From: Ol' Blighty
You can play in so many different ways, its all down to personal preference. I set everything to manual except Ship Design which I leave automated, but many people here enjoy that aspect of the game the most, so as I said, personal preference
A tip for getting your economy started, you will want to get 1 mine for every strategic resource asap, as for luxury resources, the same applies but these are generally more important, so get them as soon as you find them. Remember your planets also count as mines for whatever resources are on them. From here, you can then monitor your supply/demand in the expansion planner to see what you need
Build Spaceports one at a time to begin, because you will notice a huge drop in income due to their maintenance, and build small spaceports to begin with until you have a big rich Empire, there is nothing worse than your economy going well, and all of a sudden you finish construction on 5 spaceports and your economy goes kerplunk! (Colonies with luxury resources, either on them or being mined in the same system, should be your first priority for Spaceports Also worth noting Spaceports will build quicker on more populated planets, very low pop planets it can take an age
Welcome to DW mate!
"My body may be confined to this chair, but my mind is free to explore the universe" - Stephen Hawking