must one be a programmer before learning how to design a web site? I stand to be corrected
You need not be a programming guru to design websites these days thanks to the OPEN SOURCE community and other DIY web designer programmes all over the internet. Am sure if you search very well you will see quite a lot of resources that can create a good website in minutes. BUT in order to be different, so your site will not look like everyother one on the net, you need a little programming skill. PHP and mysql is a good place to start. You can hardly see any good site these days that does not have elements of these two or both combined. Forums, for example, have already made programmes like SMF, Vbulletin etc which can allow you load and start, easily, in minutes. Have fun.
No. but having programming skills gives you the competitive edge.
These days, clients are more demanding: you will hear things like
1. i need a database for my site
2. i need my feedback form to send the feedback details straight to my yahoo mail inbox
3. i need user authentication on my site for private viewing
etc. etc etc
programming skills definitely gives you the competitive edge.