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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2013
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    How to Build - HELP!!!

    I have a friend that asked me to help them re-design their website. Currently they have around 7,000 products. Basically, they want a store front without the option to buy online. They do not want people to place orders online just call the store to place an order. There are several reasons why they do not want people to buy online.

    I have experience with dreamweaver and photoshop. I am by no means an experienced web developer but I do have a degree in cis. Their current website is built in Microsoft Expressions. They do not have dreamweaver and they do not have anyone on staff with web experience. This website needs to be built in something where I can I teach them how to update it daily.

    Please, give me your recommendations on what to use to build them a new site.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    They are willing to photograph, catalog, inventory, and enter all 7000 products into a database, one by one?
    They are willing to maintain the database, changing inventory each time someone calls and places an order?
    They are willing to maintain this Full-Time ... so anyone viewing the webpage won't call and find out an item is out of stock?

    It sounds to me like they "have a dream". They are excited about it ... until the website is done. Then they will decide that it is too time-consuming.

    I would politely turn-down the offer to help, and recommend that they contact a web-design/development company in their area. This sounds like something that will ruin your friendship, and it's not worth doing that. They can hire a company and utilize tax write-offs for business expenses involved in the costs.

    After the dust settles, I'm guessing they will decide not to do a new website (just a hunch).

    And on a side note ... because of the "friendship" you have with them, your job will never end. They will expect you to maintain and fix any problems that come-up. They will expect you to update things and add features. You will not get paid what you deserve, and again, friendship destroyed.

    Find a nice way to walk-away from this, or find a good reason why you cannot do it at this time.

    To answer your original question, use WordPress ... with a plug-in for an online store. Just turn-off the ability to actually check-out.
    Last edited by mlseim; Sep 24th, 2013 at 07:20 PM.


  4. #3
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Most of what Max said. DW just isn't going to cut it for what they want...they'd need a site with a database (and given that we're talking about 7,000 products, probably a database with at least some customizations as I'd imagine not all 7,000 products would be "standardized".

    Without online ordering, there's no way to update inventory unless the database used is tied to the store's inventory DB. That's a pain in the *** all by itself. Doable, but a pain in the ***.

    Someone's got to populate the whole thing, the owners are usually "too busy" and attempt to delegate the responsibility to employees who just don't care enough to do it properly...or even do it at all. And you get blamed when the site isn't updated, so then they'll expect you to update products that you know little or nothing about just so they know it gets done.

    I have a client with 36,000 products in their database, and they hired a full-time team from India to update the products. The data entry got so bad that I've had to create custom importers to update the products from two of the manufacturers...and I have about 498 manufacturers to go. Both manufacturers, and any subsequent ones, will have customized XLS or CSV files that will need to be read and imported into the database, with any product images either spidered from the manufacturer's site (with permission granted prior to the activity) or brought in from a ZIP file that needs to be extracted to my client's server. As you can imagine, this is a brutal process, and even with "only" 7000 products you may very well have to go through something like this. Oh yeah...and when I bring in the products, my client then has to have someone rewrite the product descriptions, titles, etc. to put it in their own words. This whole thing alone should scare you off of helping your friend if you've never done any server-side programming (e.g. PHP, ASP.net) before. Even if you're experienced, this is a major undertaking and one I don't recommend.

    I don't agree with using W*rdPr*ss...you never know when the friend will change his / her mind and decide to use a payment processor. There are carts out there that can be configured without a payment option, although none come to mind. But whatever route your friend decides, either put everything in writing or don't do it at all if you truly value the friendship. Building websites for friends and forming business partnerships are two of the fastest and most thorough ways to completely obliterate friendships.
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