Over the past few weeks, the judges of the GWG Website of the Year Award have been deliberating over the entries, a difficult task at the best of times, with an incredibly diverse range of websites to consider. Although we say this every year, the standard is ever higher and we hope that you'll find the shortlist representative of some really useful websites. These are sites that we hope you'll want to bookmark. Some are quirky, some deliver information in an engaging manner, others are game changers. We thoroughly recommend that you click on the links below and have a good browse around some of these sites and let us know what you think.
You'll also get the chance to vote for your favourite site in the People's Choice.
The category winners and overall Website of the Year will be announced by Holly Tucker, co-founder of Not On The High Street at the Awards Reception on Tuesday 19th November at The Royal Institution of Great Britain, Albemarle Street, W1, London.
- Combines your digital photos and your text to make one-off beautifully bound books.
- A truly vibrant site, committed to encouraging everyone to realise their creative talents stocking over 2500 products for artists.
- From its designer menswear store in Manchester, Intro Clothing extends its reach to customers across the UK with a hip and urban edit of men's fashion.
- Inspired by the success of its customised ceramics at big tomato company
, Unite & Type goes one step further in bringing its customers authentic English creamware.
HOME & GARDEN
- BOUF brings you a handpicked selection of homeware and gifts with a twist! Its merchandisers cherry-pick only the most unique, design-led brands to partner with.
- Occa-Home offers its time pressed and style conscious customers exactly what they've been looking for - unique and luxury branded interior homeware and lifestyle collections, curated by professional interior designers.
- Pearl & Earl describes itself as the Home of Hip Happy Colour with a colourful nostalgic chic approach to product design, which has struck a chord with its customers.
- Sofa.com is a combination of quirky, great functionality and visually stunning photography. The functionality of the site is unique in that it allows every fabric on offer (150) to be previewed on every sofa at every angle.
FOOD & DRINK
- Provides customers with a unique offering – beautiful, hand-iced gifts, all made with British products, from their bakery in Kennington – that can be personalised and delivered same day.
- Great British Chefs is a premium brand that provides food lovers with great recipes, tips and how to videos from the very best chefs in Britain.
- A revolutionary food cost and price monitoring system for hospitality professionals.
BEST OF BRITISH
- This footwear brand has been part of Britain's heritage since 1905 when the company was founded. The site is evocative of Gola’s heritage and its wide appeal to its customers today.
- A bespoke online stationer with an eye for detail, offering comprehensive personalised stationery from invitations, correspondence cards, writing paper or anything else for which you may need high quality stationery.
- Renowned for its award winning love letter cushions, bunting and personalised gifts, all the products you find at Jonny's Sister are handmade in England.
- A charming website for sharing and discovering lovely local things to see and do in the UK. Locals give insider knowledge of hidden gems or simple pleasures to be found in their area.
- Online photography courses that offer excellent value for money with the first and only online photography school to offer a classroom learning experience from the comfort of your own home.
- The NatWest Pocket Money Programme is helping equip the next generation to get the most out of life, with practical and engaging resources and lesson plans for teachers and their pupils.
- Revolutionising the way candidates prepare for interviews and admissions processes by providing access to experienced professionals who've been there and done it.
- More than a marketplace to buy and sell affordable art online, ArtQuid has become a vibrant community where anyone can discover art, share his passion and create direct contacts with artists, galleries and enthusiasts from all horizons.
- A literary matchmaker, designed to connect agents and authors online, in the name of new writing. LitFactor is passionate about unpublished authors and wants to demystify the literary agent submissions process and reduce your rejections.
- Founded in 2011, this one-stop website showcases the best of art, culture and travel for every single country in the world.
- Ampersand believes that ‘luxury is in the experience.’ If you want to travel in style but are not afraid to step off the usual circuit in order to experience something more rewarding, this travel company is for you.
- Black Tomato is an award winning tailored travel company that specialises in putting together exceptional, boundary-pushing trips around the globe.
- Mr & Mrs Smith hand-pick and anonymously review all the best boutique hotels and luxury houses to ensure you find the perfect romantic getaway. A collection of stylish B&Bs, luxury spa stays and family-friendly hotels.
- Quintessentially Travel offer the very best in bespoke travel, with a team of specialists chosen for their extensive practical experience and understanding of the luxury travel market, not to mention the added benefit of the Quintessentially brand's inside track on a global luxury lifestyle.
