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The 36 best websites of 2014: From entertainment & news to shopping & travel, here's the best of the web

We bring you our pick of the 36 best, most useful and most popular websites of 2014

Best websites 2014

The internet is an enormous place. In fact, according to Internet Live Stats there are more than 1,021,960,000 websites as of 4 August, with that number increasing rapidly every second of every day.

As you can imagine, coming up with a list of the best websites of 2014 from that huge number of options was a bit tricky, and there's no way we've managed to take a look at them all, but thanks to some help from our readers, we've come up with a list of the best, most useful and most popular websites of 2014, some of which you may not have discovered yet.

Read on for our list of the 36 best websites of 2014. We've split the list into categories to help you find the websites you're most interested in.

Best websites 2014: Entertainment

1. IMDb

www.imdb.com

For TV-lovers, IMDB is a great tool. It's a huge database of movies and TV shows, containing information about the actors, storylines, popularity and more of pretty much anything you're thinking of watching.

In addition to finding out whether a film you've seen advertised is worth watching and checking out the trailers for upcoming movies, we find IMDb useful for those moments when you can't quite figure out where you've seen that actor before (they were probably in Neighbours).

A good IMDb alternative, particularly for movie and TV ratings, is Rotten Tomatoes.

2. Netflix

Best websites 2014: Netflix

www.netflix.com

IMDb can help you decide what to watch on Netflix if you're struggling, too.

Netflix is a TV and movie streaming service that you can subscribe to for from £5.99 per month (you'll get the first month free). As a subscriber, you'll be able to stream unlimited TV and movies from the website, perfect for a night in or a lazy Sunday morning.

Our favourite Netflix alternative is Amazon Prime Instant Video.

See also: How to navigate Netflix

And: The 80 best movies on Netflix UK

3. Spotify

www.spotify.com/uk

If music is more your thing, Spotify is a bit like Netflix for music. It's a streaming service that can be accessed for free (ad-supported) or you can pay £9.99 per month for offline listening, no restrictions and no adverts.

With Spotify, you can listen to almost any song you can think of. You'll get access to new and popular albums, and you can customise your own personal radio stations based on artists you like.

See also: Deezer vs Spotify and Spotify vs Google Music

4. YouTube

www.youtube.com

We're sure you've probably heard of YouTube, the video-sharing site that has brought us the delights of Harlem Shake, Surprised Kitty and Charlie Bit Me.

More than one billion people visit YouTube every month, collectively watching more than 6 billion hours of video each month (which is not tricky when 100 hours of video are uploaded to the service every single minute).

You can check out our very own YouTube channel here.

5. Vimeo

www.vimeo.com

Vimeo is a video-sharing website that rivals YouTube. While not as popular as YouTube at the moment, its audience is rapidly growing. That's because the quality of the videos tends to be higher on Vimeo, with filmmakers being among the biggest users of the site, and there are no adverts at the beginning of the videos hosted there.

Categories include animation, education, experimental, music, sports, travel and more, and the Vimeo Staff Picks section is guaranteed to offer up something you're interested in.

See also: Best TV guide apps UK

Best websites 2014: Best news sites

6. Google News

news.google.co.uk

Google News is a brilliant way to keep up with what's going on around the world, bringing together news from various sources on the web. It's constantly changing, keeping on top of the breaking news and growing trends, and there are many different categories for visitors to choose from.

You can also set up alerts for Google News, to help you keep up with the news about a particular topic/keyword. Find out how to set up a Google Alert here.

7. PC Advisor (obviously)

www.pcadvisor.co.uk

Of course, another great website for news about the world of technology is PC Advisor. Not only do we bring you the latest news, we also provide reviews, how-tos, features, videos and downloads for you to enjoy. If you're looking for Apple-specific news, our sister website Macworld.co.uk will do the trick, while you'll find opinion and analysis over at Tech Advisor.

