Ambiance is the most important part of any website. Your articles could be top notch, your games the best in the world and your photos unique but your visitors will not stay if they’re in the wrong setting. Visitors have expectations, preconceived ideas, of how a website should look, behave and consequently “feel” to their mental sensors: a search engine needs to be kept simple, a forum needs to be clean and easy to navigate, and a fanzine needs to appear like any shop bought magazine. Making your site look great and even giving it a few sound effects when appropriate is all part of any webmaster’s job. Give your visitors a good experience and they’ll tell their friends about you. Give them a bad experience and, well, what did you do the last time you saw a bad website?
Here are a few resources that I’ve found useful. I think you will like them too.