Big dreams and no experience. Help me start my Web 2.0 business!

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by fivepoint, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #1
    The thing I find most intriguing about websites like Macrumors is their ability to allow people to share information and serve as a meeting place for people to discuss common interests and learn more about each other. In this spirit, I've decided to move forward with creating my own "web 2.0" user-content driven website of my own... It will be catering to a much smaller audience, but I think a site like this could serve the community well and eventually provide me with a good source of income.

    However, as with most things... getting started is the hardest part. I find myself in need of some advice, and am hoping I'll find some here.

    I've got the idea for the site, I've created a preliminary business plan, and I know what my goals are. It's basically an online community with forums, blogs, pictures, videos, a tag-generated news feed, and users will have their own public profiles.

    Here is where I sit now... I've purchased the URL, and think I am ready to start searching for someone to help me building the site. My problem is that I'm not sure where to start. I have a good business mind, but can't do much at all with website design, especially database driven stuff. Should I contact a large web design company? Should I search for an independent web designer to pay hourly? Should I search for an independent web designer to take on as a partner? Based on the type of website (database driven user-content provided) I'm not sure who can even help me? Can most web design companies build sites as in-depth as this, or do they usually just make things look pretty?

    I'm assuming there will be a lot of on-going work to do... so maybe a partner of sorts would be my best bet? If not... if I went with a larger company, based on how little you know about my plan, could you ballpark a price they would quote me?

    I guess I'm basically just looking for some very introductory information here. Relevant pricing information, good rules-of-thumb, etc. I don't want to start down the wrong path and waste time barking up the wrong tree.

    Sorry if this is too much to ask, I've just had such great experience with this forum in the past, and when I was stumped with this issue... I knew to turn to Macrumors first. The people here are usually so helpful. If I'm asking too much here, just ignore me. I've got a lot of research to do before I can get very far with this idea. ;)
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    That is a big dream coming from someone who doesn't seem to have a lot of knowledge about the area. Though that really isn't uncommon these days. I'll just give some quick things.

    What you're likely going to be after is a CMS (content management system). These come in various flavors and toppings, but thankfully most are free so there's so savings at the start. Some of them are easier to customize than others. Some will require HTML, CSS, etc. knowledge to get setup or at least customized. You could hire a person to tweak the design part, which would be a lot cheaper than having them design the whole thing. CMS allow easy additions to the site using a web interface once installed. Sounds like you'll also want to make sure the CMS allows for profiles (not all have this). The CMS will have a way to distinguish types of users (administrators, users, guest, etc.) so that part should already be set.

    Cost can vary a whole lot with this. Some companies do their on CMS. Some will customize more than others. It will also depend if you need any features that their current CMS doesn't already do. Maintenance is also a consideration. CMS (free or otherwise) will have bugs or need patching at some point. You need someone that knows how to do the upgrades. Not doing the upgrades could leave you open to attacks from malicious folks. Even MacRumors has run into this (a month or two ago for the latest attack), and it requires people to know what they're doing to recover from these attacks. If you hire someone to create something, make sure they'll be willing to do some of this maintenance for you in the future.

    Depending on the route you go, this dream can cost you as little $100 to $10,000. Just remember, you get what you pay for. For what you want though, I'd expect something in the $500 for start-up and around $100 yearly for routine maintenance. It doesn't take a professional to set one of these up. I wouldn't throw too much money at it until you can tell if the site is going to take off or flop. If you're willing to learn some things though you can do the start-up on your own and it'll only cost you your time. There's a number of tutorials out there. You may not start with every feature you want, but you'll just want to get something up in the beginning and start building a user base.
     
  3. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #3
    Thanks so much for the info! This is exactly the type of response I was hoping to get. Some of the terminology things will be invaluable for me to know for when I start talking to web programmers. Regarding my "big dream", I feel like as long as I realize where my strengths are and am willing to pay to have a professional do what is necessary to make it work, I think I should be ok. You don't need to be a web professional to start a website, right? You just need to have money, time, and motivation! ;)




    This sounds exactly right! I did a little research on CMS, and this sounds like what I'm looking for. One main concern I would have is regarding upgradability. If you choose a CMS, and a year later you want to add a certain feature or change the way something works, can a web programmer make a few changes and make it happen... or is it essentially canned "what you see is what you get" type of stuff? Is the only way to get the adaptability to build it from scratch?

