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What does it take to build a web site like this

i was wondering what it takes to build and operate a site like slickdeals.net? What kind of knowledge; examples:


-html
-css
-xml
-iis
-sql
-java
-php

Am I on the right track here as far as the skill set needed to build a site like this from scratch? Can you add other skills/languages needed?

thanks for your input
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tobe1424
Asked:
tobe1424
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4 Solutions
 
kiwistagCommented:
Depending on how heavy you want to replicate the site, have you considered a CMS suite and addons/plugins that allow marketing features? Although I'm mainly familiar with Joomla, there are others such as Drupal which may be beneficial and save a lot of backend time creating the infrastructure.
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DustinKikuchiCommented:
The problem with answering this question is that there are potentially countless ways in which to do so.

One person may look at the site (or concept) and decide to go one route.
Another may look at it and do something entirely different...

And in the end the results could very easily end up nearly indistinguishable from one another.

The broadest scope the question could be answered in would be in terms of general chunks of the site that would need to be brought together which would include:
database (most likely some SQL variant but certainly wouldn't have to be)
front-end design (this would include the graphic design elements)
layout (broken off from the front-end to focus on the code portion -- HTML/CSS, etc.)
backend (what is the site run off of as a codebase?  This is where the largest variety of options comes into play... PHP, ASP, etc. etc. etc.)

You mention IIS which is basically a Windows based web server.  Something you need to know?  Possibly... Of course many sites are run on Apache in *nix as well.  Even then, many people run websites without really knowing the nuts and bolts about the server configuration.  That depends a lot on whether you're having the site hosted with one of the many web hosts out there or if you're hosting it yourself (physically or otherwise).

Long story short -- there is A LOT that goes into a site and myriad ways of tackling any given potential site.  Wish I could give you a more concrete answer.
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lordrtCommented:
You must know PHP and MYSQL for a start, along with HTML and CSS as well. If you are planning for effects etc then flash and jquery could be needed as well.

To help develop quickly you can use CMS like Joomla, Drupal or WordPress to start with, or even some online website generators which can be available (google search for them), thus not needing an intensive knowledge for the languages mentioned above.
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kiwistagCommented:
Do you have hosting sorted? If not there are many different hosting providers which can host with a CMS to do all the dirty work for you.
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tobe1424Author Commented:
thanks for the input.

I did not consider cms. I was actually considering adding skills to my existing knowledge base in order to build a site like this from scratch.

But if i can overcome plenty of the "backend" than i wouldn't mind going cms.

my next question would be...can using CMS prevail just as much as a site built from scratch when considering SEO'ing and pay per click ad's will be what drives this site?

cheers
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kiwistagCommented:
The bigger the site built from scratch, the more code and backend involved. Not that I'm lazy but it has freed up a lot of my time moving this way. Consider a product like Artisteer for building the layout/template for your site also.

At least with CMS most of the engines are free but you do pay for some of the 'commercial' addons.

Regards,
Bevan
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tobe1424Author Commented:
Yes I do have hosting sorted out

So what you guys are trying to say is that the more code the more overhead and bugs I will encounter vs using CMT..commercial add ons?

I'm am more of a DIY type..so if building from scratch yield a better ROI.. why not start from scratch..which commercial apps are you talking about?
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kiwistagCommented:
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tobe1424Author Commented:
oh I see.

I also see the site is driven by a Content Delivery Network (maxcdn)

Would this significantly increase recognition and speeds?
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tobe1424Author Commented:
Would CMS allow me to do such things as having a frontpage which link to threads or "deals" going on in the forums?
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DustinKikuchiCommented:
Most CMS systems do have a front portal page that would allow you to do things like that, yes.  On the CDN front -- it's something you would certainly want to consider if your site starts getting real traffic.  Distributing the strain placed on your site across multiple servers and placing the content that eats bandwidth on a CDN with lots of it, helps the overall responsiveness of your site.  If it's something you want to implement from  the start, you certainly can and AmazonAWS allows you to do so free of charge using S3.  Their free usage tier has some restrictions but they're fairly generous and after the monthly free usage their prices aren't outrageous.
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tobe1424Author Commented:
good info..would it be redundant to have multiple CDN providers? Or would this make a site even more responsive ?
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tobe1424Author Commented:
last but not least

kiwistag:

you asked earlier, "Depending on how heavy you want to replicate the site"

I want to heavily replicate the site since i find it very easy to navigate...but I am trying a similar audience but in a different industry.

Would CMS be the way to go? Based on your pointers and the recent research I've done on CMS, it looks like i can manage many daunting tasks on the fly, but i don't want to be limited by design/layouts.
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kiwistagCommented:
It is sort of a Catch 22. You can do a lot with CMS's but they do have limitations in their structure. It is all Open Source code so you can modify the source if you want to (try to keep to the GPL T&C's however). Yes, CMS does make it easier to manage the site and if you use a provider which has a CPanel base to manage the site it does make it even easier.

The other option is contacting the site you have used as an example and see if they designed it in-house or by another company. Dig for ideas and you might find another solution.
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tobe1424Author Commented:
I am pretty sure they designed it in house since they hired plenty of web masters over the past few years. plus they have a lingering dev position that demands experience with CSS, Jquery, vBulletin, caching technologies, code optimization, high traffic and high scalability websites, Curl, Regex, Sphinx, and Nosql, Unix/Linux environment, load balanced architectures etc..

I am afraid that if I go with the CMS solution I may be limited down the line with structure. but If i can take advantage of the open source and make the site as rich and feature-full as the one mentioned here than I don't mind committing to CMS...

..and i was wondering..if i go the CMS route, can I ever transition out of it without having to "start from scratch"
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kiwistagCommented:
To an extent. Most use a MySQL Database so you can extract/access the tables as required.

Apart from the plugins/templates/modules/addons which are file based - the rest of the content outside of files/images are all database based.

Maybe have a play with some CMS options & see what you think before committing.
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tobe1424Author Commented:
I am currently trying to setup Drupal.

One thing i noticed was that all of the CMS's customer base seem to have pretty basic sites. A site like slickdeals.net seems to have a lot more going on; seems more rich and I am afraid of bottle necking down the line due to design restraints.

I guess there is only one way to find out...unfortunately I already feel limited after navigating through most of Drupals customer sites, I wasn't inspired.

Then again, I am new to sql and programming. So I am still oblivious to power of CMS vs html...at the end of the day if the site is driven by a DB, scalability shouldn't be such a haggle.
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