30 WordPress Designs That Don’t Look Like WordPress

Scott Ellis

One of the most common things I’ve heard as a WordPress professional is “all WordPress designs look the same.” I’m happy to tell you that doesn’t have to be the case. A unique, a-typical custom design will cost you more but the results will be worth it.

The separation of the presentation layer of your website (html, css, javascript) from the data layer (content, meta data, etc…)  and logic layer (mostly php) means that your WordPress design can really look and behave any way you want. If your designer or developer tells you otherwise find someone else because WordPress isn’t the limitation, the person you’re talking to is.

For now, let’s shift our attention to:

30 WordPress Designs that don’t look like “typical” WordPress sites.

Life And Times – Jay-Z : Features a horizontally scrolling tiled field of images with hover effect. While not hard to achieve it looks stunning. The color palette is also well done on this site and ties it together nicely.

o2o Interactive : Shameless self promotion since I did this site. Big fonts, wide pages and an nice parallax effect on the header images when scrolling. We also incorporated the logo’s circle throughout the site rather than traditional squares for many of the images using css. 

Number 10 (Downing Street) : A little closer to a slightly more traditional WordPress site, Number 10 does a good job with the megamenus for quick navigation.

Wolverine Worldwide : Nice big images, video overlay and I like how they used a scroller in the bottom left as an accent rather than as the main feature.

Butterfield : The large changing background images are great but as you explore they site they’ve incorporated a myriad of interactive elements throughout the site. It makes you want to keep exploring more.

LA Times Media Kit : Easy & deep navigation that doesn’t require you to hover to discover. The torn page pulls you in and there is a great call to action right at the fold.
la times media kit

Irrational Games : Irrational has doen several iterations of good design. Super simple nav, overlaid logo and plenty of content for your discovery pleasure without it looking too crowded.
irrational games

Topman Magazine : More big images, short excerpts and no-nonsense navigation. What’s not to love? Easy horizontal scroll on the home page works well too.

Yess BMX : Big image, very little text, immediate call to action and a free shipping teaser in the bottom. Nothing is boxed in here. As you navigatie around the site stays very simple and to the point.

Timberline Lodge : Image heavy with the main subject right up front. Primary navigation is highlighted and big so you can get right o business (or play).

Ride Oregon Ride : Big featured images, and highlighted featured content listings. Everything flows well and is easy to navigate.

Oobeemind : Nice drawn and stenciled feel shows there are no limits to presentation. Very little text keeps things clean.

Bard : Small header, big images and little text. As you dig into the site the accordion feature is nice. Nice color highlighting on the Red Hook Journal as well.

Usain Bolt : Beautiful imagery, big text, clear call to action and masonry style layout for recent posts. Looks great!

Clouds 365 : Beautiful tiled home page with centered (horizontally) navigation makes this one a little different.

Four Hour Chef : Horizontally centered navigation, lot’s of big beautiful pictures, full width  with video on the home page. The top is dedicated to getting you into where Tim wants you to go, the book.

Sam Effect : Clean crisp iconography and a cool (temp) color palette. Just enough words to tell you what you need to know. The design takes care of the rest.

Build A Truck : No-nonsense design. Big image, video bright call to action. The graphics and color choice speak to the toughness of the truck. Effects on secondary pages are used sparingly.

Scott Hall Catering : Super simple layout with left navigation and narrow primary content area. Big images fill out the background. Good looking and very simple but also a good example of not being too “minimalistic” while keeping it simple.

Galleria Dallas : It’s about shopping and the site get’s straight to the point. Beautiful pictures, simple navigation and good use of the footer on this one.

Content Marketing Institute : Amazing content meets awesome design which falls to the background but does a great job of supporting the main content. Lot’s of focus on the people behind it, easy to navigate, search and nice big footer.

Artisan BBQ Truck : Interactive map, big gorgeous food pics and quick scrolling on home page from navigation. Good use of texture on this one as well.

Racket : Big image sucks the viewer in. One page design has good consistency in the feel.

Pinup Girl Products : Nice and simple, easy to find call to action and good balance of the name with the images and color palette.

Van Coke Kartel: Easy nav, big images. Nothing on this site gets in the way. Even the “hidden footer” get’s out of the way.

Pureety : More big images, hidden footer and highlight is on main products. The home page makes you feel like you’re in their kitchen.

Freehand Futurist : Interesting “infographic” look to the homepage. Otherwise this becomes a less a-typical WordPress site. Typography is good and fits site feel well too.

Altimea : A-typical but intuitive navigation across the site. Everything stays nicely framed.

Old Barbershop : Great use of imagery and classical typography to draw the viewer in. Simple one page design.

8bis Branding : Fun, discovery oriented tiled elements used throughout the site. Good example of a site that fit’s their brand.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *