How to build a modular website

billyboy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 15, 2003
1,165
0
In my head
Any one know the best tools to build a central homepage and 3 self contained modules - a shop (website), magazine (website), downloads page (website). So on the homepage you have three links to the different modules. Click to go to the shop, do what you have to do there, then click a link to go back to the homepage before you navigate to say the downloads page. This is how I envisage building a big site that can be maintained by various people, not just one webmaster.

Or is this flawed thinking?

thanks
 

pulsewidth947

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2005
1,106
2
No this is the opposite of flawed thinking - sensible thinking! Basically the way I know to do this kind of thing is by using PHP/MySQL. What you can do with that is have one main page, then call in the other elements when they are needed. Also its great for shopping carts and stuff as you can have cookies and stuff like that.

The great thing about storing your content in a MySQL database is you can submit your content (news, download links etc), then it doesnt matter what you do to the look of the site - you never have to rewrite that content.

The disadvantage (if you can call it that) of PHP/MySQL is you have to learn how to use it first. Here are some of my best links:

http://www.zend.com/php/beginners/index.php
http://webmonkey.wired.com/webmonkey/programming/php/index.html
http://www.phpfreaks.com/
http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/mx/dreamweaver/articles/php_macintosh.html
http://www.hotscripts.com - this is awesome for getting little bits of code.
Some free and low cost Shopping systems for PHP/MySQL

I found PHP quite daunting at first (about a month and a half ago I started looking at it), but now I love it! It really is easier than it looks - fair enough it makes you have to use your brain but thats no bad thing is it?

:EDIT: Oh the other good thing is you can use download trackers with it. For example, on my site I dont specify a link to my mp3s, I set the link to download.php?file=music.mp3 and when the user clicks it adds a 1 to the table holding the value for that file. So I know exactly how many times something has been downloaded. There is also the advantage you can use PHP as anti-leeching software to stop people pinching your content from offsite.
 

billyboy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 15, 2003
1,165
0
In my head
pulsewidth947 said:
No this is the opposite of flawed thinking - sensible thinking! Basically the way I know to do this kind of thing is by using PHP/MySQL.

Thanks for that, I will look into it.

If this is the way to achieve what we want, we will need a programmer already totally familiar with these apps to do the donkey work and set up a system for us to work to. But I would like to get to grips with the basics too, it looks very interesting.
 

pulsewidth947

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2005
1,106
2
billyboy said:
If this is the way to achieve what we want, we will need a programmer already totally familiar with these apps to do the donkey work and set up a system for us to work to. But I would like to get to grips with the basics too, it looks very interesting.
Thats a smart decision. A decent programmer will do it in a fraction of the time it takes you or I. Once its built all you really need to be concerned with is how MySQL works and stores data. I dont recommend trying to learn that too much, as you can use a wonderful piece of php called PHPMyAdmin which is essentially a GUI for MySQL. Nice.

I do recommend learning the basics as if anything goes wrong with your site, or you wish to change the layout, you can do. Good luck!
 

Josh

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2004
1,640
1
State College, PA
I recommend using Drupal to power your site (in addition to php/mysql as mentioned above).

Drupal is a content management system that is straight-forward, yet advanced. Would be perfect for what you want to do.

http://drupal.org