Let's start with a story.
A long while back my brother gave me space on his domain for my own webpage. I had fun throwing up garbage onto teh internetz. Since I had little else to do, I began actually working it and developing it.
I learned how to use HTML so I could build it and had fun and learned a bit as well. It was an enjoyable creative outlet and I wrote a number of articles according to my interests.
Flash forward a number of years. I eventually stopped updating it regularly. I'd host a Christmas wishlist on it, post a new article once or twice a year, but that's about it. I once used it as source to post information about projects I was working on and games I was playing, but now I'd rather work on those projects and play those games. Every now and then I look at it, reflect upon the fact that I do post links to it in my signatures, and think about updating it to make it nicer. Then I don't.
But today is different. I'm going to be launching a new YouTube series in a couple months, and since I like to be professional in my dealings I ought to have a page that supports that series.
I haven't tried to build a webpage in a while, and not on this computer, and so (going off of suggestions made seven months ago) I install KompoZer and start playing with it to see if I like it.
As I build my page, I look at the source and realize that it is using some formats and things that I am unaccustomed to. It's using "Div" and "style" and the first line mentions a doctype and a specific version of HTML, and when I try to type in <center> the editor doesn't change its color like its a real fuction.
Now I could grumble and complain and figure out how to get the editor to work with the terms I am used to, or I could learn how it is working and improve my ability with creating webpages. So I try to work with it, but still stumble into a few issues with things that I don't understand. And so I think, well, maybe I ought to actually study and learn how to work with this stuff.
But then I think about it, and the editor is capable of so much more than I ever worked with before. XHTML and CSS, HTML with numbers after the L... Well, if I am going to expand myself, perhaps I ought to reevaluate where I want to start expanding.
But then I wonder, what do I really want to learn?
I'm not a professional web-designer, nor do I aspire to be. I honestly don't expect to see my personal website get popular enough to really make it something special. I'm just a guy making his own website because I enjoy sharing a few things with the few people who might take a look. I don't really need to focus on complex tools and cross-platform mobility and whatnot.
But I do want to make my site look nice. I do want to go beyond something that rivals a geocities page. (Do those still exist anymore?) I do want to feel more capable and not like a dumfart because my editor uses terms and styles I don't know.
With that in mind, what should I focus on being better acquainted with?
There's so many options out there, I really don't know how to get a handle on what is useful for simple things and what is focused more on professional design, what is a simple addition to what I already know and what is something one should take a class in order to understand, what is a powerful tool for even simple pages and what is just a complicated tool designed for functionality I don't implement...