Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

Top 10 Best Designed Blogs

Posted in Blogging,Computers & Technology,Graphics,How to Blog,Interface,Top 10,Web 2.0 by Elliott Back on April 16th, 2006.

When you’re looking for the next leader in web 2.0 blog design, Hicks starts to look a little too plain, Santa Maria wicked-worn out, and Zeldman like something you might print out, not read online. Where are the leaders of modern blog design?

The particular platform (WP, Moveable Type, Typepad, Handcoded) doesn’t matter. It’s what you do with it that counts. This isn’t about prettiest blog, or the best written blog. This is a list of the most groundbreaking, cutting edge blogs out there. You see these blogs and cry, because they’re creatures of fierce untameable beauty.

#1) Ordered List

Besides his Tiger Admin plugin for the WP administrative interface, Steve Smith’s blog invented the wide-horizontal look. Black, green, and blue, with bigger fonts than most blogs, it’s both plain and subtle at the same time. Check out the careful use of icons everywhere, tagging and related links, and comments. Because he uses more color than images, the pages are light and fast to load. They’re also very uncluttered.

10-best-sites-01-orderedlist.jpg

#2) Superfluous Banter

Dan Rubin’s blog flows sideways, left-to-right instead of up and down. The clever interlocking columns draw your attention to the comments on each post, and the date they were posted. He’s designed the official blogger template, used by millions of bloggers around the world, and invented a clever CSS button technique. While the two columns to the right are hard to read, their lack of strong contrast challenges the reader to explore them–but only when he has the time.

10-best-sites-02-superfluousbanter.jpg

#3) Odds and Ends

It’s true that a lot of photoblogs follow the one-photo format for their blogs, but Lim Zhi Xin’s has a stunning vertical format, excellent typography, and no-nonsense navigation. Every photo is detailed with descriptive text on the permanent page, and contains a technical description of the photograph and the equipment used to take it. His archives take the same style, showing the last few photos as thumbnails, with navigation in a thin bar to the left.

10-best-sites-03-oddsandends.jpg

#4) Joshua Ink

Although John says that being a webdesigner is “this hair brained scheme,” one look at his site tells us differently. Clearly he’s hit something right, with flowers cascading down all sides, elements of photoshop guidelines present on top of the design to highlight intellectual designer power, and a footer that wakes up when you poke it. While the use of white spaces could be improved, John will be a player in the blog-design category for a long time to come.

10-best-sites-04-joshuaink.jpg

#5) The Big Noob

Neubix Studios is a design firm of four, and addicted to the color blue. Their site takes the one-column layout to a new high, going from a wide, tall banner to a highlighted story, then breaking into three columns. However, there are nice graphical touches everywhere, from the portrait images to subtle shadowing. A random quote highlights the top, and links are scattered in the far right column. The length of the three-column section needs improvement, and the colors could be improved as you move from top to bottom. However, it’s a great source of inspiration in the little things it does well.

10-best-sites-05-thebignoob.jpg

#6) Avalonstar

Why don’t designers ever give their full names on their about pages? Bryan is actually Bryan Veloso. He loves 800×600, doesn’t like LinkedIN, and seems to favour fuzzy-blue. Check out what he’s worked on and you’ll be amazed. This is the next generation of designer, the guy that will work on web 3.0 applications before the web 2.0 craze is over.

10-best-sites-06-avalonstar.jpg

#7) Simple Bits

Dan Cederholm isn’t like the rest of the famous designers. His blog is fresh, modern, and continuously updated with new graphic design ideas. He redesigns incrementally, which means that his blog is always on the cutting edge. He’s worked with Google and ESPN. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me present Simplebits!

10-best-sites-07-simplebits.jpg

#8) Emotions by Mike

Mike is a freelance designer, and Emotions is his portfolio. It’s not a blog, but it easily could be. The green gradients, the three dimensional look of the header into the background, and the round shadows are graphic elements I haven’t seen elsewhere. If nothing else, this site should be unique and inspiring to you.

