By Carl Heaton on

Hello and welcome back to another post of mine. This time wanna focus my attention on the web design beginner that just made the first little baby steps in the mysterious world of HTML-CSS-PHP coding and that would love create a simple, attractive website but they’re worried that this might require a lot of time other than a deep knowledge of the Html language.

Having a visually stunning website with lots of things moving on it isn’t a synonim of coolness (coolness intended as easy to browse and pleasant for the eyes).

VLog.it

This Vlog website is very nice, coloured and eye-catching, but slow to browse and somewhat confusing cause if you miss the click, another website will open up instead of the one you wanted. 10 marks for the concept but you’ll visit it once or twice to show it to friend and that’s it.

Personally, I tend to prefer the minimalist design. Few colours, few bells & whistles but where all works and where, even if you keep your design simple, you can still catch the attention of your visitors. And trust me….black and white, if used in the right way, can pretty much kill any colour-enhanced design. Even as a web design beginner, it’s not about the quantity of stuff you fill your site with, but the quality and passion you put into a design, even if it’s a basic one.

And this is what I wanna talk bout’ today: I’ll go through a list of 10 nice, clean, minimal websites that I’ve checked out lately and that even a web designer beginner can recreate with a CMS like WordPress, the help of some plugins (for the sliders,etc unless the chosen theme features these as part of the package) and patience, a lot of patience.

 

It’s time to take a look then!

 

1. Second & Park

Second And Park

Second And Park it’s the online portfolio mantained by content strategist and writer Tiffani Jones Brown wants. I love the way it look with this blue-white-black minimalist theme and, despite the information is sparse around the user area, i’m still able to split the screen into several section in a blink of an eye. A big header with shiny white text and at the opposite a cute form followed by a sugarish blue footer.

I’ve checked the source-code and, as supposed, runs under WordPress and uses the 960 Grid system. As a web design beginner, it’s not difficult to recreate as one might expect.

 

 

2. Sofa

Sofa

http://www.madebysofa.com

At first looks very minimalist as design, but as soon as u start clicking around a lot of stuff pops up, expecially those four beautifully coloured icons in the “products” area, definitely breathtaking.

Shame that Sofa, the company behind the design isn’t active anymore as they were acquired by Facebook in 2011. Their career started in 2006 but as they mention on the website “our products live on”…and i’m sure of that.

Technically speaking, both Ajax and JQuery are used there in the source code and for what i can see the fonts in use are the “cheap” Brandon Grotesque Regular, Bold, & Light.

And if you’re still staring at those coloured icons…have a look here

3. Maurice Naef

Maurice Naef

http://mauricenaef.ch

Another porfolio but different owner, this time we have Maurice Naef. Predominance of gray tones for this WordPress based site, clean structure and a hi-quality photo of himself on the ‘about’ page are part of those aspects that make look the website professional and clean by keeping the area free. Infact an example is the “service” link that goes straight to the point in terms of content. Nice footer with a little slider on the bottom left computer icon that makes it more “alive”. The font used is called “Kameron” and it’s a Google font while the theme is a custom one. So you see, another WP website.

 

4. James Chambers

James Chambers

and once clicked on the menu ‘The Gesundheit Radio”…

James Chambers

http://jameschambers.co.uk

With its really minimalist design it’s probably what i would define a “starting point” for every web design beginner.

The thing is that, even if the images are put there as they are without any shadow or some special CSS trickery…still looks clean as design. Personally i like that clickin’ on the images, the linked page is open toward the top and not toward the bottom as one would think. This one runs under Cargo but easy replicable with WP.

5.Bolster

Bolster

Bolster

Bolster it’s a visual studio, focused on high-end photography and cutting edge design, based in Antwerpen.

The website is fresh, coloured and clean, definitely another good source of inspiration for those that spend a lot of time thinkin’ how their site/portfolio should look. I love the design of the ‘about’ page that you can see above here (that’s an example of when a mix of fun and irony at work give always the best results). The white tones gives that sense of purity, clean, and makes you focus on the photos at first and then on the text. And also…keep an eye on the company logo. Isn’t superdetailed and reminds me the squareish look of those 80’s videogames and that’s the point, it’s one of those little logos that gets stuck in your head. A selling point i’ll say.

