Any job is easy with the right tools, slicing bread with a pocket knife is possible but will not give the desired results.
There are many applications available on the web to help you build your own website, choosing the right one for your needs is the trick.
Online website builders
Many web hosts have online website builders that allow you to design a website using nothing more than your web browser, obviously you need to be connected to the internet while working on your website, and this is a slow process unless you have a really speedy connection (a luxury in South Africa).
Offline website builders
With software the rule of "you get what you pay for" does not always apply, there are some excellent free applications, as well as some useless but expensive applications.
Before buying anything, first download the trial version to see if it meets your needs, if there is no trial version available move on.
There are many options available from full wysiwyg website builders to text editors and everything in between.
Wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) website builders is an easy way to build a good looking website, some wysiwyg applications add a lot of overhead to your pages and that slows down page loading times.
The most online and some offline web builders use templates,this is probably the fastest way to get a website up, the down side to templates is that they are very limiting and not very flexible.
Text and html editors require extensive html knowledge to build a site but give you the power and flexibility that most wysiwyg and templates lack.
To build your first website the ideal will be to have an wysiwyg editor with the ability to use templates but also be flexible enough to use as you improve your html skills.
The links below are to my favorite web design tools.
WYSIWYG Web Builder - This is the best web builder listed on this page (IMHO), but it is not free.
Trial version available for download (user guide)
Namu6 -(Free) Template based web builder, easy to use with some limitations to design freedom.
Very good for beginners, this is by far the easiest web builder I have worked with. (user guide)
Wizzy Page - (Free) Extremely limited but very easy to use. Great for putting a single page together quickly, but no good for multi page websites.
Kompozer - (Free) Not so easy to get started but good once you get to know it.
Not ideal for beginners. (user guide)
Codelobster - (Free) Advanced users only, excellent tool for PHP, Style sheets,
Java script and XML.
FTP Apps (only needed if your web builder does not support ftp uploads)
Filezilla - (Free) Needed to upload your website.
WS Ftp - (free version available) needed to upload your website.
Porta - (Free) Create an online gallery.
Ico FX - (Free) create icons from images.
XAMPP - (Free) the easy way to set up a php & sql web server on your local pc.
Snapfiles - (Website) great source for all kinds of freeware and shareware.
Scripts - Collection of Java Scripts I find useful.