Web design is essentially the organization of information into a readable, usable, functional and accessible format. Good organization of content is crucial, and you need a strong layout that you can build a website upon.
You can use numerous interface elements and structures to organize content, such as content sliders and modal windows, which are basically windows that float above the page.
The whole may be more than the sum of its parts, but without the parts, there is no whole. Lest that sound like some weird philosophical meandering to you, take comfort in observing the finer aspects of creative and appealing user interface design.
As you would a quality timepiece made of thousands of parts, analyze and enjoy how intricate parts come together to create a cohesive experience.