Fans can be controlled by a pull chain, wall control or remote control.
A pull chain is a chain that hangs from the fan that one pulls to control the speed. If you are tired of standing on a chair to switch it on and off with the chain, then it is time to upgrade and get a wall mount control and remote control.
The differences between a wall mount control and a remote control are actually relatively few. The remote control is more portable and can be moved around the house. If you are prone to losing things this might be a problem, however most come with a small holder which can be mounted on the wall so that the remote has a home and isn’t lost as often. Remote controls are battery operated.
Wall mounted controls are either battery operated or hard wired directly to the wall in the same room as the ceiling fan they control. To install a wall mount you will either be removing an old switch and hooking up the new one to the same electric box or you will need to install a new electric box which will require wiring it to your main electric box. In the case that you are starting from scratch, it might just be easier to get a remote control for the ceiling fan. Most fans can be operated by both a wall control and a remote control.