10-best-sites-08-emotions.jpg

#9) Jonathan Snook

Snook’s blog uses four columns in a combination of fixed and floating elements. You go to submit a comment, and no matter where you are, you can use the comment box in the third column. His style could be called severe because of its choice of green, grey, and white, but the shapes he uses to delineate sections more than make up for it. Even more, he can take on complicated Web 2.0 issues with a blink and a few keystrokes.

10-best-sites-09-snook.jpg

#10) Binary Bonsai

Famous for creating WordPress’ default theme, Michael Heilemann is the most famous designer in that circle, but is probably not well known on other platforms. His site is the definition of AJAX, from a javascript archives browser, to strange dynamic comments, to his very own livesearch. And, with little graphical pizzaz, it’s a great model for a minimalist design.

10-best-sites-10-binarybonsai.jpg

In conclusion, I believe that if you go check out these 10 blogs, you’ll find enough juicy design ideas to overfill your head. There’s enough inspiration in these 10 best-designed blogs to fuel web 3.0. And, if you think there’s some totally awesome blog that I’ve forgotten about, leave me a note in the comments.

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 16th, 2006 at 7:54 pm and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.

163 Responses to “Top 10 Best Designed Blogs”

  1. xaxaxa says:

    i think that web site is way way better www.buygreennseed.com

  2. Prakash says:

    Wow, that was a great collection. I really like this list of design blogs. But a little bit disappointment with the color contast on second blog in this list.

    Except that, others are well designed blog. Thx for sharing this list.

  3. Steve says:

    Nice picks. Suffusion is another nice easy theme for beginners. Friendly to work with and easy to look at.

  4. the sketch says:

    great collection…thanks a lot for sharing
    greetings from bremen!

  5. suroz says:

    I do not like the color combination on the second blog design.

  6. Trent says:

    Yep I would say most of those are very good designs but I don’t like them all. In my opinion, ordered list is the best of the 10 and joshua ink is the worst.

  7. krzysiek says:

    I don’t know why those blogs are ont he list. In web You can find loads of better than these.

  8. vladimir says:

    this list of blogs is ok, but I did see better than these, so I wouldn’t say that these are the ten best, maybe the ten wana be best blogs :)

  9. Rob says:

    I think your first two picks were excellent, but I don’t agree that the other ones qualify for a “best-designed” status.. sorry mate.

  10. Mike Burngasser says:

    Best designed blog I’ve seen so far:

    www.FourHourBlog.com

    It’s the blog of Tim Ferriss, Author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Four Hour Workweek (life changing book, BTW).

    Awesome Content + Good Looking Layout – Unnecessary **** = A Successful Blog

  11. Annette says:

    I have seen better looking blogs around the block.

  12. Zoomn says:

    wow that’s a great collection, i love the socks concept!

  13. I like most of the designs. Very clean and modern design.

  14. It all comes down to grabbing the attention of visitors and by giving them the content which interests them. I have a wordpress theme which is simple and hopefully answers some golf related themes my visitors would like to know.

    www.electricgolftrolley.net/golf-trolley-blog/

  15. Sika says:

    WooThemes creat great themes for worpdress, but most of them doesn't free (premium themes) but it is worth to pay.

  16. petra says:

    I saw a similar design which was done by Elizabeth de Villiers in London last year, but this is great. I'd like to implement it on my own pages, but can't quite work out where the bloggers are ending up – it's now a minefield of strange people who crawl out of the woodwork at 3am to type their life oddities after a couple of cans of beer and far, far too much spare time on their hands.

  17. Petra says:

    I saw a similar design which was done by Elizabeth de Villiers in London last year, but this is great. I'd like to implement it on my own pages, but can't quite work out where the bloggers are ending up – it's now a minefield of strange people who crawl out of the woodwork at 3am to type their life oddities after a couple of cans of beer and far, far too much spare time on their hands.

