To get started building modern applications after some time away from the scene I'd start with the lessons at http://teamtreehouse.com/ and http://railsforzombies.org/ because they're both excellent introductions to Ruby on Rails, Coffeescript and other very excellent ways to create rich experience for your customers.
The best practices and technologies are these:
1. Language: PHP - Almost everyone is using PHP, if not Ruby.
2. Content Management Systems including Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress.
A lot of my clients use content management systems which give non-technical people easy ways of managing their website.
MVC Frameworks (model-view-controller)
MVC frameworks like CakePHP, CodeIgniter, and Symphony and very popular since web designers can design and programmers can develop without overwriting each other.
I hope this answers at least part of your question.
I would be glad to take you through some of these technologies on a call if you'd like.