Powerful Idea for a Website...Advice RequestedSubmitted by Gorgy on Fri, 10/19/2012 - 15:21
I have what I think is a great website that could be a huge boon to the cause of liberty. I can't get into the specifics yet since it is still in the conceptual phase, but DP will be the first to know once that changes.
I have never registered a domain, found hosting, built a site, etc. As it stands, I am a total newb to this, so I wanted to reach out to the community for some advice about setting it up and figuring out how much it might cost to get it off the ground. For the "tl;dr" version, skip to the bottom where specific questions are posed.
To achieve my vision, the site will have to have certain forum-like functionality, such as:
1. the ability for people to register and have a profile;
2. use of avatars;
3. ability to send messages to other users;
4. allowing subscriptions to certain "threads";
5. new pages must be able to be created on the fly by users; and
6. editing/updating "threads."
I imagine this will require a mySQL database or something, but I don't know how to build one or how complicated it is to maintain one. Bandwidth and site data need to be able to seamlessly scale as the site grows, though I don't expect this to be difficult, since it looks like a variety of webhosts now seem to offer unlimited data and bandwidth for only a few bucks a month.
My questions for the community are as follows:
1. What are the recommended ways to register a domain? I know godaddy.com and other sites act as registrars, but are some better or worse than others?
2. I want to own the domain to the maximum extent possible. Is there anything particular I need to do to ensure this happens? If this ties in to #1 above because some registrars use their own name to register a domain, any advice for which registrars do not use their own name is appreciated.
3. Since I don't know anything about actual web development or database building/maintenance/etc., I will have to get outside help. Are there any common pitfalls I should be wary about? Any advice for avoiding problems?
4. It seems like a ton of hosts now offer unlimited data and bandwidth, and some include several mySQL 1GB+ databases as part of the hosting plan, often for $10/month or less. As with #3 above, are there any pitfalls I should keep in mind when considering a host? Any particular questions I need to keep in mind?
5. I realize costs vary quite a lot according to the project and the people doing the work, but what is a general ballpark figure to have someone design a website and the type of database(s) I will need for the functionality I outlined above?
6. Are there any common issues I should keep an eye out for during the website design and build-out process to avoid disputes with the designer or unnecessary cost overruns?
7. This idea is something I feel very passionate about. What is the best way to deal with confidentiality concerns that might arise in the course of discussing project specifics with prospective designers?
That is all for now, though I imagine I might have some other questions once the ball gets rolling. I'm really excited by the idea and look forward to being able to reveal it to the DP community, because I think most people here will be really excited by it as well.
All advice is much appreciated and will be put to good use!