The much awaited shortlist of 24 sites in the running for the Website of the Year Award 2011.

We have been delighted by the response to this year's Website of the Year Award, noticing a marked improvement in the overall standard of sites entering. Most sites were well structured, making full use of the opportunities that social media provides. Entries ranged across the whole spectrum of consumer interests from retailers to information and service providers to social platforms and forums.

After much deliberation, the judges have agreed on the following shortlist:


1. - Editorially driven website celebrating all things beach across travel, fashion and beauty genres. The people behind Beach Tomato are the creators of award winning travel brand, Black Tomato.

2. - Helps discerning independent travellers find small, stylish and special places to stay in some of the most beautiful places in the world.


3. - An experiment in farming and food production, initiated by the National Trust. Anyone can sign up to join in with the debate and decision making on Wimpole Estate Farm, Cambridgeshire.


4. - A curated space which seeks to replace the mathematical search engine with a human one, selecting 'features, opinion and analysis articles from around the web.'

5. - Offers a means of accessing great works of art from the comfort of your own home, with the aim of becoming the destination site for all art online.


6. - Helps musicians to submit their music to hundreds of labels. TV/film, publishers and more, whilst also providing music industry jobs and audition listings.


7. - Helps visitors to create a bespoke piece of art by allowing them to create a 'wish list' of how they want their artwork to look. Artists can then bid for the job.

8. - Aims to connect the buyer looking for good quality art at great prices with the aspiring artist keen to showcase and sell their work. Art is sold at a set price, usually under £200.

9. - Designed (by parents) as a definitive online environment for storing, displaying and celebrating children's art via easy-to-create online galleries.


10. - Find fabrics, wallpaper and home accessories that draw inspiration from the coastline of Suffolk. The accompanying blog features articles on the preservation of Britain's coastline, places to eat and things to do and see.

11. - Offers a hand-curated edit of stylish products and art from hundreds of leading galleries and museums, artists and independent stores from around the world. Founding partners include Tate, V&A, Saatchi Gallery and the Whitechapel Gallery.

12. - An online magazine and directory of British made products, created by talented and often little-known designers, craftsmen, producers and retailers scattered across the UK.

13. - An online dress hire company that allows designers to wear designer fashion at a fraction of the usual price. Order up to three dresses, try them on at home and Girl Meets Dress will refund you for any that you don't wear.

14. - Fashion-led organic baby clothing and skincare presented in an aesthetically pleasing and organised manner.


15. - An online magazine for gourmets the world over. Acting as a co-operative, this ezine publishes articles from both professional and aspiring writers, bloggers, chefs, cooks and anyone who has a passion for food and the writing skills to demonstrate this.

16. - Specialising in rare teas that are sourced in small quantities from the best tea gardens and plantations in the world. Henrietta Lovell, the founder, is on a mission to de-bag Britain and get more people using loose tea.


17. - The UK's largest crowdfunding platform for creative projects. It helps you find paying audiences for your work by offering perks in exchange for pledges. Browse the site to find a wide range of creative projects, including theatre, film, art, design, new writing, music, fashion, and more.

18. - A new idea in the fast-changing world of publishing. Writers pitch ideas for books on the site, and you, the reader, can pledge your support if you think it sounds like a good read. If enough suppport is collectively pledged, the book will be published.


19. - Create online mind maps and have real-time brainstorm sessions. Users can create, manage and share mind maps online and access them without the need to download anything.

20. - With award-winning software, Moonfruit makes website building easy and is particularly useful for small businesses, organisations, DJs, bands and people who want to have their own personal site.


21. - Gives users access to cheap courier services for parcel delivery in the UK, Europe and over 250 international destinations. Works with key service providers including City Link, DHL, Parcelforce, Royal Mail and Nightfreight, offering cheaper deals.


22. - Provides graduate career advice from those in the know. Browse thousands of job reviews, written by employees at top companies.

23. - A recruitment marketplace that connects businesses with an approved network of specialist recruitment agencies that will fill your vacancy for a fixed placement fee, set by you.


24. - Packed with free information, advice and resources, The Start Up Donut covers all bases, from financing a business and business law to tax, national insurance and employees. It is one of five free-to-access business advice websites, covering start up, marketing, law, IT and Tax.


The shortlisted sites will be encouraged to get their visitors and customers to vote for their site in The People's Choice. This is a separate entity to the Website of the Year and last year was won by Netmums, whose active community of mums voted in their thousands for their favourite site.


The winning site will be announced at the 2011 Awards Reception in London during Global Entrepreneurship Week (15-19th November 2010), alongside the site that receives the most votes in the People's Choice. The Reception will be held at The Royal Institution of Great Britain in Albemarle Street, London W1 on Wednesday 16th November. Tickets to attend the reception can be purchased for £25 each via Eventbrite. Eventbrite fee is extra.

12 October 2011