How to Find Design Ideas for Your Website

How do you find design ideas for your website? Should you use templates for your website?

The first place you’ll want to look is at a few inspirational websites. We’ll start with Site Inspire.

You can view sites by style, type, subject or platform. Under styles you can select sites that have specific characteristics.

Another site for design inspiration is CSS Nectar. It’s an award site, but also great for inspiration.

You can view sites by style, type, subject or platform. Under styles you can select sites that have specific characteristics.

The next site we’ll look at is Awwwards, which has a rather unique spelling. It’s another awards site, but again, also great for inspiration.

You can view sites that are winners, nominees or by collections.

You can search by type or award, categories, tags if you’re looking for specific types of pages or areas, technology, colors used for the site and by country.

When you’re reviewing these sites you should be looking for aspects you like.

Sometimes we like the entire page design, but mostly it’s one section of the page, or it’s how text or photos is used on the page.

We normally do screenshots for reference rather than bookmark the pages because if the site is re-designed at any point you’ll no longer have the example.

Next you’ll want to do a search for best [whatever type of business] website design. This will bring up sites showcasing best website designs for the searched business.

So for example “best restaurant website design 2020” brings up several best of sites.

Let’s face it, these are subjective as to being the best, but the sites do provide lots of design examples.

The last option is to use templates. But we’d strongly recommend you only use the templates as a starting point and design your site from there.

If you’re not a designer or new to website design using a template is a good place to start. You not only have the desktop design, but responsive adjustments for tablet and mobile are usually part of it. But please change the template, don’t use it as it is.

Why, because if you do, your site will look like anyone else’s site using the same template. Elementor has 5 million plus installs, so a lot of people could use the same templates that are part of the page builder.

If you’re going to use templates, here’s a few places to get them

We’ll start with the free and agency starter sites for the Astra theme.

Download the free plugin from the WordPress repository and install. Under Appearance select Starter Templates to display the full list of templates you can use with the Astra theme.

You can choose to display specific types of templates or display all, just the free or just the agency.

If you’re interested in a larger selection you can purchase the Mini Agency Bundle here.

Next we’ll take a look at Envato Elements free and premium templates. These templates only work with the Elementor page builder. So if you’re using Beaver Builder, Brizy or some other page builder these are not for you.

You can download and install the free plugin from the WordPress repository. Once installed select elements to display the full list of templates.

Unlike Astra premium sites these templates can be used by any theme as they are completely built within Elementor. However, they do not have headers or footers, so you will need to create those using your themes header and footer builder or if you’re using Elementor Pro you can use Elementors theme builder.

You can preview any of the templates by clicking the preview button. This will display all the pages in the template kit or any of the pages full size. You can view how the page will display on tablet and mobile devices. You’ll need to download the kit within Elements before you can install on your site.

You can then import any of the pages to use on the site. The pages marked pro can only be installed if you have an Envato Elements subscription. Envato also offers premium template kits, which you have access to with the subscription.

In addition to full page templates you’ll have access to free blocks.

The Envato Elements subscription gives you way more than just the templates. You’ ll have access to stock photos and videos, fonts, music and sound effects, graphic templates, some WordPress plugins and more. Here’s where you can get a subscription to Envato Elements.

Finally there are the Elementor page templates and blocks.

The free templates are for single pages and not full websites. You can get the free version of Elementor here.

If you’ve purchased the Pro version of Elementor you have access to the templates with the Pro label. You can get the Pro version here.

Many of the Pro templates are part of a kit that contain several pages that make up a website. You’ll install the pages individually, like Envato Elements.

You can preview the page template and if you like the template, simply click Insert to add to the page.

You also have access to blocks, which are sections you can add to your pages. You can select from the dropdown the type of block you’re looking for and once you find it you can add it to the page.

If you have Astra starter sites or Envato Elements installed, or both you’ll also have access to the templates directly inside the Elementor page builder.

We’ve just scratched the surface of where you can find design ideas. There are thousands of sites sharing what they consider some of the best designed sites and millions of templates from all types of resources. All of these great starting places for your next website project.