Your first web site is a step into the brave beautiful world of self publishing, where you can share your ideas, your masterpieces, and, dare I say it, your very soul with the world.
Unfortunately, a lot of the so-called web page builders provided by the free hosting services out there leave a lot to be desired when it comes to customization.
Lucky for you, web design isn't too hard to learn thanks to web sites like Lissa Explains it All. (This is quite possibly a take off of an old Nickelodeon show called "Clarissa Explains it All.") Don't let the garish color scheme drive you off, this stuff can be quite helpful.
Sure, you can use a program that writes the code for you. I've used plenty of those myself. However, I've yet to use a program where I didn't have the desire to go in and tinker with the code "by hand." Sometimes it's faster and easier than trying to modify the same thing through the program's menu options. I've yet to see anyone learn to use HTML and then regret the time it took.