me caveman, you guru

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by daddyto9, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. daddyto9 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #1
    Hi, I am the quintessential newbie. I decided to learn webdev, because I am a poor daddy to 9 kids. so I can't afford a pro developer to help me create a store for my miniscule company. I purchased a "for dummies" book on PHP and MySql, and followed it to the letter. I think my problems are in the areas of setting up this whole process. here's the play-by-play.

    I just switched to macs, we have three, a mini (intel duo), a iMac G5(ppc), and an iBook G4. we decided to put up a web store from all the interest from our MySpace page. I tried to hire a developer through an ad on CraigsList. I found a few, who although were very nice and stuff, might as well had asked for $100 billion dollars. no, really they wanted about $2,500 for creating the site but like I said I am broke like christmas toys by new years eve.(at least in my house thanks to my twin boys) so, I do a little poking on the web and discover the godsend of PHP, MySQL, Apache thingamajig. (they're free) I am fairly intelligent, right? I could learn this, right? I started reading like a monk, for about two weeks. I bought three different books. I read them all to about the third chapters or so, and am as stuck as a SoCal lowrider in the everglades.

    If any of you guys could tutor me a little, I think I can handle deploying a decent site. I am a pay-it-forward kind of guy. And if I can do this before say thanksgiving, I can have an ok xmas for the pups. I am at the end of my annual budget and need to start selling our shirts ASAP! times are really getting hard (I am actually a Navy Vet, got laid off from my construction job a year ago, started a small biz, and am drowning in debt, a online store might be the little extra income that can get us by, until we can blow up, sorry about the dramatic explanation but I am in dire need of getting this store up and running to make a little dough)

    any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. spicyapple macrumors 68000

    spicyapple

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #2
    Do you have a webhost yet?

    Look for ones that offer shopping cart and content management system (CMS) php modules you can readily install, without having to learn PHP. Once you set it up, then you probably should hire a programmer to maintain it or add to it.

    Learning PHP and MySQL is hardly worth the effort unless it's something you can really commit to learning or if that's your profession.
     
  3. daddyto9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #3
    I do have a host, they are called DotEasy, and their support sucks!
     
  4. tominated macrumors 68000

    tominated

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    #4
    i suggest you get something like joomla, it is very easyto set up, and i think there are plugins for an online store
     
  5. timmillwood macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
  6. dunc85 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    #6
    Have a look at http://www.cubecart.com I find it easier to customise than OS commerce (ignore the price of $70, its actually free).

    I created http://slicksticks.com using it (and for a lot less than $2500!)

    Basically this will handle all PHP and MySQL for you and you just have to worry about getting the site to look how you want- the amount of customisation is up to you. There are also lots of nice addons and modifications available.
     
  7. daddyto9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #7
    wow That's great!

    Is there anyone here who use DotEasy?? I am trying to test a php file to check if the trio are in concert. when i upload the test file and point my browser to it, it displays the html code instead of the polished "this is a html line" and "this is a php line" according to my "4 dummies" book, it means the three amigos are not properly configured. I tried to find an area of my admin panel where i can enable/disable stuff, but i am finished banging my head on my desk. So I am wondering if anyone uses this host and if you can tell me do/how to configure.
     
  8. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    #8
    Hey daddto9,

    First, welcome.

    Second, I think you're being quite idealistic. PHP/MySQL/Apache *are* a great platform for building a website because they are widely-used, well-documented, and as you point out: free for everybody to use for any purpose.

    However, each one of those three applications could take an individual 10 years to learn in great detail. Just to get a working knowledge of all three from scratch would take an experienced developer 6-12 months. I am guessing (only because you didn't say otherwise) that you are not an experienced developer.

    I think with great perserverance and relying on resources like this forum, its definitely possible that you could figure this stuff out in time, but having a production e-commerce system before Thanksgiving is impossible I think. (That's 6 days from now!) For me to do this myself -- and I have written several PHP/MySQL/Apache aka "*AMP"'s -- would take many weeks if I was doing it in my spare time.

    I agree with the other's...find a webhost that will provide you with as much usable, off-the-shelf functionality as you can. It's such a commodity these days that it is surprisingly cheap. Feel free to ask here for recommendations on which one to use. Then if you need to fill in any of the gaps you can apply your burgeoning PHP knowledge and get some experience without drowning yourself in a puddle.

    In addition to this forum, I suggest you look on USENET for a good community to ask questions in. (You can find this on groups.google.com, e.g.)

    Best of luck!
     
  9. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    #9
    did you name the file with a *.php extension? And you wrapped the PHP code in PHP tags? e.g. "<?php" and "?>"

    Post your file here so we can look at it. It might not be a problem with your host's setup. (Most of them are setup from the get-go for PHP/MySQL, since these are the most common technologies used for small business web apps.
     
  10. nightelf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    #10
    W3Schools.com is an excellent place to learn PHP, XHTML, CSS and MySQL.

    GoDaddy.com best place to buy your domain. Use discount code RON to buy a .COM domain for USD 6.95.

    Google Checkout for credit card transactions. I have never used it before.

    Learning PHP and MySQL is not difficult. The best way to learn is creating small prototypes of different things, like a small search, list records from a table, a login, etc. Search online for tutorials or ebooks. Once you know how to do the small things, you can built a store.

    Use your Personal Web Sharing to test your sites, is faster than constantly uploading to a server elsewhere.

    Good luck.
     
  11. cookie1105 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
  12. kerpow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #12
    Are you currently selling anything already? If not, don't bother doing it yourself. Get other people to do it, then expand. They're often quite customisable. As others have said, its quite a task to set up your own store. Surely that time could be better used on other aspects of the business.

    Its difficult to advise without knowing what you're trying to sell but for something simple you could start with www.cafepress.com
     
  13. jayeskreezy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    #13
    i'd recommend getting something like netfirms.com hosting. i had dreamhost, but I like netfirms ease of use a lil better...OR you can head over to scriptlance .com but that costs some money, but you can get something decent or nice for under $100
     

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