Even though you sound like an advanced web designer, the following discussion may be helpful to you.
Begin with setting up your own webpage as your current internet provider will provide free hosting as discussed below.
If you are currently a paid Internet subscriber, you are entitled to a "homepage" which often contains simple navigation and editing tools. And if you use the Netscape browser, the built-in Composer feature is a superior HTML authoring tool which is totally free. You can easily generate a full-blown website as a Homepage.
Nevertheless, the "homepage" URL is likely to be "http://homepage.earthlink.com/subscriber... name" and that URL can easily be overwritten via a redirection service, i.e., "mydomain.com" which allows you to link any registered domain name to "mask" another website. For example, should you type in the "domain name," you will be immediately transported to the homepage and the hompage URL of http://homepage.earthlink.com/subscriber... a homepage URL which will be masked by the domain name. And the charge for the redirection service [even at godaddy.com] is normally FREE.
When you acquire a domain name, connect it using a redirection service [as discussed above] and submit/publish the domain name on major search engines/directories in order for Net surfers to find your website.