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The 100 Best Websites For Women 2013
With additional reporting by Kate Taylor
We couldn’t be happier to present the fourth annual list of FORBES 100 Best Websites for Women than we are today—for this year more than any other this has been true collaborative effort by dedicated staffers, contributors and ForbesWomanreaders. For that reason it just might be—dare we say it—the best list ever.
As is always the method to our madness, this list is the culmination of a year’s worth of Internetting, asking around and getting lost down the rabbit hole of the best (and sometimes weirdest) of the Web. There are no more dedicated readers than you’ll find in the ForbesWoman community: from the ongoing conversations in our Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook groups to the brilliant contributors and commenters on our site, you inspire us, enlighten us and not-so-gently nudge us to look past our own personal tastes, politics or preferences.
And we’re better for it.
So what do we look for in a website? Informative and compelling content, sure, but also smart design, engaged communities and a voice that speaks to and for the female reader. We’re looking for the inspiration to start businesses, get stress in check, climb the corporate ladder or maybe just Lean In. Of course, there are extra fun points for the escapist sites we rely on to help us pass the dreaded three oh clock hour. But no matter how brilliant the recipes, your average cooking site won’t cut it; we’re looking for the intangible ‘something extra.’ These sites need to make us smile, make us think but most importantly make us share—sometimes via social, sometimes in email but we believe the true mark of great content is the kind that makes you step away from your desk and talk about it.
What we’re not looking for is pandering—we’re looking at you Bryan Goldberg. Bustle’s long-term success is still up for debate; we’ll reconvene on that one in 2014. We’re not looking for the old standbys either. We know you know the NYTimes homepage is a great place for World News, just as we know you know Forbes.com is the place to go for business. Instead, these 100 websites look to educate, inform and entertain you in ways you won’t find in the mainstream.
Of course there are the standards: 85 Broads, the Forte Foundationand Catalyst have become old friends of the women of Forbes for their great research and unique insights—they will forever be bookmarked on the computers of 60 Fifth Avenue. To that posse we’ve added a new resource this year that has become not just a repository of great content but of unbelievable inspiration: MAKERS. Backed by AOL, the MAKERS site just published the 200th of a series of in depth interviews with the most incredible women in America. From Meg Whitman to Carol Burnett, Hillary Clinton to Miranda July, the MAKERS video are a sure pick-me up for those days when it feels particularly tough to be a woman. (Don’t even tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about.)
But regular readers will also notice a considerable number of fresh sites—32 to be exact. It’s no surprise, really. When Kate Taylor posted a call for candidates just two weeks ago, she received more than 2,000 suggestions from commenters, contributors and staffers. Some FW commenters were so enthusiastic they kept nominating as recently as this morning.
One thing you won’t find this year: health content. While we appreciate the importance of women finding authoritative information about their bodies, we’ll be completely honest: we don’t believe we’re the place to make those calls for you. Your bodies are your bodies in 2013, and we’re not messing with them. Lest you think healthcare isn’t a critical issue at FORBES, take a look at the great work Matthew Herper and Alice Walton on the site.
But back to business. We’re thrilled to share this work with you and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Are we missing something major that’s important to your life? Give us your picks in the comments!
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NEW 20 Nothings: With Jessie Rosen hitting the three decade mark, her blog is making the transition from 20-Nothings to 30-Nothings. Since 2007, Rosen has built six years of anecdotes, advice and musings on everything from dating to body image.
BlogHer: The premier women’s blog platform is celebrating its seventh anniversary this year–and it’s still going and growing.
TheBloggess: Jenny Lawson blogs about sex, love and motherhood, and whatever else comes to mind.
The Boss Network: A community of entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online and event-based networking.
The Bump: The Bump, from TheKnot, is a community website for expecting and trying-to-conceive couples that offers support, advice and features to women and their partners.
Catalyst: This website by nonprofit group Catalyst hosts research about women in business and an insightful blog, Catalyzing.
Change The Ratio: The tumblr presence of the Change The Ratio campaign, which aims to tip the scales on women on the corporate and entrepreneurial level, features updates from women’s events and inspirational content. Take Sheryl Sandberg’s Harvard grad address: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.”