    Also, if you buy a CMS (or use a free one?) are you allowed to make changes to it on your site?

    Also, after the initial sale (if there is a cost) does the CMS company have any control over the site in any way... or are you essentially just using their software as a springboard to creating the end result you want?



    Ok, this makes sense. So after choosing a CMS, creating the rest of the site, changing the look as necessary, I will need a programmer available to make changes/fixes as necessary? Probably just for an hourly wage? Also, that programmer should be able to add features to the site, if that is what I want?



    So, essentially, if I want to do something very close to a canned CMS open-source free site... I can essentially boil my worries down to finding someone to maintain the site in the event of errors, organizing server space, and figuring how to get people to the site and build the community via some type of advertising, etc.?

    BTW, if you know any off the top of your head... could you post some links to the tutorials you mentioned? Also, if you or anyone else knows of any other good links they could post which may help me get up to speed on this issue (CMS and Web 2.0 business starting) it would be most appreciated!
     
  4. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Angelwatt is right on the money. Depends alot on the features and requirements. If you're not looking to spend money I would def go the free cms route, just keep in mind sometimes it's not as easy as it sounds.
     
  5. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    From my little experience with CMS, adding another feature (that's already apart of the CMS) is pretty easy, and some features you may be able to turn on by yourself. Other features may take some extra effort, and if you want something added that isn't already part of the system, then it can take some effort. I'm a little out of my experience on this though so will let others chime in.

    Most CMS will allow you to change various design aspects. Changing functionality though can be different. Most free CMS are licensed under a GPL (or the like) and generally don't care if you make code changes to the CMS. Depending on the license though, you won't be able to take the modifications and claim the "new" CMS as your own and sell it. It would have to shared as a free package. This likely won't be an issue for you.

    Read their terms of service and other documentation to find out any restrictions. It won't be an issue for most CMS though.

    Yes, it would probably be good to have a programmer available for any maintenance needs down the road or if something happens to the site all of the sudden (it could happen). Hourly is probably fine. You may even be able to get someone who wasn't involved in the initial setup. If they're a decent web developer they should be able to pick up where another left off (give or take some learning curve time).

    Yup, sounds good.

    I would read up on each of these to see how it may work for you and how easy it sounds to get setup. Like I said before, I haven't used any CMS (except my own, but very primitive), so I won't make any recommendations beyond the ones listed here. I know a number of other people on this forum have that experience though so hopefully a few will chime in with their opinions. Hopefully they'll gear there responses to your needs, which were:
    • online community with forums
    • blogs
    • pictures
    • videos
    • a tag-generated news feed
    • users will have their own public profiles
     
  6. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    With aspirations so great, I'd say that your best bet would be, as you mentioned, to find a web developer to partner with. Someone who shares your interest in the project and who will stick with it. If you get a freelancer you will shell out a lot of money to start with, you won't necessarily have someone there in the future to work on the site, and if the site never takes off you'll be stuck with an expensive chunk of nothing.

    As for the core CMS base of the site...you might consider custom making it (not as hard is it might seem). A custom CMS is like a custom built computer, whereas a prefab CMS might be more like an Apple laptop. The laptop is snazzy and portable and works great, until you need to make upgrades. With a computer you've built yourself, you're familiar with every piece inside and there's space for new parts. With a laptop, you're mostly stuck plugging extras into it, or trying to take it apart and improve it, which can be frightening. It's your choice, but I've always felt that the initial effort involved in making a custom CMS is completely warranted by the benefits later on.
     
  7. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #7
    To everyone who is helping me out, thank you! I sincerely appreciate your expertise, and willingness to help a guy out. Angel, thank you especially. I know so much more about CMS than I did a few days ago. Priceless info for this time in my life.


    Thanks for the input. I think you've pegged me pretty good in that there is almost no way I can do the work myself. I could probably make it work, but it would take some serious time and some serious energy and focus to learn what I needed to know to get it up and running. And even then, the amount to which I could personalize the site would be minimal. What I really need is to find someone in the area who would be willing to partner with me for a percentage of the profits, etc. I would be in charge of the idea, the sales, the promotion, the pr, and he/she would be responsible for the coding and maintenance.

