I now have a few projects I would like to do this with; I have decided I would finally like to have something I can look at and say that I made it from scratch, not something cobbled together from others' work edited for my uses. And so I would like to get some general advice for one of these projects.
I think based on my limited knowledge ofthe various languages, PHP is best forme to code in for now...I know a little more of it than I do of others. The first piece of advice I would like is in the editing software. I have used notepad (okay but no longer something I would use), Frontpage (never again, thanks!) and Dreamweaver (I am on CS3 and love it for HTML/CSS work, but it seems to me to be just 'okay' for PHP...?). I have read of a few others online like Notepad2, Notepad++, RapidPHP, and PHP Designer 2008. And I am sure others exist out there.
I know that usually there is no one 'best' choice, it depends somewhat on your tastes and whatnot - but what would you recommend I use?
Okay, aside from that, here is what I hope to accomplish with my latest project, a grand plan that I hope I can actually create...I would welcome advice on how to break this down into separate pieces and what to work on first, etc.
The overall site will be a community with four (or five) different groups. As a quick overview;
- Group A is a paid advertiser; able to post ads to sell stuff or provide services/etc.
- Group B is a second type of paid advertiser; instead of posting daily (or hourly, etc.) ads to sell stuff or provide services, they can use banners for advertising.
- Group C is like Group B, but they provide services to the advertisers (website design, photography, other classified ads sites, etc.) - their banner ads are only visible to members of Group A and B.
- Group D is a non-advertising paid member who can access some of the more advanced community features, such as writing or viewing in-depth reviews of advertisers and their products, etc.
- Group E are non-paying members who can more or less only view live and/or banner ads, and see the overall rating of an advertiser (but not the details of the reviews).
So, 5 types of members; I assume one or more SQL databases and/or tables will be used - I am contemplating an individual database for each member, with tables used to define some of the profile stuff; that's probably beyond the advice I am asking for here though.
For the setup of the site itself, I need a classified advertising system, as well as multiple forums, and semi-intelligent banner advertising; showing banners based on the group type of the member viewing, as well as location, possibly even profile specific info such as gender and age.
On top of that, I want to add basic forums and possibly a live chat - on these I may end up using one of the virtually endless number of premade systems out there; but if I can manage to build my own and incorporate it all into one functioning global community site it would be all the better.
I also want a ratings/reviews section, where the paying members can review the advertisers and their products, based on a small number of criteria (performance, cost, honestly, speed, etc.).non-paying members only get to see the overall score for each area, paid members can see the number of votes, the time frame for those votes (oldest and newest), as well as read any in-depth comments posted as part of those reviews.
Additionally, I want a searchable directory of all advertisers, where the paid members can search based on any one or more of the profile keywords.
There are a few more details, but this is the general layout and functionality of the site I envision as a whole. I would appreciate any feedback and advice you may have for me as I enter the planning stages and start looking into how to start coding it!