Design for a website can be very individualized. While we are allowed are individual taste (and a site should be unique to a company and its specific scenario), there are some rules to follow. Now these rules are really more like guidelines and really these guidelines are more like current trends, but they can definitely help give some direction when updating or designing a new site.
What are these rules/guidelines/trends?
- Clean and Minimal: Don't clutter up the site with excess images or content and focus on making it user-friendly.
- Illustrations: Instead of pictures you have drawings. This is a great way to add a bespoke feel to the site and there are many programs that make it possible for anyone to create great illustrations. Currently I'm using a combination of Snagit (by Techsmith) and a site called Canva.
- Scrolling One Page Sites: This has been very popular recently and does tend to make a site easier to navigate (i.e. it's user-friendly). This style typically has different sections as you scroll, which can be great for telling the story and drawing people in.
- Video: More and more people are starting to search YouTube before they search Google. There are a lot of theories as to why, but, regardless, more and more people are looking for video instead of just text and image based content. The great thing about video is that you typically get a description as well as the visual. This tends to be more engaging to the average person. Also, seeing a skill performed tends to help people more than just reading about it.
Now, this list is in no way exhaustive, rather it's merely a list to help get you started and to provide some food for thought.
What to remember: A website does need to be unique and specific to a company's scenario. However, a website is simply a tool that needs to be available and can be updated after going live. Therefore, don't worry too much over the small details and the mistakes that are bound to happen (they can be fixed later).