There are many flashy outrageous sites out there, chocked full of flash animations, and all matter of java code. These sites may seem and scream “Professional” but yelling doesn’t make things true nor does it attract a lot of people. These sites often actually reach less people due to the loading times that may be necessary to work all the doodads. The best way to reach a large number of people over the internet is to offer a site that everyone can browse with ease. Sure plain text may seem boring, but it gets the information out there. If your site really needs all that flashy animation chances are you’re not intent low cost web design and may cost you money that will only shoo away potential visitors.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, as long as you don’t use a picture as your background image; a background image takes long to load and makes it difficult to read the text, those thousand words might as well be a loop of words such as “amateur, hard to read, illegible, attention” and other synonymous terms. If you do chose to use a picture and it is absolutely necessary for your background there is a proper way of executing it, the picture should be pretty low contrast and be either on the dark or bright side; choose a picture that does not have a lot of features in it which may make reading the text difficult and confusing.
As with anything in life moderation is the best policy; there are such things as too little and too much. Depending on the intent of your site the balance point may shift further in one direction or the other. Finding this balance is up to you as a web designer and always keep the end user in mind.
The big mistake most people make when designing a website is they try to please themselves and in the end may turn away a lot of potential visitors. You should always keep the end user in mind; and this is simple since you are the end user to many other websites. The best way to produce a quality cheap design is to adhere to other practices that you like when you are browsing the internet. You know what a pleasurable online experience is over a confusing irritating one; the bottom line is if you were browsing your site, none of the elements should irritate you while perusing the pages.