Some time ago I wrote about the software and hardware requirements that I use to make websites. A lot has changed since then, my main method of creating websites now is to use WordPress.
My previous post discussed the hardware and software that I was using about 3 years ago, well my hardware that was a new purchase back then for $500 Australian is still going. Along the way to keep the machine running well, a few minor hardware upgrades have been performed.
The software has been the biggest change, I removed the original Windows Vista and loaded Ubuntu, a free Linux operating system. As I am not writing as much code now, and mainly using WordPress for my blogs I no longer need to have all the browsers loaded to test any created pages. I still use GIMP for my picture editing, and when I need to write code I use a simple Linux PHP editor called gPHPEdit. The final software I was using 3 years ago was Xampp, it created a server on my laptop so I could test a functioning webpage before I uploaded to the website, Ubuntu being a Linux distribution has a web server as part of its install.
In short, do I think you need to spend copious amounts of money to set yourself up to make money creating web pages… no is the answer, I think there are a lot of simple solutions out there to get what you are looking for.