    If anyone has any advice on this, about where I should start looking, etc... that would be most appreciated.

    Also, I have a few other random questions:

    • News feeds... lets say one of the elements on my site, I want to be a news feed such as Macdailynews has. However, the site I want to build is based around an industry that does not have a whole lot of other websites devoted to it. (lets say water polo for example) So, since I can't quote other sites very much, how do I get the news stories to create teh content. Are there AP-like resources out there where businesses can sign up to receive the raw news, which they can craft into a story like they want to?
    • As far as starting a forum goes... does anyone have any experience with those companies who will post a bunch of threads/posts for a certain price per post? Do they work as advertised?
    • How do I find a web programmer? Should I start with local colleges?
     
  8. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #8
    Everyone,
    A lot has happened since my last post, but to be honest... I'm still almost in the same spot. I'm still trying to find the best way forward. I've experimented with taking on a partner to do coding of the CMS from scratch, that didn't last more than a few days (he decided he didn't have enough time). Then, after that, I talked with a few web design companies who thought they could help me, but they do all of their coding in Cold Fusion or .Net so they were going to have to write it all from scratch, causing my costs to skyrocket. Worst of all, it appears none of the companies in my town have even built a site like this before, so they'd be experimenting as well.

    I don't think I want a canned approach, because my site needs to be expandable, scalable, and capable of adding many new features in the near future if the project takes off!

    What I've kind of got in my mind now, is that I have 4 options to create the site:

    1) A completely canned approach, ala Ning, KickApps, etc. These sites allow you to create a site in literally about 5 minutes but you have EXTREMELY limited control of what the site looks like, and how it operates. Also, you can't add your own unique pages later on. (So, this approach really isn't practical for the 'big goals' I've put together for this site)

    2) A semi-canned approach, ala CommunityEngine, Expression Engine, Drupal, Joomla, etc. which give you much more flexiblity with design and to my understanding can be completely skinned as you see fit, but probably make major advancements and more complex changes to the site difficult. Also limited as far as scalability goes? (So, this approach is much better than the first, but may have some issues with scalability and with creating more advanced features on the site? Probably the second best option.)

    3) An efficient community supported code (using PHP or Ruby on Rails?) which provides for complete flexibility for design, complete flexibility for application and operation, and also provides the ability to create more advanced site functions. Basically the site can do anything you want it to do, and look anyway you want it to look, but it's efficient to build because you're using the right code, leveraging the coding community, and leveraging a web design company who has actually built these types of sites before! This seems like the best choice.

    4) Completely from scratch code using Cold Fusion, .Net, etc. This is what the Des Moines companies are offering. To create the code from complete scratch in a language that does not allow them to leverage any sort of community intelligence and the efficiency that comes with. Companies using these languages have most likely never created community driven websites??? A lot of potential, but tons of up-front cost and risk.


    Options 2 and 3 seem like the only logical choices, don't they? 3 seems like the best option to me, and I am willing to invest some money to start out (possibly up to $40,000) but I don't know any companies that do this! Can anyone point me to a good web design company that has actually built some top-notch community sites? A web design company that leverages community PHP/Ruby code but also allows for completely unique sites that don't rely on pre-canned systems.

    I need some advice folks! It seems like I just don't know the right people, and don't know where to find them! If you can post some links to companies that have done this type of work I would be MOST GRATEFUL!!!!

    -Excited, anxious, deflated, hopeful, Fivepoint
     
  9. a cat *miaow* macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #9
    Hi,
    This is probably a shorter reply than it should be but I haven't got time to write too much right now...

    Because you lack experience in web build, to build a business where the whole development is outsourced would be a big mistake. You can pay for it up front, but al those incremental changes are going to cost a lot. You won't be able to support the site and it's community properly. Keeping a website running smoothly isn't something that takes an hour per week.
    Honestly, I think what you need to do is find someone with the same dream as you – who has experience in this field... in short, you need a partner. Remember that your entire business will be this website and to not have someone in-house who knows it inside out is asking for trouble.

