Top 20 Earning Web Design Websites

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Hello Everyone,

I think the best inspiration to do better in anything, weather it’s your own business or life is seeing someone who has already done what you want to achieve. Today we decided to research and give a educated guess on how much our favorite web design websites earn every month. I first did a post like this back in March on another website of mine called IncomeDiary. I researched the top 30 earning blogs I read and listed them with how they made there money.

Top 20 Earning Web Design Websites: How Much Do Top Web Design Sites Make?

Below is our list of the top 20 earning web design sites. Please note that all of the earnings we have put down are an educated guess based on advertising rates, affiliate sales, members, traffic etc, and not fully confirmed by the sites themselves.

Smashing Magazine

URL: | Monthly Earnings: $58,500

smashingmagazine Top 20 Earning Web Design Websites

TutsPlus Network

URL: | Monthly Earnings: $54,000 ($24,650 Just From BuySellAds)

tutsplus Top 20 Earning Web Design Websites


URL: | Monthly Earnings: $34,300


Freelance Switch

URL: | Monthly Earnings: $13,000

freelanceswitch Top 20 Earning Web Design Websites


URL: | Monthly Income: $12,000

webdesignerwall Top 20 Earning Web Design Websites

Authentic Jobs

URL: | Monthly Earnings: $9,500



URL: | Monthly Earnings: $7,000



URL: | Monthly Earnings: $6,000

abduzeedo Top 20 Earning Web Design Websites


URL: | Monthly Earnings: $6,000



URL: | Monthly Earnings: $5,000



URL: | Monthly Earnings: $4,500



URL: | Monthly Earnings: $4,400



URL: | Monthly Income: $3,500


Smashing Apps

URL: | Monthly Earnings: $3,100


Just Creative Design

URL: | Monthly Earnings: $3,000



URL: | Monthly Earnings: $3,000


CSS Remix

URL: | Monthly Earnings: $2,780



URL: | Monthly Earnings: $2,500


Spoon Graphics

URL: | Monthly Income: $2,400 (Plus Web Design Inquiries)



URL: | Monthly Earnings: $2,300


How They Make Their Money

Making money online is all about testing and experimenting, no one gets it 100% right the first time they try. For example when I first started my main website, I thought the only way to monetize it was with banner advertising. What’s great about some of these websites is that they have taken the typically monetization technique which is adding advertising banners to their website and then they realized there was other ways to add value which in return they could make money. For example FreelanceSwitch has a job board with a designer director and TutsPlus offers a premium membership offer more tutorials and resources.

It is very noticeable that nearly all of the above websites use the BuySellAds service to sell their advertising spaces. BuySellAds basically make it hassle free for website owners to sell advertising, they handle everything including finding the advertise, payments and customer service.

PS. Please remember that SOME of these numbers are just educated guesses and make not be 100% accurate.

PPS. If you have any websites to add to the list, or have a more accurate number then please comment below.

Iggy is an entrepreneur, blogger, and designer who loves experimenting with new web design techniques, collating creative website designs, and writing about the latest design fonts, themes, plugins, inspiration, and more. You can follow him on Twitter

65 thoughts on “Top 20 Earning Web Design Websites”

  1. I would be curious to find out what these websites are making today. See is they where hit with the latest Google updates either positively or negatively.

  2. Really a cool stuff !!!! We always go on these websites to find latest trend related to website designing, but never think about their business strategy to earn money, but after seeing your blog i am quite impressed as these all websites are getting earning by knowledge sharing.

  3. it’s amazing to think you can get this from just adds and affiliate sales. There traffic must be massive! i wana be the that guy. best get to work.

  4. This is fantastic research, thank you. I had a client recently with tens of thousands of views and they were looking to quantify how much money they could make by switching to page ads. This guide will help.

  5. Nice article, it is cool to see how much those websites are making. I am planning a few websites with Google adwords, do you have any tips for good places to get paid for advertising?

