Directory database
September 29, 2017 8:05 PM   Subscribe

I want to make a directory of niche nonprofits, and I want people to be able to access it through a website. What programs should I use and how do I get them to talk to each other?

I know more about how these things work than the average user of the internet, but less than people who code. For example, I've never gone, "gee, I could just dig into the source code and fix that bug" but I know about the existence of Github. I like user-friendly interfaces. I do not like finicky, but I like to be able to access the finicky bits.

I'm familiar with Wordpress and I get my computers from the used computer thrift store, so my operating system is Linux Mint and comes with Libre Base. The website would probably never get thaat much traffic.
posted by aniola to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: One of my goals for this project is to learn how to work with databases.
posted by aniola at 8:07 PM on September 29, 2017

You seem to be saying, I want to create a list of nonprofits - and I want someone to click on the link to access the nonprofits?
posted by iNfo.Pump at 8:29 PM on September 29, 2017

Yes, some clarification is needed. Do you mean you want users to be able to search and filter the directory?
posted by AFABulous at 8:36 PM on September 29, 2017

Based upon your brief description, you could solve this problem with Air Tables.
posted by skye.dancer at 8:43 PM on September 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes, I want users to be able to search and filter the directory.
posted by aniola at 9:34 PM on September 29, 2017

MySQL for the database, PHP for the website. Both free, both learnable in a week.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:48 AM on September 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Airtable if you want wysiwyg, what kevinbelt said if you want to learn to code. I'm not sure "learnable in a week" is accurate for all persons.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:51 AM on September 30, 2017

Response by poster: Ok... you know how with Wordpress you can have the cheap version and you use other peoples' CSS or you can have the pricey version where you have access to the CSS and can DIY? And how with wikis you can have wysiwyg or you can go into the wiki formatting code?

I'm looking for something where I can switch back and forth like that. If I'm understanding this correctly, it looks like Airtable is just wysiwyg and MySQL/PHP is just the code. What I'm looking for is something that has both. What would that be?
posted by aniola at 2:24 PM on September 30, 2017

Response by poster: Maybe I gave myself too much credit. I'm still feeling lost.

Can anyone point me to some resources on getting started with something like mysql & php, and getting them all connected to each other?
posted by aniola at 12:57 PM on October 2, 2017

I learned PHP via Treehouse. It's a pay site, although I think there's a free trial period. Codecademy is another site that's free. Offline, there's an O'Reilly book that's pretty comprehensive: Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS, & HTML. It's a one-stop Web Dev 101. But really, any PHP tutorial, online or off, worth using should have a MySQL module. I actually learned the MySQL connection from the PHP for Dummies book.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:46 PM on October 2, 2017

It's probably easier to start with the MySQL side first. It's only marginally harder to use than an Excel spreadsheet. PHP is also pretty easy, but there's a lot of abstract stuff to get through at the beginning, so it won't feel easy at first. Go for the quick win to build momentum.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:49 PM on October 2, 2017

Response by poster: This question does a better job at asking what I was aiming to ask (minus the merit badges, of course).
posted by aniola at 3:44 PM on October 15, 2017

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