Help Me Build A Website Quick!
November 18, 2010 2:08 PM   Subscribe

I want to build a relatively simple website in two weeks. Problem: I have no idea how.

I have some experience with HTML, CSS, and Flash, but I'm in way over my head with this one.

We are looking to build a site that allows users to do the following:

- Upload files to the site
- View what other people have uploaded
- View how much total data has been uploaded

We'd like to make it look nice if we can - make a pretty interface for it or whatever - but are open to any relatively simple/elegant solution.

What's the easiest/quickest way to slap this thing together? Is there any free drag-and-drop-and-edit solution out there for these basic site mechanics, or am I gonna need to hire someone?
posted by hypocritical ross to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Even though you only list three functions, those type of functions usually imply lots of customization down the road.

We could probably help you more if you could be more specific, but from this limited POV: Hire someone, definitely. Get a plan from them before they start work.
posted by circular at 2:17 PM on November 18, 2010

What kind of files are you looking to let your users upload? Do you need to actually DO anything with the data, or just display a running total of filesizes?

Basically this is a dynamic site, so you'll need to know dynamic script of some kind, probably PHP. Someone with those skills can modify a Wordpress installation to do what you need the site to do. One could also build a site like this using Drupal. Since you don't know PHP I'd recommend hiring someone who does.
posted by Meagan at 2:18 PM on November 18, 2010

Do you want users to have to register/log in to upload data? Or will it be done on an anonymous basis? Whatever solution you choose you will need some server-side code to deal with the uploaded files and generate reports.

I could probably build this for you in a few days, using a PHP/MySQL-based content management system such as Drupal. MeMail me if you like.
posted by cbrody at 2:25 PM on November 18, 2010

Response by poster: Running total on filesize is pretty much all we want. What we are doing is pretty much an "Internet Time Capsule" - allow users to submit photos, text files, mp3s, what have you - and display the running total of the directory things are getting dumped into.

Oh - and once it's full, we want to back it up, put it in a satellite, and shoot it into outer space.
posted by hypocritical ross at 2:27 PM on November 18, 2010

What about using a service like Dropbox?
posted by circular at 2:37 PM on November 18, 2010

The easiest thing I can think of would be to set up a Tumblr site, grant others permission to submit, and do the size total manually.

If you have a Unix command line, e.g. on OS X, you'd just need wget, and the command for the dump would be "wget -x -r -k,". If you're on Windows, use HTTrack for the dump instead--I think it has similar options for recursively getting all files from specified domains.

Then just use the finder or zip or whatever to get a number for how big the dump is, and post that in a daily update on the Tumblr site.

The running size total won't be as up to date, but you might be done building this in like a half an hour.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 4:48 PM on November 18, 2010

Note that any web site which lets users both upload files and view files that have been uploaded is, by default, at risk to a whole range of hacks. Also, you may run into issues being used as a free file sharing service.
posted by robertc at 5:11 PM on November 18, 2010

The ability to "View what other people have uploaded" and "allow users to submit photos, text files, mp3s, what have you" is just asking to be used as a dumping ground for malware, piracy, & spam. If you've got a good handle on how to deal with that, more power to you, but from your question it sounds like you'd be better off hiring someone.

er...what robertc said.
posted by juv3nal at 5:41 PM on November 18, 2010

By "view what other people have uploaded" do you mean they should be able to see the actual contents of teh files, view images, etc., or just a title and filesize kind of thing? The latter is obviously much less open to abuse.
posted by hattifattener at 5:59 PM on November 18, 2010

What everyone else said above, about spamming and abuse. And like Circular said, probably best to hire someone.

That being said, check out the open source website builders like Joomla or the slightly more complicated (IMO) Drupal. User friendly, and not too complicated for someone with intermediate website know-how.
posted by unlapsing at 7:34 PM on November 18, 2010

Yeah.. not sure if you can call something simple if you don't know how to do it..
posted by devnull at 3:28 AM on November 19, 2010

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