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Ninjakreborn

preinstall vrs self building

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I have a question I want to ask people in general. Advice so to speak to try and figure out somethign I want to do. I see a lot of stuff out there relating to PHP Pre-Installs. There 3rd party scripts, of special programs to avoid you having to do it yourself.
For instance.
Shopping carts, message boards, forums, guestbooks, mailing list managers, chatrooms, and other things that are created so people can download them.
I know that creating a basic mailing list takes like 1 day, to add more features it takes more.
I am faced with a project now, I am a web designer/coder/programmer. I love programming, I have installed Zen Shopping cart, but then I start to think, if I decided to build this entire shopping cart from scratch how long would it take me. Could I finish in a few weeks, working on it part time, or is building a shopping cart something that will take me months, and months, to finish. I like the preinstalls, but I need something where I can carry the data throughout my pages, and wire it in freely to my clients gallery pages. I like the thrill as well of programming, so I am wondering, if I take the time to start building it, how long to build a basic shopping cart, wired through the website
www.moondancedesign.com, and is just build for that purpose. How long will that take for me to build. It will only be accepting paypal anyway so no need for major credit card processing, and tax won't be included, so that is not an issue either. So what do you think, is this something I can do, I had some people help me on php freaks before, someone set down and told me not how to, but the general steps needed to build a mailing list, in 1 day I built the form, the mailing list, the area where they log in and send out the emails, the database, and have it record and remove email addresses. It took me 2 days of fiddling with it, and it was the most fun I have had in my entire life, I know that it is a BIG issue in dealing with security, and I want to try to make it secure, but I am still thinking of doing it myself, any advice, or comments, or answers would be greatly appreciated, thanks again in advance.

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Look at it like this. If it took you a day to create the basic mailing list, and two more days fiddling around with it, and you were happy to work for $10/hour then it 'cost' you $240 to get the end product. For $50 you could have purchased a spectacularly complete mailing script with all the bells and whistles you would ever have needed. Assuming you bought one that accepted your page template and 'branding', an hour with the manual and configuration would have produced a better product for $60 than you created for $240.

If 'fun' is why you're in business, then you're in the wrong business.

If 'profit' is why you're in business, then minimize the amount of work you do, get something that comes with a guarantee and support and documentation and updates, etc. and re-sell it at a higher cost. Yes, you can do that with Open Source software - the added value you apply to it can be charged (at whatever price you care to use).

It's rare to find a web application that doesn't already exist as open source or ultra-low cost. Spend your time developing your business, not reinventing the wheel.

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But then that makes me have to ask. you and other people on here, who develop with php. What do you do that makes use of php. The reason I see for php, is creating dynamic websites right, creating programs, and web applications, guestbooks, forums, newsletters, and things of that nature. Am I wrong. If not, then you go out and get an application say for everything, someone needs a newsletter-3rd party script, guestbook-3rd party script, forum-3rd party script, shopping cart-3rd party script. Then what else is there left to build, other than using includes in a fancy manner, to make a site seem cooler, what other things can you do with php. If you wanted the time-3rd party script, if you want a detection-3rd party scripts. I am trying to understand at this point, what I should develop on my own when it comes to php programming, and what I should rely on 3rd party scripts for. When someone speaks of building a massive database driven website, with an entire shopping cart extension, does that mean that 90% of there site was created with working with some preinstalls. This is what I am trying to understand now as a whole.

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I can't speak for what others do, or whether they are using php for 'hobby' applications or actually as part of a real-life money-making business (and I don't count the occasional web site for a few hundred bucks working evenings as a real-life business - it's a paying hobby).

The way to run a business is to buy something for $x and sell it for more than $x. Why would I spend 40 hours to develop forum software when I can use a free open source version, or pay under $100 for a really powerful application? It doesn't make economic sense. If I get a client request that really is custom programming and it's outside my comfort level, I outsource it.

The better way to run a business is to make something once and sell it many times (or licence it). But it needs to be something that isn't a dime a dozen from Hotscripts.

As to what I do - sure I do web sites for profit, but the majority of my php/MySQL work is custom back-ends for business applications. As I said, I have no idea what anyone else does to make money at this :)

And - without a solid understanding of php/MySQL, it's unlikely that you could recognize a rock-solid free or pay-for product to use in your own jobs, and it's unlikely you could creatively customize and integrate multiple third-party applications into a seamless whole project. That's why you (and I and everyone else) needs to understand php/MySQL if they want it as part of their business plan.

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As another option, you could simply buy or find a free shopping cart and modify it to this application. While doing so, take note of the structure and basics of it. Once you have finished with this take the money and then create your own shopping cart for both fun and education. Put it in a file and save it! If you ever need to make a shopping cart again you have one that you have created your self.

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So even utilizing 3rd party scripts, I will still(throughout my career) get to do plenty with programming, and things like that.

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[!--quoteo(post=378238:date=May 29 2006, 03:48 PM:name=businessman332211)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(businessman332211 @ May 29 2006, 03:48 PM) [snapback]378238[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
So even utilizing 3rd party scripts, I will still(throughout my career) get to do plenty with programming, and things like that.
[/quote]

I do php for work. But that involves maintaining the website and adding new features to it.

Though recently we've bought php packages for things like a knowledge base, live chat etc, that would cost more in the long run for me to start from scratch.

$50 for a knowledege base that does what we want is less than what I would get paid for if you converted my salary to $/hr :)

Same with a live support application. It was a bit more than the knowledge base but its open source so I can modify it if we need changes/fixes etc (the company that created the live chat software vanished)

We're also looking into a PHP CRM for our company. Sure I could write one and spend lots of time with it, but then we could buy one another company has already writen and supports for a decent amount of money

*shrug*

Though I've written our companies shopping cart, and various other web applications with PHP and MySQL and other languages etc.

So I guess it depends on if you have time and is your time worth the amount of money?

:)

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I will keep that in mind, for hte most part, on major applications I will go third party, when I have time, or for fun I will build them myself.

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