need advice to make website

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Hello all.

I had a friend ask me if I knew how to create a website where customers could log-in securely, add their details and make it searchable. I said 'sure, no problems' without thinking. I then realized that it wasnt a usual site I was asked to make. So, I actaully have no real idea wtf I should do. Hope you guys and gals can lend a small hand.

What it is is a sort of 'alumni' site where my friend is trying to pool together the networking from all the 'alumni' so they can all help eachother with contacts in business, etc.

So, essentially, you should be able to log-in add/modify your data, search/browse other members' data. If need be, also a private forum area or something.

Also needed is a way to select your own passwords, etc. Since it would be a pay site, is there any way to monitor if people are buying one 'liscence' and passing it around?

What could be used to do this? I have absolutely no experience with PHP mySql or anything like that. What can I do with GoLive for example? I use GoLive for basic web layout but never really tried to do more complicated stuff. I was thinking of FilemakerPro or something to that effect. It would be only about 2-300 people to track. Nothing spectacular.

thanks a million for any direction I should take with this!

[ 05-09-2002: Message edited by: ZO ]</p>


  • Reply 1 of 11
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    i was also wondering how to NOT let search engines get hold of the data on the site. For example Google takes snapshots, etc. How can I make it not 'crawl' around?

    thanks again
  • Reply 2 of 11
    In terms of the logins... you need some actual software and your own server in order to do that... seeing as how I am poor, I've never tried to do that.

    On the topic of avioding searches, I really dont know... I use meta and header HTLM code (the last hardcoder standing) to get my sites picked up and catagorized correctly by search engines... I'd look there for answers.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Well, what type of server set up do you have? If you have a choice, I'd recommend going with a php/mysql solution since it's the cheapest and extremely well-supported, both user-wise and documentation-wise. It sounds like you'll be doing some basic database work. Do you have any experience with DB design? You might want to pick up some books on it, if you can. A good book that I've found is <a href=""; target="_blank">MySQL/PHP Database Applications</a>, though from some of the reviews, I'm not sure it would work for a beginner.

    Even a beginning book on PHP would get started in the right direction. Avoid the Beginning PHP by Wrox press. This book has so many typos in the syntax, it's enough to drive a person CRAZY! Really, don't have typos in the syntax of a beginning programming book that's about the worst thing that could happen in a book. But I digress. I guess we still need more information before we can recommend anything.

    ps- making sure that accounts/passwords are not getting passed around will be impossible. Sorry.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    resres Posts: 711member
    Sounds like you should go with PHP and MySQL.. They are not that hard to learn, and if you spend a weekend going over a few books you can probably pick up enough to do the site.

    Setting up a MySQL database is not to hard, and then you just need to create a form in PHP that people can input and manipulate the data.

    Making it impossible (or nearly so) for people to pass around a license would be very difficult and I'm not sure if the effort is worth it.

    For the BBS area you could use one of the free BBSs like <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>; There are several others, but that's the only one I'm familiar with.

    You can find a lot of free PHP scripts and other useful goodies at <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;

    Good Luck with the project.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    thanks for the input.

    Seeing that I don't even have an inkling about MySQL nor PHP, is there an application that is better than others to prepare the code? Or do I just use something like BBEdit?

    Whats the difference between the two? Res, you said "Setting up a MySQL database is not to hard, and then you just need to create a form in PHP that people can input and manipulate the data." From what I gather MySQL is the actual DB part while PHP is... boh?

    If you know of any sites that possibly have chunks of pre-made code, that would shave a lot of time off development.

    As for hosting; the cheaper the better. I was thinking something along the lines of those I have seeing on banner ads lately, like Powweb or something to that effect. Can an iDisk account/area host PHP/MySQL? I could have a URL redirect to an iDisk. I have no clue if it does work, nor how big a database would take.

    Do I have any experience with database design? I have made some relatively basic databases in Access and FileMaker Pro. I decided that if I could figure out Access, I could do anything. God what a horrible app.

    Another question while Im at it, is it possible to view a site with a MySQL/PHP solution through a gprs/wap phone? Would I be able to browse through the site? Would I need to make two separate databses?

    Any ideas on how to not allow the likes of Google and co to browse through the data? My friend doesn't want anyone that is not invited to the site to be able to know it exists.

    Regarding the login/password sharing, I figure it would be possible to 'see' if certain accounts login more than others and at least have an idea... no?

    Thanks a million again!
  • Reply 6 of 11
    Like I said before, it'll be relitively hard (I'd say imppossible, but I've never tried) to set this up on any account that doesn't have a base server. In other words, your, angelfire, and geocities account's are decently worthless for databases.

    In terms of MySQL, there are text edit programs that are built just for them, but I'm not sure what they are anymore... I haven't looked at MySQL code in close to 3 years... the one I had worked on OS8!

    PHP is simply great stuff... you can certainly code it in BBEdit (an amazing piece of software) and it's pretty easy to learn.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    aslanaslan Posts: 97member
    Alright... you are in over your head.

