The most important page on most websites is the home page.
Why? Because that's where most people enter the website - and either click off or not.
The whole purpose of a home page or landing page is to GET THE VISITOR to click through to another page in the site.
It requires thought and putting yourself in your visitor's shoes to make this work.
It also requires a good web analytics (website statistics) program so you can find out what IS happening - good or bad - and improve or remedy it.
An appropriate, pleasing and dramatic look is important.
It needs to be instantly obvious what your website is about, and very rapidly obvious who it is for and what you offer. It takes some copy to do that. Don't assume people will get it if you don't tell them. Don't be subtle. "Subtle" and "marketing" are two words that shouldn't be in the same sentence. The search engines like copy, too.
Navigation needs to be clear, simple and obvious. If you have 13 - or 32 - main navigation buttons you're going to confuse people.
There is room for being different but it is WAY easy to be too different and lose people. That is particularly true of website navigation.
Give them multiple ways to navigate such as links at the bottom of the page and within the page copy - in addition to the main navigation bar - since not everyone likes to navigate the same way.
There is room for being artistic but don't let aesthetics interfere with getting your message across - or optimizing your site for the search engines, if that is important to you.