Everyone involved in building a website wants it to stand out from other websites. Clients want to stand out from the competition and leave a favorable impression on potential customers; designers strive for originality and to compete with other designers; back-end developers want a success story in their portfolios and an original or different-looking site can help with that.
And we want it bad. There’s a cottage industry of people writing articles designed to help us design more original-feeling sites. I’ve even seen articles about “Trends to Make Your Site Stand Out”, and it feels like at least one of those words is sorely misused.
Goodness knows I’ve obsessed over it in the past. I know the feeling that your work just isn’t good enough because man, the last couple of sites you made really felt the same. Where’s the inspiration? Where’s the creativity? Well, originality isn’t the be-all and end-all. If a site that feels the same as many others gets the results you want, that’s not a bad thing.
But you can create sites that stand out. Consistently producing original—or at least original-feeling—work doesn’t happen by inspiration or by luck. It happens with planning, and a lot of effort. Here are five approaches you can use to make your work stand out, with their pros and cons. I’m not going to include a ton of examples, because the idea is to not copy other sites.