It's Time to Say Goodbye After 20 Years of Design Inspiration
After updating The Best Designs from 2001 - 2021, I had to make the difficult decision to finally shut it down - for various reasons. Design just isn't a big part of my life anymore, and I ended up with a bit of burnout. I was tired of keeping it updated. I was tired of investing in expensive firewalls and security features, especially for a website that I'm not fully invested in anymore. I also realized that many designers have been migrating to Instagram and other social media platforms for design inspiration. It's not like it was in the old days, when Google searches were primarily used for this. Back then, this website received around 1.3 million impressions in traffic each month, and I enjoyed updating because I was involved in the design world more then too.
TheBestDesigns.com has been in my life for so long, but I feel like it's time to let it go. :(
What happens to user accounts and data?
Accounts and data were deleted. User accounts were only used for logging in and submitting your designs, and if your design was featured, it was associated with your account to display who the designer was. For this shut down, the entire site was deleted, which also includes image files, user data, etc. The only thing left on the site is this one page.
Why didn't you sell this website instead?
I debated this for a few years, but I could never bring myself to do it. This website is worth much more to me than money. Although as time went on, traffic gradually started to decline because I wasn't updating as much, which also reduced its value. And every time I thought about selling it, I would feel uneasy. I didn't really want to see my "baby" out there in the world being managed by someone else, having no control over the quality of the content. I also wanted to keep your user data safe. I didn't want another entity to be in control of your data, not knowing how it would be handled, such as sending too many emails to you or even worse - selling your email addresses to a third party.
Why couldn't you keep the site as is, but just not update anymore?
This was a database driven site with user accounts and data. Unfortunately, there are constant threats to websites these days, by people who have full-time jobs trying to infiltrate them. For this reason, the highest level of security was necessary to keep the site operating as it was, and this wasn't cheap. I decided it was best if the site was just shut down, with the files and accounts deleted - especially since updates weren't happening anymore, and with traffic declining.
Will there be an archive of the site?
I've considered publishing a static archive of the designs over the years, void of any user accounts, etc. Although this would be a big task, and unfortunately, my life doesn't allow time for this right now. I will definitely keep it in mind for a future project though. If this is something you might be interested in, you may want to keep TheBestDesigns.com bookmarked and revisit in 6 months or a year to see if an archive has been uploaded. :)
What about the Themes directory?
Unfortunately, this is also gone. Although if you're looking for a theme, I can recommend
. (And yes, that's my affiliate link. ;) I'm not sure if I'll ever shut down my affiliation with them. They're great. :)) This is my favorite theme platform for many reasons: 1) They've been around for many years, with a proven track record and support for their themes. 2) They have nice designs and plugins, and they work perfectly with WordPress. 3) They have user-friendly page builder tools which make creating a website easy for anyone. 4) They have one particular theme called Divi that can be customized to whatever you need it to be. It's basically the ultimate theme for almost any type of site - a website building platform that's easy to use. 5) And they also have one of the best affiliate programs around, so if you do start using their themes and recommending to others, you will get a nice cut of the sales. Their commission rate has been 50% of each sale for as long as I can remember, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. It's the best affiliate program I've ever belonged to, and their product is great too. I would never be affiliated with something that I didn't like or couldn't recommend, so it's a win-win for all. :)
To the regular visitors, thank you so much for your support over the years! It's appreciated more than you'll ever know. To the new visitors, I'm sorry you're not seeing the site that you thought you would see, although as I said above, there is a possibility that I might publish a static archive at some point so you can see the many years of great designs that have been featured on the site. Thank you all, and goodbye for now. :)