50 Beautiful CSS-Based Web-Designs in 2006

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2006 was rich on creative, beautiful and unusual design concepts. We’ve seen a lot of whitespace, many examples of readable and usable text-design, badges, stars, rounded corners, shapes, gradients, mirror and 3D-effects – just name it. Let’s take a close look at some of the most beautiful designs we’ve seen in 2006. Links checked: May/29 2008 – 5 outdated designs deleted.

Vibrant Designs

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SteveLeggat.com

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Emotionslive.co.uk

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Dinis91.com

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Joyent.com

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Haveamint.com

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Vivabit.com

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olivier.danchin.neuf.fr

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Foxie.ru

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Cameronmoll.com/portfolio

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Tonyyoo.com/v2

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Komodomedia.com

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Bartelme.at

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Quatuour.be

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Onlinecenter.nu

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Fall.tnvacation.com

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Zero.ru

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Methodarts.com

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Summer.tnvacation.com

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Icebrrg.com

Dark Designs

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Kineda.com

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Colourmod.com

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Rikcat.com

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BeSuperCharged.com

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Veerle.duoh.com

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Obuweb.com

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Slideshowpro.net

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Whitwa.net

Light Designs

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Mstefan.com

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Subdued.net

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Devlounge.net

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Theologisches-seminar-elstal.de

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Nice-Design.co.uk

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Media2006

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ElectricPulp.com

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SusannePaschke.de

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PixelEden.net

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Jek2k.com

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Morellc.com

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Attitudedesign.co.uk

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CSS Vault

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Evaneckard.com

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WallopCreative.com

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Jeffcroft.com

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops and loves solving complex problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    Some fine looking websites here, but also a nice illustration that “CSS-based” means nothing when applied to semantically incorrect markup. Some of these sites are even plain inaccessible.

    -5
  2. 2

    Great stuff!

    3
  3. 3

    Impressive!

    It’s nice to see what we can do with CSS + XHTML but, surely, we need to have in mind that a semantic markup is VERY important to a successful site.

    0
  4. 4

    Beautiful and crazy

    -1
  5. 5

    Very impressive list. But I would like to suggest one more site to this list which is missing here. With your permission:

    N.Design Studio – very beautiful work!

    Cheers!

    -1
  6. 6

    Thanks for featuring Devlounge, great list!

    -3
  7. 7

    Very cool!

    -1
  8. 8

    Super nice work, well done :)

    -3
  9. 9

    Wow. Thanks for the inspiring list.

    -2
  10. 10

    Not to be a party pooper, but http://foxie.ru/ looks like a table-based mess to me. Or perhaps I don’t understand the rules for inclusion on this list :)

    -1
  11. 11

    Real beauty. Very inspiring. Thanks for the list.

    -1
  12. 12

    Great list, will add to My Ma.gnolia bookmarks

    0
  13. 13

    What an inspiring list! Awesome.

    -1
  14. 14

    Nice sites!

    -1
  15. 15

    Wow Beautiful!!!

    -1
  16. 16

    wonderfull list!
    thankyou for mentioning my blog – the correct url would be http://www.mstefan.com/blog/ by the way ;)

    -1
  17. 17

    All these sites look eerily the same. I like clean gradients and tabs as much as the next guy, but the shit has to stop. It’s like the 45 degree angle thing during late 1999-2000. (Damn you 2Advanced!) There is nothing impressive about rehashing the same crap over and over. CSS+XHTML does not mean you site needs to look like a trendy web 2.0 logo.

    I’m not saying these are not good sites, because most of them are, but good design should look good 10 years later, and these will not. They are part of trend, like low-rise pants and bug-eye glasses. So take off you Von Dutch hat and think up some new ideas.

    1
  18. 18

    Indeed great collections man…

    -1
  19. 19

    Yeah, I think http://www.ndesign-studio.com is beautiful and Nick is great CSS designer.

    -1
  20. 20

    great list… with many differents styles..
    2006 was a goodYear..

    -2
  21. 21

    Nice work! I got lost in the list for hours…

    -1
  22. 22

    Thanks for the screenshot, but you got the URL wrong – its Nice-Design.co.uk

    -1
  23. 23

    Bullshit. Why is it always LOOKS over USABILITY?

    I mean there are hundreds of sites that “look nice” but are extremely difficult and tedious to use. Small text, radical colors and contrast, usage of Flash, required scrolling, useless images, too limited effective area without scaling support, non-standard solutions (= difficult to interpret what is a link/button) etc.

