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david, Programming Guru
Category: Programming
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Experience:  6+ years of programming expertise
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I am looking to build a user generated content website and

Customer Question

Hi there - I am looking to build a user generated content website and app - similar in structure to Tripadvisor. This site will have the same look and feel for each page. Each page will have the same 15 categories or sections. Each of the categories will
be comprised of one survey question (radio buttons) and a free text field that will capture comments. These comments need to be visible for future visitors to read. Therefore once this page is constructed the rest of the pages will follow the same style and
format but will simply contain different content. Some content will be posted by the owners of the site, but will be built primarily through user generated content - think Trip Advisor as an example. Like Trip Advisor each page also needs to allow for visitors
to post pictures to the site. I am going to hire a freelancer online. Can you tell me what skills and expertise I should be looking for?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Programming
Expert:  david replied 1 year ago.

I would be glad to help. Because of the complexity of the site you are proposing, I think the best first step would be to create a few mockups, one for each type of page you want so that a perspective developer has good idea of the work involved. If you don't have any web design skills, you could create the mock ups with a word processor or publishing program like Microsoft Word.

If you are able to post those mockups here, I can provide more insight into what to expect from a freelancer. Without this information it's difficult to provide a helpful answer, since your site idea could be created with varying degrees of functionality and quality, and there is no way to know what level of quality would be satisfactory to you without a visual aid for reference.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For sake of time, just take a look at trip advisor. That is more or less what I am looking for.
Expert:  david replied 1 year ago.
Well tripadvisor is a very well designed site that was developed by multiple programmers and is maintained by multiple programmers as well. I would estimate the cost to build the site was in the ballpark of $10000-50000 and the cost to maintain the site is around $1000-5000 a month. Keep in mind this maintenance cost is mostly accounting for the amount of user activity.
I'm guessing that you do not plan to invest this amount of money into your site, which is why I asked for a more realistic visual aid of what you would like the site to look like.
If you could tell me more specifics including the type of content you plan to have, and the expected number of users on your site per day, I could provide some more realistic costs and expectations.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi again - Sorry but I am not looking for costs. I am just looking for the skills needed to build it. Which programs, code, etc..would a freelancer need to develop and design the site.
Expert:  david replied 1 year ago.
Well the beauty of web design is that there are alot of competing technologies that can perform the same things. For a web site like tripadvisor you will want all of the common types of technologies to be effective and efficient. You will need to utilize modern HTML functionality, CSS, Javascript, some sort of server side scripting like PHP, and a database like MySQL. PHP and MySQL each have competing technologies that you can use instead, but those two are the most commonly used for server scripting and database languages.
I'm assuming you will want to have your site accessible on a variety of devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops so you will need someone who is skilled in "responsive" design.
It's possible you could find a single developer that is skilled in all of these areas but this will most likely be your most expensive option.
The most cost effective way to tackle this site, would be to try to learn and do as much of the design as you can, and then hire people for the more difficult aspects of your site that you are stuck on.
Most people in your position tend to start with a web-site template like Wordpress, which provides a functional and customizable starting point for your site, that you can modify in a lot of different ways.
However Wordpress has alot of structure built into it, so there is only so much customization you can do, and you may find that you are unable to replicate tripadvisor as closely as you want with Wordpress alone.
Expert:  david replied 1 year ago.
Please let me know if you have any more questions about your project. I would be happy to provide more information, but due to the general nature of the question, if you are able to provide more detailed information about your goals for this project, I will be able to provide more detailed information about it.
Expert:  david replied 1 year ago.

If you no longer need help with this issue, please leave a RATING on the question page. Or if you still have questions about this project, please let me know with a REPLY. You can find the question page here:

Expert:  david replied 1 year ago.

Please remember to leave a RATING on the question page if you no longer need help with this issue. Or if you still need help, you can REPLY to let me know where you are stuck. The question page can be found here:

Expert:  david replied 1 year ago.

I would be glad to provide more insight on your project's needs, but you will need to RATE or REPLY on the question page so that I know where we are with this. You can visit it here:

Expert:  david replied 1 year ago.

I have not received a RATING or REPLY since my last post so I'm unclear whether your problem has been solved. Please visit the question page and RATE or REPLY there to let me know the status of your question:

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