The easiest way to know the type of website you want is to take into consideration what you want the site for and/or copy a site that does the same thing you would want to do. Some of the most important features needed to launch a fully fledged website are:
A domain name is the site’s address and is what users type or click to lead them to your site. Domain names are purchased and come in various forms for example mysite.com, (.org, .ws, .net, .biz) and so on. A domain name should not be too long or complex for your clients to remember. It should also relate to your website content, example icehouse.com if it deals in ice. One is usually required to pay a yearly fee for the domain bought, which is not expensive at all. You can simply get a domain name by going to websitepalace.com, a site approved by many.
The other option is to get a free website which is, according to me, not a wise idea because the free sites lack certain features as compared to the paid ones and are sometimes unstable. The domain name is also distorted, for example mysite.freewesite.com which as you would agree, makes the site look unprofessional to the target audience or potential clients and makes the name of the site difficult to remember. However, if you are unsure of the paid site because you are new, you can learn by getting a free site on webs.com, 110mb.com and many more.
Websites can never stay active without a web host. The web host is responsible for housing your files and allows you, as the website owner, to create and save pages to the internet. Web hosting is paid for monthly or yearly.
Website Build Software
If you are not an expert who can code HTML, you can just use a software to help you build/edit your site like Dreamweaver, Artisteer or Coffeecup. This is optional because you can choose to delegate or outsource all this work to an expert, though not necessary, due to wanting to retain your site privacy and control. If you need a message board where people can leave you messages concerning your website content, you can go to phpbb.com for simple and step by step set-up and advice.
I would suggest that you choose a single reputable provider for all these like Hostgator.com or Godaddy.com who provide you with all you need to set-up a fully functional website within a few minutes. I would also recommend that if you find this difficult, especially building the website stage, you can always get an expert to do it for you as per your directions. A well known site is vWorker.com where you can post the task and wait for the programmers to bid on it then choose the best to build your site. The good thing is that you only pay after you are satisfied that the website is done as you want it through Paypal. I suggest you use Site Build It. Go to www.sitesell.com/join_now0.html
I hope this will go a long way in helping you or a friend build a successful website.