It is several years since I looked closely at the Yale University Press Web Style Guide, now in its 3rd edition. This is an excellent guide to how to create web pages, especially those for such as newspapers and magazines where large amounts of text may be needed.
When I saw it first it concentrated on tables as the means of formatting pages, but since then it has moved on, as has the web, to CSS. The important aspect though is that this guide makes the designer think about the structure of a site, and specifically its usability. Whether you are planning a first web page or upgrading a major site, this is essential reading.
For example, just read what authors Patrick Lynch and Sarah Horton have to say to start their chapter on page templates:
Always start your template work with an internal page, because the internal page template will dominate the site. The home page is important, but the home page is inherently singular and has a unique role to play. Your internal page template will be used hundreds or thousands of times across larger sites, and the navigation, user interface, and graphic design of the internal pages will dominate the user’s experience of your site. Get your internal page design and navigation right, and then derive your home and secondary page designs from the internal page template
That’s food for thought for many of us who work on web pages.