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Bootstrap & what for building a directory like website ?

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by genrik, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. #1
    Hi guys,

    I am not particularly active here because I am more or less capable to find and solve my wordpress/SEO related problems just by googling or searching through these forums but here am I looking for some help.

    To make a long story short, I would like to build a "directory" like website similar to "freetechbooks" where users can filter and search for specific items. It is written that "freetechbooks" was build with Bootstrap but isn't Bootstrap front-end CSS framework only and when building a directory like website I'll need something in the back-end running filters, database interactions and parsing data between back-end and front-end. What do you recommend ? Should I use javascript or how will you start building a directory like website? Any links, comments or tutorials targeted this specific topic appreciated - Thanks !
    genrik, Feb 17, 2020 IP
  2. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    First off, bootcrap is the LAST blasted thing you need. The ONLY thing you can learn from it -- much like the equally mentally enfeebled halfwitted BS that is jQuery -- is how NOT to write HTML, CSS, or JavaScript.

    As to the back end, you'd need a back end language. If you've been maintaining the equally disastrous mindless trash that is turdpress, you should at least be familiar to a degree with PHP and SQL, so that would be my advice of what to learn to build something unique. PHP and mySQL aren't rocket science, though many people seem to try and make it such.

    Used "properly" PHP should be little more than accepting a user request, pulling / sending data to the database, and outputting the result. Clean, simple, logical order that isn't as complex as the nitwits and fools who try to shoehorn "programming paradigms" like MVC into it.

    Write a sample page with a sample of the data you want to show, write the markup first as JUST semantic markup with zero concern for the appearance as if you choose your HTML based on looks, you're choosing all the wrong tags for all the wrong reasons. Bend that markup to your will using CSS for different media targets and query sizes adding your non-semantic containers (DIV, SPAN) where and only as needed. Lather, rinse, repeat for all the different pages you think your system is going to have. This is your base concept template.

    Then go through all those pages and figure out what information you need to store to deliver those pages, and create database tables to store that.

    Finally, slice up your templates into PHP functions so that your database processing can call them as the template, then write the PHP code to process the user requests and spit out the data via the template system.
    deathshadow, Feb 17, 2020 IP
  3. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    • Is this a hobby site?
    • do you have endless hours to burn?
    • are you expecting this to be profitable?
    • you know directory sites are dead, right?
    • will you use your new programming skills in your (future) day job?

    There are plenty of directory scripts out there that can short cut the process and if you're looking for a "return on investment" it may be the best way to get up and running.

    If you're happy to start from scratch and treat the whole thing as a learning exercise then we can certainly help you with that.

    I'm not completely averse to Bootstrap - probably as a result of getting frustrated by an endless stream of CSS hacks back in the old days, Bootstrap means I don't have to worry about that. @deathshadow's concerns about it are valid and if you're wanting to learn all the ins and outs of web design then creating your own may be better. I'd recommend looking at a number of CSS libraries and working out their relative strengths and weaknesses before making any decision. Yes, that will take time and you won't have anything to show for it, but it's just the start of your trial-and-error experience.

    Before I worry about the HTML generation I tend to look at what's needed to generate the HTML. I like using frameworks and there are plenty of them about. Their benefits are rapid development (once you understand their system) and they've taken control of security issues. For legacy reasons I use cakePHP, but there's symfony and a lot of others.

    You don't need to use a framework though, it's ok to start from a completely blank page (which I'm doing for a small project) - it all depends on your time and how much you want to learn.

    One note from my directory owning days - the front end that the public sees is the tip of the iceberg. You'll be writing more code behind the scenes to handle spammers and scammers, to move listings from one category to another, to identify broken links and missing images, etc.
    sarahk, Feb 17, 2020 IP
  4. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    You are right, you will need a backend database system and a scriptting language to communicate with the database, like MYSQL and PHP.

    I don't use bootstrap, probably never will, so am not sure how it helps in this particular case.

    The script at freetechbooks does not looks difficult to code though.
    I use a similar script here:
    with the exception of allowing directory submitters to upload a file and type a long description of the submitted page/website.
    JEET, Feb 17, 2020 IP
  5. LewisH95

    LewisH95 Greenhorn

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    Getting Started – Choose your Directory Niche. Now, you need to decide what type of directory website you want to build.
    Get Domain & Hosting.
    Choose a Directory Theme.
    Content, Traffic & Get Paid For Listings.
    Get Paid For Advertises.
    Sustain the business & Grow.
    LewisH95, May 8, 2020 IP