I have been designing websites since 1996. I started writing code by hand, working out how it worked by dismantling other sites – in those days there weren’t many other ways to learn.
I used the same few tools for most of those early years:
I used to use Homesite v1.2 at first, which was freeware, back in 1996 when I started, but isn’t free any more – Adobe took it over and stated charging for it, then dropped it in 2009. I occasionally used HTML kit for a while, then took to using Dreamweaver 8 (which is old software, but it still works, and I use it for static html sites. I can’t justify spending the hundreds to upgrade to the current version though!).
Images are still prepared using Paintshop Pro v6.00 (by JASC, who sold out to Corel. See Corel Paintshop Pro). If I need a transparent png I use Corel Paintshop Pro X2, but PSP 6 is so simple, as it loads quickly and does almost all I need.
Anything else you’d like to know – just email me, and I’ll try to give you an answer.
Finally – if you need a website designed for a very reasonable fee – try me 🙂