Before solving complex design problems you need to understand the basic components of design at your disposal. Much as a musician seeks to understand pitch and rhythm, melody and tempo, a designer should seek a greater understanding and control over:
Home page design can be challenging for some. Should they look the same as the other pages of your site? What content should you include? What exactly is the goal of your home page? With all the different ways someone might enter your site is the idea of a home page even relevant any more?
The goal of visual design is to communicate. How you organize and prioritize your elements conveys valuable information about their relative importance. Visual hierarchy aids comprehension, reinforces your message, and guides your visitor through your story.
There seems to a great misconception amongst the web agency-employing-section-of-society as to what a web designer does and in particular what all the different disciplines in web design/development are.
A successful website is the result of many different parts working together toward a common goal or set of goals. Those parts might be the product of one or many different people, one of whom will be the site’s web designer.
When you come across posts and articles teaching web design the focus is usually on how to do one specific thing. A tutorial on creating an effect in Photoshop or a tutorial on how some specific css property works.
These posts are often helpful and I learn from many of them myself. However you usually don’t find a lot of good articles on the abstract concepts that drive a design and combine the various parts into a unique and successful whole.
Hopefully this post will help you with a few higher level thoughts and ideas behind creating a design for your site.