You might be a great designer by birth but if you don’t follow what’s new or what other good designers are doing, you will soon become legacy. On one hand, there is really a lot of useful information to read, watch, and listen. On the other hand, with so much information it’s easy to get lost. In order to avoid this, you need to read only quality stuff.
I bet every one of you has his or her favorite design blogs. Most likely these are good blogs that provide useful, accurate, and timely information.
I too have my favorite design blogs and in this article I will share some of them with you. I have also included some blogs I personally don’t like that much but that are good and can be useful to you.
The blogs on the list are not strictly for Web designers. Rather, they cover Web development, SEO, usability, and marketing as well but since real life demands all these skills and the content these blogs publish is usually better than the content you will find on blogs that are targeted at Web design only, it makes sense to read them. Now, here is the list of these top 11 web design blogs:
It’s not very modest to start with us but honestly, Syntaxxx is worth reading. :)This is a new blog and it doesn’t have (yet) the huge following of older and larger sites but its content is good and useful. The blog is not specialized in design only – it covers Web development, mobile, SEO, marketing, and business as well.
They publish about 5 or more articles a day across various channels, so there is lots to read. Additionally, they frequently run different contests were winners get top design/development products for free.
Off all the blogs on the list, Hongkiat is the most design-centered one. With an Alexa ranking of about, 1,000-1,200, it’s still a pretty high ranking site. Similarly to SitePoint and the other leading sites, they also publish multiple articles a day, so if you check regularly, there is a lot to read.
As I mentioned, Hongkiat is aimed mainly at designers (not only Web but also graphic design and sometimes interior or industrial design). Two of the things I like especially about it are the cool inspiration section, as well as the resource articles.
Mashable is the highest ranking site of all on the list – its Alexa ranking is mindblowing (around 200!) and this is certainly a very popular site. However, I need to clarify that this is not a design site. It’s a general site that covers tech, business, entertainment, world & US news but it has a strong design section in the Tech category that beats many tech/design-only sites.
In my opinion Mashable is great but to be honest, it is not very useful for everyday design tasks because it has no resources or tutorials. However, for following the big picture in design and for fresh design news and opinion pieces it’s a valuable read.
5. Smashing Magazine
With an Alexa ranking of around 700, Smashing Magazine is definitely the leader among design blogs. I bet part of their popularity is due to their Job Board, so if you are looking for a job, not only for design articles, this site is a good match for you.
Tuts+ is an Envato site and it is also among the highest ranking tech/design sites. This is a great blog to read, if you are into tutorials. In addition to tutorials, they also have courses and (some) eBooks but these aren’t free.
Tuts+ offer tutorials on many topics – from design and illustration, to coding, Web design, music and audio, photography, 3D & animation. They also have computer skills tuts, as well as game development, business and crafts & DIY tutorials. Still, the accent is on design and similar subjects and this is why Tuts+ is included on the list.
7. CSS Tricks
Don’t be mislead by the name! CSS Tricks goes way beyond CSS. Probably initially the site was a niche one and it centered around CSS only but today it offers not only CSS resources. The site has tons of articles but it also has other valuable resources for designers, such as forums or video screencasts.
SpeckyBoy is another good site for designers and Web pros in general. More or less, it covers all standard Web topics. However, what the site is especially known for are its great list articles, its news roundups, and the useful premium resources for free. It has tutorials and opinion pieces, as well as more analytical pieces about design trends as well.
9. Six Revisions
In the past these guys used to be more popular and publish content more frequently but they still rock. Of course, the competition from new blogs takes its toll and it is not easy to keep pace. Nevertheless, Six Revisions offers good reads about anything related to Web design and Development. Their freebies section is worth noting, though you can’t say it’s very rich or frequently updated.
10. 1st Web Designer
The same story here – an old blog that used to be better in the past but that still rocks today. 1st Web Designer is best known for its great list articles. Its tutorials are also cool. Additionally, I personally like their freelance/business articles because after all this is also information a (freelance) designer/developer needs.
Noupe is yet another blog past its prime but still useful. Years ago, this used to be one of the highest ranking and most reputable sites about Web design. They still do rank well but much lower than what they used to. Noupe had a very unfortunate site redesign in the past and I think lots of readers withdrew as a result of this. Aside from the controversial makeover, the contents is pretty good – great articles and useful resources. What more can a designer want?
As with any list article, I don’t claim the list here is the ultimate truth. In fact, I can think of at least a dozen more sites and blogs that are also a good read. However, I believe most designers are busy people and don’t have the time to read dozens of blogs daily, I tried to narrow down the list to the ones I think are really useful. Additionally, I have the feeling I have missed a good one but simply this is what I could think of. So, I apologize if your favorite blogs are not on the list – this doesn’t mean they are bad and if they give you valuable information and resources, of course you should continue reading them.