Well, I have been making lots of websites and I figure I might as well make an article to help others that are new to it.
Most good band websites need/have the following:
A bio of your band and each band member.
Pictures of your band (try to get them while you are playing).
Media. Try to pick the best 3-5 songs that you have for this.
A Guestbook. Some people choose a message boards, but usualy a guestbook is your best book. They are free and gets the job done in much less space then a message board will.
Catchy but short domain. Try to have it as your bands name. I still use www.dot.tk for my domains on most sites. It is much easier to type www._____.tk then www.____.tripod.com or www.___.geocities.com/.
An extras section. Here you can try to sell some merchandise, show off your newest lyrics, or anything else of the sort.
First off you need to find a nice webserver that will host for free. You might as well use a free one to start off because it usualy takes time for your website to grow and actualy need more space. I use www.geocities.com for all of my websites. It is realy easy to use and has a tutorial for novice users to learn the basics. Try using www.dot.tk for your domain to skip the task of typing in the long URL of all free servers. Having a shorter domain will actualy keep the people going back and visiting your site more then you could imagine.
To begin your very own website you will want to plan out what it will look like. Having photoshop skills will realy help with this. You will need some graphics for your site so that it attracts others and keeps them comming back. A lot of people here in the forums can help you with this if you need it. More advanced users can use Flash instead of using still images. Having a creative look and a nice looking website is the most important part of the website besides the media....
Media is easily the most important part of ANY website. The most commonly used for this is Pure Volume. Try using it and linking it to your site. Linking Pure Volume to your site saves your site tons of space which could be used for many other things. Having a few of your best songs up, but changing every so often) is the key to keeping others comming back to your website. Check out one of the recording articles for great recording suggestions.
Pictures are just on the website for a show. It keeps them entertained. If your website is only text they will be bored and leave quickly. So take some time to get some pictures of your band just hanging around and some of you while you are in a gig to put on the website.
A bio isn't neccasary for all band websites, but a lot of people like to know about you. I have been asked COUNTLESS times all types of questions while I am giving out my bands URL, and instead of spending 5 minutes on each person, I just tell them to check out our Bio secion. Put your favorite bands, favorite CD, things you do besides the band...even if you were in a fatal accident. Intresting bios are always good to have on ANY website.
Now on to the Extras. Having a section where you sell your products are always good. Having shirts, hats, stickers, buttons...ANYTHING for sell on your website will help you a lot. Having someone buy something that lives on the other side of the country is a key to promotion if you are wanting to hit it big and stop being a "local band". Also try putting AIM/AOL icons for people to use in it or trade links to other sites to help out. Also consider having the latest news as well. Have you finished a new demo? Have you bought a new guitar or bass? Put all the important news on your website as well. An extras section is also great for showing off your upcomming shows and directions to the location.