  18. aLAMI says:

    Sweetest Sunday,
    Marvellous Monday,
    Tasty Tuesday,
    Wonderful Wednesday,
    Thankful Thursday,
    Friendly Friday,
    Successful Saturday.
    Have a great Year.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR
    2009

    from : aLAMI

    allthebestsearchengines.blogspot.com
    caricatoz.blogspot.com
    simplygooglefromonepage.blogspot.com

  19. nwesource says:

    It seems as though web design is getting easier these days and soon enough it will be drag and drop web design! What other uses for a blog were you thinking?

  20. Designer says:

    Very nice, thanks

  21. z says:

    Really enjoyed this article, even thought it was published in 2006 and some of the sites have totally changed or take forever to load. Great examples of great blogs, well summarized.
    Please check this very simple blog, all about it's content – jointeffects.com – collection of great citizens journalism – original articles and movie links from the web – topics include economics, elections, politics, humor and technology.

  22. Anrew says:

    # 9 jonathan/ is the best, super

  23. Sika says:

    Hallo.
    Emotions by mike is nice. Theme www.investor.wroclaw.pl is simple and i think not bad. It’s also oryginal, i think. Theme with vader is also interesting.

  24. Very Nice Blog Design. Flower blog design is also good but i like Mike design. Colors are very softy and touchy. colors are very pleasent to eyes.

  25. Adi says:

    Hi,
    very nice, i also like simple designed skins like www.ibiznes.katowice.pl or arty.waw.pl

  26. Stacy cv says:

    4) Joshua Ink is amazing. Loving the flowers

  27. nice list. i like #2

  28. MILLUS says:

    I like the snook blog layout
    and the www.millus.org layout :)

  29. I love the joshua’s link the best.The cascading flowering creepers give a very unique effect to the blog.

  30. Some lovely website layouts. Thank you for sharing.

  31. […] Top 10 Best Designed Blogs – The particular platform (WP, Moveable Type, Typepad, Handcoded) doesn’t matter. It’s what you do with it that counts. This isn’t about prettiest blog, or the best written blog. This is a list of the most groundbreaking, cutting edge blogs out there. You see these blogs and cry, because they’re creatures of fierce untameable beauty. […]

  32. Encaso says:

    Have you check Ten Thousand Things by J Teixido. Very nice dark layout, which is very hard to find this days

  33. […] From thousands of blog posts, here are the best of 2007: 1. 66 Successful Bloggers and What they can teach you 2. 10 Requisites for Professional Bloggers 3. 7 Ways to Promote your Site with a Bit of Money 4. Top 25 Blogs About Blogging 5. 27 Lessons Learned on the Way to 3000 Visits a Day and 2200 RSS Subscribers 6. 10 Rules for Responsible Blogging 7. 8 Must Read Blogs for Pro Bloggers 8. Blog Setup: 40 Practical Tips 9. Resources for Video Blogging 10. 7 Habits of Highly Efficient Bloggers 11. Top 10 Ways to Market Your Blog in 2008 12. Blogging Tips for Beginners 13. 11 Ways to Find New RSS Subscribers for Your Blog 14. 8 Steps to Branding Your Blog 15. Hundreds of Resources for Finding Content for Your Blog 16. 5 Simple Ways to Open Your Blog Post With a Bang 17. 18 Lessons I’ve Learned about Blogging 18. How to Write Great Blog Content 19. How to Find Readers For Your Blog 20. How Bloggers Make Money from Blogs 21. 10 Effective Ways to Get More Blog Subscribers 22. Ten blogging hacks 23. Blogging Toolbox: 120+ Resources for Bloggers 24. My 50 favorite blogging resources by Pronet Advertising 25. The Best Free Blogging Tools for Power Bloggers 26. Top 10 Free Desktop Blog Editors for Windows 27. List of free desktop blog editors – post directly from desktop! 28. Five Desktop Blog Editors for GNU/Linux Users 29. Top 10 Best Designed Blogs 30. Moving from Blogger to WordPress: Best Practices 31. Becoming A Professional Blogger Was Never As Easy As Today 32. The First Steps to Become a Professional Blogger 33. Selling Your Blog: What Are Blog Buyers Looking For? 34. Selling Your Blog: What Goes Into The Selling Price? 35. Best Internet Marketing Blog Posts of 2007 […]

  34. Nick says:

    In terms of clean design and functionality, I’ve been enjoying a participatory opinion website called Holy Shnikes at www.holyshnikes.com. Great, clean page layout, simple but eye-catching graphics, and a layout that makes it instantly understandable, without any distracting bells and whistles. Check it out.

