Layout is an important element to consider when designing your website. Even if your content is well-written and engaging, your layout is something that will entice users to visit your website time and again. Giving your website a new, improved look by changing the layout is a good idea. There are also other things to consider when designing your website layout.
Keep It Simple:
Creating a simple website layout is user friendly. Avoid designing complex navigational links or using complex scripts or images that users may not be able to view. Search engines may have difficulty indexing your website if complex navigation or large images take too long to load.
Use a Readable Font Size and Face:
Use a standard font size of “-1″ (11 or 12 pixels if using styles) so that users can read the content easily. Choose a professional, sans-serif font face such as Verdana, Arial or Helvetica which are quite common. Use a comfortable amount of spacing between lines to increase readability.
Use Web Safe Colours:
You may want to use a combination of different colours that reflect your personality, but it’s a good idea to get opinions from users or your friends about your decision. It’s also best to stick to web safe colours when in doubt.
Keep track of webpage dimensions. Successful commercial websites limit the width and height of the webpage so that essential content on the webpage lies within the top 600×600 viewable area without scrolling. Ensure that the page layout expands and shrinks as the browser and window size changes to avoid horizontal scrolling. Your page height should not be any more than 4 scroll lengths. If you have a lot of content, simply move it to another page and add a link.
Limit File Size:
If you want to use graphics and pictures, your website may take awhile to load. Your page size should be below 35K for the cover page. But this may not be possible for e-commerce websites. Just keep in mind that visitors will leave your website if the loading time is more than eight seconds.
Summarized from http://bit.ly/15IFtd and modified.