# Need help for building specific site

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• Feb 27th, 2017, 10:56 PM
KrisPhero
Need help for building specific site
Hello everyone,

I am definitely not an experienced website builder, I just use paid sites to make the small things I need for my art portfolio and a few things. So, please don't judge too hard and realize I need help. I am looking to make a solid site but easy enough for someone with basic website skills to build. I am not technologically challenged just am not experienced with coding.

I am looking to start a company, I won't get into it too much, but the store I need to build would have items located at different addresses and zip codes. When a buyer logs onto the site they input their address and zip code. The site would then auto calculate the cost to get the item from where the item is to the buyer as a delivery cost and show the price of the item with this added onto it.

Price of item + delivery(Distance between addresses x cost per mile) = total price

Is there a website building site or some program that I can build a site that would look professional, have the ability to add this calculator, be easy enough for someone with say intermediate skill sets, not immensely expensive and not easy to hack (It would be processing a lot of transactions through PayPal, cards, etc).

I really appreciate your time in reading this and hope you can help me find the best solution.
• Feb 28th, 2017, 04:45 AM
delstu
Sadly, there are no site builders or templates that will do what you want. That leaves you with two choices. Learn to code or hire someone to do it for you.
• Feb 28th, 2017, 11:52 AM
TheGAME1264
What Stu said. One thing alone in your project makes it very difficult (not impossible by any means, but computationally expensive)...calculating the distance between two points, in this case two addresses. Have a look at the Haversine formula here:

Calculate distance and bearing between two Latitude/Longitude points using haversine formula in JavaScript

This is very difficult to duplicate in just about any language or framework...I know because I've done it in three of them (besides JavaScript). The major issue you run into is, because the formula is so complex, it puts a lot of strain on the server. Web builders are meant to do easy things that don't put strain on the server. Your problem is that you'll have to make that calculation several different times and it won't be totally accurate since your cost per mile will be "as the crow flies" and won't take detours, turning roads, etc. into consideration (unless you jack up the cost to account for this).

Whatever it is that you're doing, I'd suggest that you hook up with a carrier (in order I would say USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Canada Post, and Purolator Courier depending on where you're located...some of these options obviously won't apply in some places). Send the carrier the originating zip/postal code and destination zip/postal code along with the dimensional weights of the items and let them return the options.You get more delivery options and it's a lot less strain on a server. You can even mix and match carriers if you want.
• Mar 01st, 2017, 10:10 AM
KrisPhero
Hmm, well thank you for the replies! Making me think a lot.

I was thinking of somehow using Google Maps with the calculation, but the thing is that it's actually us driving the items from the buyer to seller. So, that made me think it would only calculate each item from the origin to the seller, but if they purchase more than one item it wouldn't take into consideration that we would be able to pick up each item and then go to the buyer.

I am trying to think of a better system for this now. I'm thinking that I might have an online chat where they input the items they are looking to purchase and then have a person that calculates it really quick for them using Google Maps and then can also take into consideration other factors. Then they could schedule a drop off time and so forth. This would be costly as I am trying to start this myself and want as few employees as possible till I have about a year or a half year salary for them. But I think this would be most efficient and I can't think of any other way to process these. What do you think about this?

Now I am wondering is this easy to input a chat into a site?

Thank you so so much for the help!
• Mar 01st, 2017, 11:49 AM
mlseim
For the distance thing, I would suggest this:
https://developers.google.com/maps/d...e-matrix/intro

You get like 2500 API calls per day before you have to pay.

You need to first get an API key from Google (which is free):
https://developers.google.com/maps/d...ix/get-api-key

Then a programmer to help you with the PHP scripting ... but you'll need a programmer anyhow for the rest of your site (PHP, PDO/MySQLi).

