Designing a website has come a long way since the early bulletin boards that compred the pre-Internet world. Way back in the day, before the web was really what it is today, small web pages that were compred of text and basic tables was all there really was.
During the present day, however, websites have become multimedia hubs, and since there are multiple browsers – Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc. – one must ensure that they design their website to be compatible for all of these web browsers. Additionally, besides from just checking for cross browser compatibility, a web designer also must account for varying screen sizes, since there are several different popular viewing parameters that people use today.
A good rule of thumb for novice web designers is to seek out pre-made templates, many of which can be found online for free or for affordable prices for premium templates. Such templates can greatly streamline the building process and typically are either created by web teams at companies that produce them or shared via the web by other designers.
Templates next, the spatial placement of text is another factor. Ideally, text on most websites should not be longer than 10-12 words per line and should be properly aligned so that it is easy to read. If you plan on placing images on your website, it's of good mind to make sure that they are properly placed so that the text can wrap around the images.
Another thing to keep in mind is your color schemes. You do not want to have a varying choice of colors that detracts from the design of the web page, and you do not want the site to host colors that do not needlessly go together. An easy way to get a good idea of proper web page and website design is to browse around the Internet and check out some popular websites to see how they incorporated their interface, images, and color schemes.