Get your mind outta the gutter. This is business. Free stuff for web designers, to be specific.
Free hosting with yourname.f2o.org domain, for-pay a la carte extras like Oracle db, newsgroups, extra disk space, and extra bandwidth. Full domain hosting at $7/month.
Free streaming server
An open-source version of the Quicktime server.
Free design tools
Free site prototyping tool that takes your scrawls and squiggles and turns them into a real, if funny-looking, linked site. Probably works better with a Wacom tablet than a mouse, but you can make do. The menu is kind of weird.
Free photo management
Free PHP-based photo gallery software with auto-thumbnails. Gallery has a fairly fixed page layout, whereas PhotoPal is completely CSS-based and therefore customizable.
Free & really cheap photos
Stock photos for 50 cents each. Get one free for signing up, a free one each week for logging in, and free when you buy $25 worth of credit (or more) at a time. Note that you can’t just buy one photo; you pay for download credits at $10 for 20, $25 for 55 (5 free), and so on.
web design books at the library
People around A&M, head to the TK 5105.88x section in Evans (third floor, hang a right off the elevators). Tons of books on ASP, PHP, content management systems, Apache administration, accessibility, Unix administration, etc. Many of these are less than a year old. Staff can check them out for four months at a time.
Forget taking CSS classes. Go here, peruse the archives, and get friendly with the wiki. Everything you need to know is here. Beginners should check out its little cousin, CSS-foundations.
If you weren’t paying attention, take a class for free.
The archiving system sucks, but this is still a great listserve. Join.
Keep up with Mark. Every few weeks he’ll reward you by throwing out some incredibly valuable post on things like protecting your server from evil crawlers or fixing your RSS feed. People who need to know how to design for the disabled (and doesn’t everyone?) should head straight for Dive Into Accessibility. When you finish that, move on to Building Accessible Websites.
Free & cheap paperwork
The book is invaluable, but if you’re just a cheapskate, grab the downloads from each chapter. There’s an interview for your clients, a sample of a content inventory (another one available at Adaptive Path) and other useful stuff.
All the forms you’ll need to be a small business of your own, $25. Her initial consultation interview (which used to be free from her site) is nowhere near as good as the one that’s still available for free from web-redesign.com. Just so you know.