CSS Galleries: Free Web Designs for DownloadPosted: Sat 06/09/2007 by ramiro
A visually appealing website design will not result in lots of recurring visitors if you don't have good content. In contrast bad, old-fashioned, or boring designs may well be accepted by a loyal readership if you have good content. To have both good content and a good design is invaluable.
People who want to publish on the web do not need any knowledge of HTML, CSS and the like to get a site up and running. Many providers offer one-click installs of systems such as Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla. Learning how to configure these systems will take some time but it is manageable.
As the headline tells this post is not about writing good content but about where to find good web designs that give your site a catchy look and feel.
Free Web design Galleries
All of the resources listed below offer free downloads, browsing and most of them search functions. Moreover there are previews for the designs, so you can test them in different browsers to see how they look and behave. When sites offer advanced functions such as filtering search results, I describe them briefly.
Open Web Design
Open Web Design offers an advanced search to restrict type of validation (various versions of HTML/XHTML strict, transitional), contrast (dark on light, light on dark), primary and secondary colors, and categories.
Open Design Community
Open Design Community is a group of Open Source Website designers. They offer an advanced search to restrict type of validation (versions XHTML strict, transitional), license (Public Domain, GPL, Creative Commons), contrast (dark on light, light on dark), width (fixed, fluid), Number of columns, colors, designers and free search terms.
CSS Design Templates
CSS Design Templates has sections for generic templates, Wordpress themes, Joomla, and Blogger templates.
Free CSS Templates
Free CSS Templates currently offers a small number of free generic and Joomla templates. Moreover they have sections linking design tutorials and about CSS techniques.
Free CSS Templates
Another Site called free Free CSS Templates. Currently they do not offer a search so you might want to use Google's site search feature. Currently they have 192 free CSS templates for download.
Open Source Web Design
Open Source Web Design currently offers more than 2000! free web design templates for download and live preview. Using the advanced search function you can set filters for type of validation (versions XHTML strict, transitional), whether images and CSS are used, contrast (dark on light, light on dark), Number of columns, and colors.
Solucija is a site dedicated to information architecture, web standards and web design. They offer some truly professional looking free templates for download.
Open Source Templates
Open Source Templates offers download and preview of Open Source templates. Registered users can vote on templates. Templates with the highest vote appear on the front page.
Free CMS Themes and Templates
The web design resources listed above all offer generic templates for download. In this section I'll list some sites that offer templates and themes for Open Source content management, forum and blogging systems such as e107, Drupal, Joomla, Mambo, PHP-Fusion, phpBB, PHPNuke, vBulletin, Wordpress, and Xoops.
themesBase offers templates and themes for some of the most popular content management, blogging, and forum systems, each of which has it's own dedicated section.
OSSkins of Joomla templates, Drupal and Wordpress themes for download and preview. Each of these 3 systems has it's own dedicated section on the site.
Drupal Theme Garden
Drupal Theme Garden is a live showcase of themes available for Drupal 4.7.x and Drupal 5.x. Themes can be previewed on Theme Garden and downloaded from the linked Drupal theme project page.
Wordpress Theme Viewer
Wordpress Theme Viewer offers live previews and downloads of Wordpress themes. You can set filters for Number of columns, colors, rounded corners, whether plugins are required and widgets can be used.
This list is not all-embracing, but the resources listed are impressive and definitely worth checking out. If you are a designer yourself, you probably find new sources of inspiration. Enjoy these sites and the great free web designs they offer for download!
Recommended Web design Books
For those who want to create their own unique web design with HTML and CSS, and don't know where to start, I recommend these books, I enjoyed reading very much. The links below are affiliate links pointing to the respective Amazon book pages.
- CSS: The Definitive Guide
- The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web
- Bulletproof Web Design: Improving flexibility and protecting against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS
- Eric Meyer on CSS
- Designing with Web Standards