Author Topic: attention internet/website gurus  (Read 4337 times)

k-vette

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attention internet/website gurus
« on: January 24, 2014, 11:26:17 PM »
I'm in need of a website and am looking for the right service.  I'm familiar with WordPress and have created websites before, but what I need is more complex.  I need scalable growth for potentially very high traffic, transaction handling for credit cards and the like, separate buyer/customer login accounts with "virtual stores" etc.  Basically its beyond my skill set and I want it to be bullet proof.  Having integrated iphone/android apps would also be crucial.

Where would you go?  I have two ways of going about it - paying for the development cost (but I might have to involve others to bring in more cash).  Or, if I found the right person with an understanding of my "vision" I'd willingly trade the work and web upkeep for a percentage of the profits/company.  In my opinion that's fair and there's enough potential growth for all involved.

If I knew how, I'd do it all myself.  Unfortunately I don't - nor do I feel like the idea can wait while I learn.

Where do you look?

iamlindoro

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Re: attention internet/website gurus
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 11:35:12 PM »
It would probably help to get a sense of just how much you intend to invest-- The site is the least of your worries.  Adding eCommerce (let's say you use the free Magento, you still need a Magento implementor for that), complex backend/API logic (most likely a different guy), and mobile apps (1-2 mobile devs) is going to get pricey, *fast* if you want to do it right.  You might be able to hire an Indian or other third-world firm to do some of this development work, but you minimally would a PM and solution architect/team lead stateside to make sure everything is being done right.

Realistically, if it's a complicated site, eCommerce environment, and a moderately basic mobile app for two platforms, I'd say you'd be looking at a minimum of 80-100K in development costs over 3-4 months (based purely on my imagination of what you're talking about + my experience as a developer).

If you're hoping to get it done on the extreme cheap, you will need to go with an all Indian or other cheap labor team, and the product is likely to be pretty shoddy in the end.

gooki

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Re: attention internet/website gurus
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 12:30:30 AM »
I'd stick with of the shelf solutions until you've proven your business is worth the additional investment.

WooComerce with WordPress or
Concrete5 or
Magento

Would be good places to start.

As for mobile apps, creating a responsive website and the wrapping it with PhoneGap/Apache Cordova should do the trick for a first phase.

Essentially what you need to do is figure out what you maximum acceptable loss on this venture is and then build something that fits your budget.

k-vette

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Re: attention internet/website gurus
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 07:51:35 AM »
Would a wordpress site using woocommerce be something that can get scaled up over time?  80-100k is definitely out to start.  I was thinking a few thousand could get it started honestly.  If someday it does cost 80-100k - that could be ok if the potential number of users catch on.

I thought of contacting someone I know in India, but the quality does concern me.  He tends to think that you just need to get the job done quick and cheap.  Customer service isn't exactly a specialty....

Am I over thinking things?  Is it possible for me to create this functionality and pay something the big $$$ to upgrade it down the road?

Fuzz

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Re: attention internet/website gurus
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 03:23:02 PM »
yes - wordpress is scalable -- handling traffic depends on the server, not whether it's wordpress built. check out the thesis theme, woo commerce, etc. i'd start with the site and if that makes $, worry about the apps later.

Nords

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Re: attention internet/website gurus
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 09:44:21 PM »
I'm in need of a website and am looking for the right service.  I'm familiar with WordPress and have created websites before, but what I need is more complex.  I need scalable growth for potentially very high traffic, transaction handling for credit cards and the like, separate buyer/customer login accounts with "virtual stores" etc.  Basically its beyond my skill set and I want it to be bullet proof.  Having integrated iphone/android apps would also be crucial.
Where would you go? 
Where do you look?
The first thing I'd do is question everything you "know".  Do you really need more complexity?  Is a typical ISP able to help you scale up, or are you worried that Amazon won't have enough cloud servers for your eager buyers?  Have you tested out existing credit-card systems, let alone PayPal?  Do you really want to create your own virtual stores, or have eBay & Amazon already taken care of that for you?  Have you looked at aStores on Amazon Associates to see whether your buyer/customers could use those?  Do you really want apps, or would you be able to work with a blog theme that's mobile-responsive in their existing browser?  Because, to put it mildly, app development is a festering sore of resource-sucking time wastage.

