Here's my number 1 WordPress web development tip — install WordPress locally.
Want to develop websites faster? Start using WordPress. Maybe that should be my number one tip. But in my opinion, to best build and prepare a website for deployment you'll be much happier working on the site if it's running an a WordPress install that's running on your own machine.
If you're using a Mac check out this very thorough and helpful tutorial over at WPCandy.com on How to install WordPress locally on a Mac.
If you're using a PC then I'd suggest using this BitNami WordPress stack to install WordPress locally.
When you're ready to move your WordPress site to the web server WPCandy.com has help for that too.