I started my website almost a year ago using Go Daddy and their website design program, Website Tonight. I hate Website tonight! I can't make it do anything I want it to. Any recommendations on hosts with programs that are user friendly?
Yahoo is good
You may want to consider looking at local colleges for web design students, many are willing to design a good-looking site that doesn't look like every other template for cheap. Just make sure you map out exactly what you want from the site first.
You may also want to look at taking a class on making web pages. I took one online and it was straight forward and easy to learn. I like the idea of knowing how to code it myself. Then I don't have to hunt down a web designer every time I want to change something on my site.
I use weebly.com and I registered my name through godaddy.com. Weebly is very easy to use and free if you just use the basics. I have had a lot of compliments on my site.
I use Microsoft's Front Page software to design my own site. I like having control over everything on my website. You will need to have someone create a logo for you.
I created my site on my mac through iweb. I can also do my blog on the site through my mac and host as many sites as I look through moblile me for $99. This amount also allows me to look at my computer hard drive on any computer at any time.