Minimalism is one of our favorite styles of web design. A well-designed website with a minimalist style and a clean layout may look simple, but they’re not easy to design.
Many of us have an appreciation for an attractive, yet simple, design. And with this in mind, I’ve looked at what makes minimalistic designs successful, and I’d like to share my thoughts here. After I cover what I think makes a successful minimalist website, we’ll go over 25 of my favorite examples of minimalist websites.
1. Plenty of White Space
One of the keys to minimalist website design is the effective use of white space and a distinct lack of clutter. Of course, white space doesn’t have to be white. It simply refers to open space in the design, whatever color that may be.
Clutter can have several negative impacts on visitors. Most significantly, visitors have difficulty focusing on the most critical parts of a page if it’s cluttered. White space makes the contents of the page easier to digest.
2. Effective Typography
Many of the best minimalistic designs compensate for using fewer photos and graphics by using better typography. Excellent typography is capable of replacing many of the visual benefits lost by not using a lot of images. For this reason, typography is even more critical in a minimalistic design than other design styles.
3. Effective Use of Color
Color choices are important for any design, but more so for minimalistic designs. With less busyness on the page, the color combinations play a larger role in the site’s look. There’s nothing to hide poor color choices in a minimalistic design.
Color can be a very powerful method for helping certain content stand out. The simplicity of a minimalistic design allows color choices to have a greater impact.
4. Clarity of Purpose
One of the biggest reasons for using a minimalist design is that it’s easier for visitors to quickly see the purpose of a website or a particular page rather than being distracted by excess. With this approach, you have better control over the message portrayed to visitors.
5. Elimination of Extras
Minimalism is a lack of anything that’s not necessary. By removing what’s not needed, what’s left has more of an impact on visitors.
6. Focal Point
Many websites have so much going on that it’s difficult for visitors to know what’s the site’s focal point, or what is most important. Simple websites have an advantage in that they can more effectively direct the visitor’s attention to the page’s most important content.
Best Minimalist Website Examples
Below are 25 of the best-crafted website designs exhibiting minimalism and/or clean layouts. I’m sure these simple and beautiful websites will inspire you.
Built with Squarespace
Italian architecture and design firm Beltrame uses a clean layout for its site. The simple black-and-white color scheme also adds to the minimalistic feel. The design features ample whitespace and no images above the fold on the homepage.
The News page showcases some of the firm’s work, but only thumbnail images, titles, and dates are provided.
One area for potential improvement in this design is the text size, particularly in the navigation menu and the footer. Some visitors may find the text to be too small.
If you’re building a site in this industry, be sure to see our showcase or architectural websites for more ideas and inspiration.
Built with Squarespace
Designer and photographer Meiwen See uses Squarespace for her portfolio site. The light neutral background color provides something different than a standard white background.
Beautiful typography is one of the standout features of this modern site. As soon as you arrive on the homepage, you’ll see an explanation of what Meiwen does, displayed in an elegant font.
The navigation menu makes it easy to view her design and photography portfolios.
The design firm Takt Project uses a black-and-white color scheme for its site. The bold sans serif headlines add to the clean and simple feel of the design. As you scroll down the page, you’ll notice some nice, but subtle, animation effects.
Although there are no images above the fold on the homepage, the site does feature many large photos. You can see images of Takt Project’s work below the fold, or by visiting the Projects page.
This personal website serves as a portfolio. It includes a brief bio of Adam Widmanski, along with images from his past projects. You can click on the project images to view more details about the project, including additional photos.
Unlike most portfolio sites, Adam doesn’t aim to get inquiries from potential clients here. Instead, he directs them to his agency’s website, where they can get in touch.
Minimalism doesn’t require a white or light background. UX agency Plug & Play proves dark backgrounds can be equally awesome for minimalistic sites.
As you scroll down the homepage and view other pages on the site, you’ll notice that some sections use a dark background, and others use a light background. A white or gray background is used behind the body text, making it easier to read.
This design uses a nice serif font for headlines and a clean sans serif for body copy.
Clicking on the hamburger icon in the navigation menu opens a full-screen navigation menu, making it easy to find what you’re looking for.
The sites of online magazines are often busy and crowded. That’s not true of Echoes. This online magazine site is clean and elegant. It also helps that there are no ads in the design.
You’ll find large photos and images, beautiful typography, and plenty of white space throughout the site. The site is extremely user-friendly and easy to read.
Built with Squarespace
Pocketknife uses a black background for its design agency website. The text on the homepage makes it immediately clear what type of work they do.
Their portfolio page includes many projects, with several huge screenshots from each. They have a separate page for each service they offer.
Overall, it’s one of the best examples of websites without images above the fold.
We’ve looked at a few portfolio sites already, but Lovably uses a different layout than the previous examples. Their homepage includes a brief statement about the studio, and then a grid displays images from past projects. If you click on an image, you’ll be led to a page with more details and project images.
The black-and-white color scheme is an excellent choice for this site because the images include many different colors. The white background isn’t distracting and keeps the focus on the images.
Here is a travel and lifestyle magazine with a beautiful design and layout for its website. The top of the homepage features a slider that rotates through a few recent articles.
The navigation menu is surprisingly simple for a magazine site. There are only three top-level links. Clicking on one of them will open a secondary menu with additional options.
