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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2015
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    Completely Clueless

    Hi Everyone!

    So we are looking at creating a site that has some very specific needs. The best way I can think of to describe the sort of site we would be looking at creating would be: think TripAdvisor.

    We want the site to be made up of mostly members contributions, just like TripAdvisor, where they will review products/services etc.

    The reason I'm posting here today is to ask for pointers in the right direction, if you please.
    We are not looking to build the site from scratch, for now we are happy to find a host and choose a template from their site - if the site takes off as we hope then in the future we will look into getting it professionally built or learning how to do it ourselves.

    To save us from wasting money we will sign up for a free website first just for the initial "creating" of the site and then we will purchase a package and domain to make it "our own". Does this make sense? Is this a good way of doing it?

    The biggest catch is we only have iPad's to work on. We have access to a desktop for a month or so before we leave NZ to travel in Australia, so the initial building work needs to be done now and then the site needs to be easy to maintain on an iPad while we travel. We are not intimidated by this - from our research there are many sites out there that allow you to build a site from an ipad, but my biggest question to you guys is this:

    What host do you guys recommend for our specific needs? - more importantly the iPad access and the members contribution which is essential and non-negotiable for the site we envision.

    Thanks in advance for any help/advice/pointers you can offer.
    But please - no "it can't be done" posts, I wont believe you.

  2.  

  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    You may not believe us, but it can't be done for several reasons.

    1) You want a "host" and a "template" to build the site that's free and will allow for users to interact with your site. Not possible. Doesn't exist. Case in point...this forum. Here's what it costs:

    vBulletin 4 Features

    That's just the software. That's not the host (not free). That's not the cost of designing/developing stuff (free if you do it yourself, not free otherwise). There's the cost of any customizations you may need to make to get what you want out of it (not free, because you likely can't do this yourselves). Now, vBulletin is clearly not the best fit for what you're trying to do; it's just an example of something "not free".

    2) Yes, you can use something like W*rdPr*ss and there may or may not be a plugin that will do what you're talking about (there probably is, but I'm no WP fan and I would rather remove my teeth with a hammer than do anything with it), but you'll either have go the domain/hosting route (not free) or use wordpress.com to host the site and you probably won't be able to get what you want anyway because IIRC they won't host plugins.

    3) Now, yes, there are free web editors out there. They're free for a reason; they're rigid and limited. They're intended for people with simple website desires. Maybe a 5-page website to get people to come to a store. Maybe a blog. Maybe something else simple. But simple. Yours isn't.

    4) Basically, you're going to try and build a low-rise apartment building in a month out of an assorted bag of Legos that you picked up for $1.00 at a yard sale. That's the user interactivity part of it, especially when you're dealing with reviews. Users will put all sorts of crazy crap in for reviews. They'll review the wrong company. They'll fill it out and try to contact the company thinking the review form is a company contact form. They'll do things you couldn't possibly imagine. And that's just users.

    5) Bots. You let users fill in forms, you let bots fill in forms. And they will fill in your forms. And you will know they're filling in your forms because you'll see crap just like this:
    Code:
    iejeabsuqspnpt, <a href="http://blogcamlodipine.com/">Amlodipine</a>, oFOhcki, What is amlodipine besylate tabs, AohqepL, http://blogcamlodipine.com/ How long to get amlodipine besylate out of system, PGilCZf.
    You need to figure out how to block that. No free editor in the universe is even close to figuring that out yet. It won't be one bot, either; it will be a barrage of several bots.

    The iPad isn't even your big issue here. It's everything else. Now, if you have a business idea, approach it like a business idea. If you have an idea you just want to screw with, that's different.
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  4. #3
    Junior Member
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    Wow, thanks a lot to think about there.

    So what would you do? I'm a pretty determined person, I have my mind set, I want that site.
    Right now it's more of finding the answers to:
    "can this work as a site?"
    "will people use it?"
    "could it become a profitable business in the future?"
    "is it even worth spending our time and money on?"

    This is why we want to do as much as possible for free now before we invest in it.
    So with that in mind, how do we go about this? Scrap the forum, that can be an additional add-on in the future, right now it's more about the members reviews because that's what's actually going to "be" the site.

    In terms of learning to edit/customize ourselves, I'm willing to give it a go. I know its massively different from website building, but I have blogged for quite a few years now and I use Blogger for this. I've managed to edit my blog into something not so ridged looking and if it wasn't for the domain name I could pass it off as something I made myself. This is what I'm looking at doing, for now, and if the idea works then we can invest some money into it with some confidence we may get it back. The only thing I'm really prepared to pay for now would be the domain name as I think this takes it from looking completely un-professional to something that at least seems half legit at least.

    In my mind I have this:
    - find a host with a range of free templates to pick and choose from and allows us to use our ipads
    - find some way of incorporating the users and members side of the site if the host does not already offer the ability to do this <- currently our biggest hurdle
    - create the site and customise it using my own limited knowledge and learning from google (just like I did with my blog, works fine for now)

    Hosts we have already looked at are:
    Squarespace - not able to use ipads
    Wix - really love the templates on here, but does not allow us to use our ipads
    Simpl - allows us to use our ipads but the templates are beyond basic and yucky

    Thanks!!

  5. #4
    Senior Member Vapr_Arts's Avatar
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    You want to start a business you are not confident in? Have you ever heard it takes money to make money? You are going about this all wrong and TheGame did a great job at explaining it with the lego metaphor. You want to build something but don't want to spend any money on it? How many companies do you think are successful with no initial investment? Business is a risk, and at this time its a risk you are not willing to take. Not only that, but when you take the "cheap" route in business its usually very visible. This visual lack of confidence will also discourage your visitors as well as damage your credibility.


    Regretfully sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk during lunch and other breaks

  6. #5
    Member byronc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompletelyClueless View Post
    Hi Everyone!

    So we are looking at creating a site that has some very specific needs. The best way I can think of to describe the sort of site we would be looking at creating would be: think TripAdvisor.

    We want the site to be made up of mostly members contributions, just like TripAdvisor, where they will review products/services etc.

    The reason I'm posting here today is to ask for pointers in the right direction, if you please.
    We are not looking to build the site from scratch, for now we are happy to find a host and choose a template from their site - if the site takes off as we hope then in the future we will look into getting it professionally built or learning how to do it ourselves.

    To save us from wasting money we will sign up for a free website first just for the initial "creating" of the site and then we will purchase a package and domain to make it "our own". Does this make sense? Is this a good way of doing it?

    The biggest catch is we only have iPad's to work on. We have access to a desktop for a month or so before we leave NZ to travel in Australia, so the initial building work needs to be done now and then the site needs to be easy to maintain on an iPad while we travel. We are not intimidated by this - from our research there are many sites out there that allow you to build a site from an ipad, but my biggest question to you guys is this:

    What host do you guys recommend for our specific needs? - more importantly the iPad access and the members contribution which is essential and non-negotiable for the site we envision.

    Thanks in advance for any help/advice/pointers you can offer.
    But please - no "it can't be done" posts, I wont believe you.
    This cant be a serious question, develop from an ipad?


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