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Wordpress advice

I'm brand new to web design and just getting started at it. I'm more of a Graphic Designer but I think web skills are a very handy skill to accompany graphics with.
I'm currently learning HTML... also playing around with wordpress at the mo, and reading up on everything.

Alot of people have adviced me that 'wordpress is not web design' and have criticizedcertain web designers for using it as a development tool for sites.
This has quite put me off, and i'm now slighlty confused me about what programs exactly I should be using as a beginner.
However i am aware that this building site is getting to be the 'in thing'

Would people advise me to get started with small wordpress sites at all to help familiarize myself with the ingoings?
Would it help me to learn wordpress before trying out other web designing programs?
Well, the more you know, the better right? If you know Wordpress, and end up learning Joomla, Drupal etc, you can choose whichever suits your clients needs.

Wordpress was made for blogging yes, but it can be used as a CMS. People may laugh at developers for using it, but some websites that use it are infact amazing, and better than quite a few done with other CMS'. It's the design and how you put it across which matters the most, it has to be pleasing to your client for one, but also to the users of the site.
The users of the the site aren't going to be using the admin panel, so the front end is all they need. Clients want something that does the job well, while still easy to edit, add, delete pages and from what I have seen in the past, the admin side of wordpress is extremely easy to navigate through.

Most websites these days want a blog, or move onto a blog, and using wordpress as a cms you can then easily integrate a blog also. Wordpress has a huge community following it, that creatine plugins for all kinds of things, gallerys, forms, tranlation etc etc.

I would say learn it as you go, learn your basic HTML/CSS first, design and build a few layouts. Then theme those layouts to wordpress, then add widgets, plugins etc etc.
yes that good advice thanks. all taken on board. web design is not a main priority right now so luckily I have plenty of time to take it step by step. It was a site for my portfolio to start with.
I'll carry on learning the basics, its all quite easy really :) so i'm sure i'll be updating you with sites to crit in the near future
Your advice has really helped me though thankyou very much.
I agree with the previous post.

WordPress isn't the only answer (by all means start learning the basics of HTML/CSS as well) but if all you need is a portfolio website, WordPress gives you a great starting point.

I like WordPress because it offers so much flexibility and free plugins. There's no reason why you couldn't get a WP portfolio finished and online in 1 or 2 days.
I am graphic designer who studied HTML/CSS a few years back too.

I found WordPress hard to learn with my knowledge and so now work alongside a freelance web developer who does the coding leaving me to concentrate on creating nice designs.

Not all of us can be good at everything ;-)

We find WordPress an extremely flexible and dynamic way to create CMS websites. And probably the most user-friendly in terms of the client being able to update the content themselves.

Good luck!
I agree. Wordpress is alot more flexible.

Look out for future posts in need of web deign help, I'm sure there will be plenty to come!
and thanks for the advice once again