Building a small content management system

i just got a call from a friend about a color/home improvement company who like their website redone, including a cms for the various colors they’re offering.

since i’ve never done this before, i told him that i’ll look into it and call him back at the end of the day

i know just a bit of php, but since i got time on my hands, it wouldn’t be impossible to dive deep enough into it to get an acceptable site running…

what do you think? should i try?
is php at all the right weapon of choice for this?

basically i don’t think it’s a smart choice to participate in any project where i don’t have enough knowledge not to mess things up, but honestly… i could just very well use the money :-/

It would be great if i could use your tutorial, digital, of course i’ll return the favour, hopefully will get to negotiate soon, but, unfortunately, i just found out that i have to pass yet another barrier before things even get started :smirk:

i had my first meeting with the company today and found out that there are 2 web agencies, with whom i’m supposed to compete, “if” i want the job :sigh:

so, for the first round, i’ll have to make a presentation to convince them that i’m the right one for the job. i doesn’t seem too hard to make it, they seem to mainly care about the price. they told me already, what the other agencies charge, which makes it easy on one hand, but on the other i’m sure if i come up with some nice, unique ideas at a reasonable price to convince them they’ll just ask the cheapest bidder to make it that way… :-/

I’ll try of course, but i’m uncertain how they will decide…

i’ll keep you posted, if you want to :wink:

well i’ll gladely send the tutorial to you…

as far as that competing thing goes… their just trying to get the best price, i personally woud tell them to scratch my ***. either they want you to do it or they don’t. i’ve been through this b4 myself, and personally i wouldn’t watse my time if i were you. like i said, either you got the job or you don’t. i got screwed many times like that, i don’t compete anymore, i suggest you do the same.

but please keep us posted, and say the word and i’ll send you the tutorial.

Yeah quote them what you normally would, and if they don’t accept, say no deal. It’s not worth it to do all this work for a tiny amount of money.

my first content management systhem was as simple php script that wrote down variables in a few textfiles. worked fine, and I needed no mysql database :wink:
It isn’t that hard at all, get a good PHP online reference and collect the parts you need together. Learning by trying worked fine for me.

here’s some news:

today the client send an e-mail containing an excel-file to me, inside were some details on what kind of website he’s looking for, i had to read it twice to be sure he’s serious:

  • he want’s a portfolio of his company including history, philosophy, some general info on the product, something bout the staff, well, the usual…

    • then he want’s a section with all the shops his company has

    • then a general section about decoration, lifestyle, colors and materials (something for the average surfer)

  • then a section where about 6000 products (he gave me that number) should be featured, every product with photo, description, links to the producers, and a few things more, plus login for major customers to get extra details. and this whole section should update itself automatically and periodically, by comparing itself with another database

    • then a section for their terms of service

    • then a disclaimer

    • then a well sorted link section on various topics

    • then a forum or some way for his customers to advertise themselves

    • then a contact form

  • and finally he wants this whole thing to be easily updateable, he wants to be able to add new sections himself, and adding text has to work like in word, excel or power point

    what do you think so far?
    i’ve never had such a huge project…, hope you don’t mind if i ask, but how much would a site like that actually be worth? seriously :wink:

Man, use what I use: Mambo!
It’s fully featured, you’ll find components/ modules to do most (all?) of the requested stuff, and set-up is a snap, so you could easily concentrate on branding/customizing/layout :wink:
Check my site (just started about a month ago in my spare time), check the “weblinks” section > mambo for other links, check which is build with Mambo… and if you decide to use it, I can provide basic advice if you run into pbs :wink: Integrates fully with phpbb as forum too…
Or if you really want to code it all yourself, you better ask for **BIG ** bucks!!

depends man if i were to code that puppy, no less the 4 g’s

i’m not sure if i can believe him, but the client told me the first and cheaper agency offered to do it for around € 6.000 (~ $5.500) and the second wants € 15.000 (~ $14.000) for the whole project, tho he might just have made that up to get me to offer something below €6.000…

should i go in between, close to the cheaper one?
somewhere at € 8.000 (~ $7.400)?

do you mean thousands?


and you could ask to see the proposals from the other prospects am i right?

You should charge at least 10,000 and estimate at least a month of fulltime coding if you’re doing everything by hand. DON’T use PHP, you’re going to curse yourself, because most likely you’d be using a mysql database, and connectivity between your pages and a database is much easier in ASP/(Access or SQL Server) than with PHP/MySQL. It’s even easier if you’re using ASP.NET

The stuff that I bolded is going to be the hard stuff if you hand code it. I would recommend just licencing vBulletin for the forum. The hardest part is going to be getting the database to synchronize itself automatically with another database. I bet the guy’s database is in Access or SQL server, so you would have to avoid using MySQL.

The adding text part like word/excel/powerpoint part is going to be hard if you handcode it, not if you buy a CMS. You should just licence out a CMS for yourself if you get the contract - don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

@prstudio: sorry, i forgot that the punctuation for numbers isn’t the same in german and english, i meant thousands. :trout:
I’ll try to get to see the other proposals, and keep you posted if i can take a look at it.

   @eyezberg & lava: thanks for your input! :) 
   @lava again: i'll start looking for a good cms to license right away, seems like the safest thing to do, thanks again. 

for the forum, i was thinking about vBulletin too, but i can imagine that he’ll reject it since it takes more than word or excel experience to maintain it.

generally, i’ll try to get as much time as i can, two months would make me feel a lot more comfortable, the synchronizing database thing gives me quite a headache :-/

   did i say thanks yet? thanks, i wouldn't be able to make this without you :)