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Learn to code, buy software out of the box, or hire a programmer?

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ryantreb

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I want to create a site similar to ebay or flippa, an auction website, with the ability to do reverse auctions (so people can request certain things, etc.). Would you business people out there suggest that I learn PHP and MySQL, hire a programmer, or buy something out of the box like a wordpress plugin like prospress or out of the box software like ilance? I'm leaning toward learning myself that way if something goes wrong (which it inevitably will) I can fix it and if I can't fix it, I can at least have a basic understanding of what the problem is. I'm just not sure if I'm smart enough to do it? It seems like it would be pretty complicated. Thanks in advance!
 

Vigilante

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Don't EVER say this about yourself again : I'm just not sure if I'm smart enough to do it?

Succeed. Fail. Take risks. Learn. Blaze your own path.

But seriously.

Take this

I'm just not sure if I'm smart enough to do it?


out of your vocabulary. Permanently.

That is the language of losers.
 

AndrewNC

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Just yesterday, I started a thread covering answers to similar questions: https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/we...37790-read-if-you-new-want-start-website.html

In it, I mentioned that I knew NOTHING about coding, or even what HTML was in November, and now (in less than 4 months) I am decent at PHP, MySQL, and some AJAX/Jquery. And this wasn't putting 100% of my time into pushing my learning.

Some things to consider before you spend a lot of money on a programmer or software: How much planning have you put into this business? Do you have a solid marketing plan in place, or do you just have an idea and put a site together? A website alone will not mean you have a business. If you don't have any progress in 12 months, will you continue to push forward, or would you go onto another idea?

Your answer should depend on how serious you are about turning this into a business as opposed to just a website. If you are the type to move onto the next project after a little setback, I suggest learning programming and buying a software package to plugin to it. If you have a solid plan to stick this one business out and have a shorter timeframe to get it up and running, look into programmers.
 
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cliqflip

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I suggest hiring a programmer or finding one at a college that will join you for equity.

If you do it yourself it's going to take a lot longer and you will never be as good as someone who lives, eat, breathes programming.

just my opinion
 

ryantreb

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Vigilante, good point. I shouldn't shoot myself in the foot before I get started. Thanks for pointing that out.

AndrewNC, thanks for pointing me to your thread. I do come up with ideas often, but I'm stuck on this one. I haven't done any business or marketing planning. I was going to eat the elephant one bite at a time, if you know what I mean.

cliqflip, I'll look into some prices while learning as much as I can. Money's kind of tight because we have a newborn on the way, but if it's less than $1,000 I can probably manage.
 

skyhigh

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I think you should learn how to code because you can try out more ideas later on with out spending a lot of money on developers when you don't have much money to spend.
 

Zen Kitties

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a good resource for learning computer languages if you're interested in the learning aspect of it is either W3Schools Online Web Tutorials for web design programming. If you're looking for more like php and the like, I'm sure there are other sites but the one that I've found very helpful is a website called Software training online-tutorials for Adobe, Microsoft, Apple & more which is a $37.50 a month subscription (last time i checked) and gives you access to all kinds of video tutorials from teachers that teach specific computing languages, software languages, seo classes, etc. Check it out and see if it's something that might make your invested money worth your while! :)
 

InMotion

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Any advice on tutorials or books to learn the nuts and bolts? I can learn a language, but im looking to learn back-end and how everything ties together well enough to know how to hire it out since coding is one piece of it. Would I find this in some sort of collegiate comp sci book? I'm a novice. Any suggestions? thx
 

healthstatus

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If you want to get started on a site like that, dealing with others peoples money, materials, secure logins and such, and you think in a few weeks or a few months you will be capable enough of a programmer to handle all the security and processes involved YOU ARE WRONG. It takes years to achieve the level of programming you are talking about.
 

Birdem

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Anyone know any books I should check out in the library to make some websites or anything that will be useful with the online bizz? Thank you in advanced.
 

MindfulDeb

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I keep flipping between an off the shelf product for Launch/Phase 1 - which I can license to resell my work - OR to have a blended Phase 1 of license and code to which then I can build the software and own it for Launch/Phase 2 and 3. Challenge: Time and Revenue
Advice "others" have given is to hire a student, however, one thing I've learned is that the owner needs to understand the functionality (ex: fix if breaks) - otherwise, the knowledge leaves with the person. Thoughts? Thanks in advance for the comments - Deb
 

MJ DeMarco

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Advice "others" have given is to hire a student, however, one thing I've learned is that the owner needs to understand the functionality (ex: fix if breaks) - otherwise, the knowledge leaves with the person. Thoughts? Thanks in advance for the comments - Deb

The entire answer depends on the solution the software needs to accomplish.
 

