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Professional Web Design Forums

Web design-related forums are a place where you interact with other designers, exchange ideas or discuss your first drafts. When you have a problem, you can post the issue, and then receive feedback on possible design or coding solutions from community members. This interaction is a great way to establish contacts and build relationships. Forums are used for networking and marketing purposes. They are practical places to solve problems and can serve as a form of social diversion. [Content Care Oct/13/2016]

What is a good forum? Link

As designers and developers1, we choose a forum depending on its ability to approach our needs. In best case the forum should be large enough, moderators should be cooperative and the posts should be responded quickly. There is nothing worse than posting a thread on a forum and no one replies to it.

In forums, users develop a reputation over time. The forum software can be used to track this. Some forums allow users to rate each other as well. Also, the more you participate and the more professional input you bring to the community, the more other members will recognize you and respect your opinion.

The quality of the community is reflected by the level and depth of responses from community members. How well the forum is run has a direct impact on our ability to use it. The forum needs good moderation and clear guidelines. Even the design of the forum plays a role in our decision to use it. After all, every forum has its own personality.

The diversity of content on forums is immense. Often, advice takes the form of Q&A-discussions, but it can also take the form of articles, and tutorials as well. Threaded discussions are a huge part of forums, but some forums have areas that operate differently — marketplaces are an example, or design showcases.

Wordpress2

Content Management Systems often have great forums for web designers. E.g. if you’re a WordPress user, you may frequent the WordPress Forums3. There you can pose installation questions, share your recent themes, extensions, modifications and plugins and ask for a help from the WordPress community4 in building a template.

The type of career path you’ve chosen may lead you to forums as well. If you’re a freelancer then you may frequent forums such as the Freelance Switch Forum.

While such types of forums are of use to a web designer, there are forums specifically designed for working web design professionals. We’ve compiled a list below. We’d like to hear your experiences with these or other web design forums.

Web Design Forums Link

Sitepoint Forum5
Sitepoint has a huge community of members, with over 250,000 members. It’s an excellent place to network, get programming tips, or practical business advice. There is a thriving marketplace where you can buy or sell websites and designs, among other things. Sitepoint’s forum is well managed and well maintained. It has a clean flexible layout and sets a high quality standard for web design forums.

image6

Designers Talk Forum7
This is an active forum with a clean design. It has a handful of sections dedicated to web design, coding, and others. This forum also has areas dedicated to graphic design and other disciplines related to web design. There are over 25,000 members in this community.

Designers Talk Forum8

Dynamic Drive Forum9
Dynamic Drive has a growing library of freely available code snippets and packaged solutions. Their forums are a popular place to discuss web design coding issues and solutions. Most of the sections in the forum are dedicated to coding topics related to web design. There is a Javascript section, and a CSS section, for example.

image10

Digital Point Forum11
This is a popular forum with a large user base, about half the size of Sitepoint. Its members are very active. Networking, conversations, advice, and more is thriving. It has sections on Design & Development, Search Engines, Business, Marketing, and others. It’s professionally managed and maintained. And has an active marketplace. The design is functional, though not remarkable.

Digital Point Forum12

Webmaster-Talk.com13
This forum is focused on those that run sites. Web design is a big part of running a site. So, there are plenty of sections on that topic. Also, you may find sections like Internet Marketing and Making Money Online interesting as well. This forum has over 50,000 members. It’s also active as well. The design is clean, and sections like the marketplace have unique designs as well.

image14

Kirupa.com15
“Kirupa.com is a site that aims to make designers better developers, and maybe even help developers become better designers.” The forum has over 100,000 members. It’s a web design forum that has a strong trend toward Flash and Gaming. It’s a fun forum with enthusiastic and active users.

Kirupa16

Dev Shed Forum17
This is a large community with over 200,000 members. It focuses on programming mostly, though it does cover general web design topics, and graphic design as well. It is an active community, with multiple posts, and replies every day. Site design is simple and bland.

Dev Shed Forum18

CodingForums19
This is an active forum focused on coding. Many of the languages covered are for web design. Under the Client Side section, there are topics on graphics and general web design issues as well. There are over 50,000 members and more than 5,000 active. The forum design is simple and usable.

image20

Ozzu Forum21
This forum covers web design and development topics. They also cover Graphics, Internet Marketing and more. It has over 30,000 members. The forums are active. They are well moderated and have been successfully running the forum for over 5 years.

Ozzu22

HTMLforum23
Website Design and Development are topics covered. It also covers Server Administration, Marketing, and Business topics. The design is a little bit distracting. This forum has over 30,000 members. The forums have regular active posts.

HTMLforum24

Webdevforums25
This forum is moderately active with over 25,000 members. There were quite a few posts without replies in important sections like Client & Server Side Scripting. There is more activity in Web Designs, HTML Reference, and CSS Section though. This forum covers many important areas of web design, though only some of the forum sections are active.

Webdevforums

Cre8asiteForums26
This forum presents a friendly and inviting environment. There are over 15,000 members. The forums are active, with numerous lengthy threads where many members showed themselves to be helpful. Numerous website topics are covered. The site has some sections not seen on every web design forum, like Law, Ethics, and Green issues.

Cre8asiteForums27

Webdesignerforum.co.uk28
If you’re looking to network with web designers from your area you may want to search for a forum that caters to your region. Webdesignerforum.co.uk is a forum from the United Kingdom. It has a little over 3,000 members. However, it’s extremely active for it’s size.

image29

Further forums Link

Since web design is a profession that touches on numerous skills, forums that are dedicated to areas such as graphic design may be helpful as well. Talkgraphic30 and Renderosity31 are dedicated to graphics design and have a large community willing to help you out; there are a number of subsections dedicated to specific software you are using to create your works.

