My Old Website Designs (feel free to laugh—I did!)

Once upon a time... I sucked at web design

As probably all of you know, I’m a web designer. Today I’m going to share with you some of my old website designs, which are total crap! I got this idea from Rinn Reads, who shared some of her own old site designs!

My first experience with web design was with Neopets. I used to play when I was like 12 and I’d design/code my user profile and create mini web pages for my Neopets.

Neopets Designs

I’m not going to talk about these individually, because they’re all so similar! At this point I sucked at coding. Basically all I did was draw a header image and then pick one spot to put text. Then I’d absolutely position the text box there.. and that’s it! 😛

Also you can see some of my silly Neopets artwork—hah!

Neopets Design - Creatures of the Deep

Neopets Design - Egypt Layout

Neopets Design - Scarvogue User Lookup Layout

Neopets Design - Fzv Pea Chia Application

Neopets Design - Pirate Petpage

Portfolio Website Designs

Now, what you see below is after my intro Neopets stage, when I first started designing my own portfolio site (previously called Ævans Arts, now called Creative Whim).

Mmost of these are really ugly, but you can see how I progressed, which is pretty cool!

Ævans Arts #1

AEvans Arts Site Design #2

This was one of the first designs where I incorporated one of my artwork pieces into the site. It’s a very graphical layout and the text would go where you see the “Test” text. I’m actually not sure if this was my first ever Ævans Arts website design.. I feel like maybe it was my second. But it was the earliest one I could find!

Ævans Arts #2

AEvans Arts Site Design #3

This is when I first started toying with the idea of using the name Creative Whim instead of Ævans Arts. The domain name was still, but I started using Creative Whim in the header. I was really into space art at the time so I turned that into a layout. Again, a very, very graphic-intensive layout. And I was really into glowing text and lines.

Ævans Arts #3

AEvans Arts Site Design #4

Yet another space layout, but a lot more simple than the previous one. God the typeface in the header looks awful. Since this is a mockup the boxes are empty, but that’s basically where images/text would go.

Ævans Arts #4

AEvans Arts Site Design #5

This was my first attempt at a more ‘modern’ layout. The others were super graphic heavy and with this one I tried to be more simplistic and focus on design rather than incorporating my own artwork. i was actually happy with this for a long time, but the coding was a bit sucky.

Creative Whim #1

Creative Whim Site Design

This is when I officially moved my site from to! The layout was very, very different from what I’d previously done, but I was happy with it and felt like I was finally progressing as a designer.

Creative Whim #2

Creative Whim - Space Design

This was a massive overhaul! I went back to space art, but did a bunch better job incorporating it into the design than before. This was also one of my very first websites that was responsive. I ended up keeping this layout for a long time!

Creative Whim #3

Creative Whim - Flat Web Design

This was just a small touch up on the previous design. I still loved a lot of the aspects, but I felt like some of it was a bit dated. I wanted to keep the space theme but try a more modern, “flat” UI style. And this is what Creative Whim looks like today!

How far I’ve come!

It’s so cool to look back and see how far I’ve come as a designer. That first Ævans Arts design was from 2010, I think, so I’ve grown a lot in just four years! I hope that in another four years I’ll look back on my current work from 2013/2014 and think, “Wow, I sucked back then!” 😛 Because in 2010, I totally thought I was the shit. I looked at those designs and was so proud of myself! But now of course I look back and think I was total crap. Funny how that happens. 😛

I just hope I continue to get better and better!

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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. Hahaha, I tooooootally started web design at Neopets as well. And agreed, it was all about making a header and then sticking one text box somewhere hahaha. Nice to see that we have that in common 🙂

    I love seeing this post! I wish I kept some of the old designs I made, but I tend to delete them out of shame when I finally make something better lol.

    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted: Book Nerd Problems #16: Keeping Yourself Unbiased
    1. Haha, high five for Neopets! Good times, good times.

      Awww you totally should have kept your old designs! I’m such a digital packrat. I have about 4 terabytes (yes, TERABYTES) of files on my computer. I’ve never deleted any of my Photoshop files… ever XD

  2. I’m dying. This is so fun. I’m so happy to see that others got their start with web design on Neopets… because I did, too! And you can see how that all panned out. I abandoned that endeavor from basically the word go.