I think you could try to slap something together with WordPress and eJunkie (or any other order-fulfillment software) and then see what bandwidth does to you.  Move from a shared resources server to a virtual server to a dedicated server, and then step up from there.  If you want to put more research into existing models then see what Pat Flynn is using at SmartPassiveIncome.com. 

Perhaps it'd be worth your time to hire a local web design firm for a free hour's discussion followed by 5-10 hours of scope & resources analysis.  Then you could decide whether you want to proceed to build it with contractors from WorkersOnCall.com or Odesk or Elance.

I watch startup companies pitch their websites all the time.  It's extremely frustrating when they ask for money to redesign Internet commerce from scratch.  The usual answer is "Let us know when you have traction & revenue."

Paul der Krake

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Re: attention internet/website gurus
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 10:40:05 PM »
I am going to say this with all the love in the world, please don't take it the wrong way.

From your description, it sounds like what you really need is a technical co-founder. Unfortunately, ideas are a dime a dozen and execution is what matters. I think you are vastly underestimating the amount of work required if having "integrated iphone/android apps with the website" is a key part of your design.

You should read this (ignore the abrasive tone, though):
http://humbledmba.com/please-please-please-stop-asking-how-to-find

 

k-vette

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Re: attention internet/website gurus
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 07:02:31 AM »
I found someone yesterday that's a possible "technical co-founder".

No I don't need to redesign anything from the ground up, just need to find the right resources to put the site together.  Its not something that would work with Amazon or eBay.  (I use those for selling things all the time)

A good mobile site would serve the purpose without an app - but I do think that would be a very helpful selling point.

I may start designing the site and putting things together after reading that link and some of the comments here.

Insanity

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Re: attention internet/website gurus
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 07:40:03 AM »
I'm going to harp on something here..

I do software engineering and security for a living, and I hope the person you have working with you puts this as a priority..

1) User authentication - If you are having users on your site, then please do one of to things.  Either tie into an existing authenticator (google, Facebook, OAUTH), or find a trusted user store open source system.  Do not build your own.

2) On Line Credit Cards -  Tie into Pay Pal or some other system.  Once you store credit cards you need to deal with a lot more complexity on your own end.

If you need any other advice on security and building your site, please reach out to me over PM.  I am not looking for money out of this, but I am a firm believer that while hackers like to tinker with things, when it comes to websites there needs to be more control over what goes on the net - very similarly to how it is controlled with what goes on the roads.

</threadjack></rant></soapbox>

Daley

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Re: attention internet/website gurus
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 08:31:53 AM »
I do software engineering and security for a living, and I hope the person you have working with you puts this as a priority..

Amen, brother! Preach on.

Now, I'm gonna reopen those tags again for a moment to testify.

<threadjack><rant><soapbox>

K-vette, towards the point of credit card security Insanity was speaking on, let me introduce you to the PCI Data Security Standards that every individual/organization who wants to process credit cards must pass to avoid being held liable for security breaches.

Read through that wall of text for mandatory compliance standards yet? Have you seen the costs to get PCI certified just so you can take credit cards?

Now take a look at what happened to a couple retailers recently who pass PCI security audits and take their financial security seriously:

Target cyber breach hits 40 million payment cards at holiday peak
1.1 million payment cards exposed to malware in Neiman Marcus hack

Use Amazon or Paypal to process your payments.
Use OAUTH or another established authentication system for your account management. OAUTH2 has its own problems if it's not properly configured, but it's still a good site better than rolling your own.

Make sure your "technical co-founder" understands the importance of protecting and securing the SQL database (especially if you're using a framework like Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.), how to mitigate PHP injection attacks, and in general not suck when it comes to taking security seriously. If you don't do this, you will be a low-hanging target and you will betray the trust of your customers irreparably when things go sideways... and they will go sideways if you're not serious about security.

</threadjack></rant></soapbox>

Nords

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Re: attention internet/website gurus
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 10:39:55 PM »
I found someone yesterday that's a possible "technical co-founder".

No I don't need to redesign anything from the ground up, just need to find the right resources to put the site together.  Its not something that would work with Amazon or eBay.  (I use those for selling things all the time)

A good mobile site would serve the purpose without an app - but I do think that would be a very helpful selling point.

I may start designing the site and putting things together after reading that link and some of the comments here.
Heh.  Well, I'm done here.