    If you've got the money you could offer someone a salary and/or a percentage of the company. I would think that you'd find someone who'd love to be involved in this if that was the deal.

    As for outsourcing, if you do do it alone I think you must get hold of someone who does know about this stuff, who you can take along to meetings with possible developers.. Even if you have to pay them an hourly rate or suchlike.
    Definitely look for a local(ish) company if that's the way you go - don't be tempted by any prices for builds in India... it won't work unless you've got a great project manager who's experienced with web builds on your team.

    And a quick note on ruby/PHP. Ruby is cool so you'll get lots of people telling you it's the way to go. But you are a business and good Ruby developers ARE more expensive (they'll tell you they aren't) and they are much much much harder to get hold of.

    And lastly, almost forgot! Always keep it simple at the start. A website is organic and grows with it's community. Don't try and do everything at once. Do a few things very well. So in your case for example make sure you have few forums that are exactly right and some really good articles. If you try to do everything at once you will come unstuck – define the core features of the site and concentrate on making them the best around, from there you can grow.
     
  10. sbauer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #10
    As a Ruby and .NET developer, I disagree about the lack of community involving .NET. Yes, the framework is created by a company, but there is a very large community behind it, including the ALT.NET group, CodeBetter, ElegantCode and more. There are open source projects for ORMs, IoC containers, test automation tools, build servers, and frameworks. Outside of the various drag-and-drop developers, there are many talented .NET developers that contribute a lot to the community (ayende.com, codebetter.com, haacked.com, etc).

    When I start my sites, I rarely use pre-built applications, unless, of course, there is a need. I hate most CMS/portal applications because they tend to be a bottleneck. Like a cat said, build what you need and add on. Build pieces in increments and release early and often.

    If you're trying to build the "ultimate" community site, and you spend six months to a year getting the site out, you're spending six to 12 months not getting any real user feedback. If they hate it, you spent six months creating something that people hate. You're back to the beginning at that point. However, if you spend a month or so getting out a foundation, and build on every month or so, you get instant feedback from the community. Further, you can get the community involved more in your development. You could open up a section that allows users to suggest features.

    Website success rarely happens after one push. Many of the successful sites started out small, and have grown over time. If you try to put so much into it at once, you'll never release a site you're happy with.
     
  11. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #11
    Cat, I've gone down the 'partner' path before. After one attempt I came to the conclusion that the site may be too much for one man to complete. Often times as well, coders don't design and designers don't code. Based on my experience with this, I was led to believe that working with a developer who employed a team of strong individuals would be the best route. I'm convinced of the business's potential, and am willing to put some money on the table.

    Do you still think that a parter or two is the best route to take?
    Should it be a requirement that the coder had done a website like this before?
    What are your thoughts on the language of choice?



    Originally I had thought I only wanted to deal locally, AKA, in Des Moines. However, I'm finding my options to be somewhat limited and was considering broadening my search to other parts of the U.S. I am not willing to go outside of the U.S. Do you think this is a mistake to work with someone who I can't sit down with face-to-face every week or two?




    And a quick note on ruby/PHP. Ruby is cool so you'll get lots of people telling you it's the way to go. But you are a business and good Ruby developers ARE more expensive (they'll tell you they aren't) and they are much much much harder to get hold of.

    And lastly, almost forgot! Always keep it simple at the start. A website is organic and grows with it's community. Don't try and do everything at once. Do a few things very well. So in your case for example make sure you have few forums that are exactly right and some really good articles. If you try to do everything at once you will come unstuck – define the core features of the site and concentrate on making them the best around, from there you can grow.[/QUOTE]

    I think you're EXACTLY right on not trying to do too much right away, I'm completely on the same page with that. What I can't get my head around now is if I should be using ROR, PHP, or what... and WHO I should do business with. I can't seem to find any companies who have build community based sites before where I live.

    I have gotten one business proposition from a company who hasn't done anything like this that wants to partner with me (take a percentage ownership in the company) but I don't know what to think of that either.





    No offense intended... you'll have to forgive me, my knowledge is limited to that which has been shared to me and that I've read online. Is it your suggestion that .Net developers should be able to leverage their community code just as much as ROR or PHP developers to create community driven code for a fraction of the cost? If so, I may need to still consider .Net developers in my hunt.



