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whats the best way to manage building complex website?

alohaaloha subscriber Posts: 1
Hi, I have outsourced and build regular e-commerce websites in the past. I think I have enough royal customers for my niche business and now I want to get to the next level. Looking to build a website that allows people to trade, swap, buy and sell in social network environment and would like to start out with simple features first, but do not want to spend too much money until I reach around 100000 members. My question is whats to best way to approach this project? Should I hire different programmers(I am looking for long term relationship) separately for database, PHP, Graphics and manage myself, or hire Project manager and have him/her manage the team? or find a Freelancer knows how to do everything? or use a Company with many types of programmers?  I know a good Graphic designer, but is it possible to create graphic aspect of it then, hire programmers later?  What make website creating expensive? complexity of the website or when you have a lots of traffic. I know from a start I am going to have about 10000 members sign up for my site. I know I`ll do well if i can execute my plan....small is the big thing now!


  • alohaaloha subscriber Posts: 1
    I do have project manager software and I had been using it for my business since my partners are located in Hawaii, Japan and Seattle, India. Over 90% of my customers are from out of US also.
  • starrhornestarrhorne subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi Aloha,If you find the right consultant, they`ll be able to handle all of the back-end and will know designers you could use for the front end. From your description, this sounds like a sizable project to have developed from scratch. So if you`re not too familiar with software development, you should definitely get someone in your corner who is. And you might find that it`s a little more expensive than you would like
  • alohaaloha subscriber Posts: 1
    How much do you expect to pay for the right consultant? and how do you find the right consultant for my project?. Whats the  difference between Project manager and consultant? I am not looking for marketing nor business consultant. Only looking to create a website with very minimum features now and adding many other features later, so it shouldn`t cost that much in the beginning right?  I think key is to build a scalable website without spending too much money first since anybody can build great websites with big budged. 
  • starrhornestarrhorne subscriber Posts: 0
    Generally, if you have a staff of full-time programmers, you might hire a project manager to keep them inline. If you just need some software built, then you`ll hire a consultant who will build it for you and handle most of the details. To be honest, without knowing exactly what you want, It`s hard to say how much it would cost. Something that may seem simple to a non-programmer might in fact be really hard.As an example, look at this application: http://dropsend.com/It`s a pretty simple service, and I think it cost them about $30,000 to build. Now if they had gone with someone from india or eastern europe, it might have cost less, but sill would have been several thousand.
  • alohaaloha subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks for your reply. Starting to see the picture more clearly. From my past experience building e-commerce sites, company in India did much better job creating my website for $1000 then $10000(did not even finish) I spent building here in US, so I will definately outsource my next project outside of US (I just do not see any advantage of using programmers from US unless the person lives next door to me.....or are programmers in US has much better skill then outside of US? if they do, is that skill 10 time more valuable then lesser skill? ). I can hire the team of project manager and programmers myself, but seems like key is to hire a good consultant(from US or outside) and a good project manager that has own team(outside) or do you think good programmer is more important than good consultant or good project manager if you have to choose one.Since PHP is open source code, I would imagine its pretty easy to find a programmers knows how to build a site right?(seems like there are millions of good graphic designers) finding good project manager seems pertty easy too, or its not that simple?  I think finding a good consultant seems to be the hardest? (I am looking for combination of amazon, ebay, facebook and few more other sites) All I`m looking for in the beginning though is to perform one simple task similar to match.com. I think right now is not the time to spend a lots of money. I am looking to spend as little as possible to build a quality site that can grow in the future(I think its easier to raise more money when I have 100000 active members). any good ideas?  ps. how much do you think good consultant in US will charge me?
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    I`m sure there are php scripts/programs already developed that can be used.
    No need to re-create the wheel.
  • starrhornestarrhorne subscriber Posts: 0
    Sorry If I was being a little bit of a wet blanket.Yeah, if you can find a pre-built product that will do what you want it to do, it would save a lot of money. I know there are dating systems for php out there. And there are sites that let you build your own social network...ning, etc.Also, if it`s the sort of thing someone could throw together in a weekend (and you don`t mind rough edges, bugs, etc) then that`s a lot cheaper. But when you want to expand you may have to scrap the whole thing and rewrite.Building any kind of polished, stable program from scratch  is a whole different ballgame from doing a few tweaks to ZenCart. As for pricing, someone would just need to talk with you for a few hours and draw up a list of requirements. Depending on the experience of the consultant, they`ll probably want $20-$60 / hr.
  • alohaaloha subscriber Posts: 1
    I know "Playboy Magazine" is using ning for their social networking site........now I am getting little confused. Does it make sense to start out with pre-made products first to save money and time, then when I decided to expand, then build custom site and switch? or its not that easy to move from pre-build to custom site? How do you find a qualify consultant ?
  • starrhornestarrhorne subscriber Posts: 0
    If you can find prebuilt software that does what you want, then sure - use it. As for finding a good consultant, there`s craigslist as well as good job boards like the one at joelonsoftware.com. If you`re looking for overseas help, there`s boards for that too.
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