How to find someone to create my website and backend

thinkbigthinkbig subscriber Posts: 1
Hi all.

I have an idea for a web based business that in its ultimate
manisfestation will require significant IT resources, on the level of
an Amazon or Flickr.   Before I get there, I need to create a
prototype.  

I do not have the technical experience or time to create the site and backend on my own.  

How do I go about finding a someone(s) to whom I can dictate my
requirements?   I am slightly worried about shopping around
for bids and having to broadcast my exact idea to all possible
contractors.   What kinds of project plans and architecture
blueprints should I have prior to meeting with software
consultants?   Are UML diagrams and/or Data Flow Diagrams
sufficient?

Thanks all for your help.

Comments

  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    ThinkBig,Yes, UML and DataFlow Diagrams should be enough to get your point accross. Here is the thing though, you may want to give just a little information about the project before you begin. A Data Flow Diagram only shows how data and information is going to be handled. This would be the technical part of your web site. You might want to tell the software consultant, what language you will be using and why. In other words, have an outline to back up your Architecture and design. What are you planning on using? php? Ajax? XML?Let me know?? I`m interested in helping..
  • SEOGuruSEOGuru subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi,Actually, since you have an idea, the first step should be documenting your requirements in business form.  Meaning, focus on the `what` and the techies like us should be able to recommend the `how`.   Then the techies should be able to take your business requirements and translate them into a sitemap and a logical flow and estimate cost, effort, etc.In projects like these, the biggest challenge is documenting and clearly understanding the requirements of the project.  Therefore, we always recommend a `requirements gathering` phase which is generally 3-5 days of discussions wherein we sit with clients like you to understand what you want to achieve and come up with a scope statement that is clear and detailed.  Another forum member who I won`t name, is in the same situation and has indicated that that he is planning on proceeding with us to get the requirements nailed down.After that, the rest becomes the responsibility of the IT team - Unless there are clear reasons for you wanting a specific language, we generally detemine language usage - php, asp, etc.  Lastly, all our solutions come with easy to use admin tools so again it makes it easy for the end client to focus on the business and not the technical end of things like learning how to upload files using ftp and using other softwares.Good luck and feel free to reach out if you have further questions.
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    Scrapbiz,Thank you for bringing that up. I feel your pain. Alot of times, the customer`s first answer is I`ll outsource it to India or Philipines.. This is by far the wrong thing to do, aside from the techlish, the language barrier is higher. I think for someone to design something for you, you need to be present, you have to be able to communicate your idea to the company you are going to do business with. Although, the telephone is a good communication tool, you can not address every issue through the telephone and fax machine. Some things need to be sketched out and planned. I`m sorry to hear about your project. Well, keep in mind if you ever need assistance, I am more than happy to help you. besides that`s why we are all here for.
  • 818bizguy818bizguy subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi ThinkBig,You`ve got a great question, and I think it`s one that every new business owner ponders.  I know I did...There are a couple of ways you can go about it.  First, you can create a full business plan, have the software company sign an NDA, then submit the plan to them for technology analysis.  Unless you`ve heard that a company is trustworthy and reliable, I wouldn`t go this route.  The better option (in my opinion) is to be vague, yet detailed enough for a software company to get the gist of what you`re looking to do, then have them give you a "ballpark" quote to determind whether you can afford their services.I was lucky enough to find a company that would do that for me (well, lucky, if you consider that I did a fair amount of research.  *grin*).  If you`re interested, the company is called Bitscribe (www.bitscribe.net) and they gave me just what I was looking for.  I got that ballpark quote before I sent them anything too revealing about my project.  Once I saw the estimate, I agreed to have them sign an NDA, then sent them more information and they gave me a formal quote.  They really handled things well and I`d highly recommend them to anyone.  No pressure at all either.Anyway, regardless of who you choose, I would strongly recommend trying to find a company that is willing to work with what you`re comfortable providing them initially.  Anything otherwise would smell a bit fishy to me.  At the end of the day, just trust your instincts and I`m sure you`ll be fine.Best of luck to you!  Let me know if you have any questions for me or about the software company I used.-J
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    How can someone quote a project before even knowing what it`s about. From my personal experience, There excists a way in getting a company to produce a fully funtioning web site for you with-out you having to worry about getting robbed, or short changed. I currently acquired a huge project from one of my clients, and his concern was. Well how do I know if you will deliver what you promised, I reversed the question back at him and asked him, how do I know you are going to pay me.. We both looked at eachother and laughed... So a good friend of mine let me in; to the secret of his success and the tools that he uses to close deals. His tools is called www.escrow.com</A>... What you do is you have them hold your cash for you until the project is completed and you are satisfied. This is a good way to offer collateral to your clients. You put the available funds into an account and like that they at least know the money is there, and perhaps you can have them develop your web site. Ever since I discovered this, I use it on a daily basis...
  • DavidDavid subscriber Posts: 3
    Hi all.I have an idea for a web based business that in its ultimate manisfestation will require significant IT resources, on the level of an Amazon or Flickr.   Before I get there, I need to create a prototype.   I do not have the technical experience or time to create the site and backend on my own.   How do I go about finding a someone(s) to whom I can dictate my requirements?   I am slightly worried about shopping around for bids and having to broadcast my exact idea to all possible contractors.   What kinds of project plans and architecture blueprints should I have prior to meeting with software consultants?   Are UML diagrams and/or Data Flow Diagrams sufficient?Thanks all for your help.
    Ultimately, it will depend on what you`re willing to spend.  Time, no matter how hands-on or hands-off you will be with this project, is a must.  Otherwise, the final product will not meet your specifications.  This is after all, something you`re going to be using day in and day out for your business.
    If your budget is a few hundred to a thousand, I`d take a look at open source solutions to create your prototype.  They`re free non-license software solutions to run websites that give you an idea of how a site`s backend is.  While they require lots of customization, the cost is minimal and you can experiment endlessly without having to pay.  Examples of e-commerce open source packages include Drupal.
    If your budget is much more substansial, then I highly recommend you beef on web languages.  Knowing what both nuts and bolts help you keep on the same page as whomever you hire, if you choose to do so.
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