The very best advice I can offer a beginner is to put Dreamweaver away. First focus on learning HTML and CSS code. Without a working knowledge of code basics, DW has a steep learning curve. If you understand code fundamentals, DW is easy to figure out.
HTML & CSS Tutorials - http://w3schools.com/
How to Develop with CSS?
Learn CSS positioning in 10 Steps
Best of luck,
Alt-Web Design & Publishing
Web | Graphics | Print | Media Specialists
I would agree with Nancy O. Having prior knowledge of HTML and CSS will make your learning curve for Dreamweaver less intense and will actually help you use Adobe's web development tools better.
One of the exercises I used to do a lot of when I was first learning, after of course getting the fundamentals down in HTML & CSS: I would go and find a template website that I liked the design of and try to replicate it by coding it. It helped me understand how to structure websites in all different ways using HTML and CSS, instead of the typical layouts that come to mind at first. Soon after I started to learn how to design for the web just by looking at web design inpiration from various sites and I would design my own templates and code them for fun.
Make sure that you read up on cross-browser compatability. It's important to test in multiple browsers as you code and alter the code according to what works best across all browsers. Also remember to validate code when coding using the W3C markup validator:
Good luck! I hope this helps!
First of all, I also agree with all the posts listed here. However, please let me give you some additional advice.
Since HTML5 is becoming the new standard, I suggest you start learning this right away. There are a lot of syntax changes which are better to learn right away instead of altering once you switch to HTML5.
A really good resource for learning HTML5 is http://www.lynda.com.
I also used a very good book on HTML5, called "Pro HTML5 Programming 2nd Edition".
Both resources do require payment. However, they are pretty much the best I found on the web so far, especially the website.
Since jQuery requires a bit more effort to learn, you should learn your languages in the described order.
Good luck to you!