Been webmastering since the Mosaic browser(!). My personal rules are to keep the coding efficient (hand coding core of pages), the three click rule, and do not go for style over substance. Sure some of my sites might look 'dated' compared to those that employ flash and other technologies, yet desired data is extremely easy to find and they reach the targeted audience while delivering information in a fast and timely manner.
As an example, the below site is around 5000 web pages and employs the 'divide and conquer' technique plus a search engine:
She aint 'pretty', yet she works, loads fast and you can quickly find information on the site (if it is there to be found of course as no site has everything). Color me Mr. Old School...