- Sharing the latest bar, restaurant, hotel, cultural & fashion openings in London. Just Opened London is dedicated to celebrating the best of the city's new offerings.
- The Luxury Channel is a leading multi-media platform providing compelling, high quality documentaries and videos, trend-setting online editorial and an outstanding range of high-end retail products.
- Soglos is an online arts and entertainment magazine for Gloucestershire, and the most influential guide to the county.
- Hargreaves Lansdown is the largest direct to consumer service and online investment resource in the UK, helping investors make more of their investments by providing the best information, the best service and the best prices. The website allows clients to choose, buy, sell, hold and manage investments online and independent financial advice is also available as an option.
- Founder in 2011 by former stockbroker, Nick Hungerford, Nutmeg gives investors a new way to invest - one that is fair on cost, high-performing and accessible.
- OnTrees is the free and simple way to see all your financial accounts in one place. You can check your balances, track your spending and set up budgets and alerts to manage your money more effectively. You can also make sure you’re getting the most competitive rates on the market with its comparison tables.
-Through well researched, straight talking editorial and video content, this site gives you everything you need in simple, easy to use 1-minute videos and guides to help you through the whole savings journey
- Duedil is on a mission to redefine the way in which you can use company data, meaning you can tackle the real-world challenges and opportunities facing your business, head on.
- The go-to site for outsourcing all types of jobs that you pay for by the hour with over 600,000 freelancers across 150 countries on its books, letting businesses and individuals enjoy access to a vast pool of professionals, scaling their business up or down without the red tape, as and when they need to tap into assistance.
- Borrow My Doggy matches doggy owners with local borrowers for walkies, playdays, sleepovers and happy holiday, a network that is now home to thousands of wonderful people who believe in the healing power of the paw.
- Historypin is about bringing communities around local history to share, explore and enrich historical materials. All the content on the site is crowdsourced from individuals, communities and institutions.
- Where you can outsource any personal or professional to-dos to over 15,000 trusted local people and save time and money, by quickly connecting people who need something, with others that can provide services.
- A simple solution to a very common problem, connecting home and pet owners who need a sitter with trustworthy people who want to housesit; reliable pet lovers and experienced home minders who are willing to live in your home and look after it while you’re away (usually for free).
- Conceived and created by Go ON UK, the UK's digital skills alliance, this project was designed to help make the UK the world's most digitally skilled nation. An online resource where digital champions can share information and teach others what they know about the web.
- The DoNation is creating a revolutionary shift in how people support good causes and make a difference in their own lives and beyond. It shows people that they can be the change themselves, and that is often far more efficient than simply handing money over to a charity.
- Gandys is a brand created by brothers, Rob and Paul Forkan, who have created a social enterprise by selling flip flops, and at the same time helping children's education and healthcare in India, donating 10% of profits to its 'Orphans for Orphans' mission, where it aims to build children's homes around the world
- Tinder Foundation is a not-for-profit social enterprise that makes good things happen with digital technology. Established in December 2011 as a staff-owned mutual, its 30-strong team supports a network of 5,000 local community partners and works with hundreds of national organisations.
- Property consultants, chartered surveyors and estate agents with offices in England and Wales. In 2013, the Digital Marketing Team was recognised as industry innovators by The Sunday Times.
- Hatched offers a full estate agency service with sales fees of just £540 and fully managed lettings fees of just 7.5%+VAT per month.
- Letting A Property offers a comprehensive online letting service for UK landlords, providing a significantly cheaper and more tailored service than that available on the high street.
- Abundance offers renewable energy investments to a diverse range of people -from those just interested in investing £5, to those investing £50,000.
- Founded in 2011, Positive Luxury is the UK'S first online consumer guide to living positively. The site bridges the gap between CSR and marketing by giving consumers access to brands' social and environmental actions in a simple, jargon free language at a click.
- Founded on the principle that you can have brains and beauty. Conceived and edited by Susannah Taylor and Sarah Vine, two journalists with a wealth of experience and expertise, it's an online directory of the best products and services in the business, as well as expert advice and recommendations.
- Neom creates products that are genuinely different and as close to perfect as it can possibly make them: a range of home fragrance and body care products whose credentials are unequivocal, which are truly organic and effective, and which bring a touch of glamour to your home.
- This company has established itself as the definitive online guide to health and beauty. All of the products featured on the site are chosen carefully, and the site's creators accept no advertising fees or financial backing of any kind for the items that they include.
30 October 2013