Built with Elementor
Baseline’s portfolio site uses text above the fold to communicate who they are and what they do. The “talk to us” call-to-action button encourages visitors to get in touch about a project. The clean layout and ample white space help this text and button stand out without distractions.
The Offer page provides a detailed explanation of their process, helping clients to understand what the experience will be like. Baseline has done an excellent job of integrating client testimonials into this page.
dscout’s website uses a gorgeous layout that keeps things neat and clean. There are plenty of images and visual elements on the page, but nothing excessive. The design uses plenty of white space and only includes elements that serve a purpose.
The mega menu on this site is certainly worth checking out. When you click the top-level links, you’ll see a two-column drop-down with multiple options, including thumbnail images.
Built with Framer
Gil Huybrecht built his design portfolio site with Framer. The design uses a bold sans serif font for headlines, which works well with the clean layout and minimal color scheme.
Past projects are displayed on a laptop mockup. This is a subtle change compared to simply displaying screenshots, but it gives the images a different feel. If you click on an image, you’ll arrive at a project page with more images and simple screenshots.
The Swear Words homepage includes no text besides the text-based logo, navigation menu, and a “view more” link in the footer. The images from past projects are the only point of emphasis.
Clicking on an image will lead you to a page with more details on the project.
Although this is a well-designed site, it could benefit by encouraging visitors to get in touch. Aside from the Contact page link in the navigation menu, the site includes no calls to action.
Instinctive is a London-based app development company with a beautiful website. The background at the top of pages is dark, but you’ll see certain sections with white backgrounds as you scroll down.
This site uses a hamburger icon to hide/reveal the navigation menu. However, the Contact Us link is separate and next to the hamburger icon. This helps the link to stand out and makes it easier for potential clients to get in touch.
When the Two Create site begins to load, you initially see a black background with Two Create Studio in white text. Quickly the background changes to a light grey, and the text changes to black as it slides into place.
Above the fold, the site includes a simple statement explaining what the company does. The homepage also serves as the portfolio page. Scroll down to see large, full-width images from past projects.
JP Teaches Photo is a photography website, but he’s not promoting his services as a photographer. Instead, he offers private lessons, both in-person and online, via Zoom.
This site includes plenty of reviews and testimonials to provide social proof. The Reviews link in the navigation menu leads to a page with impressive ratings from sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor.
Hotel Palette is the site of a consultant who works with hotels and hospitality brands. As you scroll down the homepage, you’ll see links to several informative articles written for her target audience.
The site’s navigation menu is split into two different sections: work and play. These links are available on the left and right sides of the screen. Clicking on them will open additional navigation options. While this is a unique and interesting feature, it’s not 100% intuitive for visitors.
A&Mcreative uses a very clean layout. The homepage includes a brief statement explaining what they do, and then a grid of project images can be seen below. The homepage acts as the portfolio page, with many past projects showcased. Each image links to a page with more details about the project.
This site looks great and is user-friendly but could benefit from additional calls to action.
Ray is a clean and minimalistic ecommerce site, which is somewhat uncommon. The homepage features a clean design and many product photos, especially as you scroll down the page. Product detail pages are also equally clean and beautiful.
The basic black-and-white color scheme works well, as it helps to keep the focus on the colorful product photos. The site also includes detailed information about the company and its products.
Built with Framer
Addison Marchese’s portfolio site was built with Framer. It features some nice scrolling animation effects that add to the user experience and give the site a high-end feel.
The header navigation only includes links to social profiles and an email address. A menu near the bottom of the screen includes links to the Home, Projects, About, and Contact pages. However, this menu is somewhat tricky to see on top of the images.
High Tide uses a clean layout, beautiful typography, and large images. The large photo on the home is a slider. You can scroll through images from several projects by clicking.
Unlike most portfolio sites, High Tide includes an online shop. Visitors can buy products like mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, and more.
Type designer Frost uses a minimal layout and design to help the typefaces stand out. Since minimalism and typography pair well together, this is an excellent choice. There are no distractions, keeping the beautiful typography in focus.
The only issue I have with this design is that the “buy” links for the typefaces are difficult to see and easy to miss.
Play keeps things simple above the fold. The top of the image encourages you to scroll down the page and see what’s there.
One interesting aspect of this site that you’ll see if you scroll down is the collection of photos that show each team member with flowers. These fun and playful photos put a unique twist on the standard team photos.
EJ Studio is the photography portfolio of Emily Jones. The site uses a lot of scrolling animation effects that help to present a memorable user experience.
Her portfolio is separated by genre. There are categories for portraits, architecture, products, and industry. These can be accessed from the homepage or the Gallery page.
Anders Kylberg is a photographer with a unique portfolio site. Only one photo is visible above the fold on the homepage, but many other photos can be seen by scrolling down.
As you scroll down, navigation links appear in the header. These links lead to specific sections of the portfolio and to contact info.
Final Thoughts on Minimalist Web Design
As you’ve seen from the examples above, businesses in almost any industry can use minimalist website design with clean layouts. Certainly, some types of sites (like portfolio sites) are more ideal for this style, but this approach can be used by other businesses as well.
If you want to create a minimalistic website, we recommend using Squarespace. They have an excellent selection of beautiful templates that take a simple and clean approach. Some of our favorites are shown below.