...ugly...would be an indication that a huge corporation is probably not behind the site, but when I see a site that is clearly amatuerish it makes me wonder how secure it might be to hand over my credit card information. If a site owner couldn't shell out even a few dollars for a template why should I think they've done anything to make sure my transaction will be secure.
You're exactly right vanhogh. As web users become more and more savvy they can distinguish between a site that is the real deal and a complete sham. And contrary to what the article says, the user more than likely isn't going to trust a poorly designed site. Unfortunately we live in a society where looks are important, and first impressions last. Buying online can sometimes be as risky as buying a product off the street. Who do you think is going to be trusted and generate more sales? A straggly, dirty street vendor, or a clean cut business professional in a suit. The same applies to the web.
The goal of any website is to find a happy balance between all the standards to target their ideal market. Design, usability, accessibility and content all hold equal importance.