When getting started with web design, you need two things: education and experience.
Education is the easy part because today many world-class schools, including Harvard University, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology post videos of their classes and materials for the classes online for free. There are also websites with tutorials and lessons and all kinds of information that is also available for free. This means that if you have access to the Internet, you can learn web design and it won’t cost you anything.
Of course, you can also go and learn web design in a college or university or attend courses that you will have to pay for.
The second part has to do with your experience. Truth is, if you have a great portfolio, many folks won’t even ask you about your education and won’t really care whether you went to an expensive school of if you learned web design on your own. The question, therefore, becomes: how do you create a great portfolio?
There is a number of ways to do so. Most likely, you do have at least one friend that needs a website for some purpose. You can start with designing several websites for your friends. Nobody has to know that these websites were your first and you created them for free to get started.
You can also donate your services to various non-profit organizations and design websites for them. Many non-profits would like to have a better website, but don’t have a budget for it. By offering your services for free or for a deeply discounted price, you can expand your portfolio and have some nice websites in it.
If you live in a large city, you probably have meetups for all kinds of things, including networking events and professional mixers. You can go there to meet people and look for paid website projects, internships, and other opportunities.