I need help and advice for a big web site project !

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by fredsarran, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. fredsarran macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2008

    My dad has been recording and writing, for years, mountain walks (in France) that he has done. Each walk, is a page that contains various informations (comments and technical info) including photos and a map. Anyway I can guarantee you that there is more info than you need.

    There is over 10.000 of those pages. He has used Microsoft Access.

    I decided to make a web site that contains all of his walks.

    I use a Mac and I do not have Microsoft Access. What is my best option ? Also, I am thinking of using a WordPress system to present the site. Would it cope with this amount of pages ?

    Please give me your recommendation. If you fancy to be part of a team to work on this project, please contact me. I am hoping to make this project a community site where people can upload there own walks and edit-update.

    I got told to export and import his Access database on the server. But I would not know how to do that and also to connect it to a front end for users. I thought to put WordPress, custom a theme and type in each entry (over time).

    Thanks in advance for your help :)
  2. tominated macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2006
    Queensland, Australia
    well, it'd be possible to re-arrange the database into the table format that wordpress uses for it's posts, and i'd say there'd be a way to import it into my sql...
  3. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2007
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    Type in each entry?! No, noooooo. That's why we have software!

    In a DIY implementation the most critical technical issue above any other for this kind of thing (legacy database) is database connectivity so your web users can get to your dad's content. Since you'll most likely be using PHP as your coding framework, I suggest this approach if you need to access your data in MS Access format:
    Or, far better, migrate to an open source DB format:

    There are also many other utilities that can migrate MS Access data into both MySQL and MS SQL server formats which are more widely supported in the open source community that MS Access. However, alot can go wrong in this complex process so be sure to read this article from start to end if you need to migrate your data (in this case, to MySQL, the most widely supported open source database platform). Doing so, if possible, opens up many, many more possibilities for the front end.

    Then start shopping around for a framework that supports your database format, and when you do I'd consider this the basic laundry list of FEATURES:

    Search engine - search your own DB (not to be confused with Google)
    File Manager like interface - keep your content organized and indexed
    Calendar driven interface (would be nice)
    Comments and ratings - make it interactive
    Gallery for photos

    I like your idea about WordPress which has many of these kinds of features but as far as I know v2.6 is MySQL proprietary so you might need to worry with migration issues from MS Access to MySQL as stated above. But on the plus side there are numerous plugins you can use to accomplish some very cool features.

    At this point I'll allow others to suggest framework and comment on what I've said about database related concerns.

    As to server, most webhosts support MySQL and PHP but shop around for those with significant disk space which I assume you'll need since you mentioned 10,000 pages. You might want to go for a VPS from Liquid Web or A Small Orange to get your feet wet.

    Note: Liquid Web offers Windows VPS as well as Linux which could be a benefit if you opt not to migrate to MySQL or troubles ensue. I use their Linux stuff, I recommend them highly in terms of support.

  4. fredsarran thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2008
    Dear SrWebDeveloper,

    Thanks for this explanation, but unfortunately, I find it hard to understand all of it.

    So it seems possible to directly use his DB, and rearrange a few things. You see, I have no knowledge at all in this area.

    Would you, or anybody else, willing to to do this work ? Exporting and importing a Microsoft Access DB to a WordPress site (that I will of course design) ?

    This project is a community site open to all. I will not pay anybody for there work, unless I decide to put ads on the site.

    What about FileMaker ? Would that help me a lot, and easier to deal with his DB ?

  5. syclonefx macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2007
    Daytona Beach Fl
    You should use MySQL GUI Tools Bundle. If you know some one that has a Windows Machine MySQL GUI Tools Bundle comes with MySQL Migration Toolkit 1.1. MySQL Migration Toolkit 1.1 will convert a Microsoft Access database to a MySQL database.

  6. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2004
    No one wants to work for free. This isn't a 10 minute project. I'm not sure what you would do with this in wordpreas. Wordpress is blog software. Seems like you might need something custom and you'll have to learn php and mysql.
  7. fredsarran thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2008
    This project is not about making money but about bringing people together that are passionate about mountains and walks. It is in the "open source" spirit that I want to do this site. For info, it is most likely to be hosted on a grid server by mediatemple. Also, I think WordPress because it has everything I need and I can custom it the way I want.

    I will be more than gratefull if anybody is keen on helping out. I do not have loads of time to spare and so I cannot learn DB stuff. The best solution that I know and can do over time, is typing everything in manually. I know it's stupid but at least I know how to do it.
  8. dtyson macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2008
    You're going to type out 10,000 entries by hand!?! Wait a minute... before you start, know that in order to get that info out of Access and into a format that can be thrown into MySQL, you can refer to this page.

    The query you come up with to get the data out of there will take all of a few seconds to run - as opposed to the insane amount of time it will take to type it all by hand.

    And in the time you save by not hand-typing everything you could learn some really simple SQL items (INSERT, SELECT, UPDATE, etc.) that could have you running a functional MySQL database in no time (an hour?).

    Here's a pretty decent resource for simple MySQL stuff. This is all you'd need for what you need to do - at first.

    If you're not running a local copy of MySQL or haven't installed one (this can be tricky, if you're new to it), run a copy of MAMP just to get your data squared away. It's free.

    Seriously, with a little "nose-to-the-grindstone" work you could have what you need in an hour (most of that time spent reading the information and following some very simple guidelines within it).

    If you prefer to just type the stuff out, good luck to you. But I'm telling you that the whole thing could be done within a minute (actual processing time minus the simple learning involved). Challenge yourself a little. You'll really have a sense of accomplishment when you're done.

    Good luck!
  9. fredsarran thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2008
    Thanks for your support.
  10. juanster macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    i decided iw nat to learn more about makinga nd designing websites,, i have been reaidn a bit and will get fully involve din it this week with tutorials and stuff,, thata dvice up tehre with the links helpes me a bit too thanks

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