I've been doing essentially the same for years, and early on Macromedia's Dreamweaver was my savior, but I'm migrated away as my skills have got a little better and I rely on CSS more and more. That said if your new to layout and coding it's the only way to go. Further if you are going to get serious you need to get into something like Photoshop (not free), GIMP (OSS), or to a lesser extent but much simpler Paint.NET (free). Otherwise man, find you a Graphics guy and have him do the layout for you. Geeks aren't supposed to be able do everything, no matter what management thinks.