Ok, so this isn't which class is most powerful or something like that.
I've never healed before, ever. PVP or PVE. I'm considering making a healer, but probably want one that is a little easier to learn/play at a mediocre level. I'll probably mostly just do randoms. If I get better I may try Rated or Arena.
Which class would you suggest as an introduction to healing? What are the differences between the healers? Which ones seem to be the most complicated?
My goal is to start with a healer that is relatively speaking easier on beginners to learn the basics. Then after I've done that, can look at choosing a healer class based on what it offers. Any thoughts?
Holy Paladin would probably be one of the easier healers to start out with. With so many instant casts, you can focus more on just healing and positioning, and less on juking/fake casting (avoiding interrupts). Juking is less of an issue in normal battlegrounds, but with the gap in gear created by item upgrades, you will want to get into arena (even if just to cap points) as early as you can once getting honor geared so that you're not at a huge gear disadvantage in regular battlegrounds.
In addition to the instant casts, the Holy Paladins have a fairly decent tool kit, and can be a bit more forgiving when you make "rookie mistakes".
Honestly I am not really a PvP'r this expac but I would think monk healers would be good for damage and healing but from what I have done with mine in PvE they do take a bit of work to master but if you start healing from level 1 just doing dungeons etc then you should be able to learn it pretty quick or even waiting until later on.
I would be inclined to go Holy Pally. Druid can be fun as well if you're generally familiar with their mechanics, because they're slippery. I would really recommend against Shaman, there's just too much to do to be good when you're new at healing.
Personally I'm playing a Shaman, Druid and Paladin as PvP healers.
Paladin and Druid both are fairly easy to play decent. Druid does worse against burst dmg, but you have a lot of options to escape fights and a hell of a lot of CC. Paladin has a solid defense especially against melees and is like the druid fairly forgiving.
You can't really go wrong with either of them.
Wouldn't recommend a Shaman though. Shamans are still strong healers. However the totem nerf means that a simple blanket silence locks out EVERYTHING, all your defense and abilities, something that isn't the case for any other healer as their mostly can use their defense CD's regardless. And their defense against melees is mediocre at best, they have a fairly strong defense against casters though.