Layout and design are a very subjective topic, but the important thing is to make sure that there is a layout…as opposed to just putting information up, make an effort to display it aesthetically. The web makes it possible to control how your information is presented, there’s no reason not to do it. If two companies are selling the same product, and one puts a photocopied flyer under your windshield, while the other hands you a full-colour kit while wearing a business suit…which one are you likely to remember?
Some general guidelines you can follow are:
split your information into logical sections
make sure your starting page is attractive and well laid out
try to have a consistent theme throughout the entire site
try to use colours, styles and fonts that complement each other
Again, the stylish side of a web site is very subjective, and everybody will have their own idea of what looks good. Just make sure that you don’t minimize the importance of layout and design…first impressions are hard to erase.