House sale website

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by ojwk, May 7, 2008.

  1. ojwk macrumors regular

    ojwk

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #1
    As you may have gathered from the title I am selling my house. The website will only include photographs of the house and will be very minimal in content.

    To access the site I want users to be prompted with a login prompt which will require a bespoke password (available on request from our estate agent) which should change every 7 days or should expire 7 days after it has first been used.

    Is there a way to do this and if so would it require excessive SQL knowledge?

    Would this be extremely hard to design or can it be done easily?

    Many thanks.
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    I'm somewhat curious what type of information will be on the site that you feel it needs a password.

    Beyond that though, you could do this with MySQL, but you could also do it with just PHP or another server side scripting language. If you declare a variable in the code (which visitors can't see server side code) to the password, you can use that to check against, and then every 7 days or so you would just change that variable and re-upload the login page.

    This would be a fairly painless script to put together, though can't throw it together at the moment for you (at work), but someone else may step up in the mean time.

    Logistically though you would,
    • Create login.php file
    • Throw in some HTML for the form and whatever information you want to share
    • When submitting, it would submit to itself (use a hidden form tag to tell the script it's being submitted rather than someone first arriving).
    • The PHP will look for the hidden form tag to be set, and if so it will then check if the password submitted is correct or not.
    • If not, reshow the same login page, but now with an error message
    • If correct, you redirect them to the "real" page, or embed the "real" page here in the script (which would lessen the number of files you have to deal with)
    That's the short way, though not completely secure. You may also want to use sessions variables to keep track if they're logged in or not so they wouldn't be able to go directly to the sale page if they knew the URL somehow.

    You can also do searches for password protecting a single page or directory. I have one, but not on hand and can't remember the name of it.
     
  3. ojwk thread starter macrumors regular

    ojwk

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Thanks for the help I'll have a think about it. Unfortunately I have relatively little or no experience with PHP so I may use something like rentacoder.com to get it done.

    The reason I need the page to be password protected is because my house used to belong a celebrity and I've had some experience in the past with privacy invasion.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. iSee macrumors 68040

    iSee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #4
    Another possibility is to use a photo hosting service that offers password-protected galleries. The simplest thing would be to change the password periodically. There may be tradeoffs in cusomizability, but if the main thing is to make the photos available to serious shoppers this should do the trick. Obviously you'll want to make sure the site will look nice so it doesn't detract from the pictures themselves. You'll probably want/need to use a pay site to ensure no annoying ads appear alongside your house pictures.

    Try searching on "password protected photo hosting" in google and see if you find one you like...
     
  5. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #5
    A .Mac Photo Gallery can quickly and easily be password protected, although it would require that someone manually change the password every 7 days.
     
  6. MacDann macrumors 6502a

    MacDann

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Can see the end of the Earth from here
    #6
    I'm doing this right now using a .Mac photo gallery. 10G limits how much you can put up, but it does the job for the most part and I can protect the gallery with a password that can be changed periodically.

    I stuck a reminder in iCal to remind me to change it weekly. I warn potential buyers that it will change and that if they want to view it and the password has changed they need to contact me.

    Makes 'em keep coming back....

    MacDann (from the foreclosure capital of the U.S., Florida!)
     
  7. Photomax macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle
    #7
    I think others have raised some good tips here.

    But I wonder why you need the password protection and have a system that expires etc? It sounds like you have an agent. The agent should be able to enter the photos on his companies listing service.

    Some agents also produce websites for each house (linked form the company or agent site.) This can be a good tool in a down economy. I have a part time contract position where I photograph the homes and produce these kinds of sites for agents. See http://thegreenlakehome.com/ for a sample.

    I am not sure how much traffic you would get producing a site on your own. Having a protected password system might be a turnoff to house hunters. Make is simple and easy. I would talk to your agent and see what his/her suggestions are...
     
  8. mac 2005 macrumors 6502a

    mac 2005

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #8
    Agreed. I'm not sure what the housing market is like in your market, but I can't imagine it's any less competitive for buyers. Why make your prospects jump through hoops to see the property when they can see your competition without these hurdles?

    If you're sold on the password, then I'd suggest linkety link. It allows you to set an expiration date for the password and allows the user to set the password, as I recall. It's inexpensive, easy to integrate with your site and does not require PHP/MySQL. It uses the htaccess protocol, if that's the right word, on your server.
     
  9. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    See post 3.

    I found the script I've used a little bit thats PHP based.
    http://www.zubrag.com/scripts/password-protect.php

    It's easy to setup as long as you have an HTML page already built.
     
  10. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Why not just put it in a directory and use .htaccess? Most cPanel installs have this and it can be done in seconds.
     
  11. Photomax macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle
    #11
    A good suggestion...

    I had to reread the 3rd post. I understand the question better now.

    Still, the process of selling a home is about creating a warm, favorable vibe and casting the biggest net possible. If security is a concern then I guess that must be weighed against possibly reducing the size of that net.

    The trend I notice more and more is that sellers vacate their homes and the selling agent then hires a professional designer who "stages" the home. In this economy this can be an added expense for the agent but its a very effective tool in marketing the home. The home owner is also free of concerns about the public having visual or direct access to their possessions or privacy etc. A good agent should be able to articulate all of this though...
     
  12. ojwk thread starter macrumors regular

    ojwk

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #12
    With my agent the arrangement is slightly different. When a property becomes available in my area a list of potential buyers are notified who have already expressed interest in the area. Because of this, virtually no advertising takes place and therefore marketing the home is very low on the priority list. The photos aren't really there to show off the property and therefore shouldn't be readily accessible to the wider public.

    Thanks for all the replies, I will read through the thread properly when I get back to my computer (typing this on iPhone) and reply to the pm's people have sent me regarding this - once again many thanks!
     

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