8. Time Out

www.timeout.com

We really like Time Out, too. It's one of the best ways to keep up with what's happening in your local area, or a city you're soon to visit. It provides news as well as reviews of movies, exhibitions, restaurants and more, plus ideas to help you make the most of your weekend.

Best websites 2014: Best shopping sites

9. Amazon

www.amazon.co.uk

Amazon is the online shop to beat. It sells more or less anything you can think of, from the more obvious stuff like books, DVDs and music to Unicorn Meat, bacon plasters and an underpants dispenser.

10. Etsy

Best websites 2014: Etsy

www.etsy.com/uk

If you're looking for something handmade or vintage, look no further than Etsy. It's perfect for buying a unique and thoughtful gift, with categories including jewellery, home and living, art and weddings.

Our favourite Etsy alternative is Folksy.

11. eBay

www.ebay.co.uk

eBay is the place to go if you're looking for a bargain, and also if you're looking to make some quick cash. The online auction site has millions of users, flogging and buying junk and not-so-junk.

12. Groupon

www.groupon.co.uk

Another great way to find bargains is to pay a visit to Groupon, a website dedicated to bringing you huge savings on everything from spa days, holidays and family activities to clothing and beauty products. The deals are usually limited to a certain number of buyers or a certain date, so you'll want to sign up to the Groupon newsletter to make sure you don't miss out.

13. HotUKDeals

www.hotukdeals.com

HotUKDeals is where you'll find out about bargains and deals from elsewhere on the web or in stores. Users can submit deals they've spotted to the website, which might be a free gift when you spend a particular amount in a particular shop, or a good discount in your local supermarket.

Best websites 2014: Education

14. Instructables

www.instrucatbles.com

If you're feeling creative, a visit to Instrutables will help you find something to make, and will provide instructions to enable you to do so. You'll find instructions that'll help you make anything from a tasty dessert to a desk made from a pinball machine.

It can also help you fix things, and learn to do things like push start a car or lay flooring.

15. Wikipedia

www.wikipedia.com

Those in education are probably told not to use Wikipedia, because the fact that it relies on public input means some of its entries are unreliable. In fact, research has found that up to 60% of the posts on Wikipedia contain factual errors.

But there's no doubt that if you've got a question about anything in the world, Wikipedia will probably have the answer.

Best websites 2014: Social

16. Facebook

www.facebook.com

Most of you probably check Facebook, the hugely popular social networking site, at least once every day. According to Search Engine Journal, 82% of internet users in the UK use Facebook. You can use it to keep in touch with friends and family, have a nose at what they've been up to and also share what you've been up to too. 

17. Twitter

www.twitter.com

Another popular social networking site is Twitter, which lets you sent out little chunks of information (140 characters, to be exact) to your followers. Twitter also allows you to follow people such as celebrities, politicians, authors, and your favourite sites like PC Advisor!

18. LinkedIn

uk.linkedin.com

For professionals, LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with colleagues and other business connections. It could also present job opportunities for you, too.

19. Pinterest

www.pinterest.com

Pinterest is a brilliant social network that lets you 'pin' anything you're interested in to your 'board'. It's a bit like keeping a scrapbook or mood board, helping you to plan events, learn new skills, explore fashion trends and more. The Pin It button that you can add to your browser means you can share any photo from any website on Pinterest for others to see.

20. Reddit

www.reddit.com

Reddit is a bit like a giant forum, where users can post links, text and other content for anyone to read. If users find those posts useful, they can give it an "up" vote to help it make its way to the top of Reddit's pages. There are many different categories within Reddit (dubbed subreddits) including Space, Books, Movies, Sports, Art, DIY and Food.

Best websites 2014: Discovery & web efficiency

21. Instapaper

www.Instapaper.com

Instapaper lets you save anything you find on the web to read or visit later. If you're at work and spot an interesting link that you haven't got time to check out now, you can simply save it to Instapaper to read it later on any device.

