Designing for the web is much more than picking some colors and images to put up on a site. Not only do you have to worry about core design principles (color complimenting, accessibility, spacing, font size), you also need to account for different viewport sizes, devices and the ability for users to manipulate the output of your site.
Let functionality dictate design
There are countless 'cool' features out there that some may say are easy to implement. The question that is often ignored is 'Does this fit with the content and message you are trying to convey?'
Design is like paint on the house. Imagine if you wanted to re-paint the house, that you have to rebuild the framing. It just doesn't make sense. Unfortunately, design on the web seeps slowly into the framework of the site and ends up making it more complicated than it needs to be. Often times renders it unusable when it comes time to upgrade to a new technology.
Given that, we take all kinds of approaches to web design. If you want a simple design based off a popular site concept, we can coordinate that. If you want a full-on custom design with new logos, marketing standards and supplemental design elements we can coordinate that as well.
If you scour the internet for 'Website Designs' and find one you like, we can implement it on your site. If you already have a design or design intent in place, we can apply those as 'rules' for the common elements of your site.
Beware of prebuilt themes
Especially when it comes to Wordpress-ish sites, there is a common default to go find a theme and simply 'install' it. While this may work out of the box, as soon as you want to customize it you are faced with the possibility of having to re-factor a large part of the theme and possibly back-end code that it relies on to look the way it does.
You also have to consider the content on your site. You may find a really awesome theme with cool graphics and catchy phrases, but is that your exact message and content? Probably not. You'll need to make sure that you have enough image and content assets to populate your site to engage with your visitors.
The way we build sites, development (including implementing design) is done in a modular fashion. This means that you are not locked into a specific design because of the foundational back-end code, as well you are not bound into specific functionality just because the design dictates.