Chic CEO: A slick site for women with the entrepreneur bug. Advice covers everything from patents and copyrights to the pros and cons of buying a franchise, but a particular emphasis on downloadable tools (think business plan outlines and contracts) makes this a must-visit.
NEW City Girl Confidence: A reader-nominated find, Grace Kelly’s blog provides articles and resources to rejuvenate career women, allowing them to achieve greater wealth and better health.
Colored Girl Confidential: This online community for women unpacks race and gender issues, providing thoughtful “career and life advice that is as fierce as you are.”
Corporette: A fashion and lifestyle blog for corporate women: lawyers, bankers, MBAs, consultants and “otherwise overachieving chicks.”
Daily Worth: A personal finance and business site for women updated daily with money tips and blog posts. Their motto is: “We believe all women should be in charge of their financial health.”
Daily Mom Report: Think Drudge Report, only more organized, and curated with moms in mind. One-stop-shopping for every headline you might otherwise have missed.
Daily Muse: An advice hub for the Gen-Y careerist, the content side of The Muse (also worth a visit for those of us on the job hunt) features accessible (and entertaining) advice for recent grads and working gals and a bang-up portal for job hunting. New in 2013: The Muse University for career advancement.
Deal Seeking Mom: With five kids, Tara Kuczykowski lives on a budget. She blogs about money-savingtricks, alerting readers to freebies, coupons and sales. Extreme couponers, beware: this girl’s good.
NEW Diane Gottsman, Etiquette Expert: The etiquette expert assists readers on everything from finishing up an internship to gracefully accepting a compliment.
NEW Dissent Magazine: While Dissent has been around since 1954, this is the first year the quarterly of politics and culture has made it on FORBES best websites for women list. Articles address contrarian viewpoints on an international scale. One recent standout post: “Kicking Back, not Leaning In."
Dooce: With stunning pictures and crisp wit, mom and former Web designer Heather Armstrong chronicles her life and the world around her.
NEW Dutiee: This website dedicated to “all things social good” provides advice for social entrepreneurs, nonprofit success stories and must have ethically-manufactured goods.
ED2010: What began as a project for aspiring young writers who hoped to attain editor status “by 2010” is still going strong years past deadline. The hybrid networking hub, educational resource and font of media industry advice is a must-see for those aspiring to join the death rattle of the publishing biz.
NEW Emily Bennington: Author of Who Says It’s A Man’s World: The Girls Guide to Corporate Domination and leadership coach, Emily Bennington aims to help women “who want to kick ass & love the journey.” Judging by the level of support from the FW community, we’d say she’s succeeding.
The Everygirl: An everything-you-need-know site, The Everygirl inspires career-driven, creative young women to create the stylish, successful lives they’ve always dreamed of through finance, fashion and travel tips.
The Everywhereist: Geraldine DeRuiter got laid off and became a full-time traveling companion to her frequent-flyer husband. The result? From the mundanity of our cubicles we get an on-the-ground view of their journeys.
Feministing: An online community and blog with a feminist perspective that analyzes how pop culture and mainstream media reflect modern women.
The Football Girl: Melissa Jacobs blogs about football, “because women love football too.” Her site features game analysis, exclusive interviews with players and fantasy football tips for women.
NEW The Forte Foundation: Major corporations and top business schools created the Forte Foundation to direct talented women towards leadership roles in business, providing the tools and resources necessary for success.
NEW Founding Moms: Offline meetups match with online resources to allow mom entrepreneurs to connect, exchange and learn from each other.
Generation Meh: By ForbesWoman contributor J. Maureen Henderson, Generation Meh focuses on “providing practical personal development tips, tricks, and guidance for twenty and thirtysomethings who shun (or would like to shun) the 9-5 corporate grind.”
GetRaised: A seriously simple step-by-step guide to getting a pay bump that was created with women in mind. According to the site, 65% of women that have used it have, in fact, earned a raise. Average amount? About $6,700.
NEW Get Off My Internets: The antidote to Mommy blogs, this snarky site offers endless commentary, criticism and gossip on a web of lifestyle, fashion and mommy bloggers.
