Part of what makes the Internet so great is that it’s changing more every single day, usually in ways that only makes our lives easier. Yesterday’s Facebooks and Googles are today’s Dropboxes, Slacks, and Upvoteds. While we’re excited to see how our favorite sites are tweaking and improving, what about the websites that are truly game changing and innovative, but haven’t gone mainstream yet? There are a lot of unsung heroes out there and it’s high time they got the publicity they deserve. Here you have cool websites you’ve probably never come across.
1. Listen To Wikipedia
The concept is admittedly strange, but the execution is fascinatingly beautiful. This website tracks Wikipedia updates in real time, in the form of soothing ambient music. Every time a user makes an edit (which is surprisingly frequent, believe it or not), a sound is made—from bells to guitar twangs. The coolest thing about it is the sounds aren’t just broadcast as random noises. Rather, as they bang, twang, and whistle, each edit comes complete with a clickable article title and bubble. Aside from being distracted by some surprisingly tranquil music, you can also keep up with new article edits—learn while you listen!
2. Listen To Wikipedia
There are a lot of great file sharing websites out there right now, including Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, RapidShare, and plenty of others. But sometimes you really just want to share one or two pieces of info in a hurry without having to jump through hoops. Mixtape.moe is the answer to your filesharing problems. Simply drag and drop the file of your choice into the window, and Mixtape.moe spits out a custom shareable link. Max file size is 100MB, and it supports .mp4, .gif, .jpg, .srt, and just about everything else.
3. The Walt Disney Company
Who would have thought that the world’s largest conglomerate would use WordPress for their online presence? Since The Walt Disney Company has managed to use WordPress effectively, there is very little reason for you not to consider it. The site is built with Disney Company’s history and legacy front and center. It plays on nostalgia and offers a detailed look at what the company has achieved since its inception.
What stands out, in particular, is that the company opted for a simplistic, minimalist approach to web design as opposed to their brand and identity. However, the site is leaned more towards the corporate side of things as it offers a repository of information on all the brands and subsidiaries which operate under Disney’s banner. Make sure to check The Walt Disney Company’s site out if you are looking for inspiration about minimalistic WordPress design solutions.
WertMacher is a German brand company with an emphasis on creating unique brands and company identities. What separates their website from the crowd is its emphasis on highlighted minimalism. More than 90% of their landing page and subsequent internal links puts images and visuals front and center.
While the navigation bar and footer retains their usual informative structure, the central area of each page is devoted to high-quality images. These allow WertMacher to showcase what their company is all about and how visitors can become a part of their branding vision. This design solution is perfectly suited for anyone who operates in the design industry, be it through marketing campaigns or creative design.
5. 99% Invisible
Podcasts are rampant in today’s modern age of smartphones and commute. As the representative example, 99% Invisible offers a very unique take on WordPress design. The podcast’s site is built with different categories and episodes in mind.
99% Invisible is a design podcast first and foremost, and as such, it does abide by its own rules and principles. It offers a very limited color palette which allows the visitor to quickly discern what is what. It features a built-in podcast player which is another WordPress addition easily added to a website. The website showcases how you don’t need overly complex landing pages or dozens of links in order to get your message across. All you really need is a stable idea and a message which you will communicate through your WordPress site.
Point blank, Supercook is one of the most valuable websites on this list. Let’s say you’re bored at home on a Wednesday, but the stores have already closed and you don’t get paid until Friday. The only ingredients you have are pickle brine, chicken, flour, milk, and some Corn Flakes. You aren’t really ready to make a killer burger or some tasty chili, are you? Well, with Supercook, you enter your list of ingredients, and Supercook will spit back all the recipes you can make utilizing some and/or all of your ingredients. The entries can be a little silly from time to time (IE: suggesting “perfectly cooked grilled chicken breast” instead of displaying actual useful recipes), but it’s still an awesome resources for everyone from beginners to more advanced cooks.
We looked at several reviews and testimonials about this site, and not a single one had anything bad to say about it. In fact, it was considered a best kept secret in the graphic design business, according to three or four separate reviews. Freepik is incredible because it offers high quality vector images, PSD’s, JPEGS, etc., but is 100 percent free. Its library is so thorough and diverse that it really does make us wonder how they get away with offering so many free resources. If you’re a graphic designer and haven’t yet heard of it, prepare to have your mind blown.
Whether you are a curious onlooker or a professional designer, there is a lot to learn from WordPress and the companies that implement it correctly. These sites are only a taste of what the creative professionals have managed to pull off in their design solutions. Make sure to keep an eye out for unusual and unique takes on WordPress and try to build on those designs in your own practice should you get the chance to do so. After all, the only way to evolve what the CMS is capable of is through careful examination and experimentation.