How would I go about building a Kickstarter

Hey Guys
I wanted to see if anyone could help me understand how to build a website like Kickstarter ( . I am doing a university project and I decided to outline how I would build a website like kickstarter using the wordpress platform.

Kickstarter is a crowd funding platform which allows people to create project ideas and people from around the world will donate money towards them. Based on the amount donated they will in return get a gift from the project starter. Projects range from pretty much anything you can imagine. Kickstarter also takes 5% of the amount everyone donates for company profits.
I have a good understanding of web design and a rough idea of how to go about doing this. I figured I would outline how I think it could be done and if you could give me some criticism or tell me any major points I am missing out on that would be good.

So essentially the way the website works is there are 2 main users, there is the project starters (PS) and the donators (DN).
A PS can register and account and once verified they will be able to post a project. The project is then displayed on the website where DN’s can browse through them by categories and once they find one they like, they can view its details and if they want to support it, they can donate using paypal, credit card etc.

So let me break it down a little bit more and how I believe it can be done.

Essentially the website must allow two types of accounts to be created each with different requirements and permissions. When a PS starts an account they can create a project which will create a portfolio item in wordpress. They portfolio items will have a list of custom fields which must be fulfilled and they must select a category which their work comes under*. Once they post it, it must be approved and when it is it will be displayed on the website. Since it has a category tag it would be easy to sort through different projects. In this process the PS must set the various different levels of donations he is willing to accept and what rewards he will be giving based on the donation amount ( e.g. donate $5 and he may get a free CD or donate $100 and get a free private lesson). This information will be displayed on a separate page other than their project page which will be displayed after a DN chooses to donate.

For the DN it is fairly straight forward, create an account, find a project you like, set the amount you would like to donate, be redirected to the appropriate payment gateway and the payment will be made. The website (the company kickstarter) would collect the payments first before making the payout to the PS at which point they will take their 5% share. DN’s also have the option to subscribe to categories so weekly they will get an email of the top 5 projects that are most popular sent to them in an email based on the amount people donate and the number of views the project has received.

This whole website seems entirely possible and suited to wordpress, correct me if I am wrong. There are certain things I am unsure about how they could be done. Here is where I get really confused. I understand lots of this requires good understanding of PHP which I do not have but I am not actually building the site so I figured all I need to know is that PHP creates functions which allow content to be dynamic.

  1. When someone goes to create an account, how is it possible to create a separate account creation page, from my understanding creating an account in wordpress makes you use the wordpress account creation form which isn’t professional enough for this site. Is there a way to modify its look and the fields also locking in just 2 types of accounts to choose from?

  2. Once again the only way I know for a portfolio item to be created is through the wordpress backend. How can a custom project creation page be build that when all the required fields are filled and submitted it creates a wordpress portfolio item without the user having to see the wordpress backend. Displaying the portfolio items on the website is straight forward enough.

  3. I do not understand how it would be coded so that portolio items must be approved before being displayed on the site.

  4. On the topic of donations I also am not sure how it would be done so that if someone sets the amount they are willing to donate they would for example be redirected to paypal and asked to pay that amount. This also applies to other payment gateways.

  5. Also since the website takes a 5% share, the only way it makes sense for this to be done is for them to collect all the money first and then they take their 5% cut and then payout the PS.

  6. Finally how would it be possible to make it so that DN’s can subscribe to certain categories and then receive emails weekly about the top projects of that week based on the projects views and amount of donations it has received.

I know I am asking for a lot but I would really appreciate it if you could even just answer one of my questions or give me a general insight about things.
Sorry for the long wall of text! Haha, thank you all so much.