I have been involved in thousands of website designs and redesigns in my career. In my 17 years as a web designer and developer (wow it's been that long??), I've seen trends come and go. Spinning globes, the email box animated gif and really, who can forget when gabocorp came on the scene and blew everyone away with their fancy pants flash site!
As the web has matured we see less and less of these experimental techniques used on the majority of websites. Business owners are looking to make it easier for the visitor to get what they came to the site for in the first place — while suggesting what the website owner would like for them to see as well. This is a great way to develop a website, you don't want to waste a visitor's time. Here are a few things to think about when you are thinking about a redesign of your website. You can implement these things in the CMS/COS/Whatever of your choice!
First, think about your audience.
Who are you trying to reach? What do THEY want to find on your site. It doesn't matter to your customer what language makes sense to you, they only care about what makes sense to them. If I'm designing a site that is geared to 40-60 year old business men, I'm not going to use a ton of slang, that wouldn't make sense.
Next, make it easy for them to find what they came to your site to find.
This is common sense but so many businesses get it wrong. Help your visitor find what they came to your site to find. Make it easy. Make sure your content matches your page titles. Make sure you are providing valuable information to them that is written in a clear manner. Make sure the design works on different platforms. People are using mobile more than ever these days, make sure your site is easy to use on a tablet or phone.
Last, offer more.
Offer more. Give them more than they are asking for. Don't be cheesy or salesy or whatever. Be genuine. Love what you do and you will reap the rewards!