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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Just starting out - Do I have a chance?

    Hi there!

    I've got an idea for a site that I've been wanting to do for a long time now. I'm reasonably competent with basic HTML, so I've already started on the design. I've realised though that with the amount of content that I'll (hopefully) be including, it's not going to be manageble using HTML.
    I need to be able to add content quickly, without messing about in code each time and also offer the ability for visitors to submit comments to each entry. The front page needs to display the last x updates and new items and it all needs to work alongside a decent search engine, natch. Think of something along the lines of Wikipedia or Urban Dictionary (not in content, in the way I'd like it to work). For this, I know I'm going to need some kind of database.
    My question is, can someone with zero experience beyond HTML and very few resources (It's just me working on it - I can afford to spend money on a decent host, but not much beyond that) set up a database-driven site to manage all this content? Or am I better off just giving up now?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Columnist
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    Never give up! Get a hold of a good book for the database you seek to work with and plan out the site and function on paper first. Find someone experienced with database development to bounce ideas off of and move forward.

    The only way to get good at anything it to research and do it hands on.

    Good fortune to you!
    Freelance System Administrator, Researcher, Writer
    Practical Applications
    Open Sourcery "SitePoint's Open Source Blog"

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy asp_funda's Avatar
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    Firstly, you'll require the know how of a server side language like ASP/PHP/JSP/ASP.NET/ColdFusion etc.
    If you are starting out in this & want to learn just for this website, then I suggest ASP & PHP. Any will do the job very nicely & both have huge community, should you need help(& you'll need it before you can say 'help'). If you have a bit extra time & want to work more in this in future, I suggest you go with ASP.NET

    Now for the database. This is something you should consider not afterwards, but alongside. MySQL works best with PHP & JSP. Access & MS-SQL work best with ASP & ASP.NET

    Now, something you should consider is your OS. If you have Windows2000 or above, then there's no problem. You can run anything, but if you have Linux, then your choice comes down to PHP.
    Our lives teach us who we are.
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    Me - Photo Blog - Personal Blog - Dev Blog
    iG:Syntax Hiliter -- Colourize your code in WordPress!!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Structuring a database requires a lot of knowledge about the data itself. They are also difficult to change after the fact. For example, you collect data in two fields and later discover you really should have split things into three categories. Now you have data spread more or less at random in two fields and no good way to split it.

    I would strongly suggest working out these sorts of issues with static pages until you have a good feel for how the user interface should flow.


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