I know nothing at all about web site design but was able to produce a very acceptable site using Serif Web Plus 8, it has its own FTP engine and works exactly the same as a Desk Top Publisher WYSIWYG really works.
The Forum Editor likes Frontpage 2003. Net Objets Fusion is also an excellent WYSIWYG editor. If you want the easiest template driven option I would also recommend Serif Webplus, or better still Serif Page Plus 9, which will give your full DTP power, PDF production, as well as basic webdesign.
However, if you are planning a complex site with dozens or hundreds of pages, definitely go for a more professional package like Net Objects Fusion.
The most popular (and rightfully so) Macromedia Dreamweaver. Combine that with Macromedia Fireworks for your graphics, and you have a powerful set of Webdesign Software. There are many that come close (Frontpage, NetObjects Fusion) but thats like saying you were close to being pregnant :-)
Why not? Dreamweaver has as much, or as little power that you want to use.. and it can certainly grow with you.. and it is the industry 'norm' software to use.... although drdeath might be a 'hobbist' today... if he grasps using Dreamweaver, he might make money out of it.
It is asumed that most people have spent around £1,000 on their computers... so what are you going to use them for? Emailing, texting, writing letters, showing pictures?
certainly isn't DreamWeaver, although it is undoubtedly onme of the best web design applications on the market.
DreamWeaver, like all software is far from perfect, and sometimes I feel its reputation oustrips its capabilities. I use DreamWeaver when I think it's appropriate, but I also use NetObjects Fusion, Adobe GoLive (which is every bit as good as DreamWeaver), FrontPage 2003 (extremely powerful, and perhaps better than almost any other application when it comes to integrating with data sources), and some other programs.
It's a question of horses for courses, and if you are just starting on web design I wouldn't recommend DreamWeaver - it has a pretty steep learning curve, and it's far from inexpensive. My personal recommendation for a first venture into web design would undoubtedly be NetObjects Fusion - it's very powerful, yet easy to learn.
This thread should really be in our WebDesign forum anyway. I'll move it there now, and I'm sure you'll get all the advice you need. read through some of the other threads, and you'll soon get a feel for what goes on there. Ask as many questions as you like - there are plenty of beginners doing just the same thing.