    The list goes on and on but yet many people deem such sites as incredible.

    6
  24. 24

    Great list, all very beautiful!

    0
  25. 25

    This site is absolutely knackered in IE7. It doesn’t matter what the browser is, you have to cater for them all. So don’t come trying to tell me what’s good when you obviously can’t build one yourself…

    And if I see one more page centered css site with a graphic popped on top of the page I am going to SCREAM.

    0
  26. 26

    take off “http://foxie.ru/” of the list it’s made out of tables!

    0
  27. 27

    What about mattbango.com, oh wait, rikcat.com stole his design and then gets the credit.

    0
  28. 28

    Great collection. I always enjoy seeing different examples of CSS goodness! The art on those sites is nice as well.

    0
  29. 29

    Really impressive designs! This list is another great resource for inspiration!

    Thanks!

    0
  30. 30

    David,

    I believe that ‘CSS-based’ merely differentiates between the CSS and Flash wars that went down a few years back. For example, the gorgeous http://www.ampedesports.com/ uses CSS for 99% of layouts but still includes a bit of flash and html (tables) here and there, so I’m not sure… should it be allowed?

    -1
  31. 31

    Woooooow!

    This sites are really very pleasant for the eye!

    Great 4 inspiration!!

    0
  32. 32

    designs are really nice
    but how would i know because your CSS on
    this site is messed up

    -1
  33. 33

    This all looks like some WordPress themes. Very generic and derivative stuff.

    -1
  34. 34

    Ironic- how screwed up this page is nd they are recognizing good web site design…………….
    Not working the way they want in IE6 nor IE7

    -1
  35. 35

    2006 has been a great year for CSS-based website. Congratulations to all and great compilation!

    -1
  36. 36

    designs are really nice
    but how would i know because your CSS on
    this site is messed up

    Looks fine in firefox. Stop using ie7 and use a real browser, fool!

    0
  37. 37

    Wow what that ! Please respect the standard ! IE7 is more standard as FF ! But the result suck ! And check your JS too :-)

    undefined values :-(

    Else a nice idea :-)

    See you !

    -2
  38. 38

    Some of these sites are plain inaccessible :(
    They aren’t fully css-based

    0
  39. 39

    Good selection… nice webpages.

    -1
  40. 40

    Great list. Some there I think I would put after some others. Thanks for the compilation!

    0
  41. 41

    Mediocre. All sites have the same layout, all they changed are the images.

    1
  42. 42

    90% have the same aesthetic. Pretty Boring.

    0
  43. 43

    inspiring list here.

    i wish all of the sites were still the same, but some of them were changed. that makes the snapshots worthy.

    0
  44. 44

    fun list but makes me think more of illustrator skills than css skills.

    1
  45. 45

    Those are some amazing designs. Surprisingly, there were even some designs that I would use over my current one. I wonder if anyone reads these comments, eh?

    -1
  46. 46

    your google adsense ads are in violation of their terms of service, you can’t place pix next to them.

    -2
  47. 47

    Just noticed that my home page needed correcting. Cheers, Dan.

    -1
  48. 48

    Cool works!

    -1
  49. 49

    I just relaunched my online portfolio, maybe you like it enough to put it on your list? anyway, i would be glad to hear the user opinions on the usability of my site. just post your comments in my kontakt-sektion. (in the moment the site is only german, sorry)

    -1
  50. 50

    David Carrero Fdez-Baillo

    December 21, 2006 4:50 pm

    that’s good design ;-)

    note: Ahh you must kill the attach image for google adsense code, the new style don’t permit this from google :(

    -1
  51. 51

    Very impressive list. Mit den Websites kann man sich wochenlang beschäftigen :-) Michael

    -1
  52. 52

    Hell Yeah!!!

    amazing!!
    in css we the trust!!

    -1
  53. 53

    I agree with Russell about overuse of tabs and gradiants in 2006. I’m guilty of this as well. I have a feeling that in a few years we’ll look back and laugh that all our websites looked the same.

    -1
  54. 54

    Thank you for including my website in it… but I will be fair play : my website is no CSS based… it’s full flash… sorry.
    Nice selection anyway.

    -1
  55. 55

    Sorry, but banyoles ist rather average design. What’s good on this? The CSS-Code? *shrug*

    0
  56. 56

    Hi I’m interesting in CSS but I’m not so good :(
    I need a professional help :’(
    I want to be ” CSS guru “

    -1
  57. 57
  58. 58

    This is a site that I’m putting up for contention http://surfcore.co.uk which use an advanced recipe of XHTML, CSS, java script and transparent png’s.

    I hope you like…

    0
  59. 59

    Really smashing and nice designs. Do you sell these templates? :)

    0
  60. 60

    A good post for web designers.These templates looks very nice.

    0
  61. 61

    Yes, these designs are really useful to find new ideas and concepts. Thanks.

    0
  62. 62

    Inspired by the gorgeous examples above, my blog got a facelift too! http://ilkeryoldas.blogspot.com

    0
  63. 63

    WoW! This is great! Wonderful source of inspiration.

    0
  64. 64

    Thanks for the list. It’s a nice compilation!

    0
  65. 65

    too many beaty for 1 post

    0
  66. 66

    Wonderfull.Thanks

    0
  67. 67

    thank for this beauteful cites. css is a very good thing. you can do many things by it.

    0
  68. 68

    Great list. Keep up the good work!

    0
  69. 69

    Nice list! Really like the ones that do not look like every other wordpress blog.

    0
  70. 70

    All the images are broken! I wanted to share this link with my readers, can you fix it?

    0
  71. 71

    Nice list. You have excellent taste.

    0
  72. 72

    Cool list!!!!!!!

    0
  73. 73

    Can’t see the screenshots!
    Is your image server down?

    0
  74. 74

    veeeeery nice collection… splendid!

    0
  75. 75

    good,i like some…not all

    0
  76. 76

    Thanks for the awesome review! So good to find a site with all the thumbnails of the sites and not just a list.

    0
  77. 77

    Iam a webdesigner from india, i never expected this much of talent in the and cretivity peoples having, iam stunned see these websites, really amaging websites, cool colors and great combinations.

    1
  78. 78

    beautiful, beautiful, beautiful AMAZING!! I´m depressed now – thx

    0
  79. 79

    Beautiful sites maybe but not css based. Well this is in respect of one site anyway. The foxie.ru site is just images – placed in tables. It doesn’t even have alt tags. Waste of time and effort. It breaks if you try to make the images larger to read the text. The text is all images.

    To put it bluntly I can’t say it is beautiful or css based. So one out of your 50 is not really what you say it is!

    Rich

    2
  80. 80

    tomasio,

    Banyoles.cat is a web of an administration and I believe that his design is impeccable if we it assimilate to others.

    0
  81. 81

    when i see this websites i am become a friend of css and i try to make this type website by Css really it is super

    Regards
    rupesh

    0
  82. 82

    wow, these are so amazing and colorful! I love CSS.

    0
  83. 83

    All good stuff

    0
  84. 84

    Outstanding :)

    0
  85. 85

    seems good design but please don’t forget, there are a lot of people have bad connection speed! now i’m still research how to make beautiful design with so low of KB loaded just see my site on yodi.web.ugm.ac.id that’s my research so far

    0
  86. 86

    Nice collection.I like some of them.but yes some are just plain images.Still lots of things to learn.

    0
  87. 87

    Thanks for this very good article … I use this to my home work to school … Can I translate this with all comments and insert on my site? … Thanks

    0
  88. 88

    good.
    Very good page
    Thanks.

    0
  89. 89

    A nice selection of Websites. some great desgigns. Just shows what is possible!

    0
  90. 90

    Impressive list of designs. Some design techniques are very interesting. I´m very glad that i found this site. I´m looking forward for the 50 beautiful css based web designs in 2007!

    0
  91. 91

    This site is truly a great resource thanks for all your hard work

    0
  92. 92

    Sehr inspirierende Seite mit vielen frischen Links – freue mich hier zu sein :)

    0
  93. 93

    richard from flobb

    March 16, 2007 2:53 am

    A fantastic source of inspiration for us all. I personally am a big fan of CSS

    0
  94. 94

    Giovambattista Fazioli

    March 16, 2007 10:26 pm

    Amazing!!

    0
  95. 95

    Hi I thank you for a wonderful site. You have done very good job.

    0
  96. 96

    very interesting design , clean , neat ,
    my prejudice against css sites has vanished (some css sites are very basic)

    0
  97. 97

    I’d just like to thank you for taking the time to create this internet website. It has been extremely helpful

    0
  98. 98

    Beautiful list :)
    good work

    0
  99. 99

    Seguro que estos diseños me motivan :D

    0
  100. 100

    romanians again :P there are a few good designers here…

    0
  101. 101

    It’s very great!

