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Thread: Extreme Help

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    Extreme Help

    Hi I am trying to start a website with a database and I have no idea where to start or where to go or how to get someone to design a website for me. Any feed back would be much appreciated. Thanks for your expertise and time.
    Alex

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    SitePoint Zealot moretea's Avatar
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    Um, we are certainly starting with a blank sheet, aren't we? ;-) Let's ask some questions to narrow the scope:

    • Why do you need a Web site?
    • Why do you think you need a database for your site?
    • What will your end users do on/with the site?
    • What will you do with the output/data from the site?
    • Do you have any particular technologies or platforms available to you? Do you have a preference for any particular technology or platform, and why?



    I'm sure other forum members will be able to add questions...

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    Hire a freelancer. He'll ask all the right questions.
    http://www.donanza.com/freelancers/hire/web_development
    Steve Husting

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    I need a website for the transfer of information between people, I need a database to keep that information up to date and be able to access it at any time. My users will use that information by manual putting in there own information and transferring it. the out put and data will be kept in the database and received on the other end by another type of user.I heard HTML was good but I don't know much about it. I have a design and plan ready im just curious where to go and how to get money to pay for a freelancer. Thanks for the website of freelancers.

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    What was the outcome? To be honest im not sure what information you need to keep in a database. What was unique about your requirements that wasn't already provided by, say, facebook? You can certainly exchange information on facebook (although its not my cup of tea)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Meredith View Post
    I need a website for the transfer of information between people, I need a database to keep that information up to date and be able to access it at any time. My users will use that information by manual putting in there own information and transferring it. the out put and data will be kept in the database and received on the other end by another type of user.I heard HTML was good but I don't know much about it. I have a design and plan ready im just curious where to go and how to get money to pay for a freelancer. Thanks for the website of freelancers.
    The questions @moretea ; asks are the questions that you should ask yourself because, whether you do it yourself or you hire someone to do the job, are important to know the goal of the site.

    Every website needs a goal, you build the whole site around that goal, something that need to be accomplished (be it getting new customers, or only visitors, sell something or saving time by providing a new channel for claims...)

    In your case, it is the exchange of information: some people will introduce some data that needs to be viewed by other people.

    Now, the more detail you are in the process, the better for your project. One of the things you need to know if this is going to be really complicated.

    Some other questions you need to ask yourself is when you need this to be ready and you budget.

    Deciding if you want to do it yourself or hire someone is hard. But if you have not time and not passion for this, the route will be hire a web developer (and a designer, if you want it to look nice)

    Also, the budget is going to limit the result (most of the time, of course. As with anything in life, you sometimes can find talented people for little money but that's no the case and if you want quality, you need to pay for that)

    If you're doing it yourself, you probably need to at least understand CSS, HTML and a server side language (likely PHP). It would be great if you also could understand JavaScript (including jQuery)

    You're likely to use a CMS (Content Management System) to speed up the process.

    Of course, this means that you have a domain and a webserver to host this web page

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    It isn't anything related to social information. It is very detailed but not that complex of an idea. I want to be able to upload documents onto the computer and either have them able to be printed out or integrated into a page where the lines become boxes. Where you can input information onto the document and then send it away all the while saving it in a database if any of this is possible. Me, no I dont have any experience with web design or java or html for that matter; thats why I'm looking for someone to build it for me. As in this case the budget is limited yes. The site posted earlier was helpful. But with anything like you all said, money is a factor. I dont have much and will have to find it somehow. The end goal is to attract users and customers and then sell eventually. Thanks for your input.

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    Perhaps another way of looking at is do any of the freely available packages on the internet offer what you need right now? For instance Google Drive or Wordpress or maybe some other kind of CMS. If not where does it fall short of your objectives? Maybe the gap can be filled with a wordpress plugin either one currently available or one custom built. Decide what you need over and above whats already out there.

