If, by online, you mean a publicly accessible web site, that is best served by a publishing site. It's possible to do some limited html publishing through a variety of other tools, but a full fledged .com is best handled with the publishing features.
Publishing features serve the Web Content Management space. Web Content Management in SharePoint, in many cases, can be considered a much different way of using the product than the standard Team Site. The publishing features were derived from a separate product that focused entirely on that purpose.
TechNet has an entire section on how to Plan web content management in SharePoint Server which is targeted at IT Pro's but can be helpful to decision makers such as yourself.
Also, see Andrew Connell's post on Publishing Field Controls versus Web Parts and Nik Patel's Wiki Pages vs Web Part Pages vs Publishing Pages for SharePoint 2010 Intranet Content Pages.
On the other hand, if you'd like to use a rich text multi line column type as the HTML column in a list, you should be aware of some restrictions.
- Some html is not allowed like
<Script>example</script>, even with the new SharePoint 2013 embed option.
- Absolute URLS are converted to relative
If you're not going to use publishing features, you should also take a look at alternatives to the Rich Text Multi Line column type