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/05/designers-and-developers-no-longer-a-house-divided/
  2. 2 http://wordpress.org/support/
  3. 3 http://wordpress.org/support/
  4. 4 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/02/wordpress-community-offers-advice-beginners/
  5. 5 http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/
  6. 6 http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/
  7. 7 http://www.designerstalk.com/forums/
  8. 8 http://www.designerstalk.com/forums/
  9. 9 http://www.dynamicdrive.com/forums/
  10. 10 http://www.dynamicdrive.com/forums/
  11. 11 http://forums.digitalpoint.com/
  12. 12 http://forums.digitalpoint.com/
  13. 13 http://www.webmaster-talk.com/
  14. 14 http://www.webmaster-talk.com/
  15. 15 http://www.kirupa.com/forum/
  16. 16 http://www.kirupa.com/forum/
  17. 17 http://forums.devshed.com/web-design-27/
  18. 18 http://forums.devshed.com/web-design-27/
  19. 19 http://codingforums.com/
  20. 20 http://codingforums.com/
  21. 21 http://www.ozzu.com/
  22. 22 http://www.ozzu.com/
  23. 23 http://www.htmlforums.com/
  24. 24 http://www.htmlforums.com/
  25. 25 http://www.webdevforums.com/
  26. 26 http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/forums/
  27. 27 http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/forums/
  28. 28 http://www.webdesignerforum.co.uk/
  29. 29 http://www.webdesignerforum.co.uk/
  30. 30 http://www.talkgraphics.com/
  31. 31 http://www.renderosity.com/mod/forumpro/index.php

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Sean Hodge is the creative mind behind AiBURN, a weblog about design, creativity, inspiration and graphics.

  1. 1

    Nice, as always. Thanks! A lot of forums i didn’t know about there.

    4
  2. 2

    Rob Hawkes

    May 1, 2008 4:16 am

    I can vouch for Webdesignerforum.co.uk, it’s fairly small but it has an amazing community. I’ve been a member there for just over 2 months now and I will not be going back to larger forums that have too many egos.

    It’s a shame I can’t vote for it in the poll.

    -3
  3. 3

    Talk Freelance is one of the best!

    1
  4. 4

    I would like to recommend Accessify Forums for helping to create accessible sites.

    -1
  5. 5

    Those are good forum for Designer !!! Nice Work !!
    But can somebpdy tell me which is the best tutorial site for web designer from the way they think how to place everything in their and much more details than other tutorial ?

    2
  6. 6

    Jeff Andersen

    May 1, 2008 6:53 am

    Thanks a lot for featuring TalkFreelance.com, hope to see some of the knowledge of Smashing readers get carried over to our community! We’re in for a bunch of new changes over the next while, progressing as a bustling community with a wealth of knowledge to share. I actually had to double-take when I read Smashing and saw us there :)

    0
  7. 7

    Can you maybe, as a follow-up to this post, have a look at the best designed Forum software? I’m looking to install one for my site but most of them are pretty standard and not very visually appealing – there are a couple of interesting ones from this post but it would be a great round-up feature in the future.

    2
  8. 8

    MintPages is a decent forum. The fact that it’s private makes it special. Not very busy these days though.

    0
  9. 9

    Professional? Really? The average user age on TalkFreelance is probably around 15, DigitialPoint is filled with scammers and MFAers…

    Anyway, a spelling correction for you..”The site has some sections not scene>/strong> on every web design forum, like Law, Ethics, and …” should be ‘seen.

    0
  10. 10

    @Lucas – A post about Forum software is a good idea. I’ll look into it.

    @Chris – Thanks for the word choice correction.

    @Everybody – Thanks for leaving links and reviews on more forums. It’s great to hear about the forums Smashing readers are passionate about.

    0
  11. 11

    Thanks a lot. Was looking out for such places on google, but i guess i can surely trust whatever smashingmagazine recommends.

    Thanks guys

    0
  12. 12

    i guess qbn.com its not here because even though the guys are great artists all (or the 95%) are assholes
    they barely help you. every thing its about their egos and irony

    anywas they dont deserve it!

    1
  13. 13

    I visit Dynamic Drive quite often. The userbase there is very active. There are only about 10-20 people that actively participate but among them you can get any question related to Flash/ CSS/ HTML/Javascript/PHP answered. There are other sections that I don’t use too so I don’t know about those.

    Other, larger, busier forums are filled with people who think they know how to code for the web properly and are only perpetuating bad standards.

    That’s why I like DD.

    2
  14. 14

    most of the forums you linked are MORE related to SEO forums, design part is only a small part of that, we already know these forums. you would have mentioned FireworksGuru.com which is for Adobe Fireworks and related

    -1
  15. 15

    I know I’m going to sound like every other person above me mentioning a forum, but I feel that WebForumz.com should definitely be on that list. There’s over 13,000 members and the forums are incredibly active. Everyone is friendly and welcomed and the forum runs smoothly. There’s never spam to be found and it’s got a PR of 4, which is higher than some of the ones listed above.

    Edmund.

    0
  16. 16

    R.I.P. Dreamless.org!

    0
  17. 17

    this is a great list. once again, thumbs up to smashingmagazine. thanks.

    0
  18. 18

    Good post, as usual, guys! Thanks so much!

    0
  19. 19

    Matthew Magain

    May 1, 2008 5:45 pm

    Thanks for including SitePoint on your list, Sean! Our moderators work hard at creating a friendly and helpful community, so it’s nice to see someone recognizing that.

    0
  20. 20

    genelu.com

    May 1, 2008 5:56 pm

    Too many of the same forums … all with the same format. I think forums could work better than they do now and instead of addressing the design, how about the flow?

    0

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