Tell me about it... Beginner here too...
So far (as I understand it), a good order for a proper deep clean is:
1. Snowfoam (optional)
2. 2-Bucket wash
4. De-Tar/Organic contaminent remover
5. Iron fallout remover
7. Rinse/wash/dry - remove residue (optional)
8. Polish/compound - work through the variety of compounds you want to use
9. Rinse/wash/dry - remove compound residue (optional)
Currently I hand-wash, and top up the wax with QD spray.. Got some AutoGlym HD Wax and Blackfire Polish in the garage though to try out this weekend!
Thinking I ought to pick up some clay and have a go with that next...
Ignoring the wheels.
1) snow foam and rinse.
2) 2 bucket wash, rinse and dry.
3) tar & glue remover, rinse (drying optional)
4) fallout remover, rinse leave the car wet.
5) clay bar and rinse.
6) 2 bucket wash, rinse and dry.
7) polish or glaze (or both but glaze after polishing).
8) this is optional - if you've used an abrasive polish wipe down with panel wipe or IPA to remove the lubricating oils the polish contains. Don't do this if you've used a glaze as it will remove the fillers.
9) sealant (optional)
10) wax (optional)
11) apply gloss enhancer (optional)
Things to bear in mind are if you're waxing/sealing over a glaze don't expect the wax/sealant to last as long as claimed. Glazes break down faster and this has an effect on the longevity of your protection.
If you're applying both a sealant and wax always apply the sealant first. Sealants last longer than waxes do so doing it the other way round means you'll be reapplying your protection again in a short space of time.