  35. tobloggers says:

    the designs are really beautiful. I like simple bits the best. It is clean and readable.

  36. Danny Downey says:

    Great Picks, Great sites….2 bad viewers could not download a template for these site :)

  37. […] We’re going to vary from our usual thing and post the main site of a blog instead of an individual blog post. The reason? We are going to point out overall design as making a good blog rather than the individual blog content. The winner of our Blogger Blog best blog is Ordered List. The site won best design at Elliott Back with this comment: […]

  38. Fox Tucker says:

    Not suggesting for a moment that my new design at www.thumblounge.com is of the same standard as those feature here, but I’d welcome a bashing

  39. Thank you for this post. I really enjoy these beautiful and inspiring sites.

  40. Lav says:

    Wow. Just..wow. Those blogs have awesome designs and they’re so nice and fluid too!

  41. jack says:

    Nice site actually. Gone to my favourites. Thanks for creation.

  42. […] 6 Jan 2007 Blogging about Blogging Posted by turbonet under blogging , web site design  Blogging about blogging. Sounds funny,but its some serious business. Blogs specifically dedicated to the art of blogging are hugely popular. And it really is an art. I have seen some extremely artistic blogs. Here’s a list of the top 10 Best Designed Blogs They’re certainly fun to look at and ponder, how did they DO that? Goes to show that a nice looking blog can get recognition on its design alone. This site was dugg on digg 1924 TIMES! I personally like the incorporation of adsense in the Karen Cheng Snippets of life blog. […]

  43. milo317 says:

    seems like most of the sites switched to a one column layout.

  44. […] De andre to tilbyderne er jeg mindre kjent med, men er du interessert kan du starte på LiveJournals FAQ, eller WordPress’ hjelpeside. WordPress skal visstnok, ifølge dem selv, ha en omfattende mulighet til å endre CSSen (malen) på bloggen, samt støtte for plugins og widgets (trolig kun på den hostede versjonen). Hvis du vil ha innspill til utseende på bloggen din, er det bare å ta en titt på Elliott Backs liste over, etter hans mening, de 10 best designede blogger. […]

  45. Terinea says:

    Number 3, my home town and number 1 and 7 are my favourites!

  46. […] 这个TOP 10列表是来自Top 10 Best Designed Blogs BY Elliott Back […]

  47. Guy Smiley says:

    Oh!
    THATS a Blog!!

  48. Guy Smiley says:

    Blog!?!
    What is a Blog?

  49. […] For your viewing pleasure: Top Ten Best Designed Blogs […]

  50. […] Elliott Bäck comenta os bons desenhos de dez blogs. Se você tem ou pensa em ter um blog, confira. Vale a visita. elliottback.com/wp/archives/2006/04/16/top-ten-best-designed-blogs/ Posted by Edilton Siqueira Filed in Técnico […]

  51. Lautreamont says:

    Although we all have our own opinion, and using the expression “top ten” is a bit risky as it is a subjetive opinion, I really think you’ve done an excelent job collecting these sites. God only knows how hard it is to choose just ten out of so many.

    I’ll keep this as an inspirational source. Thx, man.

  52. David Levin says:

    Nice selection! These web sites are definately some of the best looking blogs I have seen out there! I especially enjoyed Joshua Ink’s.

  53. JT Chandler says:

    well done!
    I too am especially fond of “creatures of fierce untameable beauty”

  54. Great Article! I’m just starting my second blog, this time it only will be in spanish, but I hope to get into the best design… the actual one is just template based.

  55. Tony says:

    how did 13gb.com not make this list… WTF?