NEW Girls Who Code: On a mission to provide computer science education and exposure to 1 million young women by 2020, Girls Who Code provides immersion programs, clubs and networks to high school girls.
The Glass Hammer: An award-winning blog and online community created for women executives in finance, law, technology and big business.
NEW The Good Guide: GoodGuide ranks on green-ness, healthiness and safety. Users can search or browse over 145,000 food, toys, personal care and household products to discover the best and the worst of each category.
NEW Half The Sky: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s 2009 book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, helped launch a movement to fight international issues of gendered discrimination and violence. The site acts as a resource—and a megaphone—for continuing their work.
The Hairpin: This blog, edited by freelance writer Edith Zimmerman strives to be like “a low-key cocktail party among select female friends.” Beauty, food, cocktails, general quirkiness.
Hello Giggles: Cofounded by three Los Angelenos including “New Girl” Zooey Deschanel, this site was first envisioned as a comedy site for women—think Funny Or Die without the fart jokes. Instead it’s grown into an exchange where women of all ages share their writing on life, love and all things adorable.
Hello Ladies: Calls itself “the intersection of feminism and life,” and features breaking news stories, feminist essays and work-life advice.
NEW HerCampus: By college women, for college women, HerCampus is made up of students from over 200 college campuses creating content for their own chapters of the website.
NEW Her Agenda: An information and inspiration hub for millennial women, HerAgenda offers up events, scholarships, conferences, internships and job opportunities to empower young women pushing themselves to reach their goals.
Home-Based Working Moms:An online community and association for work-at-home moms with useful resources to help with the juggle.
Huffington Post Women: The best part of Arianna Huffington taking over AOL? Her shrewd application of HuffPo vaudeville to the women’s space.
Intern Sushi: A portal for connecting college students and young professionals with internships in creative professions. Slick, smart and well-designed, Intern Sushi encourages users to ditch the resume for creative video introductions.
NEW In Power Women: A resource for women in business with the goal of succeeding on their own terms, packed with blogs, research and advice.
NEW I Want Her Job: This savvy site doesn’t mess around—and puts the work/life divide from the front page, which is split in two: “Meet the women changing the face of business” and “Find inspiration for balancing your family, home and health.”
Jezebel: Owned by Gawker Media, a must-visit blog about celebrity, sex and fashion that bites into the media’s representation of women and critiques gender in pop culture.
The Juggle: WSJ.com’s The Juggle blog provides news and views on work, caregiving and time management for working parents.
Ladies Who Launch: An active and engaging site for female entrepreneurs that provides a resources for starting, building and running a business.
LearnVest: Easy-to-understand financial advice, information and tools for women (and men!) hoping to take control of their financial lives. New updates bring certified financial planners to the table—and a renewed chance to get our $$ in order.
NEW Lean In: The social movement inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s 2012 book by the same title, which encouraged women to take responsibility for forward momentum in their own careers by putting the pedal to the metal. The Lean In community online is the “next chapter” of the book, with on- and offline resources for ambitious women.
Lindsey Pollak: LinkedIn spokesperson and Gen Y expert Lindsey Pollak blogs about social media and work for the next generation of leaders.
New MAKERS: A project coproduced by AOL and PBS—and the foundation of the 2013 documentary by the same name, MAKERS is a repository of 200 (and counting) insightful, uplifting and illuminating interviews with a who’s who of trailblazing women. Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, Marissa Mayer and more.
Mint.com: A free tool for setting a budget–and sticking to it–by synching bank accounts and sending email reminders to stop spending and start saving. Easy to set up, easier to stick with.
New Mental Floss Seemingly random collection of trivia, quizzes and articles for people who want to keep learning, without it feeling like a chore.
ModernMom: This multi-tasking website for modern moms provides a fresh take on motherhood with sharp columns and commentary.
Moms Rising: Members of this “motherhood movement” take to the site to rally behind family-friendly policies like paid sick days and parental leave, flexible work options and quality health care.
Motherlode: This New York Times’ blog tackles studies, news and first-hand insight of modern motherhood.
