Question regarding business and websites, frens

So I have an idea for a business that would more or less be built around a website.

My technical skills as far as building websites are very limited at the moment. The site I would need to build would be more than just a plain HTML site people can read. I would need the functionality of people creating their own accounts, posting things, etc.

So I have 2 questions, 1 of them more technical and 1 more business related:

1. How long would it take someone who's typically pretty good at learning new things to learn enough about web development to make something like this from scratch? If I studied/worked on it 10-15 hrs a week, could I be somewhere in 6 months? A year?

2. I'm sure I could find someone with the technical skills who would be willing to partner up with me for either cash or small ownership in the business... (hopefully) but then I lose long term potential of owning the whole things. What are your thoughts on this?

If there is a major site with similar functionality a lot of times you can buy a clone script or a plugin that can add the functionality you're looking for. If that's the case and you don't have to do 100% custom development then there really isn't much of a learning curve, just following instructions.

Here is some info for you to look over. Also, my good friend does this for a living and has a pretty informative blog/website about this. geekfree dot net

No, here is the info.

http://www.shopify.com/website-builder-html

Would a forum like this site work for what you're trying to do? Would a blog that allowed guest posting do what you're trying to do?

Both of those examples are sites where users can register and add content. If the answer is yes to either of those questions, without experience you can have a site up and running in under a day.

Thanks for the info so far guys. If anyone else has anything, I'm all ears. Phone Post

MarsMan -
Yossarian -  Thanks for the info so far guys. If anyone else has anything, I'm all ears. Phone Post

I have A LOT of experience in that area.

When I started learning to code in ColdFusion, it took me a few months to develop a "complete" online store (I already knew HTML and it was the only thing I was doing at the time).

The problem is, having never built or managed one before, I made lots of mistakes (in coding, database design, security, etc..), and I had to rewrite tons of stuff everytime I managed to get a real project going.

I don't know what you have in mind, but even with the skills and experience I have now, I'd try to start with some SaaS (Software as a Service) solution.

Unless what you have in mind is something absolutely revolutionary, chances are there is something already built and tested that you can use, or customize with minimal cost.

Also, you won't need to come with money upfront for development (software licenses, hiring a programmer, building your own development enviroment, testing).

Feel free to ask more questions...

Thanks for the response fren.

So say I want a website that will allow people the ability to list something for sale, almost like classified ad and then use PayPal or something to pay each other.

How difficult/expensive would that be? Phone Post

You can get something like an eBay clone for this. Have it modified where everything is a fixed price listing if you want. There are ton of auction site scripts out there. They probably all work with PayPal. You can search for auction script or marketplace scripts either one of those would most likely give you the functionality you're looking for.

quality - You can get something like an eBay clone for this. Have it modified where everything is a fixed price listing if you want. There are ton of auction site scripts out there. They probably all work with PayPal. You can search for auction script or marketplace scripts either one of those would most likely give you the functionality you're looking for.

Wow that's amazing. And here I though I would have to start from scratch.

How much knowledge would I need to get to the point where I can install and maintain all this on my own? Phone Post

Yossarian - 
quality - You can get something like an eBay clone for this. Have it modified where everything is a fixed price listing if you want. There are ton of auction site scripts out there. They probably all work with PayPal. You can search for auction script or marketplace scripts either one of those would most likely give you the functionality you're looking for.

Wow that's amazing. And here I though I would have to start from scratch.

How much knowledge would I need to get to the point where I can install and maintain all this on my own? Phone Post


It really depends on the script you choose. A good portion of scripts are literally following instructions for installation and maybe a quick FTP / MySQL database creation tutorial. Customization will be the hard part and a lot of choices have instructions but you may have to know PHP or whatever language the script is written in. You may be able to find a solution that you can make all of the changes you need right through an administrative back end which would probably be a lot easier for you.

Installation of most modern scripts are literally a 5 - 10 minute job. Customization and configuration is what eats up a lot of time. If you find something with a good back end and the script covers all of your needs you can get everything done in under a day.