I personally don’t mind visiting a website with a dark background and white text, but a lot of people don’t like it, and it can make it difficult for those who are visually challenged to read. A darker website is more appropriate if it deals with gaming etc., but you need to be aware of your target audience.
Stick to a lighter background and don’t make your font too small. A visitor will decide within just a few seconds whether they want to stay on your site or surf away to find another. An appealing homepage can make all the difference when it comes to people staying for a longer visit!
Another tip is not to make your website background too fussy. A small, unobtrusive pattern or image is fine, but stay away from bold, repeating images. Here are a few examples of what NOT to do!
You can do a search for more, some of which are so bad they are hilarious!
If you run an hotel or guesthouse, make sure you have some well-lit and large enough images showcasing each room you offer, along with the bathrooms, and preferably of the public areas. If you have an image gallery, make sure the images have descriptions stating which rooms are which.
If you have a restaurant or cafe, take some ‘mood’ images and some daytime images of your establishment. Show your kitchen as a clean and healthy place to eat, and post a legitimate hygiene rating on your website, preferably on the front page.
Remember, your homepage could make your search engine rankings, and your visitor satisfaction!