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AnswerRe: website costs Pin
jinzai16-Jul-14 20:07
jinzai16-Jul-14 20:07 
A basic ASP.NET website will suffice for the generalized specification you are describing -- in fact, even a plain vanilla HTML server can achieve that with little difficulty. My site and domain run about $100/year and it includes 1 SQL Server database and also unlimited mySQL and Access databases and some decent amount of storage. It is not at all difficult for me to write all the code, do all of the ftp for updates, configure .NET, the DB and even the e-mail is simple to maintain.

Your description -- requires nothing fancy at all, beyond a professional look and feel and a little Javascript -- however -- the main thing to look out for is a developer that seems 'married' to a particular 3rd party codebase -- because it likely means that they do not fully comprehend the basic HTTP infrastructure at the core level. It is simply a text based intercommunications paradigm plied by 9 verbs in a client/server container. Call and response -- or, more precisely Request (client) and Response (server). So -- if you are told that you need some complex third party library to do that -- it might mean that your potential developer is either not as knowledgable, experienced or inclined to write the simple application that you are describing. There is a saying that you might be familiar with -- If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail -- that applies here, too.

Starting at the beginning:

1. e-mail -- This is a benefit of two things...first, buy a domain name -- it is your site's 'space' and has the authority to generate e-mail addresses -- it is intrinsic to the domain. Second, your POP3 and/or IMAP and SMTP servers will be at your host's site, usually. So, get that domain hosted -- then you will have a domain and all the rights and benefits of that. Most hosting is one-stop -- you get your domain name, hosting and database from one place.

2. ASP.NET has a preference for SQL Server -- makes sense -- they are both Microsoft technologies. It should come as no great surprise then that there exists a command line tool to generate a SQL database for use with ASP.NET that includes tables for Applications, Users, Profiles...etc. It is the basic database that ASP.NET supports seamlessly and essentially automatically. I know that many developers do not even know that this tools exists, but -- it does and it works quite well for creating a basic database that is already connected to much of the code needed to operate the Membership.

3. The button you speak of -- could be as simple as HTML...HTML/Javascript...PayPal has an HTML button that can handle the entire process of donations, for example...provided that is all you require -- then you are done with the PayPal portion.

So...you are not asking for a lot, but I would recommend that you take some time to understand the major 'bullet points' with respect to HTTP and HTTPS. Everything else is built on that and most issues with websites are either poor design, poor implementation or a violation of HTTP rules.

There are some basic tools that most of us use -- Fiddler is one of the best that is still free and it can see -- pretty much everything -- the client and server interaction and it already understands the protocols used, regardless of the delivery vehicle. Browsers also have a decent complement of developer tools in them already. That part is your developer's preference and skill set. Some people do not care for ASP.NET and use Apache for their server's home, for example. They all must comply with the rules of HTTP/HTTPS --- they are protocols -- rules for communications.

So...get a developer that can obtain your domain name and hosting. Make sure that they have at least rudimentary database design and programming skills and also that they understand HTTP/HTTPS and Javascript. As far as the container for it -- ASP.NET/SQL Server will suffice -- so, if they use that, you are already good to go. In lieu of that, Apache/PHP/mySQL is another popular and capable container.

In my case, my host has a Control Panel where I update the sites I maintain, the e-mail, any SSL Certificates I use and basically manage the site/domain. Most developers I know work at places that either maintain their own domain, or have one hosted site. I use WinHost's Control Panel, Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and Visual Studio.

Personally, if I wanted one developer to manage all of that -- I would be very keen to find someone that was technically competent in all of these aspects, but -- most places have those responsibilities spread across a few people to several departments -- there is quite a bit to get absolutely correct, as I am sure you are aware. Not a big deal to small fish, but you are asking for something that -- at the Enterprise level spans a few departments.

Take heart, though. It is not so huge and daunting to everyone and you know -- you must trust the people that provide the parts that you cannot and probably, you already have a process for learning to trust someone -- I would use that. One last thing -- this site you are describing -- has already been written thosands of times -- the paradigm -- is ubiquitous. Beware of a developer that will simply steal someone else's exemplar and pass it off to you as theirs. There is -- alot of that going on and ultimately, whoever the domain lists as the cognizant authorities are responsible for the site and its content.

I wish you well.
Michael Blake,
http://jinzai-studio.net


modified 17-Jul-14 2:56am.

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