By now, you should notice that nothing in terms of web design lasts forever. You see trends go in and out of favor just like any other faced-paced businesses. How people used to view typical web design is no longer considered the norm. New and better ways of designing have taken center stage, thanks to the influx of responsive web design. Look at how content works within a web design now. Gone are the days when it played second fiddle to do the overall design layout. Here is more about the new default of content in a website.
Websites, until very recently, were simply created with the layout first and the content second. It might have begun with a header that had a logo in it at the top of the page. Below that might have been the navigation and sub-navigation options. Finally, it may have had some widgets on the bottom and sides. When all of this was set up to look how the designer wanted it, then they would somehow fit the content within the tiny bit of space that was left in the middle of their site. What was not considered was that the things that were designed first - the header, navigation and sub-navigation options, and widgets - were all there to help the visitor go elsewhere. That seemed to be the opposite of what the designer actually wanted.
The focus used to be so much on the layout with the content just being an afterthought that it made the designer appear unprofessional and not confident about the content they offered. That is where the new default begins now. The middle should be the first focus with the layout falling nicely around it. Everything in the middle must work and look good. The content must be high quality and readable so that your visitors can see that you offer useful information and so that they can easily find what they need. When they enjoy what you offer, they will likely return to boost your traffic and purchase anything you offer.
Once you have your content set up, consider what it needs around it in terms of layout. Would the content favor a logo, navigation or sub-navigation? How about widgets? Honestly, widgets are rarely needed. One of the best ones that you could use would be the page's "white space." You don't have to stick with the old layout decisions either. Get creative. You could put a logo in the header instead of the top of each page. You could put your sub-navigation options within the content itself, too. Using something like a "skip" link could also help everything take a back seat to your content providing a clear page hierarchy unless the user decides to jump straight to the navigation options.
As you can see the old default regarding website content has nearly been phased out. For a market that is learning toward more responsive web designs for all kinds of screens, interaction needs to be re-thought, along with how content is shaped and how everything interacts with each other.