RazorCut

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If you can get what you need out of Wordpress and a pluggin then its a no brainer in my opinion. Why are you trying to re-invent the wheel?

It all boils down to what you want to achieve.

If your purpose for starting this enterprise is to learn to code then learn to code. If your purpose is to make money then get the wordpress/pluggin sorted so you can start validation and see if your business venture has legs.

Why spend many, many months (and I am not exaggerating) learning PHP/MySQL to a proficient enough standard when your time could be spent doing more productive things. Yes a working knowledge is useful, even essential for a one man band but you can learn that as you go. You will need to learn some skills anyway to get a half decent looking customised wordpress site up and running.

Too many businesses fail because the captain wears too many hats. Focus on what is important in this enterprise. It seems to me you are putting far too much emphasise on coding and not enough on how to make this business a success.
 

RazorCut

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Oh one other thing. Remember a Web Site is not a static entity. As time and money allow you can update, modify or completely change your site. Hell, to succeed you HAVE to update, change and modify.

This is the earliest page I can find for eBay:

http://web.archive.org/web/19990117102445/http://pages.ebay.com/aw/index.html

There has been huge changes to eBay since its inception. Even that page is way more complex than when it first came into being. After all when it started out it was just a simplistic part-time hobby site created by a coder.
 

GIlman

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I would suggest the very first thing you do, before laying the first line of code is create a plan for how you will monetize your site. The goal here is to make money, if you can't answer this question then you need to figure that out or find a project you can figure out a way to monetize.

Unless u have a good reason, you should use an out of the box solution wherever possible. And, I make this recommendation as an experienced programmer.
 

Wolfman

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If you can get what you need out of Wordpress and a pluggin then its a no brainer in my opinion. Why are you trying to re-invent the wheel?

It all boils down to what you want to achieve.

If your purpose for starting this enterprise is to learn to code then learn to code. If your purpose is to make money then get the wordpress/pluggin sorted so you can start validation and see if your business venture has legs.

Why spend many, many months (and I am not exaggerating) learning PHP/MySQL to a proficient enough standard when your time could be spent doing more productive things. Yes a working knowledge is useful, even essential for a one man band but you can learn that as you go. You will need to learn some skills anyway to get a half decent looking customised wordpress site up and running.

Too many businesses fail because the captain wears too many hats. Focus on what is important in this enterprise. It seems to me you are putting far too much emphasise on coding and not enough on how to make this business a success.
Hi Razor, Thanks for this response. I was having the same dilemma and thanks to you it is a now a no-brainer. Learn how to code or learn how to succeed. (At least for me b/c I have so much to learn, and the website in my business is not critical.) I love reading these threads b/c frequently I find a gem like you that flips on the light switch and saves me needless time and anxiety. Thanks, Greg
 

Wolfman

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I keep flipping between an off the shelf product for Launch/Phase 1 - which I can license to resell my work - OR to have a blended Phase 1 of license and code to which then I can build the software and own it for Launch/Phase 2 and 3. Challenge: Time and Revenue
Advice "others" have given is to hire a student, however, one thing I've learned is that the owner needs to understand the functionality (ex: fix if breaks) - otherwise, the knowledge leaves with the person. Thoughts? Thanks in advance for the comments - Deb
Hi Deb, Thanks for the idea that, "the knowledge leaves w/ the person". Is there a way to avoid that problem w/out learning code and making the big committment of $$/time? Thanks, Greg
 

Wolfman

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If you can get what you need out of Wordpress and a pluggin then its a no brainer in my opinion. Why are you trying to re-invent the wheel?

It all boils down to what you want to achieve.

If your purpose for starting this enterprise is to learn to code then learn to code. If your purpose is to make money then get the wordpress/pluggin sorted so you can start validation and see if your business venture has legs.

Why spend many, many months (and I am not exaggerating) learning PHP/MySQL to a proficient enough standard when your time could be spent doing more productive things. Yes a working knowledge is useful, even essential for a one man band but you can learn that as you go. You will need to learn some skills anyway to get a half decent looking customised wordpress site up and running.

Too many businesses fail because the captain wears too many hats. Focus on what is important in this enterprise. It seems to me you are putting far too much emphasise on coding and not enough on how to make this business a success.
Hi again Razor, I thought of something I wanted to ask you about. I hear about "validation" quite a bit but I haven't been able to wrap my head around it. Would I need to go private w/ you re the specifics of my product/business to see how validation would work for me? Otherwise, any advice/experience you can share would be more than welcome. Thanks, Greg
 

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