Building a website

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Building a website

Postposted on Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:48 pm

Hi,

I figured I would ask here first since I'm not sure where else to ask... Let me start by saying I have no web building experience so pardon my laymans terms. That being said I would like to try and learn how to build my own in order to launch a site idea I've been thinking about. Google, while providing a boatload of information has proven to be a bit overwhelming. From what I understand there are a couple ways of achieving the same end. One being through a template, one being through paying someone else, and lastly doing it from a professional program like dreamweaver. I like elements from all 3 and was hoping people on this forum could clear some things up for me. The needs:

Looking for:
-mainly text website where the majority of information is user generated
-login system...
-statistical rating system (used to rate info users add)
-basic page layouts, nothing to complicated. thinking some background graphics, color schemes, and cool fonts.
-designed in a way I could setup advertising of my choice (whether adsense or an affiliate later down the road)

And the wants:

Would like:
-eventually a box on specific pages providing a google maps location (not needed for the initial site idea though)
-Forum for users to discuss
-cheap and/or minimal time spent to create the site (I know, one or the other, both is a bit of a stretch...)




Soooo, that being said what would be the best option to look into? I would love to learn to build a site like that all by myself but I'm not sure if things like a username and statics would be too advanced for me. Templates seem like a good route, but I would like to advertise on my own and again I'm not sure how usernames and statistics figure into a template. Building with a program sounds like the best option (some thing like dreamweaver or a free alternative) since I would like to build the entire thing on a disc and launch it all at once. Any opinions, advice, links, stories, etc helpful. Tell me what you think is best. Thanks.

-ilc
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Re: Building a website

Postposted on Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:12 pm

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Re: Building a website

Postposted on Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:49 pm

You're not going to be able to do it with little time nor cheaply if you want to do it right. If you have room to grow Drupal is great but if you want to do truly impressive work where you integrate multiple features together you'll want to get started learning HTML, PHP, CSS, Javascript, and that is really just the basics.

Clearly you have a big idea you want to make some money off of. I suggest you either start learning yesterday or consider working with a professional.
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Re: Building a website

Postposted on Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:16 pm

Might I recommend htmldog.com to get you started with HTML and CSS. I've also read through Programming PHP and Head First JavaScript. The Head First series is actually pretty neat as a spring board. They deliver the concepts in a fairly entertaining manner.

But, for the things you want to do, there are already Content Management Systems (CMS) out there that will cover most or all of what you want to do. So, really, what you'll want to learn is how to manage the Web server if you want to do that yourself, or push it off to a hosting service, like GoDaddy.com. Except, even the CMS's use HTML and CSS. Cascade Style Sheets are what actually effect the look and feel of a site, so that will be worthwhile learning anyway.
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Re: Building a website

Postposted on Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:44 pm

I had the basic background knowledge of html, know enough to get into trouble : ) I could make a page out of tables and all, but I never had the interest or the time to sit down and really learn it.

Then I wanted to check out this "css" thing that everybody was talking about. Found a few tutorials and my gawd... It's soooo easy to get a professional looking website so quick. Coming from a complete newbie, css is the way to go. I used this tutorial which guides you in making the layout. Don't worry about stuff like div's and classes, you'll pick up what they mean as you go through it.

I also found this site to have some good references and examples on css. Don't know about that other stuff you wanted like login's and such, you'll have to probably go more advanced.
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Re: Building a website

Postposted on Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:17 pm

Aside from the user rating capability, I think most Wiki packages do what you listed. I've set up a couple of in-house Wiki servers at work, using MediaWiki (the same software which runs the public Wikipedia site). It wasn't particularly difficult to install.

If you could be a little more specific regarding what you want the site to look like, we can probably zero in on a more appropriate package. E.g., if what you're really interested in is more like a site with personal blogs (as opposed to a Wikipedia-style site), then the software you want to use would be different.
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Re: Building a website

Postposted on Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:23 pm

Thanks for all the responses and links guys. Good help to get me started. The site itself will be basic, except for the rating system (looking for something like neweggs) it will be just text. The user needs to be able to input new information based on an evaluation page (title, description, google maps, etc) and then have it appear on the site available for review by other members. Simple enough, just text, no videos or pictures or anything like that. I don't want to get too specific about the idea yet :wink:

Thanks again for the links!
-ilc



Edit: on further thought just imagine a user generated restaurant review website, except it isn't restaurants I'm thinking about.
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Re: Building a website

Postposted on Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:51 pm

There are a lot of extensions available for MediaWiki. The Rating extension allows one to add a rating to a page in the Wiki. There is also the Ajax Rating script and there are probably others.
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