  56. just things i’ve run across…

    bookdiva.net
    i just liked this design.

    ie7 migration

    why css bugs me
    thoughts from dvorak

    the myspace problem
    When it comes to some of the web?s most popular sites – is their success because of or in spite of ?ugly? design?…

  57. Kroska says:

    Thatis cool!

  58. FN says:

    Wonderful blog. Really. My favorite: the first one.

  59. […] Top 10 Best Designed Blogs […]

  60. […] Elliot Back’s Top 10 Best Designed Blogs […]

  61. […] Top 10 Best Designed Blogs by Elliott Back (tags: blog design web web2.0) […]

  62. 4111y80y??? says:

    The Top Ten List Of Top Ten Lists…

    #10 – Top 10 Best Designed Blogs
    #9 – Top 10 Social Networking Sites
    #8 – Top 10 Astronomy & Space……

  63. […] #10 – Top 10 Best Designed Blogs […]

  64. Mike Ernst says:

    Great list. Thanks for sharing.

  65. Wow some great finds there… now if I only knew some good AJAX guys to purloin some of those cool ideas.

  66. Timothy Post says:

    Check-out www.okaydave.com Not technically a blog but certainly an impressive personal website.

  67. .. says:

    […] In fact, I think good design may actually intimidate people. If you visit sites like these, you’ll probably think, “Wow, I wish I could do something like that.” You might even spend some time trying, only to be disappointed when yours looks like a kid’s drawing compared to theirs. […]

  68. […] Top 10 Best Designed Blogs by Elliott Back (tags: blog web design) […]

  69. Chris Wible says:

    A nice collection of some of my favorites! Not to mention a couple new ones I’ve never read. But where’s Khoi Vinh?

    Just my $.02 ;)

  70. Tavox says:

    Damn the technology !!!

  71. pulse says:

    Splendid! :)
    Some which I have already visited though. :p

  72. Darren Hoyt says:

    Three of my recent favorites:

    New in Philly (defunct)
    www.newinphilly.com/

    PR Blogger
    www.prblogger.com/

    Alazanto
    www.alazanto.org/alazanto4/category/journal/

  73. Tom says:

    Great ideas for blog layouts!

  74. Gopalarathnam,

    Awesome! Thank you so much for doing this.;->

    If you have any ideas as to how to get this layout to work in wordpress.com or blogger, let me know: the disadvantage of these hosted blog platforms is that they don’t seem to let you control the templates enough to make these kinds of improvements.

    Thanks again, really cool stuff.

  75. I’m also a big admirer of the “mullet”-style blog layout mentioned by Jonathan Boutelle. I’ve implemented the “mullet”-style layout in my web site, and also have put up a WordPress theme based on the default Kubrick theme.

    wordpress.org/support/topic/71529

  76. Justin says:

    Great list. I’d like to nominate YouAreSoLastYear! for his minimal, functional, clean design. Great designer as well.

    Check him out: www.youaresolastyear.com

  77. […] Top 10 Best Designed Blogs by Elliott Back When you’re looking for the next leader in web 2.0 blog design, Hicks starts to look a little too plain, Santa Maria wicked-worn out, and Zeldman like something you might print out, not read online. Where are the leaders of modern blog design? (tags: blogs articles reviews reference technology web-developer web-developer/css) […]

  78. […] Top 10 Best Designed Blogs. Десятка блогов с лучшим по мнению автора подборки дизайном. Stand-alone блоги в рунете стали появляться в последнее время, как грибы после дождя. Досадно видеть, что оформление у них оставляет желать много лучшего. Надеюсь, что взглянув на лучших из лучших, наши соотечественники все-таки начнуть более серьезно относиться к дизайну своих блогов. Надоело, в конце-концов, разглядывать одну и ту-же «умолчальную» схему WordPress-а. When you’re looking for the next leader in web 2.0 blog design, Hicks starts to look a little too plain, Santa Maria wicked-worn out, and Zeldman like something you might print out, not read online. Where are the leaders of modern blog design? […]

  79. Rik says:

    Paul Smith has been blogging a while, his blog: www.paulmichaelsmith.com/blog/ is nice.