    3
  102. 102

    First class designs and sites – there really is no excuse for using tables these days!

    3
  103. 103

    They are really nice, photoshop and css they both perfect.

    -1
  104. 104

    Une grande partie de ces design sont magnifique, mais il y en a qui n’y ont pas vraiment leurs places… Il existe sur le web vraiment plus beau que cela en design XHTML/CSS.
    En tout cas, merci pour la liste, qui peut etre une excellente source d’inspiration…

    -5
  105. 105

    The sites shown here are visually appealing. The use of css to handle the layout, graphics, backgrounds, links is very well handled. The only issue is the css over takes the message and clouds the content. Sometimes simplicity can speak volumes. Our initial designs for our firms site looked very similar to all the ones shown here. Is that a coincidence. I don’t think so. The web-designer was referencing these sites for layout ideas. I think that is common amongst many designers these days. There is so much out there that looks fantastic, that one feels the urge to do it themself. Most web 2.0 sites look the same. I think we can all agree on that.

    -1
  106. 106

    Great list, all very Sexy and informative!

    -2
  107. 107

    Nice list! Similar gallery is also here.

    -1
  108. 108

    Great , i shocked by desinging list. Very informative

    -3
  109. 109

    It only took me 4 months to find this. Very nice work, thank you.
    all the best, jon

    -3
  110. 110

    mind-boggling list! truly an inspiration! thanks for putting this up!

    -2
  111. 111

    erika Rodriguez

    April 29, 2007 1:23 am

    hi! can you say me, where i can buy your magazine.
    I live in Puebla, mexico.

    i dont’ know if you sell your magazine in my country.
    it’s very interesting.

    thank you

    -1
  112. 112

    This is going to give me some great ideas. Thanks for your work.
    How’d you come across these sites anyways?

    -2
  113. 113

    simply great stuff yar……………

    0
  114. 114

    johnthomasedison

    May 2, 2007 10:51 pm

    tnx for givng this fantastic listing. its really a great effort to pick the pearls from the sea……

    1
  115. 115

    Really great collection, keep it up

    3
  116. 116

    definetly wonderfull designs,
    i guess that “who are the designers of this websites ?”

    -2
  117. 117

    Very impressive list, especially I like “haveamint.com” you can almost feel the freshness.

    -3
  118. 118

    Gracias por la expocisión..muy inspiradora.

    -2
  119. 119

    Nice Page with interesting comments. useful to build a new site

    0
  120. 120

    Great resource- however -

    where are e-commerce designs?? Sure these are all amazing but why hasn’t e-commerce embraced CSS based designs?

    Corporate are finally getting there (ESPN, Sprint etc) but still not so many big online retailers are using this.

    Someone please post links to these – as getting clients to invest in CSS based designs for e-commerce is still near impossible.

    -2
  121. 121

    best site of its kind :-)

    -1
  122. 122

    this video and movie site has a good css and ajax combination
    I hope you like it…
    link

    -1
  123. 123

    That’s a really great list. Thanks for sharing. Really like the vibrant designs collection. Rgds, Dave

    0
  124. 124

    so well-cssed sites!:)

    0
  125. 125

    Hi,wow thats a lot of links,it must took you forever!This is very interesting,i love your topics.you sound very educated when it comes to these kinds of things.Me,im just learning css and html,it can be very confusing!Keep at it.Feel free to leave me an e mail sometime:)

    0
  126. 126

    Awesome work and very inspirational (“,)

    0
  127. 127

    Amazing stuff here!

    -2
  128. 128

    That´s right , this site is 100% flash (http://olivier.danchin.neuf.fr/pages/home.htm)
    there is nothing to do with CSS ;
    by the looks of it the list needs revamping.;

    -2
  129. 129

    Crsistina Mailat

    June 29, 2007 5:53 pm

    Indeed a great list, a 2007 update will be great. I wish some of my websites to be in this list :D.

    -3
  130. 130

    Beautiful sites and compiling them like this makes for a useful inspirational reference, looking forward to 2007′s collection.

    Maybe a separate Web 2.0 collection of sites might also be on the cards??

    -2
  131. 131

    Great list ! Amazing. Komodio media is really cool :)

    -1
  132. 132

    Awesome list! My understanding of css is still in the baby stage, but hopefully I will gain enough experience to make websites as great as these!

