I heard an audio interview with Markus where he said if your site looks amateur-ish, people may be more inclined to sign up, purchase, return to your site because they feel that making money is not your priority, as opposed to sites with corporate looks/templates and pretty smiling women.
Exactly how I feel when hunting for links.
vivalasvegas, whats the broader branch of you website, or can you add your url to your profile?
I meant hiring a designer in general, not just for one website. The industry I'm involved in is Communications.
I see different opinions on this now. The truth is I too prefere simple, clean design. But a website can look simple yet professional. My websites are not that ugly for I've been improving them for quite awhile. Sometimes though I realize they still look amateurish no matter what I do and this bothers me.