Last Updated January 2 2023
Minimalism was one of the major web design trends throughout the 2010s. And it likely won’t fade away in the 2020s because it’s a fundamentally solid concept.
At its base, building a ‘minimal website’ is about subtracting for the sake of focus. It’s about presenting content and features such that there’s as little distraction from core content as possible—the “core content,” in this context, is anything either visitors want to find on your website or you want them to see.
In practice, embracing minimalism means considering each interface element and eliminating what’s not necessary. Here, the “interface element” can be an image, a menu item, a text, a texture, a font, a color, an icon, an animation, or just about anything on a web page.
Overall, the philosophy of minimal website design can be compressed into one sentence: “subtract until it breaks,” which is also the mantra of typical minimalist designers…and perhaps of the people who made the following minimal and simple websites.
Note: I have described why each example website fits the “inspiring simple and minimal website examples” list but only for the first ten to avoid repetition.
Benjamin is a photographer that captures some fantastic images of harsh environments that’ll give you the chills just looking at them. His work is often completed in Iceland; you can find images of beautiful landscapes and animals that live in the wild.
I think his Squarespace website is a perfect example of a minimal website anyone can make.
Let’s look at it from his potential clients’ point of view: Potential clients of a photographer want to see their work, contact them, or know more about them — in that order. So anything apart from those three is a distraction.
Benjamin prioritizes all three must-haves well. On his homepage is a slideshow of full-sized, excellent pictures he has clicked. Next in the visual hierarchy, you see the navigation bar. From there, you can explore more of his work and projects, know about him, or contact him for, as he highlights, “enquiries regarding photographic & film productions, location scouting, image licensing, prints, brand collaborations or anything else.”
Melula is a children’s fashion line from Denmark with a focus on shoes. Their collections are colorful, unique and aim to reflect the fun and imagination of a child.
They show (not tell) their colorfulness and playfulness with their minimal website. For example, the website homepage has a negligible amount of text, only a couple of menu items, and one clear CTA. Apart from that, the page is filled with images that show the personality of the Melula brand.
Similarly, their Shop page also follows the rules of minimalist web design. For instance, there’s a lot of whitespace around the listed products.
The product description of all the listings on the Shop page is also minimal: In simple typography, they’ve mentioned a one-word name and a price for each product, and that’s it. There’s no display of reviews, no crossing the original price and showing the discounted price, no showcasing the size options, no mention of products availability, etc.
Overall, Melula’s is an excellent design inspiration if you want to employ minimalism for your ecommerce store.
Oishii is a Japanese-based company featuring the Omakase Berry. The company prides itself on quality over quantity berry farming available at their locations in New York, LA, or New Jersey.
The first thing you see on entering the Oishii website is a full-size, high-quality background video that captivates you with the beauty of their berry. Next, you see the menu items - Shop, Learn, Recipes, and Gift Cards. Each menu item takes you to a page that’s sort of a part of their sales funnel, and then the page content takes you to the next stage of the sales funnel.
Josh is from the Bay Area but has traveled throughout the years, sharing his talents in music, dance, and acting. You can find his music and links to his YouTube channel on the website.
His website is an excellent example of a minimal personal & portfolio website. Notice what you see as you enter the website:
A modern NYC restaurant located in Chelsea that offers healthy dining options. Blue Dog sources ingredients locally and stresses attention on the nutrients they serve their customers regularly.
For their website, they’ve straight up used the Squarespace template Trémont and made minor changes to fit their need. The “EAT DRINK VISIT” acts as sort of a tagline as well as CTAs - the EAT takes visitors to the menu page, DRINK to the drinks page, and VISIT to the location & reservations page. And each sub-page has no other details than the promised and needed, which is the core of any minimalist endeavor.
Scott Snyder is a product/object photographer based in Costa Mesa, California. His photography is clean-cut and top-of-the-line quality, as apparent from his minimal portfolio website.
In a sense, his website is more minimal and stylish than Benjamin’s (the first website on this list). The homepage has great photos showcased uniquely with plenty of negative space; he uses easily-readable fonts; the scrolling animations are on point; there’s a small ‘about me’ section; there are appropriately placed CTAs.
However, I find Benjamin’s website better because it links to the ‘About’ section right in the menu bar. Plus, unlike Scott, Benjamin doesn’t describe his projects in-depth and lets his pictures do the work, which I find more minimal. (This is not to say in-dept project descriptions are unnecessary)
Wendy Ju is a UI/UX designer who turns real-life observation into storytelling and problem-solving.
She obviously understands UI, UX, and design, and it’s apparent from her minimalist approach to building her website. Unless you look at all the elements closely (the animations, etc.), the visual hierarchy of the website is:
In other words, she shows you everything she wants you to see/her clients want to find in the most minimalist way possible.
Candy Black is a boutique-style company assisting brands with all things visual design and communication. They have worked with clients worldwide and have a hefty history of clients and successful projects.
Their website features an extensive portfolio, but it’s not overwhelming because of the ample use of whitespace. Moreover, each portfolio item has a minimal description that visitors can reveal on hover.