Ms. Magazine: The Web presence of feminist frontrunner Ms. magazine, the website boasts the most extensive coverage of U.S. and international women’s issues.
NEW National Association of Professional Women: This national resource and network of business women provides seminars, podcasts, webinars, speakers, and educational tools to foster skills that help its members to achieve personal and career success.
On The Ground: Here, New York Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristof expands on his award-winning human rights coverage.
Penelope Trunk: Serial entrepreneur (and founder of Brazen Careerist) doles out career advice that’s syndicated to more than 200 national papers. Her know-how–on authenticity, building a business and measuring your own success–has been an invaluable resource to ForbesWoman readers for years.
NEW Pick the Brain: PickTheBrain encourages self-improvement on a broad spectrum, covering topics in the realms of productivity, motivation, self education, psychology and philosophy.
Pinterest: Everyone’s favorite online scrapbook/bulletin board hybrid continues to dominate the social scene with upwards of 70 million users (more than 2/3 of us are women). We’ll admit it: we’re hooked.
Pioneer Woman: We’re suckers for escapism. City girl turned down-home mama Ree Drummond juggles homeschool, career and life on a ranch, and blogs her recipes, photography and family stories. Inspiring and delicious.
Plum District: Known as the “Groupon for moms,” this deal site provides daily offers specifically designed for savvy moms. Staffed by other mothers across the nation, it’s tapped into what women want and now counts over one million users.
PopSugar: The parent site for all of the PopSugar Network blogs that cover all manner of life, from work and fashion to kids to celebrities. PopSugar is one-stop shopping for hip female-friendly content.
NEW PureWow: As one commenter put it (seconded by nearly two dozen more plus a few savvy staffers), “This relative newcomer has it all and is my ‘one stop shop’ on the web for fashion, beauty, health, food, travel, tech, books, etc.
NEW Quarterlette: Oh, the quarter life crisis. Is this really the career path I should be taking? How the hell do I find a mentor? On no! We’ve run out of ramen. All this and more at Quarterlette, with a healthy dose of wit.
NEW Racialicious: Billed as the “intersection between race and pop culture,” Racalicious is a whole lot more. FORBES 30 under 30 member Latoya Peterson uses the platform to explore issues of race in culture and politics. Entertaining and informative, no matter what your background.
NEW Reductress: Do you know us well? Well then you know we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Reductress is a satirical take on women’s content (think the Onion—for ladyblogs) and is sure to make you crack a smile—and email your friends.
NEW Recessionista: They call it “financial news you don’t need a dictionary for,” but we’re not convinced that’s the best description. What you’ll find here: entrepreneurial know-how, money-saving tips and snappy content like “Five Random Ways To Make Money From Home.”
NEW Rookie Mag: Since 17 year old fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson founded the website for teenage girls in 2011, Rookie has featured teen writers and fashionistas alongside columns like ‘Ask A Grown Man/Woman’ with Jon Hamm and Paul Rudd. Each issue, curated around a theme, is a unique look back at the life of a modern teenager. As we like to say “never forget.”
Salon: Irin Carmon may be out—off to join MSNBC this year—she brought her Jezebel news sense to the site, and it appears to be lingering—and not just in the Lifestyle section. A recent post on race and feminism spotlights the dual struggle of minority women to make their voices heard.
NEW Savor the Success: The focus of this particular women’s network is accountability. Join a circle and push each other to achieve through meeting benchmarks—together.
Savvy Auntie: A kid-friendly site for those of us who love other peoples’ kids. Because it’s always more fun when you can give them back!
Secret Society of Women: TV journalists Lisa Ling wants women to share their deepest secrets online and created SSOW as an anonymous portal to make that happen. On the site, read and share with other women on topics ranging from addiction to parenting issues and infidelity—without the fear of judgment.
SheKnows: She knows everything–entertainment, beauty, parenting, shopping, health and more. The entire busy woman’s lifestyle hub wrapped up into a slick, searchable website.
She Takes On The World: One of our picks for the 20 best marketing and social media blogs by women this year, She Takes On The World is an award-winning business and lifestyle blog for women.
