I recently read an article in the Website Magazine on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and I was happy to see that a couple of the elements listed where directly related to web standards. Title, headers, using HTML only for content, and being clear and concise were all part of focusing on the most important thing on your site: the content.
For any starting website, content is the most important element. No matter the amount of eye-candy that your site could have, the content is what your users will come back for.Sure eye-candy is cool and with future browsers some cool features will be more accessible. But until then, keep it simple, consistent and clutter free.