Need Help Learning to Create a Membership Website
Hi. I'm hoping the knowledgeable people here can point me in the right direction. First, I am not looking to make fast cash and I am not looking for shortcuts. I am prepared to learn what it takes to create a functional membership (free) website for a community of artists. I created my first website with nothing but html and notepad about 8 years ago, but I know I have plenty more to learn to create my vision, which is much more complex.
Some of the key features of the website need to include:
- a free sign up and login for members
- members will be able to create a profile (links to their website, etc.)
- members, once logged in, are able to upload images into appropriate "galleries"
- clicking on a thumbnail image within the gallery brings up a window containing a larger version of the image with the artist's links (also from here I'd like the user to be able to move forward or backwards through the gallery within the larger image frame)
- the gallery's thumbnail images' order is randomized upon each refresh
- these "galleries" will be contests where contribution to a prize pool is necessary through paypal.
- update prize pool upon each entry and calculate prize payout for each place according to a mathematical algorithm
- close the gallery for submissions and open voting capability for members on a certain date
- only members who enter a certain contest will be able to vote in that contest (three votes each, can not vote for their own)
- organize entries at the end of the voting period from first to last
- (optional) program an automatic payout via paypal to winning entries (if possible - I have no problem doing this manually)
Those are the important functions I'd like to create for the site. Obviously there will be more to it than that like an FAQ page and Rules page, etc. That's the easy part.
So, where do I start? Is this something I can take on myself in notepad? Learn CSS and what else? Recommended books? Or is there software that will help me build this? I'm not knowledgeable as to what's out there for website building software nowadays or even if there is software that will meet my specific needs. I am willing to learn and take years if needs be to build this correctly.
Thank-you for pointing me in the right direction!