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    With a low budget, one option might be to set up your own site using a service like Squarespace. They provide tools for setting up your own site, and you just pay a monthly fee for doing so. Before signing up, just check that they have the features you need.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    It sounds like you're more interested in having someone do this project for you than learn the skills involved. Understandable as unless the coding side is your passion, from the description you've given, there would be a steep learning curve from 0 knowledge to kick-butt web app. That is possible, and the help you need is right here, but it will/would take a fairly massive time investment.

    If you just wanna hire, I would say that you need to first work on your brief. Make it as detailed as possible, outline precisely what you want to achieve. Flow diagrams can be useful for this. Research your audience (you may have already done that of course), establish 100% that any investment will be returned - then set yourself a budget for development. You will have to be realistic about this. What can you afford? How much is it likely to cost? Will you need an investor?

    If an investor is needed, you'll have to go back to your brief, and expand that into a fully fledged business plan. And then go hunting.

    Assuming some or all of the above steps have been followed, you can start hunting for talent at the following sites, good luck! :
    http://www.guru.com
    https://www.elance.com
    http://www.freelancer.com/
    http://www.freelancify.com
    http://www.peopleperhour.com
    http://www.project4hire.com

    (*I am not associated with any of the above sites, they are a combination of some knowledge and a quick "google". I also can't personally recommend any of them, as I haven't hired from them. I have heard good things about elance, freelancer and peopleperhour though)
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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    Hi I really appreciate all your guys help. My budget is low so that is something I have to look at. I am looking at square space and word press but I don't like the fact of me having to pay constantly even though it might be cheaper. Hiring someone is definitely an option. I have to look at investors. I already have a business plan finished. The only problem I'm coming to is finding out exactly what I need to build this in terms not of man power but of scripting and platforms. I can't find anybody to tell me that so I can't go to anybody to help me. Because I don't know what I need. I need to consult with someone who knows what they are talking about as far as what these platforms already have and what I need In addition to them. That is where I am falling short. Thank you

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    I had a quick look at square space and it seems mainly aimed at themeing and not sure if thats what you are after at all. However $10/month, for hosting, is not exhorbitant pricing in my view, especially for a business website and they do seem to include the price of the domain name registration.

    There are other hosting options, such as hostgator or 00webhost, but they may be "too cheap" for a business site. For instance bandwidth limitations.

    However I get the feeling that your website won't be just a digital brochure for your new business. If this is the case then I am wondering what kind of site you are trying to build.

    Are you trying to build a new kind of social media website or perhaps a site that performs some kind of accountancy function? Are you able to give us a vague idea of what you are intending to build?

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    My website definitely isn't just a brochure. I'll try and give a vague idea of what I want to do. My website is centered around saving time. In that respect time is money, and time is efficiency.

    I want to build a site where you can upload and integrate documented information and be able to send that information to and from a source where it is kept in storage on both ends. I want secure user profiles and I want one end to be able to adequately maintain and quickly change their profile and information for the view and use of others in pulling and sending that said information from that 2nd end. That would be a more than vague explanation. your right square space looks like its centered around themes but is it what I need to get started, save money, and see what it already has and where it falls short and then someone can come in and help. The problem being I don't know what it already has.

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    It's just hard for me to hire someone on any of these websites if I don't know what I need. I wont be able to tell them what I need. = BLIND

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    I am guessing that you are reluctant to say too much without a non-disclosure agreement. You obviously believe this website has strong market potential if you have gone to the trouble of a business plan. You may also need to do some market research so you know who your market is.

    Any idea how many web pages you would need for such a site? I am assuming:

    * a landing page
    * a sign up page
    * terms and conditions page
    * document upload page
    * document list/delete/download page
    * administrator account management page(s)

    I am not sure what format your uploaded documents are in. Are they PDF or Word documents?

