When I first decided to build the website I had an idea that it should have a forum. A forum is a place for users to chat to each other and get help and also give advice. A forum, although a simple idea, is a complex set of code that sites on the website. Rather than rewriting one from scratch, it made sense to use an already existing forum that are freely available on the web. As I am writing a site using c# I tried to find one also written in c# with the source available so that I could integrate it with my site seamlessly. The first one I tried was YetAnotherForum. Works great on my local PC and does everything that I need. Unfortunately publishing it to my webhost was a none starter as I needed permissions on the SQL server that I just couldn’t get off my hosting company. So my next find was a forum written using MVC called funnily enough, MVCForum. This looked good even though I don’t usually use MVC and stick to web forms. I am now in the middle of what is to me, a crash course in MVC, and tailoring the site to match what I need. This could take a while!
BTW. MVCForum is extremely well written and for anyone wanting a ready made forum for an asp.net site then I would check it out! – http://mvcforum.com
Ok. Part of the website for Street Food Review will be a forum, allowing people who are interested to exchange ideas and get help. One of the best boards I have found is PHPBB. It’s PHP based, but very stable. The time it would take me to code a forum from scratch is a non starter. Easy enough to install and its online now in a very early stage at http://forum.streetfoodreview.com.
The forum requires you to login to post messages, and I will need to make sure that a visitor who logs into the Forum is then logged into the rest of the site and vice versa. Should be fairly easy to do. I have started to write the main site now, and I will have an early beginnings up soon. I will also be working on amending the forum to what I want it to be. If you have any suggestions, then I am all ears!
Just bought the domain name. http://www.streetfoodreview.com
Decided to go for a .com, as although for the moment, I’m only really interested in the UK street food scene, you never know if this site can take off. Therefore a .com domain should cover all the bases.
It’s currently sitting on a Linux box, but will be moved shortly to a Windows server where I can run a .Net application.
Now, I need to decide a rough plan of what I want the website to have on it.
So, I want to start a Street Food Review website. My initial thoughts were that I could download WordPress, download a review plugin, stick on some content and wait for the site to grow. Well, as usual, it’s nowhere near as easy as that.
I have a few choices before I choose a package. But the most important thing is that any choices I make, must be free to use. I am creating a passive website which will not be geared up to making money. This is purely a passion project. Something to do and allowing me the excuse to visit plenty Street Food vendors and taste lots of exciting new food, so I don’t want to be funding it each month to what could amount to quite a bit of money.
So, first things first, I need to decide which platform I will be using. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. WordPress is the number one platform for building websites. It’s free and has literally millions of plugins available both free and paid. A quick look at the plugins and there do seem to be many plugins for reviews available. Great. It also has many many themes and can easily be amended to cater for what I want. Unfortunately many of the plugins cost money for the full versions and I don’t want to go down that route just yet. Also, although WordPress is great for SEO, it’s still quite bloated with things that are not relevant for my own website and if this new website does get busy, that is something that could cause issues later on. Really the same goes with other CMS systems. Drupal, Joomla, DNN etc. All have quite a bit of bloat in them, and the plugins cost money (usually per month). So that leaves starting at the beginning and writing it all myself, also if I code this all from scratch, although it will take significantly longer, I can get it to operate exactly as I want it to.
So, the website will be written in c# using MSSQL as its database. Right at least its a start. What I need to think about now, is what I would like to see on the website.