My question is whether it'd be good to get the site set up based on existing classified or matchmaking script/software, with any necessary customisations – and if so, which one people would recommend – or whether it's best to have this programmed from the ground up.
Here a brief description of what the site should do:
Membership website where members look for offers from other members while offering something to swap.
Members post what they have to offer and at the same time post what they are looking for (wanted) – for which they will be charged.
They can search offers (what a person offers and what they want should be displayed side-by-side) and if they find something they like make a 'swap offer', preferably to someone who's looking for what they have to offer themselves.
The other member can accept or reject the swap offer. If they accept, the contact details are exchanged via the website and all other communication happens directly between the parties.
Each posting, whether 'offer' or 'wanted' has the same parameters, incl. category and geographic location (preferably world wide).
Offers should be searchable by the different attributes that were entered, incl. geographic location.
The site needs to include a way for members to pay for each listing, and for an administrator to be able to
Other than that, the site's supposed to be relatively simple: no member's profiles or ability for members to communicate through the site.
Hope that's reasonably clear. Thanks for any replies.
There are some pretty modern libraries where a programmer can put together something relatively quickly. For example, the Yii Framework or Ruby might be good options. Based on your explanation so far I would guess a decent programmer could have it up and running for under $1000. Of course, there are always details that really never end to have a site/software that really runs like a champ.
I would say it is much more than $1000 but I guess you probably can find cheaper offer. Remember: usually you get what you pay for though .
Yes, Sounds like $1000 or so would do it for you, but you will need to keep that programmer on your team (or on standby) for ongoing hire just in case you get some problems in the software along the way. The worst thing to do is hire a programmer to do a custom job and then they're nowhere to be found when you need help operating it.