Hi Richard, it good to know that you are interested in website designing. I have started this work many years ago with the learning of HTML, C++ and JAVA but now the time has changed and there are many better and easy options available for web designing. I agree with the guys above that WordPress is by far the most easy and flexible platform for both beginners and professionals. It is easy to use, provide great web hosting,speed and performance. Also it is easy to customize, mobile friendly, got a distinctive appearance and most of all it is also SEO friendly. As for the online courses for the web designers there are few good ones available for free. you can check all these websites for free courses on various topics of web designing. Here is the list of these websites just add .com to view them
I hope this will help you start on the journey to be a professional web designer. Work hard and keep looking for the new methods in this field to improve your skills. Good Luck.
Web Designer & Developer at