What goes into a good website?
If you're looking to design a website that features exactly the sort of things that will enable it to connect to a global audience who may not have the same wants, needs and tastes, then it's important to ensure that your design isn't an overly-complex and claustrophobic design whose lack of appeal drives people away.
So what goes into a good design? Well, accessibility is without question a reliable starting point. If you can't build a site that is easily useable and where all options and areas of the site can be accessed by anyone from a first-time computer user to someone who builds servers or plays games on partycasino.com, then you're going to fall at the first hurdle.
Your overall aesthetic matters, too. Minimalistic site design is very much in vogue, and the more intense, comparatively cluttered look is on its way out. People want something clean, pale, with larger fonts and smoother movement on drop-downs and pop-ups. Look at Twitter, Amazon, Facebook - all calm designs that put people at ease. Browsing should not be an intense experience.
It's also worth looking at social networking and its level of integration into your site. Having sharing buttons or demonstrating that you have a presence on or an interest in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and the various methods of social information sharing on the web in the current digital age is an advisable approach.
Finally, ensure that your design is tested by a wide variety of people. Testing solely for the market for which it is intended isn't good enough - not everyone visiting your site does so with a purpose - some people are passing through and could be turned into regular vistors, users or even customers if the site looks right. So think things through, and relax your designs a little - sites should be open doors.