Often, when making a website, it is best to use design influences that exist all around you rather than trying to re-invent the wheel. Over the last year, I have been introduced to many fantastic resources which will help you do just that.
You can also use these resources to see what designers are making now. Letting you know what up-to-date techniques to use and ensuring you are not left behind. I feel that sometimes, the comments that respond to the articles are just as important as the articles themselves, as they may point out shortfalls and mistakes in the article and save you lots of time.
My out and out favourites have t0 be:
tutsplus.com – They have number of sites specialising in web design and development. I especially like PSDTUTS and NETTUTS
csszengarden.com – To see just what can be done with design skill and CSS knowledge, check this out.
smashingmagazine.com – They are focused on design and web-development. Choosing to deliver useful information on the latest trends etc.
It is very important to not just stick to the same resources all of the time. Try finding the latest lists that other designers have put together, detailing their favourite content. A quick search of “most beautiful websites” resulted in finding this
My old tutor once told me, “if it is in nature, it will go”. I think you can see that from the image above.