Can someone advise if there are free vetted tools on the net for starting and designing my own web site?
That’s a very vague question… All you need at the beginning is a free editor.
Not directly related to the question but if you’re looking for good free tutorials, check out the NetBeans Wikis . They have good free tutorials .
kohoutek pretty much nailed it with that list.
Of the list I use
I use Netbeans and another lightweight program I use is Notepad ++
Notepad will be just fine to start with.
Another tutorial link - http://www.w3schools.com/