I was answering someone’s question about how to start out on web development for a personal site, here’s my answer to that question, elaborated on below.
Easiest method for a noob at web design with some experience in graphic design is Dreamweaver. Design in photoshop / illustrator, export to Dreamweaver, slide and dice, use filter to export to required file type and voila.
Why get into the custom thingie though? Tons of kick-ass templates available for as low as $10 at places. Lots of free CSS templates too – just add graphics. W3C valid XHTML and CSS is mandatory for Web 2.0 entrants. Tough call for a newbie, specially with all the hacks required for cross browser compatibility.
Best way forward – use WordPress – easy enough to use and easy enough to expand functionality. Tons of available add-ons and W3C compatible templates. Plus a real blog (not splog) creates an added sense of belonging for your visitors.