Its a great starting point to learning xhtml to start building websites. After learning xhtml, learn CSS http://www.w3schools.com/css/default.asp ..CSS is used for styling a webpage as xhtml is used to structure the page.. Coding is alot of fun but requires alot of time to get the "nitty gritty" and some sleepless nights pulling your hair out when you can't get code to execute right : )
I would say - start a website using a CMS of your choice, and then try to see exactly what it does. Starting from scratch could be hard for some, so I think that building a website with a CMS - following by investigation of the inner workings - will work out just fine.
Get Adobe DreamWeaver and access to Google (as well as WebDeveloper.com for when you're stuck). Try to make a bare-bones version of a facebook profile page, that way you're not "studying" and you'll be learning tons of techniques.
http://www.w3schools.com is the best place you should go when it comes to this matter for both beginners and experts.
But for beginners, focus only to the basic HTML tutorials and some CSS or you'll easily get lost.
You can also try out some free services first like webs.com then play around with the free templates from what you have learned from w3schools.
I want to learn how to build a website. Where should I start?
That depends. If you wanna make just one site, I would suggest to use a content management system such as Wordpress, Joomla or Drupal. Such systems offer several templates where you can put the titel and content in.
If you wanna start making websites, as a hobby or semiprofessional, you should learn how to write html yourself. I would start with w3schools.com and later continue with the sites DanInMA posted.
What sites should I go to. What books should I read? Should I go about learning in a certain order? What should my study plan be? Etc.
I'm not sure how you'd like to go buy it but I know these days people don't want to deal with HTML.. I personally don't work with html directly. I learned WordPress from Daniel As My Network. There are lots of places to go to learn but for html, I'll agree with all the other that http://www.w3schools.com is the absolute best.