View Full Version : Advice Needed, Please and Thanks !!!

08-19-2008, 07:09 PM
Hello Everyone,

I am looking for more information from people with the knowledge that I lack. I am strictly the business end of things, I have the ideas and creativity, but do not pretend to have any programming or website design training.

The website that I am looking to have created would be very similiar online to websites like facebook (but for a very different purpose) etc....

So therefore my questions that I am looking to have answered are:

1.) What type of database would work behind the scenes for the storage of pictures and information? (Potentially lots of it) An example would be the storage of facebook type information pics, bloggin, personal info etc.....

2.) What type of programming would be involved in creating `FILLABLE`.pdf forms that could be completed and uploaded for others to see on the website?

3.) Is vBulletin the best type of online user forum to use in conjunction with your website?

4.) What programs can be used for instant messaging between members or for texting to a phone?

5.) When looking to have someone create a website, where should I look first?

6.) Lastly, for website hosting, are there companies that specialize in webhosting sites based on databases and possibly large storage needs? Is this type of website cost substanially more than other types? Does anyone know the rough associated costs?

I appreciate anyone reading through my long winded post, but anyone willing to answer any of the questions would be greatly appreciated.


09-15-2008, 07:08 AM
Wow, that's a pretty tall order. Here's my 2 cents:

1) As far as a database goes I tend towards Microsoft SQL Server. At least for text and numerical data. I would never store images or files in general in a database. In my opinion if you can't query a peice of data in a database it shouldn't be stored in a database. I have a website that sells patio furniture and there are multiple pictures for each item. The filename is stored in the item record along with the item name, price and description. The file name acts as a pointer to the image stored on the webserver (which is really a file server). Otherwise you'll end up with a really bloated database that is slow to query because it has so much unusable data in it.

2) Not sure why you would want to have people 'fill' a pdf. I'd just have them complete a webform and save the data to the database. Then have a readonly version of the webform for other users to view the data pulled out of the database.

3) Can't answer that one.

4) For texting to a phone I simply use ASP.Net and send an email to the phone. As for an im style program that's also possible with .Net

5) HHhhhmmm...I would look at websites similar to what you're looking for and see if the designer is listed at the bottom of the page with a link.

6) That's really going to depend on your traffic and usage. If a lot of people go to your site you may get hit with some bandwidth charges if it exceeds your plans allowable bandwidth. Same with usage. If you have lots of people uploading lots of content you may get charged based on your plan. Buying hosting is a lot like buying a cell phone. You may start out and relize you need to upgrade your plan. Or you may think, after a couple of months, you can downgrade. Most hosting companies don't charge extra for a database.

Hope this helps a little. I can also tell you what you're looking at doing, based on your questions, may require somewhat deep pockets.