Set up a website
The type of website you set up is going to depend on your goal in having a website.
Setting up a Website to Share Information or Advertise Your Business
If your goal is to share information about your company or service, or to communicate among members of an organization, a standard website can be set up for very little money. www.GoDaddy.com even offers a free one page website if you register your domain (website name) with them. If you need more than one page, GoDaddy.com offers web hosting with site building tools, as does Yahoo! Web Hosting. Both offer excellent support for the do-it-yourselfer.
There’s also Yola , a relative newcomer with excellent prices, starting at $0 and going up very little from there. They have a friendly, accessible interface. You can even get FREE advertising credits worth $50 with every Yola Silver purchase, which is only about $50 a year, including your own URL.
Another choice is 1&1 MyWebsite. who say their website setup process is “quick and easy”.
Setting Up an online store
For a few dollars a month and some sweat equity, you can set up a store that will enable you to offer your products to customers around the world. No HTML or technical expertise required. Yahoo! Merchant Solutions offers site building and product upload tools, and credit card processing built in to their various packages. BigCommerce is a new company, dedicated to ECommerce. Their interface is straightforward and they offer lots of support. 15 day free trial.
Sharing thoughts: a Blog
Blogs (short for web logs) have become very popular. Like an online diary, they let you post your thoughts, ideas and emotions to the web whenever you wish, without having to know anything about HTML or other web technologies. Some let your readers post responses to your entries.
You can get an ad-free blog completely free at a number of sites. The biggest are Blogger.com, owned by Google, and WordPress. Both are free and easy to set up. WordPress has become very popular as a vehicle for online news as well as blogs. If you want your own URL, you can sign up with a regular web hosting service that provides WordPress hosting, such as Wordpress & Go Daddy Hosting or Green Geeks, for a few dollars a month.
There are a number of (not free) add ons, available from WordPress and third parties like Artisteer, a WordPress Theme Generator that lets you create your own design for your WordPress site. Many non-blog-like sites are built on a dressed up platform of WordPress. There’s also Diaryland, which is customizable and easy to use. Lately, they’ve been charging a $2 good faith fee, but they’re worth it.
Another interesting alternative is Squidoo. It’s sort of like a blog. You can write pages of information about yourself. But it also offers you building blocks of your own to add videos, polls, news headlines, links to other websites and more.
Setting Up a Forum or Chat Room
Forums and chat rooms are both ways for people to talk to each other. Forums are online bulletin boards, where people leave messages that others can read and reply to. Chats are real-time text conversations.