    If you were creating a site with forums, blogs, galleries, reviews, news, how much time/energy and enivetably COST do you think could be saved by utilizing community CMS "portal applications"? Is it your opinion than any time/cost saved would not be worth it in the long run? Would you be willing to elaborate?




    This makes a lot of sense... however, part of my business plan at this point is based off of the assumption that to get sponsors I need to be able to say I have the exclusive, only, best, revolutionary, 'ultimate', new community website for this particular industry. This is not to say that I want to do all features right away... not even close. I want to keep it simple, and I want to focus on a few features posted above, but I want to do them extremely well. Does this fact change your analysis at all?



    I have plans for Public Relations, Marketing, advertising, right now. I expect it to be a ongoing challenge to promote visitations and get the community thriving.




    Thanks so much for the input so far, guys! You're all very helpful, and I have a feeling that the input I'm getting here will make all of the difference! Much appreciated.
     
  12. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #12
    All of that can be accomplished with Wordpress and vBulletin (which incidently is the forum software used here at Mac Rumours).

    I don't mean to crap on your parade but there are literally thousands of sites out there that do exactly what you are talking about. What is going to stand out about yours? What can you do to make it unique?

    Basically everything you have said is extremely easy to do with off the shelf software, and that is the major problem. If it is easy then everyone can (and is) doing it.

    You need to start thinking outside the box a bit. Look at sites like Twitter, they are extremely simple ideas but took off in a big way because no one had done it before (or if they had they failed to market the idea properly). Forums, video sites, RSS newsfeeds it's all old hat in the online world. Think of something new and original and go with it. If it is easy to do with software already available then it is safe to say that it is not sufficiently outside the box.

    Now, I am by no means saying that a site such as the one you talked about above can not become successful because it obviously can. I am just saying that the amount of time, effort and money (marketing) required to do it is just not worth it in comparison to an original idea.
     
  13. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #13
    What's unique about my idea is the group I'm speaking to. For the sake of argument, let's call them Monarch Butterfly Breeders. While 90% of my site may not be any different than community x or community y on the web, the Monarch Butterfly Breeders currently don't feel like they have a place to call their own on the web. The group that I'm looking to serve is currently not being served by any other community on the web. That, coupled with a few of the unique features I want to implement in the future (perhaps a monarch breeding genome project) :), there is definitely significant differentiation between me and my competitors.

    It's not like I'm trying to create another Macintosh user's community. :) Know what I mean? Just like If I was starting a local newspaper. The fact that there are millions of other local newspapers out there, doesn't matter. What matters is that there isn't one in my area.

    Now, you'd think that the good news would be that this means I could get off the ground quickly and easily, but apparently not. I don't want to choose some easy software like Ning, Joomla, etc. out of fear that it may not be flexible enough to meet my needs inthe future. If I want to move forward with RUby or PHP, shouldn't there be plenty of designers out there who could meet my needs?
     
  14. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #14
    Fair enough. If you feel that your site is unique and there is a large enough audience that would be interested in it then by all means run with it. I think it is important to keep a sense of reality in these things though, so you need to have a long hard look at the market you are aiming for. Have you tried to canvas any potential users to see what they would like from a community site? Another important point is how likely are your target audience to be active on the web? Having a community site about stair lifts may well be unique, but the average stair lift user is unlikely to spend much time online :).

    The two most important documents you need to work on are your business plan and your marketing plan. Without those you'll be pissing in the wind.

    As for the section I quoted above, I completely disagree. While those systems may not offer the features you want out of the box the source code is completely customisable so once you have learnt PHP, XHTML and CSS (and you need too) then you will be able to do anything you like with them. Don't rely on other people to execute your idea, you need to know what you are doing yourself to an extent. Do you know what kind of web hosting you need? Have you costed for things such as potential growth of the website? Remember hosting videos is an expensive operation because of the bandwidth usage.

    Keep at it because it is always worth following through with an idea you are confident with but spend time learning the technical aspects. They are your Achilles heel on this project.
     
  15. iann1982 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Leicester, UK
    #15
    Why not start the site off small, and grow it gradually?

