In the initial years, when the internet was relatively new, the actual designing of a website was difficult and there were special software packages that needed to be used. These packages could only be operated by specialists. These specialists were only a handful and they would charge whatever price they wanted to for such a purpose. Their price for their services had to be paid to them because we had no other choice. However the scenario today is completely different. To design a website is not that difficult with all the advancement in software packages. Today web designers are also not so rare and their services can be procured easily.
How a website actually looks or feels is down to our personal preference which is almost irrespective of the current trends. The users of the internet would want a website that is nice to look at. Of course, the usability of the website is another concern. Your website should be professionally designed, however a visitor to your website should be able to access the information that he or she was seeking. If this is not achieved then the entire purpose of your website is defeated. This is especially true if your website is selling products. If the process is too complicated for the visitors then they are most likely to go somewhere else.
Web designers can be quite often compared to fashion designers. There services are sometimes outrageously charged and also the designs that they come up with are totally impossible and impractical. Therefore if you have absolutely no idea about how your website is going to look, then you can work on direct suggestions from these website designers. Otherwise, you would have a general idea of how the outline of your website is going to look like. You can give this general idea to your graphic designer and he will build upon it to make you a good website. What you should normally keep in mind when you are building a website is how the website functions rather than how the website looks. It is the usability of the website that will actually push the sales for you rather than how it looks.
Today there are many ways in which you can collect ideas on how your website will look like. There are many website building websites that you can visit. These websites will let you play with your ideas on how your website should look like. Also buying a simple to use website designing software is not difficult today. You can purchase such software and design your own website to your specifications.
However when you are designing a website on your own, you should know the associate risks. Therefore you should make sure that you know how to use the particular software that you are purchasing. If you have no idea in this, then again, you should just hire a professional and let him do the work. However you should remember that there is no scarcity of website designers and you should make sure you are not paying through your nose to design your website.