The WordPress community has almost single-handedly changed the face of the web.  Countless blogs, portfolios, news sites and web communities are powered by WordPress, in a range of quality from good to bad, beautiful to ugly.  WordPress.org and its community runs an on-going tally of some of the best WordPress designs on the web, including their ten best.  To showcase the hard work of a select group of designers, we take a close look at the 10 best WordPress designs as rated by the WordPress community.

Number 10: Buzz Newsroom


The news mashup blog groks stories from around the Web on a great variety of topics. It’s not quiet a newspaper, because the list-based features and breathless news are uniquely blog-like, but the smattering of headlines look like the online home of a traditional broadsheet. [Link]

Number 9: WSJ Magazine


Who’d have thought the Wall Street Journal would be using a tool of the commonfolk to host its magazine online? The designers utilize a traditional grid of story choices, anchored above by a sliding window of top features. The grays and gradients are sure to soothe the business class. [Link]

Number 8: Advertising/Design Goodness


ADGoodness doesn’t fawn over the marketing marvels it displays on its virtual pages. It just throws them out there, notes who’s responsible and lets the viewer do the gawking. It’s simple formula, but it works. [Link]

Number 7: Icon Dock


The name says it all, but Icon Dock’s Web site is self-explanatory. Visitors can browse icons and drag them to a landing pad on the left side of the screen, then check out with ease. This utility makes it easy to compare and contrast. Free icons are available as well. [Link]

Number 6: Hypebeast


In a sea of fashion blogs, Hypebeast does an admirable job of showing lots of content on the front page with colorful photos to boot. The ads, staff blogs and Twitter feeds mingle well with the stories of the day. [Link]

Number 5: Oregon Coast Visitors Association


Tourism in Oregon is sort of a niche interest, so its presence on this list is a testament to truly superior design. The Web site pulls user-submitted photos from Flickr and packs relevant news and other information below the fold. It’s also easy to learn about specific towns along the coast thanks to a cleverly-placed sidebar. Now, I want to visit. [Link]

Number 4: Web Designer Wall


So here’s a site about Web design in our feature about Web design. Meta jokes aside, the site knows what it’s doing, but what really clinches it is the colorful background and sketchbook-looking tabs. [Link]

Number 3: Grain Edit


Hey, this site is kind of like us, if someone had invented blogs 50 years ago. Features with evergreen appeal work their way down a center strip, while new discoveries occupy a larger space on the left. Book recommendations and other cool links are a nice. Time to start stealing ideas. [Link]

Number 2: I Love Typography


Me, I’m a word guy, but some people just love fonts. I Love Typography is the place to go, with a simple design that puts lettercrafting — with and without serifs — on a pedestal. The key is the right sidebar, which provides quick access to all the latest fonts. If you’re into that sort of thing. [Link]

Number 1: archiCentral


A newcomer to the list of top WordPress sites, archiCentral pairs architecture news with big, colorful pictures. Indeed, there’s something to be said for a simple blog that posts its stories from top to bottom. The colorful strip on the side puts visitors in a festive mood, ready to see creativity on a grand scale. [Link]

Thanks for reading, DesignCravers, Diggers, Stumblers and more.  So, what is your favorite of these 10 WordPress designs?  Is your favorite not on this list?  Let us know in the comments, we’d love to see the WordPress designs that move you the most.