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    * a landing page
    * a sign up page
    * terms and conditions page
    * document upload page
    * document list/delete/download page
    * administrator account management page(s)
    I need all of those plus
    an inbox page for user 2
    A profile homepage for both user 1 and 2
    That should be about it

    I would like the documents to be uploaded and be able to be printed or filled out electronically and sent back

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Meredith View Post
    I would like the documents to be uploaded and be able to be printed or filled out electronically and sent back
    The last time I did this was with PDF documents and this is something that is probably outside the ability of the average PHP developer. I googled and found a couple of links on how to do this:

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/741050

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/itextsharp/

    The company I worked for used iTextSharp. However this is a .NET dll and probably requires a windows machine. We did it by using IronPython and having it access the dll to stamp text on the PDF form itself. I think we also used something called Adobe Lifecycle to create the text areas on the PDF. I think there is a trial version for download.

    Someone else on this forum may have experience of doing this on linux.

    If its Microsoft word then a completely different approach would be employed and I haven't researched this. So it very much depends on what kind of document you are working with.

    We did this project in Python. Sorry, I dont know how PHP would do it. A PHP expert, on this forum, may be able to fill in the missing information there.

    I should warn you that what you are trying to do is not easy. The document stamping part is probably the hardest part of your project. However if you are really determined I believe its doable.

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    Found this in a Google search

    http://www.netgenlabs.com/Blog/Filli...UTF-8-encoding

    Might be useful if you want to use wordpress/PHP for this.

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    Hey guys happy holidays and merry Christmas. I looked at the site you gave me using adobe thread. It looks like it would work. I also looked at PHP and didn't really understand it very well but I'm in the process of reading about both. So in theory I could possibly subscribe or buy a website template already done for me on square space and then if it's possible with I don't know just have it plug in to the Adobe PDF developer so it could upload directly onto my page with text boxes Is this possible do you think.

    Thanks
    Alex

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    I tried to read about word press and I'm not even sure what it is

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    Hey Alex,

    First of all if your looking at this being a serious investment, business or how ever you word it, then you need to treat it like one. 50% of my clients are those that came to me after they spent months trying to build something themselves.

    Pay someone to develop this for you, its not that expensive and your ROI will be much much better. You will have a decent product that your business can use.

    Learning a whole new skill set is desirable and fun, but hard work and distracting. The actual website is often one small part of the business plan, focus your efforts on your strengths, be it marketing, technical

    If I was to be brutal, and I will be, if you cant grasp the concepts behind Wordpress then developing this is going to beyond your capacity in the short-medium term.

    Wordpress is a a content management system, have a google of CMS and read up what they are

    I dont mean to be a downer but if you are serious then you need a solid foundation, trust me, I have so many clients tell me that they wish they got a developer straight away rather than try to do it themselves.

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    Jgriggs, thanks for the honest input. That's what I need. I just need to find someone to develop this for me. The problem isn't finding someone the problem is finding someone I can trust to do it right with me not knowing much about the background. Any input on that would be much appreciated. Thanks

    Alex

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    Wordpress is blogging software. The best example is wordpress.com which is similar in concept to Google blogger.

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    For best results I would recommend hiring locally. Ask around through friends and what not. Chances are you will find someone. Those freelance sites are a wasteland of criminals and hacks residing in other countries who can rarely be held accountable under law so be warned. Cheap yes but you get what you pay for. With a lower budget you would be better of lowering your expectations and hiring locally than going the cheap route. Any useful website is in continuous development anyway. Once launched you can than add features as your budget/profit allows.
    The only code I hate more than my own is everyone else's.

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    Alex,

    Something like the following may be of help:

    http://www.totalbounty.com/1032/16-p...-in-wordpress/

    I haven't personally reviewed these plugins so I dont know how good of a fit they are with your project but there seem to be no shortage of document management plugins for wordpress.

    A ready made solution may be more appropriate if you're on a tight budget. Bespoke development will almost always be more expensive. However you will probably need to at least learn how to install wordpress. The learning curve for this can be significantly lowered by investing in a good shared hosting provider who provide easy-to-use web menus for installing and managing wordpress installations and then you can experiment with document management plugins to see which are a good fit for your project. This may give you around 95% of what you want if you're lucky. Shared hosting can be acquired for around $5/month which should be good enough for evaluation purposes. Maybe something like hostgator.com but I am sure there are others as well.


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