    That is the plain truth. Many of the things you wish to do require a fairly solid understanding of integration of web technologies. You are in deep.

    But seriously, if you really wanna try to pull this off... here are some suggestions:

    1) WebObjects:

    PROS: friggin awesome enterprise development. Abstracts SQL junk away nicely in decent API.

    CONS: costs an arm & leg, need to know Java servlet stuff and be familiar with interface builder and Project Builder for WO.

    WO will do everything you need (mostly)

    2) (I can't believe I am saying this...)

    MS IIS running active server pages

    (...pauses to vomit heavily)

    My fraternity decided to go this route. Good implementation by a good friend of mine. Worked great w/ constant maintenence. He graduated and the thing fell apart like a bad suit. But it seems the choice of most idiots lately.... must be fairly easy (then again...M$ never mind...)

    3) Combination of PHP, SQL, javascript/perl/cgis, HTML, etc. will do the trick...but by the sound of it you are unwilling/unable to go this route.

    About stealing login numbers or whatnot... There is no perfect way of doing this. BUT, if you are programmer, (which you aren't by the sound of it) you could use a combination of cookies and other methods (CGI) to determine the IP of the client. While there are a million ways to get around this, most of the alums prob. aren't all that bright w.r.t. IP spoofing etc. If nothing else you can keep track of very very obvious violations (like half of the logins sharing the same number, showing IPs for 20 different computers... Obviously some collusion on login/passes!)

    Honestly though, some of the things you are requiring are well in the professional range of web development.... Definitely not for the idle hobbyist (especially if people are going to be paying $$$ for it....)

    Best of luck! (give up while you still can and escape w/o ramifications! Wouldn't say it if I hadn't been there myself! )
  • Reply 8 of 11
    dogcowdogcow Posts: 713member
    If you dont want to get into PHP etc, there is another solution. You could use MGI, its made by Page Planet Software ( Its really easy to learn and they have a great website with guides and refrence, along with an excelent mailing list for support. The only catch is that you will not be able to host it on just any old server. The server needs to have the MGI software loaded on it. You can buy the MGI server software, or you can just find a hosting company that supports it (There is a list on the PPS website) I have had good luck hosting with a company called west 21 (

    Just tossing out another option for you. The code is easy to pick up, it only took me a few hours to get everything I wanted up and running.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    amoryaamorya Posts: 1,103member
    Right, let's see...

    You want:


    Add data

    Modify data


    Browse other's data

    Register/choose password

    I am a relative beginner with PHP, yet I progressed fast - it really is easy. Anyway, I'll try and give you a bit of help.

    Firstly, use MacOS X. You can run Apache, PHP and MySQL all on your own machine. You'll need to install MySQL, but the other two are there.

    (MySQL is here: <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>; )

    Now, create a new folder in your sites folder. You can test it in your web browser by going to <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;

    All PHP pages use a .php extension. You can mix and match HTML code with PHP. You do that like this:


    This is &lt;b&gt;HTML&lt;/b&gt; code&lt;p&gt;


    // this is PHP code


    And HTML again


    You put PHP within &lt;? and ?&gt; tags. Any of this code is executed by your webserver when serving the page.

    Now, you'll need to learn some SQL. That's the language to look up and put things in the database. Here's an example:

    [code]SELECT * FROM my_table WHERE record_id &gt; 4</pre><hr></blockquote>

    The select statement lets you get things out of the database. The * means get all fields out - you can use field names separated by commas instead if you want.

    Here's how you might use it in a page:


    &lt;h1&gt;Welcome to my page&lt;/h1&gt;&lt;p&gt;

    This code will dump all records to the screen, in the table &lt;b&gt;my_table&lt;/b&gt; in the database &lt;b&gt;my_db&lt;/b&gt;&lt;p&gt;


    $link = mysql_connect("localhost", "mysql_user", "mysql_password")

    or die("Could not connect");

    \t$result = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM my_table")

    \t or die("Invalid query");

    \t while (($row = mysql_fetch_array($result))

    print "ID: $row[id] &lt;br&gt; Name: $row[name] &lt;p&gt;";




    The mysql_connect statement lets you connect to a database. mysql_close closes the connection you made.

    mysql_query lets you run an SQL query on the database. You must assign it to a variable, so you can access it again. All variables start with $ in PHP.

    mysql_fetch_array lets you get one record from the SQL query. Using the while structure lets you get all the records that meet the SQL query you specified.

    One suggestion is to get hold of PHPMyAdmin. <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;

    This'll let you create databases, manage them and browse them, and it's helpful for learning SQL because it shows the queries above each page.

  • Reply 10 of 11
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
  • Reply 11 of 11
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    amazing! thanks everyone!

    I am willing to learn some PHP and MySQL but just enough to get through this project.

    If anyone is interested in making some money and help me create this thing, please contact me at zo66 AT mac DOT com.

    I can tell ya straight off it aint going to pay much, but that I am willing to pay if I really cant get this thing off the ground.

    Thanks again!! I'll try and keep everyone infomed of how things go!
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