These days there are lots of different website designs you can choose. The most important thing to keep in mind is what is appropriate for the market you are advertising to. For instance, a website like College Humor may be able to get by with lots of video, file sizes that are enormous and flash that may slow down the navigation of the website. It is simply because the people viewing the site are not nessisarily trying to get to information. They are trying to be entertained and enetertainment comes in all forms.
However, for a small business this could be a bad thing. People want to find information about your company and find it fast. They may not be willing to wait for a flash animation to load and don't want to dig for the information they want.
Take Roy E. Daly Management Corp, they are a real estate company that has apartments and townhomes in California. Their customers want to find floorplans, contact information, apartment ammenities and photos of the properties. It is clean and streightforward which is what it should be.
So when choosing a website design, ask yourself what your customers would like to see first.