How computer literate are you carper?
Provided you have a reasonable grasp of how to use a computer you'll be capable of designing and publishing a basic web site, but you'll need to get things in the right order.
1. You'll need a domain name for the site.
2. You'll need a hosting package with a web hosting company.
3. You'll need some web design software.
Go for number 2 first - get yourself a web hosting account with one of the many good web hosts that are out there. I personally recommend click here or
click here but other forum members will have their favourites. Both of the companies will register a domain name of your choice for you and host it in your web space - then you'll be all set to publish your site when it's ready.
As for software, well if you're a complete beginner you might start with NetObjects Fusion, which is an excellent introduction to web design. later, as you practice and gain experience, NetObjects will keep pace with you - it's more than capable of producing a very sophisticated site indeed, and has all the components you'll need (including web forms) built in. If you host your site with OneandOne you'll get a copy of NetObjects Fusion free of charge, plus a copy of PhotoImpact, an excellent image and graphics application - frankly it's the bargain of the century.
I'm not personally a fan of learning web design from books - I prefer the hands-on method with lots of experimentation. Once your server space is up and running you can publish your first attempts to the server, and see what it all looks like live, on the Internet. When you're ready you might let us have a look at the site, so we can help you over the (inevitable) hurdles as they come along.
In the meaqntime, don't hesitate to come back to this thread as many times as you like with questions/problems - that's what we're here for. Stick with us and you'll soon design a site your friend can be proud of.