As 'Others' have said, and probably will say, if you're asking the kind of question(s) like yours, you're way in over your head. My perspective is if you make a mistake in a simple thing, such as which way should the strips/planks go, you may lower the selling price of your house, and it will look 'silly', and EVERYONE will see (or feel) the mistake. And to re-do the floor will be costly. So you have to ask yourself, "Is it really worth it???"
There are tons of How-to sites out there that talk about what it takes to lay a hardwood floor. Some sites assume you know something about carpentry, others don't. What you can do is go to a Home Center and ask for a sample set of instructions on How To Install A Hardwood Floor. Every box of material has one in it. And if you're laying engineered or laminate flooring instead of 3/4" flooring, you'll find those instructions challenging too if you're a novice.
So the best thing to do is educate yourself first before you buy. I believe the Home Centers have free classes on how to install a hardwood floor. Ask at the Customer SErvice desk. My best to ya and hope this helps.