    -1
  133. 133

    Thank you very much for this great list.
    I hope to get one day one of my websites in such a listing :P

    Pierre – From France

    -1
  134. 134

    very nice collection.. Thanks smashingmagazine :)

    -1
  135. 135

    Inspiring! A good material to learn from.

    -1
  136. 136

    wow!!! nice collection of CSS based websites. the best thing is that you will find this website on top position (keyword: css based websites)

    thanx great links

    0
  137. 137

    I will go home crying, these designs make my dreams worth nothing. Would you make a list for year 2007?
    Good post.

    -2
  138. 138

    Yeah, I feel like Robert, a new list (or an update of this one) would be really great ;)

    -1
  139. 139

    I like most of the designs, but there are no big commercial sites here. You should focus more on designs that have advertising on their sites so that we could get inspiration on how to set up a site with advertising too, it’s not easy.

    -2
  140. 140

    hi,

    It’s nice to see what we can do with CSS + XHTML but, surely, we need to have in mind that a semantic markup is VERY important to a successful site.

    -1
  141. 141

    Ok i like the designs, any chance of a real elegant one that i could use for free.

    Web design is not my thing but was asked to set up a website to help people who have been abused.

    I would love to know how you guys create such beautiful images, i know what i want but cant design it figred i am alcking the brains so i am going the cheeky route.

    Best wishes

    Kim

    0
  142. 142

    amaizing css, great..
    thanks for share

    -1
  143. 143

    Great list, some i never saw before!

    check out a new css gallery with very high selection standards

    -1
  144. 144

    Great web sites..

    -1
  145. 145

    Of course, I’m jealous that my visual and CSS skills are just not up to the job, but I find a lot of these sites visually confusing, samey and downright difficult to use. They look pretty, but I wouldn’t want to navigate them for any length of time.

    A lot of them don’t strike me as particularly accessible; lots of text rendered as images, for example.

    I guess it depends on how you define beauty – but I’d like to see a top 10 of accessible, usable sites.

    -1
  146. 146

    Nice collection, but I am not listed. ;)

    -1
  147. 147

    Great concept…

    An Artistic way of approach for a business promotion.
    No craps, An eyes to relax while surfing.
    Keep up the good work…

    Bee Dainsiderz
    DXB

    -1
  148. 148

    i’m intreasting in your theme,but i don’t know is the theme support chinese?your theme it nice,thank you

    -1
  149. 149

    Really great !

    -1
  150. 150

    Rajaraman ramanujam

    September 4, 2007 4:14 pm

    really a good things r here

    -1
  151. 151

    Great collection of quality designs!

    -1
  152. 152

    Found this article while searching for some design ideas. I like the design by Olivier. Simple design and affective use of white (purple) space.

    -1
  153. 153

    WoOo great list Sir, a great new source of inspiration for me, thanks ;)

    -1
  154. 154

    Great list, i’d wish i can create something like one of these..

    -1
  155. 155

    A great collection of sites! Nice Work

    -1
  156. 156

    They are all great but a few of them looked absolutely excellent to me and those are the ones that I am probably gonna use for my new upcoming small projects. Thanks very much.

    -1
  157. 157

    @im suden, you are totally right.

    Thats why i love watching this sites, but when it comes to work, i prefer Facebook – type usable sites…

    -2
  158. 158

    I think this material are very useful for new ideas. In Foxie and Kineda i found somethink new. Respect :)

    -2
  159. 159

    I`m happy, now website can be like a piece of art. There is some new design navigation ideas. Nice

    -1
  160. 160

    I wish our website looks as awesome as those you selected.
    Wonderful collection.
    Keeping back for more.

    -1
  161. 161

    Hey thank you so much for putting in all the effort to make this article. I show my clients this post all the time to help show them the possibilities of web design and what the current trend is out there. I have found this article extremely helpful and it has helped me recently land a new client. Thanks again!!!

    -1
  162. 162

    nice work, I have been playing around with Photoshop and learning.

    -3
  163. 163

    Ok, we talking about nice design here, webdesign, and without no doubt this is nice collection of well designed web sites.
    Unfortunately some of this sites are miscoded, some of them badly miscoded…
    I have feeling that visitors of smashingmagazine.com have strong sense for correctly written code, so I was surprised when I saw sites without doctype ;(

    4

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