Pre-built is the keyword here, as these files are not generated by a server like they are on dynamic sites. Instead, the server hosts the pre-built files and returns them to users the same way they already were.
Consequently, a static website’s content doesn’t change based on specific variables, such as the visitor’s location. That means every visitor sees the same exact web page.
Although this may seem like a drawback initially, the lack of dynamically generated code makes static websites easier to build and maintain. Unlike with dynamic sites, you don’t have to deal with additional server-side scripts, like Python or PHP.
Static sites work just fine with HTML alone. And besides, most of the top website builders can help you build a static site via drag-and-drop interfaces in the first place, with no coding required.
Since the files are pre-built, static websites also experience faster loading times—meaning visitors don’t need to wait for the server to generate any new code.
Despite their simplicity, static websites don’t have to be bland. There are plenty of beautiful static websites in use today by large companies and organizations.
1. Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails is a full-stack open-source web development framework used by companies like GitHub, Airbnb, and SoundCloud, for instance.
The homepage’s layout is straightforward yet highly effective. It uses whitespace along the margins to direct the visitor’s attention towards the page’s center. That’s where Rails on Rails turns its focus to the copy.
The headlines are catchy and stand out through their bright red color while clearly describing the platform’s benefits. The supporting copy follows the same format—it’s emboldened, concise, and strikes a perfect balance between being informative and engaging.
Ruby on Rails also includes a long-form video tutorial beneath the main headline. This gives users a glimpse into how the platform works and encourages them to try it for themselves. The video also aims to get visitors engaged, leading to increased dwell times and decreased bounce rates.
Although the Rails homepage is static, the navigation menu leads to many other pages that are dynamic, like its community forum. This page updates automatically whenever users post a new topic.
Most likely, one of the main reasons why the Ruby on Rails homepage is static is to feature on Rails a lengthy video without dragging down performance.
Secondly, the homepage already includes all the elements necessary to appeal to visitors. It has engaging copy that showcases the platform’s benefits, a video tutorial showing how the platform works, trust badges, and a brief rundown of key features.
In other words, the homepage doesn’t need to alter its content to appeal to specific visitor segments.
2. Hartwell Insurance
Hartwell Insurance allows commercial businesses to create custom insurance solutions specific to their needs through its captive insurance services.
Hartwell’s website is highly minimalistic. Like Ruby on Rails, it places most design elements in the center, which pop out through the empty space along the margins.
The above-the-fold content draws attention to the company’s tagline, which is outlined via a sketch-based graphic. Although a small touch, the outline has a significant impact on the homepage’s above-the-fold design, bringing further attention to the headline while contributing to the site’s aesthetic.
The navigation menu links are highlighted through a lighter shade of blue, blending in with the website’s color palette while still attracting attention. The CTA buttons on the bottom right and left follow a similar format, but are outlined and colored in white to stand out slightly more.
Hartwell makes up for the lack of imagery and simplistic layout through various scrolling animations and hover effects, which add a dash of life to the website.
TwitchCon is Twitch’s annual gaming convention, hosting events both in Europe and North America.
Unlike Hartwell, TwitchCon’s website is image-heavy. Its hero image occupies most of the above-the-fold screen space and is animated to make the website feel more alive.
It also hypes up visitors through its copy—the question-based headline gets visitors engaged and sparks curiosity about streamers who will attend the event. The rest of the copy is focused on answering questions and generating even more enthusiasm for visitors.
TwitchCon’s homepage directs the visitor’s attention to the event’s locations with a navigation menu that leads to the Las Vegas and Paris convention pages. The homepage further promotes its upcoming Las Vegas event by highlighting it through a large CTA on the right side.
Just like the hero image, the CTA box’s purple color stands out from the white background. It also covers the entire length of the above-the-fold section, making it truly hard to miss.
4. Hom Sweet Hom
Hom Sweet Hom is an excellent portfolio website.
The website’s copy is short and to the point, the CTAs are clear and stand out through their contrasting colors, and the navigation menu is placed right in the header where users expect it. In other words, the site closely follows many of the best practices in web design.
Additionally, the split-screen layout enhances the page’s above-the-fold design by separating the hero image from the copy. This helps draw equal attention to both elements.
The professional photo on the left represents the artist and her design capabilities through the backdrop as well as the calligraphy work and painting tools on the ground.
The copy on the right is engaging and goes into a little more detail about her artistic background. The CTA text is well-written. Rather than a generic “About me” copy, the “Tell me more” message is more inviting and compels visitors to click through.
The website’s design also builds upon the hero image by following the same color scheme as the wall painting in the photo, with each color serving its purpose. White and light green act as background colors to give the homepage a relaxing feel, while orange makes the headline and CTA buttons stand out.