Besides, it features all the typical clean design elements: clear hierarchy, limited color scheme, no excess details, excellent user experience, etc.
Kerry-Lyn is a registered psychotherapist who works with individuals, couples, and families. She helps people who feel stuck, people who are struggling with their relationship, or pretty much anyone with any kind of mental illness or emotional difficulties.
Her website, especially the above-the-fold content of the landing page, is a brilliant example of the minimalist mantra: “less is more.”
At first glance, you won’t find any mention of psychotherapy, but the large image with two chairs placed like in a psychotherapy session and the “If not now, when?” text hints at it. Of course, as you scroll down, you’ll find more about Kerry-Lyn and her practice.
Side Note: Though many minimalist designers don’t practice this for desktop websites, using hidden navigation that opens on clicking the hamburger menu is a great practice for minimal website design.
Visual Soldiers is an Atlanta-based creative agency specializing in strategy, branding, and building great website experiences.
I am not a fan of the animations they’ve used for their website because it affects load times, but pretty much everything besides that follows the minimalist website design fundamentals: hidden navigation, clear text and font hierarchy, absence of unnecessary colors, short descriptions, suitable CTAs, etc.
The Soilboy company is obsessed with plants, the benefits of owning them, and the care they require. Those with a green thumb will love the in-depth information they provide and the plants available for purchase from the website.
Singer-Songwriter based in Toronto that focuses on writing music that a variety of individuals and emotional states can connect with. You can access his blog, listen to his music, and learn about upcoming events on his site.
Shy Alter is a photographer currently living in Canada. The Hyphenated Canadians focuses on his photography and interviewing of individuals that have immigrated to Canada just as he did 30 years ago.
As you see on the home page of the website, Fat Choy is located in New York and mixes Chinese and Vegan flavors. They offer dine-in, carry-out, and outdoor dining options for their customer base right from the website.
Note: The custom illustrations on the homepage background are reminiscent of modern web design. However, they may distract visitors from immediately seeing what they want to see (menu and contact), and hence the website can’t be clearly classified as a “minimal web design.”
ARCH is a motorcycle design company with several sleek and impressive models. New bike owners can expect luxury and attention to detail, as well as support after the purchase.
LA-based photographer and retoucher that works with all things beauty and skincare related. She has several big-name clients like Smashbox Cosmetics and Urban Decay, providing top-of-the-line and often celebrity-based photography and retouching.
Projects Contemporary Furniture is a design company providing luxury kitchen, bath, closet, and lighting designs. Their portfolio boasts clean, modern, and gorgeous work that comes from new builds and makeover projects.
Note: Projects uses Squarespace for the website and Shopify for their ecommerce.
Eiktyrne is a Norway-based whisky brand known for its top quality. The website is top-quality as well.
Adrieana is a photographer raised in New Jersey. She has some sharp and breathtaking images of animals, people, and more. There are a lot of black and whites for a classic yet loud vibe. She also used to be an opera singer and learned a lot about what it meant to succeed from her years in that field.
Steven O’Neil and Mary Langan started O’Neil Langan Architects in 1996 and have since expanded into a 50 employee company based in Manhattan. Their website is as simple as it gets — it’s pretty similar to the first website in the list.
The five-word heading — “Find your next favorite Gin” — tells visitors all about Ginventory’s business. The CTAs to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store suggest Ginventory is an app company, and this is the app’s (minimal) website.
Rafikah is a San Franciso-based product manager in the B2B SaaS space. He is passionate about and experienced in go-to-market product strategy, growth, data-driven decision-making, and more.
Lex Bell is from London, where he works on both high-end designs and residential. He is also an entrepreneur and founder of other start-up companies.
Casa Mami is a beautiful retreat located in the desert on 5 acres. It can be booked privately through the Airbnb website or be rented for special events and photoshoots.
Founded in 2014 by Samantha Hobbelen, an entrepreneur and a mum to three, Hobbe produces beautiful rocking chairs, ottomans, and decor for the stylish nursery and home.
Haris Nukem’s minimal portfolio website to showcase his portrait & fashion photography and sell prints of the same.
In 2015, Apollo Peak created the very first Cat Wine and Dog Wine beverages. Today, they sell multiple versions of the same globally.
Florian and Matthias are the founders of Florian Matthias, an internationally awarded design agency that creates simple yet effective brand experiences for the customers and clients of their clients.
You create a minimalist website like you create any website - by coding, a website builder, or any alternative. The only difference is, here, you follow the rules of minimalist web design: less is more, subtracting the unnecessary elements, employing negative space, etc.
The best website builder to create a minimal website has to be Squarespace. Most of the minimal websites in the above list are built with Squarespace. Plus, they have some minimal and gorgeous templates you can edit as per your need to launch your minimal website in no time.
In most cases, yes. Users find visually simple websites more beautiful and usable. Also, they load fast.
A minimalist website is one at its simplest possible form — one that has no unnecessary elements (or distractions) on the interface.
Because it removes distractions and helps visitors find what they want to find, and helps you highlight what you want to show.