You can set up a website without spending any money. If you get a free website you are going to be limited in the amount of space you can store in your site (This is typically 25 meg) you will have reduced band width which means your pages will be slow to load. And you will have a doman name that is long, cumbersome and unprofessional. You want to give a professional appearance so people trust what you have to say. It is all about the customer - Remember Rule #1. (You must offer your web visitor something of value)
If you need a website I recommend this company. They have been around a long time, have great service and some excellent plans at very reasonable prices. They are also merchant website ready. So if you think that at some time in the future you may want to sell your own products you won't have to change to another service provider. ( This is the company that I host all my websites through).
(Note: If you intend on going there now and getting a domain of your own you should do a little research first into what domain name you should choose. The domain name should reflect the content that will be on your website. Overture has a great tool for helping you to decide on a domain name that is popular. Go to my choosing a domain name page first then come back here.)
Now you own a domain name and have a hosting service what do you do next?
Here are the steps you will follow:
Step 1: Get some software
Now you need to build your website and you need some software to do this. You have two options.
You can purchase some web design software or you can make use of some free software. My recommendation is that you start with the free software for now then as your website grows and your ability grows you upgrade to a purchased version of software.
If you are serious about making money with your website choose one of these two software programs. They are both Industry standard. I use Dreamweaver but the Frontpage is just as good.
Step 2: Make your website with the software
The free software will get you started and is sufficient for now but the purchased software will do a lot more things for you, it can automate a lot of the processes and make uploading to your website a snap. It saves you a lot of time. If you are serious about making your website into a business you will at some point have to switch to either Dreamweaver or Frontpage.
Here is a link to the free software you ca use to start building your website now:
Once you have downloaded this software and installed it I have a tutorial that will show you the basics of how to use it.
For now just create a simple one page website just to get your feet wet. Then come back here so you can continue with the tutorial and get your free ftp software to load your website up to the internet.