    It’s incredibly humbling to look back on your old work, no? Definitely reminds you that there is always room for improvement. BTW, you rock as a designer so don’t ever have even a shadow of a doubt.

    Jessie Marie @ Jessie Marie Reads recently posted: Waiting on WWW Wednesday – The Girl from the Well
  3. Ooh yay, I’m glad to see your old designs, especially compared to your talent now! =D Your artwork is seriously impressive from a young age though! That second space-themed layout gives off a Mass Effect vibe. And I really love the last two Creative Whim designs (space layouts <3), they work really well without being too graphic heavy.

    It's so interesting to see how people have progressed, especially you as I really admire your work & talent with design and coding =)

    1. Thanks so much!!

      You’re totally right about that Mass Effect vibe. I didn’t think of that! I’m totally into the space art. It’s so much fun.

  4. This just proves that I have a lot of learning to do before I can make something even half as decent as these, lol! I really like the template (for the news section) of the third one for some reason. And the green Neopets one… cute and simple! You’ve definitely improved a lot and I hope to do the same one day. ^_^

    1. Thanks! 😀 I’m sure you’ll get there! It just takes a lot of practice. Like, I remember in the beginning I couldn’t code worth a damn. I had to use templates that had all the code already, then I’d just modify it to change a few colours and put my own graphics in. But after enough practice, I was finally able to do everything from scratch!

  5. Oh my goodness. Neopets! I haven’t thought about that in forever. My poor monkey is probably dead now that I have neglected her for about ten years. Whoops! I have to say though you are very clearly talented in web design. Even your beginning attempts far surpass anything I have ever tried. I’m sure you will just keep getting better and better!

    Emma @ Hopeful Happiness recently posted: 2014 Debut Authors & Their Books
  6. Ahhh, I love that you’re sharing these! I used to play Neopets once upon a time, too, but surprisingly I never designed any webpages for any of mine! I’m nto sure why I didn’t, because around that time is when I used to be pretty obsessed with web design!

    It is really cool to see the progression from your earliest portfolio site designs to the recent ones! I love seeing an artist grow over time,and you certainly have! It’s also fun to see these designs and remember how I was making similar ones, because that was what was “modern” at the time (especially those graphic-heavy layouts and the pink-ish one!).

    Now I really want to go back and look at some of my old ones. I remember being so proud of them back then, but I wonder how awful I’d them they are now, lol!

    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted: Review | Freaking Out: Real-Life Stories about Anxiety
    1. Aww you totally should have made some petpages! 😀 It was so fun!

      But yeah, those graphic intensive layouts used to be all the rage. It’s funny how web design trends change.

  7. Haha! I used to play Neopets, too!
    I briefly went through this stage where I spent all of my time designing profile layouts for this online game called Howrse. I’d design the layout on Gimp (basically a giant header image with the player’s name and a box for text) and slap a box with a scroll bar on it.
    I never tried to expand my coding knowledge after that phase ended. I’m much more comfortable designing newspaper layouts on Adobe InDesign.

    D. @ The Nerdy Journalist recently posted: Words of Wednesday
  8. I love reading these posts! I think your ‘bad’ ones are still better than I could ever do! I’m really not a very techy person so coding would just confuse me way too much. I love the space phase (haha, it rhymes!) that you went through. The images are all so gorgeous and Creative Whim looks SO good right now!

  9. Gonna be honest… If that first one is you “sucking” then I’m doomed for life. Those Neopet ones were pretty good. Like I know you’re so much better now and you’ve progressed, but at the same time… That was amazing!

    I loved looking at these. You’re kind of hard on yourself, lol. But you’re awesome <33

    Nova Lee @ Out of Time recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday: Cress - Marissa Meyer
  10. Your ability to design websites is really awesome! Even your earliest designs are a billion times better than any site I’ve ever tried to design myself, so you need to get extra credit for that. I love the latest look of your site though — great job!

    Alexa S. recently posted: Defy - Sara B. Larson (Review)

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