| 6:50 am on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Hate to say it... NOTEPAD. Then again, that might be too steep a learning curve. :)
I use an elderly Homesite. I have used on occasion Netscape's Composer.
Depends on final application: Glitz or content. Want glitz? All of the above. Each offers a plethora of gimmicks and gadgets to make it look good. Won't make the content any better, but it will LOOK good.
| 6:50 am on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)|
A cup of coffee, a good guide to HTML and CSS, and a nice text editor (try EditPlus) are the very best start you can get.
| 7:29 am on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)|
A cheap used copy of Dreamweaver 4 (like around $50 or so) from Ebay and a used book on HTML and CSS from Amazon; there are many good book under $1 plus $3.99 for shipping.
Design view in DW is WYSIWYG, but the Code view is *exactly* like using a text editor (like Notepad) to code by hand, except that there extra time-saving features and you get a LOT of help identifying your HTML errors. Plus, you see can how your page is coming along within a second by switching over to Design view to take a look.
It's the best of two worlds.
| 7:44 am on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)|
The first two suggestions are sound advice, but ultimately I have to say I agree completely with Marcia, and emphasize keeping it mostly in code view. Also keep in mind that Dreamweaver 4 is "older" technology and the CSS book will show you a more contemporary way of producing the markup. DW is just too handy to have for menial chores like adding columns to a table or apply a style to multiple spots - I actually will go through the trouble of copying html out of my php editor into DW to do things like that and then copy it back into the php editor!
| 10:26 am on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I do my CSS 100% by hand, always have and always will. Notetab Lite is free and works great as a text editor. It also generates HTML for text pages if necessary, or strips out HTML (which sometimes has to be done).
I don't consider software generated CSS to be good to use, since names like style4 or table6 (which FP does) and all individually coded styles like for margins are done the long way; coding by hand, you can name everything intuitively, use shorthand, and comment the styles liberally, so the site is easily maintainable.
I first learned HTML using Notepad, and still think it's very important to have good knowledge of it. DW does give a head start though.
| 1:14 pm on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)|
A beginner should concentrate on learning html and css. When you can hand-code in your sleep with one hand tied behind your back, you'll be able to use nearly any of the popular tools with a minimal learning curve.
| 1:27 pm on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I agree with Marcia about using Dreamweaver. It is great for beginners and to my mind easier to use than Frontpage was when I started out. You can always go in and amend the actual HTML code later.
| 1:48 pm on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Use WordPad, jEdit, TypePad, whatever.
Learn yourself what PHP includes are, so you can make pages from re-usable chunks of code - saves a LOT of time in maintenance.
Learn the basics of CSS (so you never use <br> or <font> tags in your sites).
Remember to mark up your content as headings, paragraphs, lists, tables, and forms. Learn how to show images, and insert links.
Then get experimenting...
| 8:48 am on Oct 8, 2008 (gmt 0)|
It might also be worth checking the WYSIWYG forum: