One of the first things to do is to find a provider for your website, my personal website, as well as an organization I am Webmaster for is 1and1, I have been using their services for about a year and have been pleased by their prices and service. Their prices are about the best I've seen for the amount of space and traffic the website can handle.
If you have any questions I will try to answer them, keep in mind that both of the websites that I run don't have any merchant services, so I don't know about that part, but 1and1 does offer those services.
Get yourself a copy of XML for dummies, and a service provider (I use http://www.bluehost.com , they offer a generous amount of server space and bandwidth that suits my needs.. but there are tons of other ones out there.) You will need an FTP program of some kind.. if you can find a copy of WS-FTP LE, you will be happy! (It's free, but they don't make it anymore, so you will have to find a P2P site to get it.) And you will need a good text editor.. U-Edit 32 is the one I have used for years.. it's pretty good.. simple... I also use Dreamweaver, but I don't use all the fancy bells and whistles that the thing offers.. I have found that if I don't do all the coding myself, it doesn't look very good on different browsers.
Now, I am no pro, by any means.. but if you do a little reading, and keep it relatively simple, you can do alot on your own.
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