As a developer, I do admit that my design skills are not the best. While this may be my biggest limitation, I still am able to think outside of the box and design something that is both "poppy" and useful. Currently, I am working towards building a number of unique web design concepts that will hopefully be used in later projects. It's important to practice and hone your skills, regardless of what it may be. During the day I program sophisticated applications. By night I enjoy designing and creating unique websites designs. Of course, you may be wondering "Jason, where are you going with this?", and to that my friend is coming.
Many websites now include brief video loops that are being enticing and visually appealing. Although, this might not be for everyone. Your website reflects your image offline, so it's important to find a website that suites your business. My most recent website launch, Grider Dentistry, does not use a video background. The choice to not include this new design was primarlily due to the thought that it would provide no value to the overall look and feel of his site. The ideology behind the design of the new build was to create a new design that was simple, modern and content focused. The lack of the video places emphasis on the content rather than finding a visual item that may distract the visitor.
Although, if you do use a video make sure it's small enough to be quickly loaded. :)
It's important to stay up-to-date on your skills. Since transitioning to a .Net developer role, my usage of PHP and MySQL have dropped dramatically. It's interesting how a little time away can lead to such shocking revelations later. Since completing my degree, I have gotten back into toying around with open source programming (PHP, MySQL and Drupal). While my career doesn't involve these technologies, I am still passionate about them. This directly correlates with the thought of the week: don't let go of your passions. Strive to work on yoru passions, as they will not only make you feel more fulfilled, they may also open doors later on.