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  • 1 Post By TheGAME1264

Thread: Question about an unconventional Web store Design (Non web Developer)

  1. #1
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    Question about an unconventional Web store Design (Non web Developer)

    Hello WDF!

    First time poster here - I would like to thank you for welcoming me to your forums and taking the time to read my post!

    I am an aspiring Entrepreneur with an idea for a website that I would like to bring to fruition but have zero experience with designing a website. I am not here to ask what this would cost - after doing some research, I know that I have a lot of questions left to answer before I can get any sort of realistic price estimate. Instead, what I ask is this; looking at the design below for this prospective site, what would be some of the questions that you, as web designer, would have for me in order to bring this site to life as well as some tips you would have for a non developer looking to work with one in the future. Furthermore, I would like to hear your opinions on DIY sites such as Wix and BigCommerce. Should I bother with these sites? Could they create a custom store like this or would it be best to work with a developer one on one?


    The structure of the store is the following:



    The site would have a "bank" of about 2000 files (totaling about 2 gb of data), stored in a cloud server.
    The user creates an account and, for a price, is allowed to "roll" on a random set of 10 files (so a total of about 10 mb per transaction if my conversion is correct)

    With each consecutive "role" that the user purchases, he or she has a decreased probability of getting one of the same files. For example; user rolls and has an equal chance of getting any 10 files from the bank of 2000. For the second role, the user has a 10% chance of getting of getting each of the same 10 files again and so on.

    Along with the algorithm I would need some data reporting to show how often each file is being paid out in a roll etc. The files themselves are small and are not any form of currency. This is not a gambling site, but a site that would give out files at random.

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    To answer your question about Wix or BigCommerce or any other off-the-shelf shopping cart site...it won't work. The customization that you have outlined is not particularly tricky, but it is unique and therefore falls under the "custom programming" category. The best you might be able to do, and this would be a waste of a shopping cart IMHO, is to get something along the lines of BVCommerce or VP-ASP and then have the "rolling" application added in. Since you're only really selling one product i.e. a "roll" (whatever that is) then the cart really serves no purpose. Shopping carts are most effective with larger quantities of products. Theoretically, you could list all 2000 "files" as "products" (or at least some vague descriptions) and then add the rolls to the cart, but then you're breaking the cart functionality at that point as well.

    I don't know what these "files" contain, but if someone paid for a "roll" and got the same 10 files (or even at least 1 of the same 10), that user would probably be pretty P.O.ed. It also may be unnecessary. I don't know about any other databases, but SQL Server has the ability to generate a result set and sort it by a random number...meaning that if you run the same query 100 times and you have enough records (say 10000), you'll get 100 different results. You can also filter the results...in this case, by the files the user already has. So if a user gets files 1, 8, 67, 207, 684, 999, 1533, 1768, 1891, and 1977 for example, then the next time the query runs files 1, 8, 67, 207, 684, 999, 1533, 1768, 1891, and 1977 can all be excluded from the query. On the next run, 1, 8, 67, 207, 684, 999, 1533, 1768, 1891, and 1977 and the 10 files that were selected can be removed as well...and so on and so on. The advantage to this method is that the more files are "rolled", the faster the query becomes as the number of files to pick from gets smaller. If there were certain files you wanted to leave until the end as "golden tickets" or whatever you'd want to call them (basically, rare files), you could even run a weighted random query.

    As far as storing 2GB in a cloud, 2GB is a starting point for most web hosts, so you should be able to keep your files on the same server (or at least the same hosting plan) as your database and your code. Some offer "unlimited", but if you're sending lots of files out to people you'll likely have to upgrade to a finite plan (yes, it sounds counterintuitive, but it's because "unlimited" doesn't logically exist) to give yourself more resources.

    By the way...can you tell I'm a developer? I do have some other questions about your idea as it seems intriguing and for once it's not an idea that's ridiculously complicated on the surface...when we get questions like these, the idea is often so convoluted that it couldn't possibly work, and this one is fairly easy to conceptualize. Depending on what these files are and how legal your idea is, it has a shot.
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