PSDFan Extra

The Website Evolution of 6 Monster Design Blogs

Earlier today I found a great article from WebDesignLedger called ‘The Design Evolution of Popular Websites’. It basically showed how the website designs of huge sites such as and had changed over time.

I enjoyed the post so much that I decided to publish my own variation, where I focused on the evolution of the world’s largest design blogs. I didn’t know what to expect myself before beginning the research for this article. However, the results were very interesting, and surprisingly in cases. It’s so motivating to see how giants such as Mashable and SmashingMagazine grew from the most humble beginnings into what they are today. It proves to anyone that it is possible to create anything in this age, just put in the work!

I hope that you enjoy this list as much as I enjoyed creating it!


Smashing Magazine



Veerle’s Blog

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment


  1. sriganesh says:

    nice post and thanks for sharing

  2. Seraph says:

    Great post Tom! Nice to see some screenshots of how the blogs looked like back then. Cheers!

  3. Tom says:

    Thanks guys! I’m glad you liked this post :) I’m still amazed at how much some of these blogs have changed over time.

  4. Hi
    In this site very super , very useful for me, keep develop, design also very super ,
    i bookmarked in this blog

    Thanks for your information

  5. Melody says:

    Wow, never thought I’d be able to see how some of these sites’s awesome for inspiration because you get to see that no site automatically had a perfect setup that worked for them…good to see!

  6. Vim says:

    Its great to see that popular sites are keeping up with the times, I’ve not heard of some of the sites, but will be checking them out. Tom good choice of sites each site is different in terms of content.

  7. joris_lucius says:

    Very nice to see this evolution mapped. good work!

  8. Very interisting to see the development all over the time. thx

  9. Tom says:

    Melody: I completely agree. Most (if not all) of the largest sites have undergone years of trial and error to get to where they are today. It’s something that we can all emulate.

    Vim: Thanks! I deliberately tried to showcase a variety of sites here, and also a variety of design styles.

  10. Marco says:

    Nice compilation! Marcofolio did some heavy redesign in the past too :) . Especially Mashable came a long way!

    Thanks for sharing Tom – keep up the good work!

  11. DesignBoy says:

    Great stuff, the design’s of the sites have come along way. Funny how something’s look good at the time but when you look back at them you think WTF was i thinking!

    • Tom says:

      Marco: Yeah I’m loving Marcofolio’s current design though, a definite improvement.

      Designboy: Haha I’ve definitely been there! Even the first version of PSDFAN is pretty cringing to look back on.

  12. This is great! I always wondered how some of these, especially Smashing and PSDTuts, started out. This is invaluable motivation, thanks Tom.

  13. Oh wow! Cool! I never even saw the first version of Smashing Magazine before.

  14. Grafpedia says:

    Great Post Tom. nice to see some old screenshots with some websites i visit each day. i know almost all the versions of the sites, and i am happy to see a huge difference between now and then.

  15. Dzinepress says:

    i think there is some great success stories within design and for us great inspirations. thanks

  16. This is the first time that i am seeing first version of Smashing Magazine.Thanks.

  17. MartynJ says:

    Awesome post! Its cool look back at how the big blogs use to look

  18. oes tsetnoc says:

    SmashingMagazine, Mashable and PSDTUTS are great websites. i wanna do somehting like them, i already thought of a great domain name but i dont know how to make my site that popular like the above.

  19. Nice design … Smashing Magazine is quite cool .. the cover looks great

  20. I love looking at the old blog designs haha. All the sites listed above design have improve tremendously and have grown tremendously. Great post

  21. qwe says:

    where the f*** is abduzeedo man?

  22. Craig Teich says:

    Very interesting post. I’m a fan of the PSDtuts site, and often go there for design ideas for our sites, our blogs, and when we where creating Profit Platform Pro (a tool for creating highly customizable websites on WordPress). All of the Envato sites are very nice.

    Mashable, on the other hand . . . well, the nicest thing I can say is that their site is primed for improvement.

    Nice post,


  23. jack says:

    nice one

  24. frido says:

    interesting to see, how sites have changed after your post!
    However, nice post and thanks for sharing

  25. Well these designs are awesome. Thank you very much for sharing your opinion.

  26. Ned says:

    Very good post

  27. Nice design … Smashing Magazine is quite cool

  28. nice post! searched a long time

  29. Great job go a head.Takes me straight back to my early years of webdesign, messing around with Frontpage and MSPaint.

Leave a Comment:

Related Posts

Your Design Work, But More Awesome:

Do you know the basic tools in Photoshop but feel that your work is still looking average? Join our creative community at FanExtra and get the direction you need to take your work to the next level.