The best design is often the simplest design. Just go and check any of the largest sites out there and they all use very simple layouts. This is because it is the content not the design that should be the focus of the viewer. Cute and busy may be fine for a personal blog but not a corporate website.
Branding is one thing and loud & distracting is another. Logos and corporate colours help identify your site with your brand. That being said, a great place to try changes for your corporate colours and logo is on your site. Using a simple radial button questionnaire helps viewers to engage and give feedback on changes. Contributing visitors are more likely to engage, returning to review posts on the results and signing up to your mailing list.
With cell phones and tablets now being used to view 50% of internet content, your content must be visually pleasing on their smaller screens. This is why responsive web design is now a requirement for all websites.
Responsive design takes more planning and a lot more trial and error in testing on more platforms. This requires development time; however, the end result is well worth the effort.
One site can now be viewed by all devices without a Google duplicate content penalty as some sites are receiving for trying to keep their old design and using a redirect for mobile devices to view a minimized version of the same site.
It is important that your web designer understands about search engine optimization (SEO) so that the design incorporates these elements into the design to start with. Sometimes it is very difficult to change the design for best SEO after the fact.
WordPress is now the leader in content management systems (CMS). It started off as a easy to use open source blogging platform. Now it has grown to the leading CMS with a huge following and thousands of contributing programmers. It is constantly being tested and checked with updates for any problems that may arise.
Web designers usually are responsible for the upkeep of the site; However, with WordPress the client can now make simple updates themselves and blog posts and comments can be added to the footer, sidebar or anywhere on a page. There are thousands of addons available. WordPress is by far your best choice for your website.