[Short on time? Click play above to listen to a 1 minute review of the book, or right click here to save.]

The Web Designer’s Idea Book is exactly that — a compendium of screenshots (700, to be exact) of beautifully designed websites. The subtitle of the book reads, “The ultimate guide to themes, trends, and styles in website design.” I bought this book because I create a lot of blogs and mini sites. I always always always spend a ton more time trying to come up with a good design and tweaking it than I should. So I saw this book in the bookstore last year, flipped through it, and was sold. The question is, though, do you need a book like this?

Here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • 250 pages with 700 full color screenshots of well-designed websites.
  • The URL of each website so you can go check it out for yourself.
  • A brief introduction to each of the 80 sections (the 6 main categories/chapters and the 74 subcategories as listed below), highlighting the main characteristics of each of the styles and what the best use of that style is.
  • 314 sample color palettes (I couldn’t find the number anywhere online, so I counted, but I might be off slightly), each containing 5 colors, with the pertinent hex color code.

And here’s the table of contents:

One of the sections (the first, in fact) is dedicated to blogging, but it only has 13 examples. Having said that, there’s no reason all of the rest of the designs in the book couldn’t be applied to a blog. And that’s why I like the book. I either go through and try to find a color palette or design that I like and then try to replicate it somewhat on my site, or I just go through and grab an idea for the layout from here and the colors from here and then make my own design.

So should you buy this book? I’d say that the majority of bloggers don’t need this book. If you’ve just got a blog or two, then why have a book of 700 sample designs? But the book could be useful for you if

  • You build a lot of your own blogs or mini sites.
  • You’re looking for design ideas for your own blog.
  • You’re outsourcing the design but you still need a general idea for the designer of what you’re looking for.
  • You’re a web designer (duh).

Here’s a video of me flipping through the book (because that’s what impressed me to buy it):

Again, I’m glad I bought it, and if it seems like something that you’d find useful, then get it!

Click here to check out the book on Amazon.

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NOTE: The Web Designer’s Idea Book, Vol. 2 was recently released, but I haven’t checked it out yet. That’s an affiliate link, and I feel like I can promote it even though I haven’t used it.