Open Source Web Design

Every once in a while I run across a site that makes me say, “WOW, what a useful resource!” Open Source Web Design (OSWD) is one of those sites.

As you can probably tell by the articles I’ve featured on MyWebResource, I’m a strong advocate for using templates to streamline website development. As a designer, I produce free templates to give back to the Internet community, and I really enjoy doing so, but occassionally, the idea machine comes to a screeching halt. That’s where sites like OSWD prove to be invaluable.

I found OSWD by chance one day when I was searching the net for template sites. I was looking for some fresh ideas to help me get out of a slump I was sliding into. You can only do the standard 3 column layout so many times before you really get bored.

When I started browsing the OSWD directory of templates, I was impressed with the overall layout and design of the site, but was a little disappointed in the lack of features. I quickly got over my disappointment after looking at a couple hundred of some of the best website designs I’ve laid eyes upon. I consider myself a reasonably good designer, but many of the designs at OSWD really stand out from the crowd.

What impressed me more than anything else about OSWD and the hundreds of templates you’ll find there is that most of the designs are, at minimum, W3C XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS 2.0 compliant. Many are XHTML Strict! In the years that I’ve been on the web and browsed thousands of template sites, I can tell you from experience, to offer so many high quality, standards compliant templates is rare, very rare!

I like the OSWD site and community so much, I’ve even started working on traditional “static” designs again after spending the last two years doing XOOPS themes almost exclusively.

To the Administrator and community of OSWD, my hat is off to you. You’ve produced a resource that is by far one of my favorites, and I strongly feel that every webmaster should have your site bookmarked. If for no other reason than to keep their finger on the pulse of what is new and hot in standards compliant design.

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