The rest of the homepage then uses logos of the companies the artist previously worked with as a trust element. It also showcases her work, courses, and blog posts under a grid layout—excellent for displaying large amounts of information in an organized manner.
5. Spotify for Developers
Spotify for Developers gives users access to the platform’s music and podcast data.
By accessing its web API, developers can build custom applications that seamlessly link with Spotify, like Discover Quickly, a Spotify-powered web app that allows users to find more information about specific artists and listen to song snippets within Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist.
Anyway, Spotify’s static developer website stands out through its simple UI. The above-the-fold content includes just a headline, tagline, and a CTA button.
A simplistic interface like this is excellent for mobile optimization because the less crowded your website is, the easier it is to make it fit on smaller screens. Meanwhile, the page also compensates for the lack of other design elements via a full-screen colorful illustration in the background, making it feel busier than it actually is.
Lastly, rather than directing users to a separate webpage, the CTA button leads visitors toward the bottom of the homepage, where they can try out and run a piece of pre-written code on the spot. This is an excellent idea to get visitors to interact with the website and show them how the platform works.
KeyCDN is a content delivery network provider (CDN), which caches a website’s content across a network of proxy servers distributed around the globe. This is useful for decreasing loading times, because when users visit your website, they’ll connect to the server that’s closest to them.
KeyCDN’s website jumps straight into generating conversions as quickly as possible. The headline highlights the platform’s main benefits, while the supporting copy goes into more detail and states how easy it is to use the platform.
The site then moves to earn the visitor’s trust by mentioning the CDN’s hit ratio and the number of locations it serves.
The sign-up form on the right stands out through its contrasting colors and doesn’t ask for more information than needed. It only requires the visitor’s website and email address. This aims to maximize conversions, as too many form fields can discourage visitors from submitting their details.
The below-the-fold content builds on the statements within the headline and supporting copy, doubling down on how quickly visitors can get started with the platform. It also includes details about how the features can improve website performance, along with trust elements like testimonials and logos of companies that use KeyCDN.
7. Godot Tutorials
Godot Tutorials offers numerous free game programming courses. Its site’s minimalistic design strikes a perfect balance between function and aesthetics.
The homepage’s above-the-fold content includes a large illustration that adds to the website’s overall look. The headline and supporting copy briefly explain what the website is about and how it can help visitors. The CTA button is highlighted via its bright orange color, with straightforward copy that leads users directly to the course page.
There’s also a secondary CTA beneath the main one, in plain hyperlinked text. This is an anchor link that takes users further down the page to a lead magnet, which concisely explains the benefits of subscribing to the newsletter. Visitors only need to type in their email addresses at this point, and that’s good for reducing friction.
The Godot Tutorials website stands out through its focus on providing value to visitors. Rather than pushing for conversions by bringing out the course’s benefits below the fold, it presents a quick three-step guide showing people how to go through and make the most out of its courses.
First, it recommends that users start with entry-level tutorials before gradually moving on to more advanced courses. Meanwhile, each step includes a brief description of its corresponding course series, and a CTA. This is a great use of a static homepage.
8. Screamin’ Sicilian
Screamin’ Sicilian is a family-owned frozen pizza manufacturer. Despite its simple layout and generic-looking elements, the website is full of personality.
The copy is fun and confident, successfully reflecting the homey atmosphere of an Italian family-owned business. Most notably, the “Peek into our freezer” CTA beneath the supporting copy is original and complies with the website’s theme.
That theme itself adds dashes of brown colors throughout its design, alluding to pizza boxes and establishing brand consistency.
In addition to the playful copy, the website’s design elements also do a good job of getting visitors engaged and nudging them to explore more of the company’s products.
Most notably, the bottom of the homepage aims to encourage visitors to browse the company’s products by starting with a quick question about the visitor’s favorite pizza style. This kind of copy directly addresses the visitor and brings up its versatility in products. Plus there’s some cool mustaches.
Just as its supporting copy states, Tomango is a UK-based brand, web design, and digital marketing agency.
Its static website does a good job of introducing the company—the headline clearly states how Tomango can help its visitors, while the copy beneath it includes emboldened hyperlinked text.
These links lead to the agency’s brand, web design, and digital marketing service pages, where visitors can learn more about the company’s expertise.
The CTA is outlined simply but blends in the background color to make it pop out without being obtrusive. Also, the arrow next to it points toward the hero image, making it clear that the image shows one of the agency’s previous projects.
Overall, this website’s emphasis on whitespace and simple white and red color scheme (with the occasional splash of black and gray) gives the design a sleek look, establishes contrast, and enhances the browsing experience.
Static websites are not a thing of the past, and they certainly don’t have to look like they come straight out of the 90s.
On top of their simplicity, static websites are easy to build and maintain—making them an excellent option if you’re looking to create your first website. In fact, many of the examples in this very post were built with static website generators like Hugo and Jekyll.