Smitten Kitchen: New Yorker Deb brings us mouthwatering recipes and just-as-delicious photographs. Want to make your own ricotta? It’s possible–this site has turned many a ForbesWoman into a foodie. Side note: this kale salad. Just do it.
NEW Stiletto Woman: With the motto, “It’s more than a business, it’s a lifestyle,” Stiletto Woman aims to support business women in all aspects of their lives. Articles on entrepreneurship, beauty and home decor make up a site that aims to empower.
Sous Style: Australian transplant to Brooklyn, NY, and current photo director of Ellemagazine, Pippa Lord launched Sous Style for a “new generation of homemakers.” The lifestyle blog offers beautiful photos, quirky interviews and smart fashion and design ideas.
Tech Mamas: A tech blog for mamas, a mom blog for techies, this California-based site offers advice on software, hardware and marketing for the working-from-home set as well as marketers in the tech sector.
NEW The Li.st: That Rachel Sklar’s always got another thing cooking. This year she and partner Glynnis MacNicol launched The Li.st, an email we think every woman should subscribe to. The pair—tapped into politics, technology, entrepreneurship and good old fashioned activism—never miss a beat.
Thompson Reuters Foundation: Formerly TrustLaw women, the international legal news and assistance hub sponsored by the Thomson Reuters Foundation is a destination for global news.
UN Women: The online presence of UN Women, the recently created United Nations arm led by former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet until this year. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka from South Africa was sworn in as Executive Director in July.
NEW Very Short List: Need a 30 second distraction? VSL is it. Each day a new expert curator pulls together three pieces of content around a theme (film, maybe, or food or technology) for our perusing pleasure. We’re never disappointed. Sign up to have it delivered to your inbox or visit them on the web.
WAHM: An online magazine and resource for work-at-home mothers that includes features and advice on finding work, self-marketing and keeping the kids busy while you freelance.
What The Flicka: This sassy self-help blog was created by Desperate Housewivesactress Felicity Huffman to give moms, women and anyone else who needs it a daily pick me up. Huffman and a host of regular celeb contributors share everything from workouts and recipes to tips for the “survival of the mommy-est.”
WebGrrls: Webgrrls International is a networking organization of women focused on propelling their careers and businesses forward through technology. Info on joining one of more than 60 local chapters is the first step.
NEW Why Not Girl: First and foremost a female empowerment site that was launched just a year ago, Why Not Girl profiles women of the week who’ve made inspiring life or career choices, and guides readers into pursuing their own dreams.
Women 2.0: With daily content on women in technology, Women 2.0 has made its mission to increase the number of female founders of tech startups with inspiration, information and education.
Women Entrepreneur: The female arm of Entrepreneur.com, this site is a resource for current and aspiring women business owners, featuring in-depth profiles of success stories as well as up-to-date advice on funding.
Women For Hire: A hub of recruitment services for women, this site offers career expos, blogs and feature articles as well as an online job board that connects leading employers with professional women.
Women’s eNews: An award-winning nonprofit news service covering issues concerning women and providing women’s perspectives on public policy around the globe. A particular emphasis on the women’s-focused news stories that often get very little play in mainstream media.
World Moms Blog: For a truly global perspective on motherhood, World Moms brings together writers from the US and Canada to Australia, China, India and Japan to discuss parenting across cultures.
Work It Mom: A community and blog for working mothers. Their philosophy is that if mothers share their experiences with each other, working women can successfully juggle career and family.
Women & Hollywood: Women are more than 50% of the population, film ticket buyers and TV watchers, yet are not represented in equal numbers on screen or behind the scenes. Melissa Silverstein’s W&H is a call to arms.
xoJane: Former Sassy Editor-in-Chief Jane Pratt gives us a women’s site as irreverent and informative as her previous lady mag that’s as heavy on the “It Happened To Me” as you’d expect. A smart stable of bloggers and Pratt’s celebrity friends keep the content fresh.
The XX Factor: A female-focused look at “politics, culture, and anything else that strikes our fancy” from the XX writers and editors of Slate.com.