My Favorite Websites of 2011

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012

Over the course of the last year I have discovered a ton of really cool things on the web. Being a web designer, and into as many things as I am into, I find that I spend a lot of time online. Below is a list of some of my favorite websites (and some of the coolest websites) that I have discovered over the past year or so. Take a look at some of them and let me know what you think. Also, if you know of an awesome website that I have not talked about, fill me in! I am always looking for new and exciting websites to check out. Enjoy the list!

Pure Citizen (
Pure Citizen is a ‘daily deal’ website of sorts that not only allows you to discover beautiful items that are organic, fair trade, and/or vegan but they offer them to you at a savings of up to 70% OFF!Each day, a different company is featured on the site. Once you sign up to be a member (the membership is free), you will receive a daily email highlighting the company and the products being offered at the discounted rate. Each company typically offers a nice selection of items at the discounted rate.

As the buyer, you are presented with the choice of which items you want to purchase, and the option to donate some of your savings on each item to the charity or cause that is being featured with that sale. For example, if you are purchasing an item that is discounted 50%, you would be able to donate some or all of that savings to a better cause.Each sale runs for 3-5 days, and featured companies include everything from organic clothing, vegan handbags, organic make-up and more. Check out Pure Citizen and start saving on great, planet conscious, eco-friendly  items today!

Open Sky (
Open Sky is by far one of the coolest sites of 2011. It is a site that was created to share product recommendations from some of the industries top celebrities and experts. Once you create your free account you can start “following” experts and celebrities in many areas of interest (fashion, cooking, food, health and fitness, etc). Each day your experts send you products that they are excited about and special discount deals just for those who are following them. For example, I follow Kathy Freston (the vegan author who inspired Opera to go vegan for a week) and Carol Alt (a raw food expert) and I have gotten great deals on vegan boots, vegan purses, heath food snacks and more. You can follow any number of the experts available and it is a great way to see what cool new products are out there that fit your specific interest.

Pintrest (
Pintrest is a digital pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. You can build your own pinboards, check out others’ pinboards and to quickly share inspirational, awesome, and chat worthy images from anywhere on the web.

You can browse Pintrest without being a member, however, in order to pin items, create your own pinboards or comment on other pinboards,  you have to either request and invitation to join, or you have to be invited to join by a friend. If you are interested in joining, let me know and I will send you an invite. It took about a week for my request to go through, so it is not too bad if you want to try to get an account on your own.

One really cool thing about Pintrest is that once you are a member, you can add a “Pin It” button to your browser that you can click when browsing the web and quickly add images to your boards. Check it out if are looking for something fun and inspirational to do on the web! Your Pintrest account is tied to your Facebook or Twitter account and you can follow friends and other pinners just like you do on any other social media site. It also allows you to quickly share (if you want to) what you are pinning on Facebook/Twitter.

This site is by far my favorite new site I discovered in 2011. Beware, it is just as addictive as Facebook and can occupy/distract you for hours!

Snique Away (
Snique Away is a member only website for really great deals on hotels around the world. This is another site you have to request membership to, but it is well worth the wait (took about a month for me to get in). All the hotels listed on the site are top-rated hotels on Trip Advisor which allows you to book with confidence. If you like to travel, this is a great site to keep up with, you never know what deals you will find and what trips the deals available can inspire!

Groupon (
I know that Groupon started well before 2011, and I was a member long before this past year as well, but I just can’t leave this site out when I am talking about my favorite websites. If you are not a member of Groupon yet, sign up now! To me, Groupon is one of the best things since sliced bread! Groupon is the king of ‘daily deal’ sites, having started the whole trend and is a great way for consumers to get outstanding deals on exciting things to do in the city/town where they live.

In fact, you can even sign up for Groupon updates in towns where you don’t live! I have signed up to receive daily deals in the cities that we frequently travel to, and even the cities we are traveling to on vacation. Groupon is a great way to save money on things that you normally do, and things that you don’t normally do. It is much easier to try that new restaurant in town for half price then to try it for full price, right?

In addition to the daily deals, Groupon also offers product specials, and Groupon Getaways (travel deals). Sign up for Groupon today and check out all that they have to offer!

Living Social (
A lot like Groupon, Living Socials is another ‘daily deal’ site that I think every consumer should check out. I have scored some really great deal on living social such as Fandango movie tickets, a month unlimited at the local Yoga Studio, half off at our favorite carry out restaurant and much more.

Living Social also offers what they call Living Social Adventures (travel deals) similar to Groupon. Adventures range from a weekend at a local bed and breakfast to a 10-day African Safari trip. Another site, definitely worth signing up for!

Woot (
Woot has been around for several years, but I only recently discovered it. Woot is a ‘daily deal’ site as well which offers one product to its users at a deeply discounted rate. Quantities are typically limited and the user sometimes does not have choice of things like color, but this is a very cool site to check out. Also, the majority of the products on the site are tech related, not all of them, but a good deal of them. Jason has gotten some really good deals on hard drives, computer equipment and other techy stuff, and we actually bought an awesome heated fleece blanket from Woot recently.

Like I mentioned, the quantity of items can be limited, so if you see something you want, jump on it as soon as you can. If you wait too long, it might sell out.

I could go on and on about cool websites, but I think I have given you a couple of really good ones to check out. Some that can inspire you, and some that can save you money! Let me know what you think, and of course, pass on any cool sites that you love so we can all check them out!

Happy surfing!


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