orange throughout the whole site, which makes it suitable for this category.
Flokka gives you a platform to promote both you and your business, develop new client relationships, make business alliances, and to give and receive referrals, support and encouragement.
Ancestry 24 is South Africa’s Premier Genealogy and Ancestry Web Site. It is South Africa’s most extensive ancestral and genealogical database.
Gameful is an online community for game developers and users who share their interests and knowledge on a wide variety of games that they believe will make them smarter, happier, creative and better problem-solvers. Gameful categorizes their games into Life-changing, Reality-changing, Game-changing and World-changing.
Awesome BuddyPress-powered website built around the most famous sport in the world, you can share your opinions, vote polls and more.
Although the original meaning of this word was strictly related to wines, vintage has become a broader term that makes reference to an old tendency that finds its way back into the market, becoming trendy once again. Most of vintage designs make reference to the first decades of the 20th century, taking all the aspects that were trendy during those periods. In web design, vintage grabs key elements of previous decades such as color, typefaces and composition to create new design elements that look trendy and yet old school.
Vintage by color
These sites have the feature of using old, desaturated palettes to emulate the vintage look without having to actually use the other elements from this style. The colors that you’ll usually find on these sites range between brown and yellow, cyan and off-white.
Ride Oregon integrates WordPress and BuddyPress to showcase mountain biking trails, road rides, and cycling events around the state. In addition, it allows people to save rides they want to do and mark rides they’ve done so others can contact them about the ride.
Bitsy is a BuddyPress based site featuring different business services, IT, web and development, sales and marketing, design and media, writing and translation, and other services such as engineering, fashion and weddings.
The first horizontally-oriented website on the list, the site for graphic design agency Octavio Designs does not only features a distinct navigation but also makes a great use of retro elements and a beautiful color palette.
No Depression uses WordPress to power the entire issue history for its popular magazine. The developers used the Carrington theme framework to easily create custom page types, archive views and article views.
Bi-Rite is a neighborhood market feeding our community with love, passion, and integrity. The site uses WordPress to power their website and feature a wide variety of content, ranging from information on market features to news and contact information.
Sofa Stop is a social community of backpackers and travelers. They give assistance to their members by helping them find a place to stay during their journeys.
Nourish Network is a place where members talk about how to maintain a comfortable weight and healthy body, and how to eat more sustainably or even how to enjoy cooking.
Created in 2007 by Nick La, WebDesignerWall is one of the best references to find the latest design trends, tutorials, articles and more. The site recently revamped its interface and since then has received many positive reviews.
SmashingApps is one of those design blogs that you must always keep within your bookmarks, it constantly delivers useful design resources, articles, reviews and more.
Jane Monheit is an actively touring jazz and adult contemporary vocalist represented by Concord Records. Jane’s website uses WordPress as a content management system to combine text, music, photos, and more.
Vintage by typography
On this category we find those websites that no matter if they’re using or not vintage colors, they manage to emulate the style by using retro fonts through the whole or at least an important part of site. These fonts are usually handwritten and Serif fonts such as Times New Roman.
We Heart This is a major and well executed implementation of BuddyPress and WordPress. It also features a bbPress forum and a wide variety of original content to discover new things every day.
Startup Weekend is a place that under a 54 hour premise builds communities, companies and projects. The site itself is a community of developers, business managers, start-up enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more.
Creative blog ‘Feature Me’ collectively celebrates new up and coming artists and designers. This WordPress-powered site makes a thoughtful use of clean spaces, color and typefaces, definitely a very unique website.
Bloginity.com focuses on entertainment news content and is updated between 50 and 75 times daily. This content covers a wide range of entertainment while focusing on the hottest trends and breaking news.
Lafayette College’s well-designed, easy to navigate and WordPress-powered website uses a variety of plugins and custom code to handle a wide range of content, from static content to photo galleries and more.
This section gathers those websites that not only have vintage elements on their interfaces but actually the whole site has a retro style that makes it look absolutely vintage. Finding these kind of websites is not easy as most of vintage-like websites have influence from modern tendencies.