    It seems like you've got a large wish list and getting all of those things into a site is a bottleneck. Could you prioritise the bits that you feel are most important and then select a tool that can do 80% of it out of the box?

    I'm a CMS developer by trade and I'd suggest taking an existing system and making some plugins, a good CMS should be like a blank canvas, if it comes with built in components it's quite likely they won't work like you want them to and changing them will be more hassle than developing from scratch.
     
  16. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #16
    fivepoint,

    I'm in a very similar situation. I have the idea, but not the know-how... and my site will be Monarch butterflies, too.:eek::p I've decided to start it simple and build it slowly, by myself (though I've never done anything remotely like this). So far, as Cromulent mentioned, wordpress and vBulletin seem to be the way to go. They have extensions for all my (and your) initial requirements. They appear easy to set-up, so I can get the jump on my competition before they seize the opportunity.

    Instead of getting a partner or hiring a company to do the work, I'm going to see what I can do myself. This should both save me $ and let me gain valuable insight and control over my creation. I've been learning a bit about HTML and CSS through tutorials at w3schools. It's a great site for the basics, and I've already applied some knowledge to customize my blogger site. Searching these forums at MacRumors has also informed me about some great "web basics" books I intended to get very soon.

    For most sites, the content is what keeps people coming back, not the design. A CMS like wordpress can give my site the basics to get started, so I figure, if the site takes off like I hope it will, I can then plan better for a future redesign by professionals.

    I wish you luck in your endeavor and hope whichever route you choose works out the way you want it!
     
  17. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #17
    Would someone be willing to give me a better understanding as to just how adaptable/adjustable CMS's like Joomla and Drupal are? How much control do you have over design? How many changes can you make to the code to add your own features, etc.? How scalable are they? What are the positives/negatives to an approach such as this vs. ROR, .Net, and PHP?

    I had all but ruled out these options because I didn't think they would work because of these reasons, but now I'm getting mixed information.

    Thanks!
     
  18. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #18
    I doubt you will have any problems with either of them. If I were to choose between them I would go with Drupal 6 myself.

    You are only really limited by your skill at HTML / CSS. Most Joomla / Drupal sites tend to follow a common theme but that is only because designers get locked into the idea of the way they think a site should look. That does not mean the software has limited them though.

    As many as you like.

    Quite a few very successful sites use either Joomla or Drupal. It is very likely that they will stand up to anything you need for awhile yet, and when they do start to flag you just optimise the code yourself to fix the bottlenecks.

    .Net is most likely going to limit you to Windows servers (yes I know about Mono but in a production environment I would not trust it). RoR (a framework based on the Ruby programming language) and PHP both have their merits. If you want to guarentee your site will work on just about any third party host go with PHP. While lots of hosts now offer RoR, there are a few that do not and you need to do a little extra research for that. Saying that though I am sure most hosts would be happy to add it for you.
     
  19. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #19
    Thanks for the great info, Cromulet! You are a much appreciated resource!

    Does Drupal have the ability for reviews, so users can review products, etc.?



    Ok, this makes sense. That's what through me off to begin with. That makes sense. When you use Drupal (or a similar CMS), and you want to add on certain unique pages/functions, what language are those written in?




    Let's say for example that I want to create a MAP page that maps out locations (on the earth) where people are making coments, posting pictures, posting blogs from. The map would show a location, their avatar, and a brief summary of what was posted. Would this unique type of page be easily able to access information from the drupal CMS database?
     
  20. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #20
    Drupal certainly lets users comment on blog posts. I guess you could shoehorn each blog page to really be a product page and then they can comment on it as normal.

    If you really want to do a product based site I would recommend Magento though. It really is an enterprise level e-commerce solution and like Drupal is completely customisable in anyway you like.

    It depends on the complexity. If it is just simple cosmetic stuff then XHTML, CSS and a bit of Javascript would probably see you through. If you are looking at adding significant new features then you would use PHP (same is true of Magento if you go that route).

    Yeah, no worries. Just a few SQL queries using PHP will bring all the information you want from the database. If you want significant mapping features you may want to look into the Google Maps API.
     
  21. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #21
    Thanks for all the info, cromulet... and everyone else! Your assistance has helped me a TON! I sincerely appreciate it.
     

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