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Thread: Creating a Club

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    Creating a Club

    Hello,

    I'm not sure if I should be posting in the Software wants forum or this one. I'm not even quite sure what I'm after as I don't really know what is possible. Basically I have a website and I would like to create a members area and resource site. I'd like members to be able to download PDF files, mp3 and possibly video and I'd like to be able to keep track of who downloads what. I don't intend to charge anything, though I may decide I want to do so at a later date, depending on what happens. Another thing I want is some kind of commenting system or way for members to exchange messages via a list with me and each other.

    So far I've had a look at Zen Cart but I think it might be a little bit overkill. The disadvantage with the shopping cart seems to be that if people make multiple selections of items to download they need to download them one at a time (even something like "Down Them All!" for Firefox doesn't help). Also I think I want something where users receive an email of their selections rather than just get sent to an online page with links, though there could well be a way to make Zen Cart do that.

    Can anyone offer any suggestions? Do I need multiple bits of software or is there anything out there that could work for me? I'm used to using Dreamweaver and have done a little bit with PHP which is what my site uses.

    Thanks,

    Chris (Hunt)

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Creating a Club

    You could look at a portal like Plone. I think it is based on Python rather than PHP, but I'm sure there are PHP equivalents. The advantage of a portal is that most every conceivable function will be included or available to add on. However, portals generally are not built for commerce.

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    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: Creating a Club

    The simplest no-work-involved solution is to just set up a group with Yahoo or Google or many other sites. They already have membership (private, public) subscription, file storage, archiving, message posting, etc. Unless this is to learn how to do it yourself, this is the best way to set up a group which you can manage and invite whoever you want.

    Deb

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    Re: Creating a Club

    Thanks for the reply, Jefferson. I followed the link you gave. At first glance it looks like something very similar to Wordpress which I'm already using a little bit. Do you know if there are any significant differences?

    Cheers

    Chris

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    Re: Creating a Club

    Thanks for the reply Deb. There's no way I would want to use Google or Yahoo. That would be sending people away from my website rather than keeping them on it. I wouldn't want to force people to make a profile somewhere else in order to use particular facilities. Also I'm not so sure they give the kind of records I'm looking for regarding downloads, though I could well be wrong. Then there's the advertising they include. I don't mind doing some work or learning something. I just want to try and make sure I'm heading down a path that will work [img]/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    Best wishes,

    Chris

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    Re: Creating a Club

    Chris,

    Have you had a look at what your web site host offers?

    Until recently, I harldy ever logged into the control panel for my hosting. But now that I have, I am blown away with all the offerings. From blogging - via wordpress, ampngst other options - to CMS to calendars. I am still looking and reading and deciding ... luckily we have a few days off work soon!!

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    Re: Creating a Club

    Yes, that's how I came across Zen Cart and Word Press. I'm beginning to think that I need to refocus. Thinking about what I want to do and what I know how to do, at the moment some system for logging and dealing with downloads is what I'm after. Does anyone know of anything that manages downloads from the provider's point of view? If it dealt with the possibility of uploads that would be even better. By managing downloads I'm focusing on:

    1. Logging what is downloaded, when and who by
    2. Preventing unauthorized downloads
    3. Automates sending of emails confirming download links
    4. Incorporates previews (eg snatches of mp3s)

    The points above are written in order of importance.

    Thanks,

    Chris

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    Re: Creating a Club

    A lot of content management systems (CMSs) will do this, and yes there are plenty of them available that are PHP based. I've used Joomla and Drupal before and can recommend either. My advice is to start here (and follow the link in the third paragraph when you're ready). Note that the download tracking feature may not always be standard issue with the core CMS, but as an optional extra. For example, DOCman is a popular and robust extension to Joomla that does what you're looking for.
    Waggers
    If at first you do succeed, you've probably missed something.

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    Re: Creating a Club

    Hi Waggers,

    Thanks very much for the links. I've spent the best part of a day investigating Joomla and Docman. Compared with using Dreamweaver I find the CMS approach bordering on tedious. Now I'm wondering whether to invest the time to figure out how to deal with it and get it to do what I want or try and code something directly into my existing site. Neither option seems palatable. It seems to me that CMS systems can be fine for starting out new but somewhat of a pain in the neck to integrate with something already up and running. I guess I need a lot more patience.

    All the best,

    Chris

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    Re: Creating a Club

    Yep, I agree wholeheartedly with your conclusion! Joomla (and presumably Docman) are open source, so you might be able to glean something from the code for those to incorporate into your existing site. However, having tried that approach before, I've found Joomla code quite hard to read and follow at times and resorted to trying to code something from scratch.
    Waggers
    If at first you do succeed, you've probably missed something.

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