  80. […] read more | digg story Posted by Dan Bach Filed in digg.com stories […]

  81. Vanina says:

    I fully agree with this list and I am trying also to pass through the message to French blogers as well. Indeed, all the blogs have the same looking so there is definitely a need for differenciation. If we can mix design and content, readers would love it.

  82. Ulli says:

    nice site!

  83. Debajit says:

    Beautiful blogs I must say :) Most of them have this inviting magazine-ish appeal to them that would make any visitor want to look around and explore the site. I’d agree with your choice for #1

    I personally however find some of these Hemingway-style layouts a little difficult to navigate — often requiring me to scroll down — or click on an “Archives” link to browse older posts for instance.

    If by “design” you mean “graphic-design” or visual appeal alone, I’d mostly agree with the list. I, however, see blog “design” as transcending graphic-design per se and comprising other elements like readability, navigability, and usabiblity… and by that yardstick I’d rate some of the more non-“web-2.0″-style blogs like photomatt.net/ or daringfireball.net higher in terms of a cleaner interface and better navigability.

  84. Yansky says:

    Just thought I’d let you know that this page doesn’t seem to load it’s stylesheet when viewed with Internet Explorer 6,

  85. ryanB says:

    I highly disagree with #5, they had a weak coding error. They are a web-design company but the error was caused by copying from MS Word. See my post here

  86. […] El post completo aqui autor: jairoo categoria: diseño […]

  87. […] W sumie miałem duży problem…bo layoutów, które otarły się o tą pierwszą dziesiątkę, było o wiele więcej. Musiałem (albo bardziej- chciałem) ograniczyć się do magicznej liczby 10. W sumie to resztę blogów, które się tutaj nie znalazły możecie zobaczyć właśnie na Top 10 u Elliota Technorati Tags: blog design layout […]

  88. How do you know? says:

    I came because of the title, it made me wonder how you had time to go thru the millions of blogs out there. I know mine doesn’t deserve to be on a list like this but to say “This is a list of the most groundbreaking, cutting edge blogs out there.” is just ridiculious IMO. Nice selection though.

  89. […] An article I wrote about well-designed blogs got more than 1,200 diggs yesterday, causing an influx of some 20,000 to 30,000 new visitors, each pulling down the following page elements: […]

  90. Rupert says:

    Several of those designs are controversial, especially #s 2 & 3, which I can’t say I’m fond of…

    My contributions to the list: (to replace #s 2&3! :D)

    Lokesh Dhakar’s site, from the guy who brought you the Lightbox AJAX.

    Matt Mullenweg’s site (one of several) recently amazed me with its razor-clarity… see how long it takes you to figure out where/how to download the widgets code for wordpress…

  91. SB says:

    Can’t help noticing — every one of your picks is a man. What’s that about?

  92. Great list. Kudos on your choices.

    Andy
    fadtastic.net

  93. […] This is a list of the most groundbreaking, cutting edge blogs out there. You see these blogs and cry, because they’re creatures of fierce untameable beauty.read more | digg story […]

  94. melkorcete says:

    My favorite is #8

  95. come on says:

    you have no ******* clue what good design is. (your site even use a free theme) … but it must be very easy, just enitle your posting “top 10 of …” and you get some hits from digg.

    no digg!

  96. christian says:

    Great! one of the best selections i have seen.

  97. Jason D- says:

    I’m really surprised you didn’t list Derek Powazek’s blog since he pioneered the look Simple Bits is using.

  98. fat trucker says:

    What about german blogs? I like the minimalistic style of popnutten.de

    It’s a blog about music, net-culture and about technics.

  99. Poster says:

    Emotions by Mike so greatful

  100. I love this list! It is inspiring ….. yet sort of discouraging. These blogs put my sites to shame….

  101. Aleph Ozuas says:

    Very good list yours. I just think that the #4) Joshua Ink, is a little bit polluted. But indeed, is a beautiful site!