HeyPapaLegend Studios features a group of specialists in composition, sound design and recording with a refreshing blend of youth & experience, the website uses WordPress as a CMS, along with sound, video, and a unique implementation of AJAX to showcase the company’s work.
Kate Rusby is a major singer in the UK, known as The Barnsley Nightingale, she has headlined various British national folk festivals, and is regarded as one of the most famous English folk singers of contemporary times. She has a well-designed website featuring a variety of content powered by WordPress.
Chez Pim is one of the world’s most popular food bloggers who has appeared as a guest on Top Chef, Iron Chef, Martha Stewart, The Food Network, Food & Wine Magazine, Bon Appétit, the New York Times, and many other popular media outlets. Her WordPress-powered website is one of the most beautiful around and features both fonts and colors in vintage style.
Inksie is a brand, online community, and a shop in one. They sell mostly t-shirts designed by veterans and newbies in the design business. Their shop has well-designed products by designers from around the world. This site could be placed in either one of the vintage subcategories as it has both old-school fonts and vintage colors.
In addition of being a well-known singer-songwriter, the site for Ryan Adams and PAX•AM Records features a unique design and layout. The site uses a wide variety of jQuery-based functionality, including a “heads-up” navigation console designed to look like the game controls. Additionally, it uses a variety of plugins to extend WordPress core functionality.
The official site for the band Morcheeba features one of the best designs on the list thanks to an excellent color management, great typefaces and of course, everything supported by the mighty WordPress.
These are the themes that use all of some the design elements that are popular at the moment of their creation. Currently the tendency marks that vivid colors, overlapping elements, photographs and SansSerif fonts are some of the elements that identify a modern web design. You can also consider certain design techniques such as pixel-perfect and textures usage.
On this category we find those websites that despite of having an organized structure, they managed to generate some chaos by playing with the structure, mixing colors and adding dirt textures that make the site look old-fashioned and yet 100 % modern. This style is particularly popular in music websites.
Ooizit is a UK-based social network for new music enthusiasts and a platform for discovering new bands. The site offers tips for aspiring musical artists, event information and free music downloads!. As you can see on the background, this site makes a lot of use of grunge textures and different color combinations.
Operation HQ aims to give New Zealand residents all the info about the Defense Force and its three services: Navy, Army and Air Force. It also demonstrates how their existing interests and skills may be relevant to careers in the three services.
Food Network Humor is a website that pokes fun on the Food Network’s hosts and shows. You can register to be a member, upload photos, write comments and connect with other members. This site made it to the Grunge category not only for using dirt backgrounds but for making clutter look like an actual diagramming system.
This site cares about helping software developers, testers and IT professionals to surpass difficulties. The site aims to provide an unfiltered platform to help them discuss their views with peers and experts, stay up to date on the latest trends, talk about and advance their careers, learn how to improve the quality of their software and share the problems that matter most to them.
Despite of not being written in English, we could realize that the site is dedicated to advertisement, the important thing is that the site features a really attractive design that speaks for itself.
The personal portfolio of web designer Dhiraj Singh Karki. The site features a very clean interface characterized by the use of red and white throughout the entire site.
This style is a combination of previous categories as it takes the cleanliness from the first examples and combines it with some grunge textures and experimentation. These are the most popular blog designs along with clean and you can find them by tons; to identify when a WP-powered can fit into this category, just check that is made for blogging purposes and does not fit in any other subcategory.
The bestselling book Freakonomics sold 3 million copies worldwide and the blog, which was started by co-authors Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt in 2005, is meant to keep the conversation going. On their WordPress-powered site you will find a great reference of good web design.
Culture 360 aims to stimulate cultural engagements between Asia and Europe. It’s a social platform that promotes discussion and reflection on the connection between Asia and Europe through arts and culture.
The official PlayStation blog for the United States. Through a simple and attractive interface along with useful contents, the site is one of the top-voted on the official WordPress page.
Esse Community is an online community that connects users worldwide. The site allows professionals, entrepreneurs and/or technicians to connect with their peers anywhere on the globe. A library of articles is also available related to different topics open to all users.
