In Final Fantasy XI, you're going to rely on other people a lot. This often requires interaction outside of the game and because of that, there are community websites and so on that will help you on your journey in Vana'diel.
First off, lets talk about the most important website: The PlayOnline FFXI Website
The PlayOnline (POL) website is where official news and information can be found. Any sort of patch notices or maintenance can be found here. I often find people asking me "what was in the update?" and so on. Honestly, the way that FFXI updates (which is once every two months most of the time), they add SO many new things that I cannot even hope to tell you everything in just one line. Do me a favor and do your other LS members or friends a favor and just read the website. Bookmark it and read it once a day, just a quick 30 second skim if there's anything new.
Next, you want to have some sort of database of information. Sorta like having a strategy guide but on hand with you at a browser's reach. For this, I suggest FFXIclopedia
The FFXIclopedia has information about everything in the game and it is updated by the players of the game. Sometimes information can be inaccurate but most of the time it is not the case. Much like any Wikipedia out there, you too can make edits to the pages but please make sure the information is correct before doing any sort of edits.
As for a community of players to communicate to. I suggest either Allakhazam or Dreams in Vana'diel. They're both forum ran and being a member in both would be beneficial to meet other players in your server and also to learn more about your jobs. Certainly, a great way to get into FFXI is to find others who play it.
Along with that, I also suggest these other alternative websites. Note that some of them are more meant for higher level players but you'll get the idea when you look at these links and find what you need.
Order of the Blue Gartr - Forum focused on FFXI's Endgame
Killing Ifrit - Another community forum
Campsitarus - A blog detailing all possible camps for EXP in FFXI.
Vana'diel Atlas - A website that has marked maps for FFXI to help with navigation.
FFXI Auction House - All Jeuno Auction House records can be found here, great for browsing the Auction House from a web browser.
Of course there are other websites out there that can help you in your FFXI life. However, one thing I will point out is that much like everything else out in the internet, your FFXI account, credit card information, and any other sensitive material on your computer can be stolen if you don't surf the web safe.
I suggest looking at a few of these programs as they can help make your internet surfing a lot safer.
PLEASE use this. I cannot stress this enough. Not is it not as exploitive as Internet Explorer, it also has a lot of extra functionality for easier usage and safety.
- NoScript - A Firefox Plugin
- PeerGuardian 2
This program will prevent certain IPs to steal information from you. This, by default, blocks out Square-Enix's IP so you will need to manually edit that out to play FFXI properly (why? I don't know).
- Sygate Personal Firewall
With this software, you will know what is going in and going out of your computer. Very useful and I highly recommend this over the Window's Default Firewall as you will actually have control over this.
- AVG - Anti-Virus by Grisoft
It is a virus scanner that is free, not intrusive and won't annoy you as much as Norton does.
So, please check those sites out and those programs out and be safe and smart when browsing the internet and when playing Final Fantasy XI.