  102. hjalle says:

    I love small collections of nice blogs, especially this one. Joshua Ink is an old favourite.

  103. Mike D. says:

    Oliver: Ummmm, I could “use a redesign for my blog”? This coming from the creator of this site? I’ll take the Pepsi Challenge against that **** any day of the week.

  104. Tom says:

    And what about www.dangergraphics.com/ ?

    This site’s design blows away almost all of the above without question.

  105. farf says:

    Bouhouhou ! Mine is not in the list :-(

  106. roc21 says:

    Quien sabe que tanto dicen pero yo no estoy a favor…

  107. Andy says:

    I’m racked with jealousy with my piddly modified someone-else-made theme. Great work everyeon!

  108. Clark says:

    Blogging killed the web design star – this article sums up my opinion nicely.

  109. Scrap that last comment, I didn’t realize I’d clicked on the link to the archived entry! I see now that it’s active and still very pretty.

  110. #4 Joshua Ink…John will be a player in the blog-design category for a long time to come.

    That blog hasn’t been updated in a year. He may still be designing them, but he sure isn’t writing them!

    And this is a list of Best Designed Blogs, isn’t it? Some seem to be under the impression it has something to do with the content. It doesn’t!

  111. Good list, but I like Techcrunch’s design which is very sleek!

  112. […] According to Elliot Back. Definitely some nice looking sites in there. It’s interesting that four of the ten have 3 columns in their layout and two have only one column, making the two column layout a minority. […]

  113. Haochi says:

    Seems like most of these are 9rule members.

  114. Thanks — there’s a couple on your list that I hadn’t seen before and one or two that I hadn’t visited in a while.

  115. Steve Rivers says:

    I believe it’s “hare brained” not “hair brained.”

    who said designers could spell?

  116. grzybu says:

    nice round-up. I would also add Veerle’s blog. After recent redesign it looks fantastic!

  117. Brutal says:

    Great list!

  118. molts says:

    Hey, your site is borked in IE (the content is below the side bar). I guess some content (Maybe teh screenshit) is spanning it more than it shoult, resulting in a mess.

  119. OldMack says:

    The beauty of any blog isn’t in its color or lack of it; the beauty is in the content. While many of the blogs above are striking, when it comes right down to it, what do they offer that you can’t see on tv news, or online newspapers?

    The best web site for both appearance and content, imo, is “Failed Success Purveyors of Useless Knowledge” www.faliled success.com/

  120. Jackdaw says:

    Nice list, worth going through and studying. Three of them are new to me.

  121. Martin says:

    I agree that Odds & Ends is a bit of an obscure choice. What about:

    veerle.duoh.com/

    instead?

  122. ced64k says:

    Nice… but you forgot my website ;-)) 64k.be

  123. Very nice list … thanks

    Balakumar Muthu
    i5bala.blogspot.com

  124. ArthurSoares says:

    amazing list :)

    I just loved.

  125. inmate says:

    You should check these two blogs:

    www.kimrom.info
    www.draftlab.net

    both customised versions of 3 comuns relaxation:
    clemens.orth.me.uk/2005/05/15/wordpress-theme-3-column-relaxation/

    I think they are very pretty, but perhaps a bit “oldschool”.

  126. Trula says:

    Nice list, I truly enjoyed seeing these sites. I just love a nice layout, it’s so inspirational for those of us with little design sense.

  127. #4 Joshua Ink has been a favorite design of mine forever. I think Denis Radenkovick should get most of the credit though (because that illustration is really what makes it stand out, and is just fantastic)
    38one.com/work/joshuaink-illustration

    And if you are going to mention quality minimalistic design (like #10) you can’t forget Jason Kottke.

  128. Isopo says:

    Again, one more vote for Veerle’s weblog after her last redesign.

    veerle.duoh.com

  129. Asshole says:

    This list is absolutely ridiculous. In your outline you stated… “This isnt about prettiest blog…” yet Joshua Ink’s description is simply just about the pretty flowers on the screen. Not much mention about the content. Being a good web designer obviously has something to do with your design.

