Do I need the flashy lights?
Web design is centred very much on personal choice. That said there are some guidelines that should be observed when designing a website. Hubspot (http://www.hubspot.com) , a popular online website optimisation platform prescribe functionality over looks. I tend to agree with them.
When a viewer reaches your home page, they are expecting to be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Very few of the graphic designers I have met will take that into account when designing a website.
Now I am not advocating a pure white page with just tons of content, far from. Small bites sized chunks of info should be neatly laid out so that it is easy to scan the landing page and find the information you need.
Blocks should contain 150 words or less and should give the reader a clear idea of the information they will find on the page that they will be linking to.
At the same time getting your brand logo across, and developing your Corporate Identity are very important. Everything your business does should build that brand, be it Facebook, Twitter, your website, or your newsletter.
At the end of the day, while flashing lights may be fun to look at, they will not provide much extra value to your website. Just look at the 2 most popular websites on the Internet: Google and Facebook. Neither of them relies on flashy images to get you hooked, it is all about functionality.