Instapaper also lets you highlight words or passages within the articles, which you can then store, retrieve and share.

22. Google Translate

translate.google.com

Found an article you want to read but can't because it's in a different language? Using Google Translate, you can enter the link and have Google translate the entire article for you. The results aren't perfect, but you should be able to understand what's written now.

23. StumbleUpon

www.stumbleupon.com

We love StumbleUpon, but it can become rather addictive. It uses the interests you choose to generate an endless supply of webpages for you, all of which have been submitted by StumbleUpon users who found it interesting. 

Best websites 2014: Best blogging sites

24. Wordpress

www.wordpress.com

Whether you're a blogger or you simply enjoy reading blogs, Wordpress is a great website to explore. You can choose your own Wordpress blog using Wordpress, and you can also follow Wordpress blogs you enjoy, which will become part of your Wordpress Reader so that you'll see all of the new posts the owners of those blogs have published. 

25. Blogger

www.blogger.com

Similar to Wordpress is Blogger, another popular blog hosting and reading site, this time made by Google. Like Wordpress, it offers a Reading List feature that lets you see the new posts from blogs you follow.

26. Tumblr

www.tumblr.com

Tumblr is a bit different to Blogger and Wordpress in that it's often used to simply post a photo or a video, for example, making it a microblogging platform. It's great for those who want to keep a light and simple blog that doesn't rely on lengthy articles, and it's also more social, with some users often just reblogging other posts rather than creating their own.

27. Bloglovin

www.bloglovin.com

If you follow lots of blogs across all three of the aforementioned blogging websites, Bloglovin' could prove invaluable to you. You can use it to follow all of your favourite blogs in one place. 

Best websites 2014: Travel

28. TripAdvisor

www.tripadvisor.co.uk

If you're planning on traveling anywhere in the world, checking TripAdvisor before you travel will help you decide which hotel will be best for you. Reviews from real holidaymakers who've stayed there in the past will help you decide on where to stay.

29. Laterooms.com

Laterooms.com

If you're thinking of going on a last minute getaway, you should check LateRooms.com for significantly reduced price tags on rooms in some of the fanciest hotels.

30. Foursquare

foursquare.com

Foursquare helps you find nearby attractions, places to eat, shops and more to help you make the most of your day out. You can see ratings from other Foursquare users, and you can also connect to social media to find out where your friends have been and whether they enjoyed it.

Best websites 2014: Miscellaneous

31. Goodreads

www.goodreads.com

For book-lovers, Goodreads is fantastic. You can keep track of the books you've read and whether or not you enjoyed them, you can find out what your friends are reading and what the most popular books right now are, and you can also read reviews from other readers to find out whether or not you're likely to enjoy a particular book

Our favourite alternative to Goodreads is Amazon's Shelfari.

32. Dropbox

www.dropbox.com

For sharing files, Dropbox is brilliant. It allows you to store large files in the cloud, which you can then easily share with friends, family or colleagues. Those files will be accessible to you anywhere that you've got internet access, so you could simply use it to share files with yourself.

33. Kickstarter

www.kickstarter.com

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site that lets you seek funding for a project or pledge some money to help fund someone else's project. Projects can be anything from toys and games to a film or a gadget.

34. Zoopla

www.zoopla.co.uk

For anyone searching for a property to buy or rent, Zoopla is a fantastic tool. Not only will you be able to find out what is on the market, you'll also be able to see the value of surrounding houses or flats, the price that the current owner paid for the property and the estimated value of your current home.

35. Houzz

www.houzz.com

When you do move out, you might find Houzz useful to help you decide on your interior décor. It provides lots of home and living ideas for inspiration.

36. Money Saving Expert

www.moneysavingexpert.com

You might also find that you need to take a closer look at your budget now that you're in a new home. Money Saving Expert can help you save money on absolutely anything, offering tips and tricks to keep your bank balance healthy.

See also: 13 best free stock image websites

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