Where to Start?
Hi :) ,
I have very poor knowledge in Web development since my field in Electronics. But, I want to develop a web application in my spare time. But, I wonder where to start and what to select since there are many options available. :(
My site will be providing users with the information of available Tourist accommodations in my town. Accommodation providers will be able to register in my site and enter booked dates and details of their place. When Accommodation seekers go through my site , they will be able to search available accommodation by date and when they click on the selected accommodation they will be routed to a dedicated page of that service provider.
To develop such a simple web application, I have decided to use PHP,MySql and Apache. But, I came to know about a famous CMS ,Drupal, which claims to be the best solution for web development these days. But , I believe it is good only for News casting sites. What do you all think?
How can I start this web development? What are the tools to start? What should I read? Any good references? any sample websites? My aim is to learn open source web development while providing people who comes to my town as tourists with easy access to information.
Thank you all in advance. Appreciate your time. :)
Have a great week. :)
Wow ... a big project for someone new to PHP and MySQL.
Yes, Drupal and Joomla would be good for your application.
There are hundreds of plug-ins, and modules available for various
user profiles, updating stuff, etc.
I see one problem with your idea ...
The businesses in your area won't have the time to keep going to your site
and editing the accomodations of their businesses ... especially hotels or motels.
You'll discover that your site will never have current (or valid) information.
That means, you'll be doing all of the site updates, and that won't last very long.
You could just have a local business directory, with info, photos, links, etc.
If you are lucky, your town has "Free City-Wide WiFi" ... that means, you can provide info
to any tourists with iPods, laptops, and WiFi PDA's. That would be something that
your local businesses would be interested in. Someone driving into town could pull-over
and instantly find everything they need about your town's businesses, along with some
simple Google maps.
Without the details of dates and accomodations, you could program this with very
simple PHP/MySQL, and the site upkeep will not be too time consuming. You would not
need Drupal or Joomla, just a simple, easy to use website.
Your site could become the "Visitor's Information Center" online.
Yes, that's a pretty steep challenge if you are new to web development.
I'd recommend having a look at Joomla rather than Drupal first as I think it's much easier to understand. Looks like there are a number of plugins that might help you here.
While it would be quite some work to both build and launch, to the extent that both visitors and accommodation owners use it, there are sites that do this:
Best of luck....
I think you would be better off to contact the development companies doing the jobs for you. It is not the matter of not being able to do such things but would be the matter of time.
You know, after reading tens of books and practicing a lot, you would just begin finding answers to thousands of questions in your mind and it would be spending time to get them.
You can hire a web developer or a freelancer and come up with your queries and new things what you want to teach and give some extra time and efforts. I'm you will be able to learn a lot...
Cheap used cars
If you are trying to create a application related to electronics then C-Language will be very helpful.
I'd go with Joomla also - especially for the plug ins.
What ever way you go, there will be a steep learning curve but CMS was designed for those that dont code (ooops sorry forum).
@babyPeter: What art of the world are you in?
I have built a solution to fill a gap and you are welcome to partake if you are interested.
feel free to pm me.
if any income stream is hoped for OR the OP wants to provide critical mass of information to the user, they will have to do all the work with regard to listings. And most accommodation won't pay for listings because they can get a booking forst (from other sites) and they pay those companies for having actually got them the booking.
As for my quotes: real time booking info is where it is at right now and the plan suggested is so frought with delays that info will be inaccurate and therefore lose the trust of the visitor very quickly. The businesses won't update the info because it adds another cost to their business - one which they do not need to suffer, in order to gain sufficient bookings.
And the ability for you to do the updates will still have serious delays (losing the trust of the visitor and discrediting the site), not to mention the difficulty of contacting every business to see what new bookings they got since you last updated them. They will get fed up with you calling.
And should anyone expect a business to provide such information when there would be many people trying to get it from them, filling up their day with phone calls or emails, for them to have to repeat the process those numerous times? I don't think so!
So moving on to the listings site idea; what would set the site apart from the many other that provide listings and which have a low take up rate because to subscribe, it is only worthwhile (for the accommodation providers), if they actually get business.
There is a clear disconnect between listings and achieved business so they won't do so. That is why they don't pay at all for listings with the bigger sites, because they get bookings for no outlay. They are mostly content to pay from the income received from a booking so in all cases with the big sites, no matter the so-called discounts, there is still a fee paid to the booking site by the accommodation provider of between 12% and 40%.
Bazz knows the "accommodation business" ... so listen to what he says.
Drupal is very good in ecommerce sites however, you need to be very familiar with their modules and even create your own if you are planning to do applications like this. If you are not running for time, you can study the module creations or if you want, you can use frames for your app. Hence, if you want to save time, there are so many talented programmers in the net to do the job for you in smaller price.
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