About the items a person wants .... will you know what the inventory (in stock) is for all items at all locations? If I pick a list of things and pay for it, will I get them without backorders? What if my list covers 3 different locations? I envision that the website w/PHP handles all of the user register and logins, them ordering, getting a ship quote, etc ... and then another PHP scripting running that sends text messages to drivers that are already en-route to other locations. Like Uber, drivers would be given instructions in the middle of pick up and deliveries. PHP along with Twilio and interact using text messages. Twilio is not free though.

What you want to do is do-able, it just won't be cheap to do. You'll have to make an initial investment of a few thousand dollars ... then recoup that as the business proceeds. Do your homework as far as demographics, and how much business you think you'll do.
• Mar 03rd, 2017, 12:10 PM
KrisPhero
@mlseim

I don't think I'd ever reach 2,500 sales a day, but I am thinking if 100 people logon the site and say there's 100 items and this API call gets made per item (I think?), does that mean it'd reach 10,000 calls a day?

Yes, this site would be single items, unless someone has more than 1 and they'd list that, but they'd be selling as a package. There wouldn't be any back orders. But yes, I would love if the drivers could get text messages with the details. I want it to be as efficient as possible.

I definitely don't mind an initial investment of a couple thousand dollars for the site as I need to buy the delivery vans as well. I am planning far ahead, including salaries, etc. I'm trying to get this off it's feet all at once. I don't make a lot of money but I might be able to obtain investors. I don't want to share too much of the idea but once it's off it's feet with about 5 employees it'll be self-sufficient and the profits should be pretty steady. It won't be a massive return for me, but I'm looking for long term steady living expenses rather than "making bank."

If I were to hire someone to do this, where should I look? I am an artist and very design oriented, so I'm pretty picky and know exactly how I want it to look. I know I'm going to be one of those clients that want to make a million changes. I'm wondering if there's a way I can do all the designs and they can do the coding. I also need to be able to easily upload items quickly with some sort of form.

I'm also wondering if paying someone to do this coding, API calls, etc is that better (More efficient, cheaper, better long term) than having a chat service where someone sits and calculates the delivery costs. I'm going to have to pay an office worker eventually to approve or deny items. I'm just wondering which would be a better long term investment. I guess I could skip the office worker for a couple years and approve the items myself.
• Mar 03rd, 2017, 07:29 PM
TheGAME1264
To answer the last question first, the more efficient way is to let a system do it for you. It will be more accurate (since it's based off of real-time measurements and calculations) and is available when your office worker isn't. I am assuming that you don't plan on working a single individual 24/7, although if someone's willing to do that, more power to their ability to work, I suppose.

The 2,500 sales per day doesn't reflect the number of calls that you make to the API. In your case, an API call would be made every time someone wants to calculate delivery costs, which may take a few shots and may not always result in a sale. So your 2,500 API calls per day may result in say 500 - 1,000 sales per day (which is still pretty good, depending on what you're selling).

Texting can be done as well, although texting the entire details of an order might be a bit much. The way I know how to do this as a coder (and Max may do it differently) is to send an email to (cell phone number)@(provider).com. This would translate to a text message. I usually just send a short message with a link for more details that can be opened/viewed on a smart phone with some form of Internet access.

As far as being an artist and being picky is concerned, that could be very difficult for just about any coder. There are a few things you'll need to remember:

1) If you draw a design out for someone, that's fine...but you and/or that someone is going to need to take various screen sizes and devices into consideration. You may draw out a layout that's meant to be 1100 pixels wide and centered on a page, and that won't work on a cell phone, for example. So it will have to be flexible and adaptable, which quite often comes at the expense of "pixel perfection".

2) A lot of coders aren't necessarily designers themselves. I'm a coder, and I'm an "okay" designer. Max...I'm not sure. This becomes relevant when dealing with converting the design the way you're going to want it...many coders exclusively focus on the function and couldn't care less how it's designed. Their job is "make stuff work".

3) It's not about what you like. Or what I like. It's about what your customers like. What your customers like will often be very different, and will probably be much uglier in many cases, than what you might like or I might like. The thing with the customers is that they're buying your stuff. You may have to sacrifice your artistic vision in favor of more customers in cases.