There are a number of sites about on the internet with mixed styles of teaching and different approaches, though there are a number of great books that can act as a good start point. Web Programming by Chris Bates (3rd edition) is a good one for the background knowledge that seems to be the academic choice in the universities in the UK, I've also heard of mixed use of the dummies series of books for more hands on knowledge.
As far as the appearance or actual design/layout, it's something that you pickup, essentially different styles work better with different groups or communities this does go as far (backed by research) as specific colours preferred by age, gender etc.
That said the best way to learn is throw out a number of designs and have them reviewed by a number of different people.
another site for the list could be: http://www.code-simple.co.uk