Hickory, North Carolina
My approach to all publishing design (web included) has been hugely shaped by the work of Edward Tufte - see www.edwardtufte.com. A teacher at Yale Tufte explains why clean and simple design not only looks better but is better (yes, you will find him opinionated - and right.) Most web sites are either boringly the same or an assault on the senses. I set out to create a site that was striped clean of the superfluous but remained friendly to move through. Using the site name as logo and its words to anchor navigation seems to have worked out nicely.
I used no special authoring tools to create the pages. Just a text editor (Araneae www.areneae.com) and pure html code. Posting to the web with WS_FTP Pro (www.ipswitch.com) and managing images with Adobe Photoshop - www.adobe.com.
I did stumble onto Pmachine (www.pmachine.com) specialty software for running blogs like www.dugalmoor.net and use their sister company for hosting (www.pmachinehosting.com) Both companies are simply terrific with very personal customer service and bulletproof functionality.