I am trying to pick a set of tools for building web sites. Please help me avoid spending a lot of time messing around with tools that won't work out. Here are my relevant details:
1. My coding experience is mostly with Delphi (which, because it is amazingly similar in language and rules, allows me to work with C# quite easily).
3. I like the .NET MVC URL readability and I have no experience with code behind pages
4. I have Windows hosting at HostGator
5. I do not know php
6. I am good with databases but I've avoided SQL so far
7. I know a great deal about security technologies but I have little experience knowing all the doors I need to lock on a web site. I need the sites to be secure by default so that I just focus on not creating security holes rather than doing an exhaustive security audit.
Here are some of the details of the various sites I need to build:
1. Most will require authentication
2. Some will require a shopping cart, credit cards, etc.
3. The sites will all need to look sharp and seem modern
4. The security of the sites will need to be solid because real spending gets triggered when a sale is made.
That's pretty much the essentials. Here are some thoughts I've had in case the above is not clear or complete:
1: I like the fact that Joomla! let's me install a site with authentication and a cart yet I don't have to know HTML in order to get a gorgeous site. BUT, I don't like Joomla! because I don't know how to integrate my own code for custom logic (i.e. I comb the product database and put a list of items on a page based on identity or a query or a click).
2. I like code builders like Parallels Plesk CodeBuilder but I'm not sure how to integrate my own code, I am not sure it would end up secure without me bringing in an expert to close the holes and I won't get something as pretty as, say, Shape 5's Design Control Joomla! template.
3. I love the easy code integration is CMSes like Composite's C1 and I feel like I could manage identities well with it. It does, however, seem like it will force me to become an HTML+CSS+Razor veteran. I don't mind learning things and I do it fast BUT looking at the forums there makes me think that the veterans are always being forced to work around lots of little implementation issues that differ from the conceptual model. Effectively, they have to become experts in the idiosyncrasies of the CMS.
1. End up with a site that works and I'm confident is secure
2. Minimize the learning curve. I know I have to do a lot of learning therefore I cannot do a lot more than necessary.
3. Avoid spending more than $2000 on tools, prefer free until sites have revenue
4. Access to freelancers who can save me when I get in over my head
5. Do not talk to me about Linux. I go way back with it but I am not going there.
So... what should I build my first site on? What should I invest my time and effort in learning?