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  1. #1

    Membership Payment Site Help


    I have thoughts about starting up an internet business. I would like to create a membership site around my interest. The problem is that i'm not so good at the technical parts and wondering how much time it requires to learn the programming languages to setup a website where I can accept monthly payments for members. The content is not a problem, but I don't really know where to start. I would like to create something similar to, or But I would not want one time payment, a monthly subscription.

    Could anyone give some advice how I can start? or does it cost much to hire a professional programmer to setup a site similar to these membership sites above?

    Regards, May Reich

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
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    If you're thinking about learning a programming language you must have some technical ability because that's not something most people would consider. It would be good to know a bit more about your skillset - do you know roughly what's involved in learning computer programming? How are you with things like HTML and JavaScript?

    In any case you have two options, and with each option you can choose to tackle it yourself or pay someone to do it:

    (1) Build your website from scratch, creating all the necessary code.
    (2) Adapt some existing server software to create your site.

    The first option is very time-consuming and requires a high degree of programming expertise. And it's not just the programming skills - you also need a thorough understanding of security, how hackers will attack you and how to stop them, etc. There's no way you'll want to attempt this yourself without years of training and experience. Of course, if you hire a programmer you can expect to pay handsomely for their time and expertise.

    The second option has a few limitations but it's a lot cheaper and a lot more straightforward. For example, the software that runs this forum is called vBulletin and it can be adapted to run lots of different types of website. It has a built-in membership system that keeps track of payments, and it integrates with external payment gateways such as Paypal. There are many similar "content management systems" to choose from. It's quite possible that even a modified Wordpress site could do the trick although I'm not too sure about that. Drupal might be worth a look.

    I guess one more option would be to keep the website itself very simple and manage your subscriptions externally. For example, you could get people to sign up with a Paypal payment and keep track of it all yourself. This would become quite cumbersome once you get a decent customer base but it could be worth considering as a low-risk interim step until you build the site up.
    Dave Owen


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