Narrowing the choices down on the best websites of 2018 isn’t easy. There are dozens of good examples of well-designed sites and successful startups. A company’s website is the face the business presents to the world. Implement features into your own design by studying the best of the best.
We’ve looked at all the factors in building an excellent website and narrowed the choices down to the top 14 best websites 2018.
The use of color increases brand recognition by 80 percent, but the colors must reflect the overall goals and personality of the brand. Urban Decay uses bright pops of purple, which reflect the high pigmentation of their products. The images change with the season, making the colors timely to whatever the current seasonal colors are.
2. Essentially Geared Wine Co.
Out of the best websites of 2018, a number feature background videos. Essentially Geared Wine Co. uses video to show people in everyday activities with their canned wines in tow. The people smile as they ride bikes, climb mountains and hike the great outdoors.
Online video makes up about 74 percent of all online traffic. The number rises each year, with some experts predicting even more increases in the future. Video is a tool that gives brands another way to engage with site visitors.
The year 2018 was a year of bright, vivid color and designs that grabbed the eye. You probably noticed brands using more neon color choices and vivid blues and reds. Adobe is an excellent example of the vibrant color schemes making their way into designs. Note the bright blue with a hint of green that fills most of the background on this page. The other elements are kept simple, with a slightly faded image of a woman and white letters.
4. Nate Denton Design
Nate Denton Design brings in several popular elements from recent years, including a big, vivid image that fills most of the background and large typography that draws the eye. The overall design of the site is relatively simple, with limited choices for navigation.
Lemonade makes the list of best websites in 2018 because of its use of cutting-edge technology to drive conversions. The site utilized Conversational User Interface (CUI) and gathers information efficiently, providing a fast quote for insurance. The site is easily navigated, and a chatbot talks you through every step of the process. The use of current technology makes this site easy to use and an excellent example of forward-thinking design.
6. IGK Hair
IGK Hair puts mobile searches first, which results in a simple design meant to pair perfectly with smaller screens. Note the simple design with a broad background image and hamburger menu.
2018 is a year when Google instituted a mobile-first index that does impact your site’s results in search engines. With the number of people using mobile devices for internet access and Google looking at how mobile-ready your site is, designs like IGK Hair’s make sense for the future of web design.
7. Touring Bird
In recent months, illustrations began showing up on numerous websites. Note how Touring Bird stands out from their competition with the use of illustrations instead of photographs of destinations. We love the grid design of this site and the illustrated backgrounds of major cities along with characters participating in activities the towns are known for, such as biking in Amsterdam or riding a double-decker bus in Toronto.
8. Airbnb China
Airbnb China has a site called “Less Is More” where they use illustrations that look like wall hangings to invite site visitors to stay in China. The artwork is beautiful in itself, and the site also includes a QR code so that users can scan the code and get information on places to stay.
9. The Lost Avocado
The Lost Avocado makes the list of best websites of 2018 because of its streamlined layout and simple navigational structure. A slider features the latest lifestyle and travel information, but if you need additional info, it’s a click away with categories such as “Travel,” “Food” and “Lifestyle.”
Another feature of this site that makes it one of the better ones of the year is that it’s updated frequently. An engaging website is one where content changes often enough to keep users engaged.
10. Alpine Modern Cafe
The clean, simple lines of Alpine Modern Cafe’s design pull site visitors in. What we love about this site is the way they present information up front, so it’s easy to find. Note how the locations show an image of the place and complete details at a glance, including address, directions, phone number and hours of operation.
11. Mikiya Kobayashi
Mikiya Kobayashi is a product designer who uses an online portfolio design and showcases his best work. In the past, his site has won Site of the Day from Awwwards and today serves as a vivid example of the types of designs he’s capable of. The photos are all the same size and aligned in a grid pattern without lines separating the images, so one flows into another.
When it comes to e-commerce sites, Mixbook is a favorite with a singular focus of getting people to try out their service. Note the call to action button that grabs the user’s eye and the slider, which shows some examples of the types of projects users created through the site. They also offer a discount immediately for your first order and a satisfaction guarantee. All these elements instill trust in consumers and make them more likely to try Mixbook.
Molekule shows what their product does with text and video from the moment the user lands on their page. The product purifies the air, so using green tones that signify nature and health is a smart choice in color schemes. The site is simple, with a focus on the product and educating the public about the product.
14. The Black Sheep Agency
The Black Sheep Agency creates an interactive site that keeps the user scrolling. Unique illustrations and animated text introduce the site visitor to the home page. An arrow indicates that the user should scroll down. Words highlight as you scroll down, information pops up via bubbles, and the entire experience is interactive in a variety of ways.
Best Websites of 2018
This list of the best websites 2018 above shows just a handful of some of the most exciting designs currently out there. There are millions of small businesses around the world, so you can study brands within your industry and learn from their successes and failures — not to copy what they do but to expand on trends and come up with something exciting that speaks just of your brand. The best website is a site that works well for your customers and converts visitors into fans.