I’ve tried to spot on which platform is running but doesn’t look like WP.

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6. Alastaire Allday

Copywriter Alastaire

Copywriter Alastaire

Copywriter Alastaire

http://allday.cc/

Copywriter Alastaire Allday speaks on his portfolio website about his skills and the love for his job. Minimal B&W design ,big clear photos that don’t need further comments. I like the bottom navbar and the fonts used there (Jura Bold/Italic/BoldItalic &Regular), same as the idea, in the ‘about me’ section, to keep all the links vertically on the extreme right. And guess what?

Yes, WordPress again. It uses also the Contact Form 7 plugin (http://contactform7.com) which is what Carl wanted to use on the SchoolsInBangkok website that will be launched later next year.

7.Tim Bjørn

web design beginner

web design beginner

http://madebytim.com/

Tim Bjørn, based in Copenhagen – Denmark, it’s a graphic designer-illustrator fueled by talent that started his career without any formal education. Took him 4 years to switch to “solo” mode and work in his own studio.

As he describes himself, his style is cool but not warm, respectful, simple.

Even his website could be a good source of inspiration for a web design beginner that wants to stay “minimal” but still able to express themselves at their best. Was about to check if runs on WP but, ironically, the website is down….

8. Bianca Elmer

web design beginner

web design beginner

http://www.biancaelmer.de/

And now for something “strong” but still minimal and compact….Bianca Elmer.

The first thing that catches my attention on this WordPress portfolio site is the pulsing cube on the right. Isn’t very 2011ish the way it looks, very squarish but still…my eyes are on it, hypnotized. Same as other blogs we have seen earlier, the photos didn’t went through any editing (corners,etc). Cause the content is so beautiful that all the attention span is focused on it. The artwork for “The Realism Question” is an example of what i’ve mentioned at the beginning in terms of “B&W Vs Colour”. The shadows on the blue/white cover, the back cover design, the placements of photos and the font/text placement really make the difference. If the photos were coloured, i think that Bianca wouldn’t have achieved the same result. And the list of projects and experience she gained so far speaks by itself. As i mentioned before, the website runs on WordPress and uses a custom theme. But still, it’s WP as expected.

 

 

9. Ribbons Of Red

web design beginner

http://ribbonsofred.com/

ROR it’s a beautiful award-winning boutique design studio specialized in creating websites, print pieces and logos.

The first thing that jumps to my attention, even before the big slideshow with hi-quality photos that dominates the part of the page, is of course the prevalence of the red tone, starting from the cute ribbon logo at the top all the way down through the page (check the slider, you can notice the long red strip that goes through the b/w photos).

More inspiring for a girl web design beginner than for a guy in my opinion…

The font used there is called Jillsville and it looks so nice on the navbar with that nice background pattern and as you might imagine….it runs on WP. Easy to spot that since it’s mentioned on their FAQs page 🙂

 

 

10. PostMachina

web design beginner

web design beginner

As soon as i saw this website, the first thing that i thought has been AUTECHRE, cause the color scheme and the design remind me a lot the artworks for their albums, website and merchandising. The team behind the dutch agency Postmachina did a really good job. The website features my favorite mix: gray oriented color scheme & minimal design…while the font in use it’s an Helvetica Neue. The navigation system is placed on the leftNot sure if runs on WordPress, but still looks very simple to create under WP even for a web design beginner.

 

And that’s it…we reached #10!

But let me suggest you some more links that are worth a visit

I was supposed to post this article earlier but i’ve spent a lot of time checkin’ those links cause they’re really cool…

http://giangnguyendesign.com/

http://www.routalempi.fi/

http://www.lecoqsportif.com

http://neverbland.com/

http://www.brandberry.nl/

http://shopshoeguru.com/

http://benhulse.com

http://www.dsemotion.com/

http://getfinch.com/

http://www.chamainc.com/

http://www.markwieman.com/

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carl68

About The Author

Carl

He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.

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