If you're creative, love computers, and are addicted to the Internet, then perhaps you'd like to take a stab at web design. It's a pretty fulfilling feeling to see the fruits of your labor take the form of a fully-functioning website for all the world to appreciate.
The first step is to install a good vector graphics editor. Most budding designers use Adobe Illustrator. Another option is GIMP, a free, open-source editing program that works very similarly to Adobe Photoshop.
Vectors are the simplest way to get a good grasp of graphic design, and mastering an editor will take you very, very far. Luckily, there is a wealth of tutorials all over the web, and a simple Google search will find them for you.
When you get the hang of the program, browse the Internet for inspiration. Head to art sites like DeviantArt for stunning vector work and extremely helpful tutorials. Google "best web design" to get links to sites that compile some of the most visually-appealing sites out there. See what you like, experiment with design, and create your signature style.
When you've got a design concept in mind, you'll need to learn XTHML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language), as well as CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), to control the look of the site. Knowledge in these two languages will help you modify your site's design to your liking. You can read up on these two at W3Schools. You can also go to sites like CSSGarden, where talented professionals provide open-source coding on several designs to learn from.
Notepad will suffice for encoding HTML and CSS, but there are several programs out there that will make the jobs easier for you. Adobe Dreamweaver, for instance, is a handy tool for this. If you're on a budget, the open-source editing program Eclipse is free to download.
Now that you've got your basic build down, use AJAX to help you save bandwidth. Remember the golden rule when learning something new - Google for tutorials.
Installing a web server on your computer will allow you to work on scripts without an internet connection. Go to wampserver for a server with PHP. The best way to learn scripts is to find some on the web and learn from example. Download a few to play around with, and see how you can apply your own touch to the scripts. When you're done, test the scripts with XAMPP.
You've now got all the tools you need to be a web designer! Get yourself a host and domain, and start taking the Internet by storm!