  130. Chris says:

    You forgot stopdesign.com!

  131. Fred says:

    Eh, Emotions is very nice and Superfluous Banter is interesting though somewhat unimaginative. Other than those two the rest are very typical and rather bland, nothing much sticks out as being above good design. They’re not bad by any means, just nothing outstanding.

  132. Oliver Zheng says:

    Blogs by big time designers, of course they are the best designed. There are a lot of really nice blogs out there not discovered.

    @Jessy: Mike D. could really use a redesign for his blog.

  133. mark says:

    blogs are bullshit

    this article should be “top 10 best designed blogs that elliott back has actually seen”

  134. Jonic says:

    I totally agree with Eric and Dennis that Veerle’s blog should be on the list, but the 10 featured are all great designs… I think Ordered List is my favorite from the list.

    I actually preferred the last design of Simple Bits to the current design… It inspired me a lot…

  135. Awesome, 9rules for the win. I counted 4 nine rulers. =D

  136. Blog design is not (only) about pretty pictures and colors.
    It is about allowing people to consume your content in ways that are relevent to _them_. It’s about getting out of the way so that your users can find the content they are looking for.

    Blog design seems stuck in a wierd, sub-optimal space right now. We need to think more clearly about what would _really_ be useful to readers, rather than sticking with the original “10 stories on the front page, monthly archives” approach that we’ve been using for the last four years.

    I advocate design concepts like the “mullet layout”
    www.jonathanboutelle.com/mt/archives/2005/08/mulletstyle_blo.html
    or the “long tail archive”
    www.jonathanboutelle.com/mt/archives/2006/01/blog_layout_the.html

    And I’d love to see more examples of blog design that actually help readers get to the content they are looking for.

  137. Anshul says:

    Fantastic list. All of these blogs are in my list of all time favorites.

  138. Marco says:

    These blogs look good. It may be a list of blog designs that you like… or blogs that you have visited – but there are so many other goood looking blogs out there too…

    Great effort nonetheless.

  139. Dennis Akihiko Tanaka says:

    Great list.
    I just think it misses Verle’s Blog
    at veerle.duoh.com/

  140. Eric Lim says:

    Veerle’s new design is one of my all-time favorites.

    veerle.duoh.com/

  141. oskar says:

    What are site #2 and #3 doing here?

  142. Yaanu says:

    Sure, it doesn’t compare to the ones above, but I nominate The J-Walk Blog (www.j-walkblog.com) for minimalisticism

  143. Sean Puckett says:

    For the past few years the web has been doing better with a profusion of whitespace and more use of high-contrast monochrome text. Your picks in general (with a few exceptions) show a trend backwards to vibrant colors, crushed together content, and more information than is really necessary. The older I get (and I ain’t that old), the more I appreciate consice, clear layouts with a minimum of decor and showiness. Fly-out extras that keep the screen uncluttered but allow the user to explore further without another server hit are in wide use in 2.0 apps but well past due for blog designs.

  144. […] Top 10 Best Designed Blogs – Elliot Back presents his picks, along with screeshots […]

  145. Great list. I can’t complain or critic in any shape way or form. Most of the ones you listed were already classics in my book. Inspiration for us all who yearn to create something worth noticing.

  146. Jesse says:

    Some of those are great (binarybonsai, avalonstar) others not so great.

    One of my favorites is Mike Davidson’s blog.

    Shawn Inman’s site is also really snazzy

  147. the big noob and snook are my favs you picked. but there are a lot of good designed blogs out there.

    check out ours here

  148. Jonathan says:

    Interesting that none of those blogs have ads. Ads just cheapen your design by default.

  149. Peter Dolan says:

    A wonderful list which will give me quite a few design ideas, but I’m always wondering what more can be done with a blog? It seems almost a shame that people ‘only’ go the journalistic route, or the photo-a-day route, or the rant route. There should be more we can do with blogs than simply post text and photos.

  150. Evelyn says:

    so nice all the design. It is one pretty hard work of design they must have been.

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