Good web design is a combination of form and function. Your website has to be not only aesthetically pleasing, but also have all the elements of user-friendliness. An untrained web designer may have all the technical know how to make a website, but may lack the experience needed to know the small details that make a site's design successful.
If you are trying to make your own website, or plan on hiring a designer, you must make sure that you follow a few web designing rules.
For one, your site must be aesthetically pleasing. Users today demand a site that will look good, while still being functional. Of course, being aesthetically appealing does not mean having lots of pictures and graphics; it has more to do with the use of text, the placement of elements, the use of white space, etc. Even a spartan website like the Google homepage is visually appealing, courtesy of its careful placement of various elements and the open embrace of minimalism.
On the subject of visual appeal, you must make sure that your site has a consistent look throughout. Having five pages in one style, then two pages in another is just jarring to the eye and can detract from the overall experience. Make sure that all pages have the same look and feel throughout.
Proper use of navigation elements is a must for any website. Take a look at the navigation in some of the world's top sites like Amazon or eBay. Amazon, for instance, makes it very easy to know which part of the site you are currently in. Use navigation elements like bread-crumbs, drop down menus, etc. to make it easy to get around your website.
When making a website, remember that conventions are your friends. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. If in the entire history of web design, the search bar has been placed in the top right hand corner, make sure that you place it there too. Putting elements where they ought not to be just confuses the visitor and makes it difficult to use the site.
John is a blogger who has been writing online for 3+ years. His latest blog is about black clutch bag. Read it here: Black Clutch Bag - http://www.blackclutchbag.com/.