Am with Black Max on this one.
First you should start with expectations and nomenclature:
In no particular order:
- Design: Aesthetic and artsy stuff. You could use Gimp, PainPro, Fireworks, or Photoshop and Illustrator,depending on your budget. I really like PS, thats just a personal preference based on the time it saves me. You will NEED artistic talent , regardless.
- Coding: Any text editor for Notepad to BBedit to COD will do. You will knowledge of semantics, and valid W3C HTML, and CSS. WYSIWG editos such as Dreamweaver DONT produce valid code. Even when I use DW I usually stick with the TEXT editing part ( even the preview is moot as what works in DW preview may not work for one or any browsers and vise versa). in short, go for a light, quick, text editor with good color coding, hint and autocomplete features. Textmate or Coda for example.
*Content Management This really depend on your hosting services. I like PHP based stuff ( WP is but the simplest, but not the only thing out there) Either way… the more code you know the easier it wil be to customize or even build your own
*SEO I have worked doing marketing brick and mortar companies your years. It amuses me what webbies (black max) see in SEO, but I also feel his “pain”. Anyway, your TRUE SEO is content and thoughtfulness. This is true on or off line but must client dont seem to think this. You neither can nor should show up in the top 10 search results for “houses” if what you sell is cars. So in another words be honest and have realistic expectations, or it will come back to bite you.
As far as SEO friendly code. it’s just that: HONEST, semantically correct code. ( not everything is an h1 or h2!!!)
- Management How often will you be needing to update the info,a nd how much of it is there ? Are you interacting or gathering info from visitors? is really what you should be thinking. If there is not a lot of specific content or if you only need to change CONTENT (CSS should let you change ‘looks’ easily enough if you have coded HTML semantically) If you are not updating a lot, gathering info, or have TONS of content static HTML docs might be a viable solution.