Fisherbook is a magazine-style social network created by Marco Rossi and dedicated to Italian fly fishing, you can register for free and start enjoying its contents.
Indie threads is an awesome community for t-shirt fans, it focus in bringing together t-shirt companies and their fans, the BuddyPress support makes it even better.
Blogatize is a social network website where bloggers can meet each other and share their experiences, the site also offers a ready-made blog for registered users.
The Streamy Awards site is an unique implementation of WordPress as a content management system and employs top and side bar navigation, multiple categories of blog styles and cufon across the site
Similar to the previous section, this subcategory features all those websites that present some features from different categories of the list, making them an unique mixture that is yet a beautiful design style. These sites have usually plenty of empty spaces and well-distributed information to easily communicate the company’s message.
Aqua Hotels and Resorts uses WordPress to power a beautifully-designed website with a lovely color palette and easy navigation, definitely one of the best sites on the list in terms of graphic design.
BetterCodes is a community build and oriented toward software developers that helps people can connect with other software developers from all over the world and share thoughts, ideas, and information.
BungoBox is an awesome site for those who are planning moving out, the company offers sturdy and secure, reusable plastic containers right to your door when you need them. You just fill them up with your stuff and move. Then you call BungoBox once you’ve unpacked and are ready to have the containers picked up from your new place.
Wijmo is a website that gathers dozens of jQuery UI widgets, some of them quite complex but still powerful and highly customizable widgets used to create web applications including grid, charts and menus.
Conquer the World with Love is an online community site that focuses on promoting mentally, physically, and emotionally change. Their projects and programs are categorized in three main sections: Love Myself, Love Others and Love Earth.
EIT is a tertiary education institute in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. EIT showcases the custom content type features of WordPress 3.0, leveraging more than 6 custom content types, 1400 individual posts/pages/content types and countless amounts of post meta.
Network Solutions is one of the world’s largest domain registrars and uses WordPress to power a vast majority of its “about” site. Customers around the world trust Network Solutions to manage more than 7 million domains, over 1.5 million e-mailboxes and more than 350K Web sites.
Chwisgi is all about whisky. The site itself is an open social community where every one can read, review and talk about the famous Scottish drink.
EnergyHub is a venture-backed startup developing systems that reduce home energy consumption and save consumers money. The site makes a great combination of thoughtful design and WordPress.
Pavilion Interactive is the digital/social media/web 2.0 arm of OLM Group that focuses on social media, interactive communications and tools to help people make better decisions.
Nivea Soares is a well-known gospel singer in Brazil. Her entire website, including a photo gallery, blog, and schedule is powered by WordPress and features one of the nicest designs on the list.
The Darker Side of Green is a heavily customized WordPress installation centered around the Lexus CT 200h. The site features a large amount of audio and video content, a showroom with information on the car, event information, and more.
This category could be either in here or in the Clean section, but we decided to leave it here because Clean already has plenty of subcategories. Modern clean makes reference to those sites that make use of most elements of the clean style while utilizing some of the most recognizable elements of modern design such as pixel-perfect elements, high contrast and more.
The official University of Toronto site for their alumni. The site works as a communication channel where alumni from all generations can share and stay in touch with their relatives.
Irrational Games is an award-winning video game developer. They use both WordPress and BuddyPress for their site. They also have a community with a blog and a forum.
The Vancouver Contention Centre’s official website features one of the most beautiful designs on the list, easy to navigate and rich in useful content, definitely a great use of WordPress as a CMS.
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is a high-profile figure and her site uses WordPress to provide information on her foundation, her role as Ambassador for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as a variety of galleries and images.
ShareMyPlaylists.com is a social network where members can share their Spotify playlists with friends and discover new music by browsing other people’s playlists.
An awesome design website that showcases the best of minimalism in web design, the site itself is a great example of minimalism that without being forced of reducing its color palette reflects a clean and eye-catching theme.
And therefore we have reached the end of this post, we hope you’ve found these WordPress and BuddyPress sites inspirational enough to encourage you to create a WP site of your own or prettify the one that you already have. If you liked this post, please leave us a comment with your opinions and suggestion to improve our job, we will be really thankful for that.