billw129 — 2013-01-26T16:23:56-05:00 — #1
Hello everyone. I am building a site for our recently opened used car dealership. I have built very few simple web sites using Dreamweaver. I can write bad HTML but know nothing about PHP or MySQL. I need some advice on how to make the site. I would like to have a way to easily add and remove the cars as well as add the information such as the features, vin, price, and pictures. If anyone has any help that would be great.
slackr — 2013-01-27T16:35:11-05:00 — #2
I'm not sure how quickly you want everything to work, but what you are attempting is a pretty complex process. If you have the time and grumption then you could custom build your website. An alternative would be to use a Content Management System platform and build around that. There are a number of options for CMS's, but essentially they all contain the engine for building a site like you are talking about. The php and sql relationships are predefined and they allow you to concentrate on the content. Some of the more popular CMS's also allow for pretty quick customisation.
If you want to invest some time and get good results I would personally install WordPress and opt for a theme like this one. It has a huge amount of sales and really what you get is someone elses experience trouble-shooting all the nooks and crannies of running a site like this you probably haven't thought of.
There would be a learning curve, but in my experience Wordpress is pretty user friendly and a theme like this one would have a lot of support questions already answered. It would be unlikely that you would come across a situation that hadn't already been experienced and solved. Wordpress is free although you do need a web host that always for a SQL database (very common) and you sound like you are already familiar with this requirement anyway.
billw129 — 2013-01-27T19:17:05-05:00 — #3
Thank you slackr. I started building my site from scratch last night. I was following some tutorials on youtube and I got as far as setting up all of my pages and creating an admin CP. When I got to the form for adding inventory that is when things started to fall apart. I can not get to the link you provided since my internet is acting crazy. I will check it out in the am and see if word press is a better option for me. I am about computered out for now lol. I do mess around a lot and would like to learn PHP and CSS though. I think that I have the basic idea behind MySQL down for now.
slackr — 2013-01-27T19:28:07-05:00 — #4
Good on you Bill. The link in plain form looks like this : http://themeforest.net/item/openhouse-real-estate-automotiv-car-dealership/104662.
I'm a tinkerer and a code manipulator rather than a real coder. I know enough to be dangerous hehehe. As such I've always preferred platforms that do the heavy lifting and then massaging and tweaking to my hearts content.
I've developed enough websites in my time to know that often with websites like you are talking about that it is the little things that become annoying. You have 95% in place then realise that you have to link that with this and there's no easy way to do it. Suddenly things grind to a halt while you research the problem and write your custom code to fix it.
Even if you don't use Wordpress or the template I'd have a good poke around their features and their FAQs page (if they have one) to anticpate what some of the sticking points may be. In terms of a theme/template that one has a HUGE number of sales and has had 12 updates since 2010. They obviously have a good user base and a good reason to continue to keep it supported.
Good luck with whatever route you choose.
webeminence — 2013-01-27T21:14:50-05:00 — #5
Hey there Bill. I agree with Slackr that this would be a huge task to custom code a car dealer website that will allow you to manage inventory quickly. I would also recommend a Wordpress setup for your site. It's much quicker and efficient than building something from scratch. You can use a theme like slackr suggested but I did some research for a client recently who was building a car dealer site and we found some good car dealer plugins for WordPress that will allow you to use any WordPress theme and add a plugin to manage your car inventory within the website. Go to the WordPress Plugin Directory and search car dealer or car dealership
backupbranch — 2013-01-29T05:02:45-05:00 — #6
I would also recommend starting with wordpress. If you wish Joomla is another alternative to wordpress but is move involved (much better features).