easiest thing to do is get whatever software you can get your hands on (from a coverdisk or download)and then just play with it,
the behind the scenes code can be ignored in the very beginning but before long you will find that you have subconcsieously absorbed a lot of HTML and will get a feel for what other specific things you want to learn.
I treat web-design ( very differently from other people) like making pictures with clickable bits and have treated the learning curve like I would any graphics package, make pages and pages of rubbish, click every button on the program till you know what they do ( and then I made more pages of rubbish and published them, click here )
Another good trick is to look around the web and see what you like and what seems to work. after a while you will be able to view the source of pages and understand it and be able to learn from it.
In terms of the actual site you wish to publish though it's important to have a clear idea of what you want from it, have a clear layout and ,as Fourm Member intimates, keep it simple.
in conclusion, my advice would be to get some software and just play with it and read every book, article, forum post and help file that you come across. it seams that web-site building can be as simple or as technical as you want it to be, just go for it.