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  1. #1
    Gav
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    Hey all,

    I created a Property Development Website a little over a year ago which I am hoping will become a forum/community website for people in my state (Tasmania, Australia) to become involved in Property Development.

    The website has been online for a little over 12mths so far, but has suffered massively due to my hiring a very old-school programmer who coded the website in .NET. I don't know too much about the history of coding and different styles, but I'm told this is what has made it a disaster.

    The website has a number of key fundamentals including:

    - Articles Section - articles on all aspects of Property Development for beginners to advanced. article comments, social sharing, likes etc...

    - Business Directory - contains listings for over 10,000 property-related businesses in my state all in their rightful categories. businesses will be able to upload pictures/videos/descriptions etc... and listings will also relate to their usernames/profile in the forum.

    - Property 101 - articles on basic ideas/philosophies of Property Investing (I want to have a "Manage My Portfolio" type program eventually for people to use)

    - Forum - Standard community forum

    - Internal Advertising Manager - I don't want the website to be run off Google Ads. As it's a website with a highly specific geographical restriction, I think I can sell advertising to local businesses easily enough without having to share revenue with Google.

    I'm just about to get the website rebuilt using a custom CMS coded in .php, which I'll post about in the CMS forum to get some opinions on how well it will work.

    Any reviews, suggestions, feedback is more than welcome.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
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    the website rebuilt using a custom CMS coded in .php
    And that will be the topic of your "I'm told this is what has made it a disaster" post one year from now.

    In the future, every web shop will have their own, custom, proprietary CMS. And they will say all the others are a disaster. Trouble is, every last one of them will be right.

    Do a user test. Find a problem someone can point to with the .net version. See if there aren't any *other* problems that do not involve selling you on invoking the animal spirits of next year's dot-three disaster.

    If you'll excuse me, I now have to check on my post in a CMS developer thread that their proprietary .PHP CMS is a financial disaster. I shall attempt to make money by convincing them it's not what they are doing, it's not the flawed business model, not the fact they never tested with a user, couldn't be because the app never had a purpose; it's somebody else's fault.

    Easy money. Best part: Never addressing the real root cause, it's a well you can go back to ...again ...and again ..and again. Vampires should be so mirror averse.

  4. #3
    Gav
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    DC856,

    Please feel free to suggest an alternative solution.

    To understand why I think that the coding of my website has killed me in the last 12 months, goto it and look at the source code, it will make your eyes bleed IMO.

    We get practically no traffic what-so-ever from search engines, I'm assuming because of how horrible the code is. Compare that with the code for websites I've recently started building on a Custom .php CMS here and let me know which you think Mr. Google will like more?

    The current website also has no "Community" type features such as article commenting, operational forum (it's in an iFrame with no unique-page URLs).

    If you could suggest a better alternative to build the website, I'd be more than happy to listen.

  5. #4
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    Please feel free to suggest an alternative solution.
    Was there a problem mentioned? A firm rule which puts me at sharp odds with the people selling this stuff: No Solutions Without Problems.

    Have you heard of all the not proprietary CMSes out there?

    Given the current state of CMS development there is exactly one reason for a proprietary CMS -- customer lock-in. Code obfuscation -- making it so convoluted nobody but the dev can work on it -- is a necessary companion to lock-in.

    Mr. Google
    ... I mean besides the anthropomorphizing of Google problem. When I suggested a user test, it was with the understanding Google is not a user ...or human ...nor does googlebot have a wallet.

    When googlebot does have a wallet, and is addressed as mister, your problem should vanish. But not until. I look forward to your similar post one year from now.

  6. #5
    Gav
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC856 View Post
    When I suggested a user test, it was with the understanding Google is not a user ...or human ...nor does googlebot have a wallet.
    The test would be "Search for a Property Development query in Google.... see what website you find". We fail that test 99/100 times.

    I think that the server may have been blacklisted (possibly spam emails being sent from it) and a few other dodgey problems (as well as the code) that mean we fail heaps at ranking in Google.

    Once people come to the site, there's still a lot of work that needs doing, but if they don't get there in the first place, it's all in vein.

  7. #6
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    Once people come to the site, there's still a lot of work that needs doing, but if they don't get there in the first place, it's all in vein.
    That is the stock answer, straight from the book. It's dead wrong. But it's your year. Spend it as you choose. Apparently that would be building your SEO's kids' college fund.

  8. #7
    Gav
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC856 View Post
    That is the stock answer, straight from the book. It's dead wrong. But it's your year. Spend it as you choose.
    Things I need to work on:

    - Contributing more articles
    - Building community (Facebook, Enewsletter etc)
    - Cleaner Code & SEO (Programming based)
    - Improved advertising manager (Programming based)
    - Relaunch forum & add community features (Programming based)
    - Integrate Bus. Directory -> Community Features (Programming based)

    Can I get some feedback and not just slagging me off?

  9. #8
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    Site's very slow to load, and when it does even small images (< 100k) take time to come up. Is it on shared hosting?

    Why a full custom CMS? Why not look at one of the bigger ones out there, e.g. Drupal / Joomla, and then customize that?
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  10. #9
    Gav
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    I think the site may be slow to load because of the programming and hosting. That's the only thing that makes sense to me. When I rebuild it, I'm renting a VPS and it will be on it's own hosting account on a server I can manage.

    Wired - Do you think it could be rebuilt on WordPress or Joomla? There's quite a bit of functionality (Advertising Manager, Forum/Directory/Articles all need to be interlinked slightly). I assumed it would be too complex to build on WP/Joomla.... wrong?

    I've probably built 30-50 websites in the last 2 years, but I only project manage. So I don't have any technical experience, only what I've been told by developers who have done work for me.


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