  6. wow… interesting infos, could be dreaming to see all that earnings… wonder how to make it…. btw good inspiration for all of us…
    need a thousand brain to get listed 😀

  7. you must buy a private helicopter with you earning’s ………… 😉
    very much impressed with you ……………………..

  8. Very inspiring list – the common knowledge that ‘Content is King’ is alive and kicking as we move into 2010. Nice article

  9. This is a good article, I always use blogs as more of a value ad than an actual way of making money, we often outsource content which I imagine a lot of these sites do, would be really interested to see the profit margins of these sites minus, development, advertising, content writing etc but good article non the less

  10. Hi! Great article, I see that you just calculated the money the make on banners but what about site that don’t use banners such as or ???

  11. Personnally I found the numbers very disappointing 🙁 even for big names such as SmashinApps or WebDesignerDepot the numbers are under 4K

  12. Interesting article indeed.
    You might also want to take into account affiliate programs that some of these sites promote. I can say for myself that I earn more through affiliate promotions than BuySellAds. So in a nutshell, these site’s earnings can be much higher in reality.

  13. Typo in first sentence: think the best inspiration to do better in anything, weather it’s your own business or life is seeing someone who has already done what you want to achieve.
    Should say whether. Unless you’re talking about snow.

    I also disagree with this sentence. True inspiration is figuring out how to do something that hasn’t been done yet. Looking at other work may get creative juices flowing but there are many other ways to do that.

  14. Great List. I am inspired. I am about to start a new blog here in Africa. I hope to be profitable.

    Good luck to all website owners….We need money


  15. This is awesome! My friend and I just started a blog called The Happiness Machine, and are making it a long-term goal to get up on this list!
    We are trying to make a niche of our own, too. Instead of just focusing on web design, “Our goal is to educate people as to how media functions as a marketing device, how people receive it, and how and why it is made. Essentially, we’re here to teach people media theory and production.”

    I hope you guys can stop by and check it out (just click on my name) – we have a new post coming up a little bit later today!


  16. Definitely an impressive article and interesting to see how much these websites manage to make. Great article as always and keep up the good work.

  17. Outstanding the amount of revenue great blogs make. I hope to make my blog that popular soon. $500/ month from just blogging would be great in my opinion for myself lol.

    Good Article

  18. Nice post and thanks for the free article on how to become rich..always a pleasure 🙂

    I am surprised that the Vandelay Design Blog is not on this list, because it is pretty popular and good..although maybe I missed it…I haven’t had my shot of coffffeeeee yet.

    Will read the 7-day course and damn it (can I say this…) I will be on this list next year 🙂

  19. Great post. I really like where you have been going recently. Covering the business side of the web design niche is very interesting to me. Keep up the good work.



  20. Hey,

    Even though these are educated guesses, and don’t discuss the costs involved with running these sites, I still like this post a lot as it inspires people to blog more about design, which is great. Thx.

  21. My guess is that SmashingMag became popular by outsourcing their posts (or most of them). Just try to write some kind of “top 50” post and you’ll see how much time does it take. SM publish such posts very often.

    Second, some of these top web design sites are part of the same network so there’s no problem with promotion. They just promote each other content on social networks and their own sites.

    Third, most of the posts are not original. I’ve seen a lot of complaints from small blogs about stealing their ideas. That means that yesterday small blog published original post which remained unnoticed and day later it goes viral from ‘Top Blog’ just without any link to original.

  22. I don’t want to disclose exact figures, but my web design firm directory makes quite a bit more than some of these sites. I started Xemion back in 2005 and it’s been steadily growing sense. Just throwing my hat in the ring 🙂

    Absolutely great list and post, thanks!

  23. Hey Keith…

    That is exactly why I tell teachers they should teach online. So easy to take a skill and offer it online like SmashingMagazine has done with web design.



  24. Interesting, though I believe some of the figures are on the low side. Really should make more effort myself on my own websites. I did see you flitting about Twitter for info. Another decent little article by you all the same.

    • Hello Henry,

      So would I, Vitaly did confirm over a year ago to do a interview and after waiting for a year he emailed me saying he could do it.



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