A simple headline, premise and article; here are my favourite homepages of the moment.

Of course, there are more than ten websites on the internet, so feel free to disagree with me.

And for further selections of excellent web design, read our posts on beautifully persuasive ecommerce sites and 20 homepages with video background images.

Cancer Research UK

This is what the Cancer Research UK website looks like above the fold on my monitor. Far from a conventional homepage, the numbers help to lend focus to the nature of the continuing fight against cancer.

This tessellation is a clever way to mix in links to Twitter, Facebook (social is so important for this organisation) and video content. It works much like a storyboard. There's still the traditional header menu to help users navigate to more specific content.

The site is responsive, too.

cancer research homepage

Trivago

What's beautiful about the Trivago homepage is it's essentially the entire website. I only have to start typing a location and it automatically renders to show search results, without me having to hit go.

Just punch in a target city and the hotels will appear. When selecting more information about a particular hotel, be it photos, reviews or destination, the information simply folds out below the option.

This allows one to focus on the task in hand and prevents any abandonments by confused customers waiting for a new page to load. The range of symbols to show social proof and savings represent best practice, and again the site is responsive.

trivago

Volkswagen

Of all the automotive websites I have visited, Volkswagen is my favourite. In fact, there isn't much competition in a sector that often presents dated websites.

Here Volkswagen nails the personas of its likely visitors on the front page. Just look at the first person statements allowing quick understanding and navigation.

volkswagen homepage

Zoopla

Zoopla does what all good websites do - exactly what you want them to do.

There's no messing about, simply a large search box and filters. The location you add remains in the field as you change tabs and everything is chunky enough to make for easy use.

Compare this to Foxtons, below, by no means a poor website, but one with smaller a search box and too much space taken up in prime real estate (no pun intended) by copy bragging about award winning (which no customer gives a stuff about).

For more on the property industry, read our post on estate agent mobile apps.

zoopla

Compare to Foxtons

foxtons 

B&Q

This homepage (and website) is included on this list for its menus. They're big, have pictures and great copy. The rest of the homepage is freed up to push savings, popular products and more.

b&q homepage

Inspiration menu 

b&q menu

Project menu 

b&q menu

Help and advice menu 

b&q menu

VANMOOF

Okay, this website isn't mobile friendly. However, I wanted to include a homepage I enjoy because of the way it uses good sized, high quality imagery to maintain interest.

It's hard not to cycle through all of the images here and then perhaps, go on, see how much one of those bikes costs.

vanmoof

vanmoof

Netflix

You can’t deny the beautiful simplicity of this homepage.

A recent UK survey by Ofcom showed 14% of people said they streamed via Netflix. This homepage offers no barriers to stop more from doing so.

netflix homepage

Basecamp

Another nicely responsive website that manages to tread a beautifully honest and humorous line that never strays into self-aggrandisement or cringe.

Just look at the illustration to start, which I've enlarged below. The overenthusiastic cries of 'basecamp!' make one realise this is tongue in cheek and the company understands it must do more than pat itself on the back (it's the customers that must love it, and they do, in fact the cartoon isn't far off).

basecamp homepage

Humour

basecamp cartoon

The homepage contains lots of nice little touches such as this message below.

basecamp

And this illustrated client list that makes everything feel less corporate and more fun/trustworthy.

basecamp 

It's a very long homepage and I've pasted the entire thing below (though better just to check out the website yourself). You can see how it has no bullshit on it. This paragraph sums up its no-nonsense copywriting:

Primarily through word-of-mouth alone, Basecamp has become the world’s #1 project management tool. For the last 10 years, companies have been switching to Basecamp because it’s famously easy-to-use, reliable, and It Just Works™. Combine that with our best-in-the-biz customer service, and you’ve got a unique and delightful package. Just last week, another 5,576 companies started using Basecamp.

This is backed up by one the headlines, which proudly conveys 'No “IT Guy” required'.

On the whole this is probably the best B2B homepage and product page in existence in my opinion.

Click to enlarge

Axiom Law

Some may think this is a strange choice, but I like this law firm’s homepage and website for paring down information where possible so the user doesn’t feel inundated. 

If you click through any of these blocks you’ll find more pretty and functional pages. The whole thing has an economy about it that makes it feel classic rather than brash. 

axiom law

The New Yorker

Here's a website that isn't particular flashy. When I was on it, some of the ads weren't showing properly (thank God).

But I had to include it because I like publishers that have great typography and lots of white space. There are some simple mouseover effects. It's easy to use and feels focused. Just what I want as a reader. 

new yorker 

Ben Davis

Published 1 October, 2014 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (2)

Daniel Lee

Daniel Lee, Web Analytics Manager at Evans Cycles

I particularly like Volkswagen's approach - as it helps more easily understand why visitors are visiting the site, allowing them to better serve.

Appreciate the real time suggestion of Trivago too! Good to see.

about 3 years ago

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Ronny Dawson

Excellent list. Half of it is also my favorite. Keep up the good work.
you can go to: what are the benefits of using some of the attractive web design template.

about 3 years ago

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