Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Can you help me with building a website?

Asked by JLeslie (61539points) July 16th, 2018 from iPhone

I want to make a website where a person signs up and can make a list on their profile page with functioning links to websites.

It would be great if they can choose to hide information or show it. Things like their address. This is not very important initially though, if that is a tricky thing.

It would need password capability for each user.

I own the domain name already, I bought it through godaddy.

What the cheapest way to get it started?

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12 Answers

2davidc8's avatar

Doesn’t something like this exist already? It’s called Facebook.

elbanditoroso's avatar

There are at least three aspects to consider.

1) the database. Somehow you need to capture, then store, then retrieve the person’s website choices. So you need to define a database and its fields, and its access points. What sort of database? That’s for experts to define. But it will be SQL something, and you need to build that into your plan. (and costs of maintaining the database).

2) then there’s the UI (User interface) – you’ll need to design it and build it and make it attractive and all of that. That’s comparatively easy, unless you are thinking of a website that works on tablets and phones, at which point it becomes more complex.

3) Security – you will want to run HTTPS, for sure, and the encrypt the database that holds the actual data. Not hard to do, but you need to make sure that if someone is using your system, everything is private.

But how does this product differ from the way bookmarks work in browsers? Are you reinventing the wheel?

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Godaddy can help with this.

gorillapaws's avatar

Just to add to @elbanditoroso’s excellent post, when you collect usernames and passwords, you have a huge responsibility to secure them properly from people actively trying to hack your site. Since people very frequently use the same username/password combination, getting access to your user’s account data could allow a bad guy access to many other sites. Never store the actual passwords (just the hash), use a salt and industry standard encryption.

Be sure to get an expert, this kind of site is very different than just throwing up a static webpage with info on it (which is pretty easy). It may seem simple, but it’s a much bigger deal when you have user accounts.

ScienceChick's avatar

Oh… you own a web domain name and have made all these plans but can’t code or even CSS… hahaha…. sorry. and sorry I’m laughing so hard, but this would be funny if you know funny it is.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ScienceChick I don’t think it’s very kind to put other people down. People are generally pretty ignorant of how much they don’t know in a subject. @JLeslie was reaching out and trying to educate herself on what’s involved. Her idea is much more complex than most people would realize if they aren’t familiar with web development. I think it’s cool that she’s interested in using technology to try to solve problems and I commend her for that.

ScienceChick's avatar

I’m just giving her a reality check. No one here is going to give her the time it needs to create a website like she is wanting….... of maybe they will… if they have that much time on their hands, but the developers are I know don’t have that time to give away. I have her hints on what she has to learn to do it herself. So, she should just go for it. maybe in 5 years she’ll have something of a website.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws Thanks for all the information. I know a former jelly “created” a website similar to fluther. I thought maybe there were already existing skeletons so to speak, and you can fill in the information. I did that on godaddy for my business website to try it out. That is just a website with information about our business and contact info.

I’ll need to ask the former jelly how she did it. Maybe she already knew how to write some code. My idea is not a Q&A site, It’s not competing with fluther or Facebook for that matter at all.

@ScienceChick You’re so off base. First of all, if I hire someone to do it, it will still be good to know as much as I can about the lingo and the basics. I learn better in an interactive setting rather than just reading up on something. Being able to ask questions is invaluable to me.

ScienceChick's avatar

My point is you are going to have to spend shitloads of money you had no idea this would cost… sooo….. good luck. Such is the pity of folks who have no clue technically,,,,... but they want what they want, so they need to pay. I’m sick of having folks think this work comes in 10 minutes and they don’t pay for the work. It can take hours to write code and often the client has NO idea the time involved.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Is that the work you do? Why are you so annoyed? I wasn’t even talking about cost.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie There are a few ways to approach a project like this. You can even do UX testing with pieces of paper that have drawings and labels on them to see how people might want to interact with your site. You can learn a lot of valuable info from exercises like these, but in the end you’re still going to have to hire a talented engineer.

At some point you may decide to dive in to the deep end and commit your resources. I don’t do web development myself, but there are some useful principles to think about. Most importantly, use technology that is popular and easy to find developers for! Python is a very popular programming language for web development. Python has a framework for building web applications called Django. Other popular options are Ruby on Rails, which is a web framework that uses the Ruby language and Node.js (which is a rising star on the scene). My personal suggestion is to avoid PHP. It’s really fallen out of favor since the 2000’s when it was at the height of it’s popularity. Talented programmers want to work in languages/frameworks they enjoy, whereas crappy programmers will crap out code in whatever language you pay them to.

There are 2 important aspects to programming that mirror writing in English. The first is just learning the grammar of the language so you can create code that is syntactically correct and will do what it’s meant to do. Like in English, this is fairly straightforward and can be learned in a couple of weeks (or less) by a skilled programmer. The other piece is being able to write clean code that is well designed and, has a good architecture, a good division of responsibilities, good documentation, is modular, etc. This is the equivalent in English to being able to craft a very good essay. It’s possible to have flawless grammar but be unable to write a good essay, just as one can write code that will execute as intended, but be very difficult to maintain, expand, find/fix bugs, etc. You’ll find this a lot with outsourced coders who are just trying to satisfy the minimum requirements because they’re not expecting to have to maintain and improve the code later. Learning how to write good code, not just code that will run is a skill that’s refined over a lifetime.

I’m not saying you need to spend millions on hiring a genius (and that can produce it’s own set of headaches btw), but be aware that you do get what you pay for to some degree. You certainly wouldn’t want to find the cheapest engineer to design your airbag, or the cheapest fund manager to invest your life savings. It’s going to be difficult though for someone without knowledge and experience in software development to evaluate the resume, or evaluate the progress of a developer. You could easily be taken advantage of, and in the same breath, you might incorrectly believe they are taking advantage of you when there are legitimate obstacles delaying progress that they’re unable to articulate to you (without you thinking they’re bullshitting you).

Another point to understand is that some things simply take time. You can’t make a baby in less than 9 months by throwing more women at the task. Often throwing more programmers at a problem will slow down the project rather than speed it up. See Brooks’s law. I mention this simply to illustrate that software development is different in many ways from other types of business that you may have experience with.

Finding someone you trust will be very important. Good luck to you. I hope that gives you some more things to consider.

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