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    19 Replies Latest reply on Nov 9, 2008 11:29 PM by intechspecial

    Where should I go to have a web based application built??

    poloi3eai2 Wayfarer
      I am in the process of starting up a music programming business. Pretty much providing music for retail stores. I want to have a custom web based application where I can create accounts for clients, set up a music library for them, and then they can pick the songs they like and create their own playlists or shuffle the library. Kind of like IMEEM. Where should I go to have a website like this built? and How much would it cost??
        • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
          jnarowski Newbie
          Finding the right company to develop your software can be a daunting task. My company specializes in custom web application development. We are experienced with agile development practices, and design our interfaces using the lastest in web technologies. Our website is If you would like to know more, or get an estimate let me know.

          Also if you would just like some pointers as to what you would want to look for, I would also be happy to provide that.

          Good Luck
            • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
              RongDesign Adventurer
              I personally can't help you because my company doesn't go that far into media, but I can recommend posting your project on and up to 8 (I think its 8, anyways) different designers till give you an ETA and a Quote. Then you get to choose which one you like. I use this site to find leads sometimes, so if you want the cheapest designer you can get, give a try.

              Thank You,
              Dave Moore @
                • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                  intechspecial Ranger
                  I would like to comment on two things if I may.

                  First, I would like to say that the type of website development you are speaking of is not going to be inexpensive. The website will utlize the use of a database, and the cost attached to this type of work is expensive. I would not be able to help you with this directly, but could assist on a project management basis, so that you might find the best developers at the best rates.


                  Second, I would like to comment on the work of RongDesign. When you first came to this site, I thought to myself "ya right like he know what he is doing". You stated that nobody took you seriously because of your age. I think I even went to what I thought was your website, but I believe I typed in an extra letter in the address bar. The website that came up was under construction and was lacking. Later I came back and had noticed you had posted more, and were getting a good response. Being as that you are competition, I went back to your website, this time clicking on the link in your profile. After I visited you website I thought to myself "ya right like I know what I am talking about", as you work is outstanding! I do not like to admit this as you are competition to me, but I would be a fool not to. I am sure that your business will do quite well now and in the future, and your marketing approach to prelude your work with "no one takes me seriously because I am to young" was ingenius.

                  Welcome to the community RongDesign and the person that posted this.
              • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                xenopod Adventurer
                There have been other threads asking similar questions, but your phrasing of the question makes repeating worthwhile.

                You need to plan a well defined scope of what you want this web based app to do you may also need to make some decisions on how it needs to do it. Do you have a website? If so where is it hosted, and is the web based app to be on the same domain as your website?

                If you need help scoping the project you should ask for some help on that. If you feel confident in your ability to effectively scope the project and are looking for a large number of bids you should look at sites like and post your project on any or all of those sites and then read the bids you get. Whoever has the bid that is closest to what you specified and what you idealize your system to be and has the most favorable payment terms to you should be the one you select.

                I have a web development firm that builds web apps so if you post scopes here or on any of the sites I mentioned I would appreciate the heads up so we may have the opportunity to bid on the project for the privledge to serve you on the project. I hope that helps let us know how you proceed!

                Take care and good luck!

                • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                  websolutions Tracker
                  Guys overall good feedback. One thing I would recommend is using Ruby on Rails to develop this app assuming you are wanting a web based app. You can go enterprise or a watered down version of itunes depending on your budget. Also, don't forget to get yourself a nice dedicated server with lots of bandwidth because you are going to need it. Another thing I would ask for is a flowchart from the developer (they will most likely charge you for the flowchart and then comp it when you sign up with them) either way it is worth it. In conjuction to the flowchart they should also give you a SWOT analysis so you know what can go happen.

                  In my mind here is what you need:

                  Interactive Web Interface
                  Database (mysql)
                  Custom Upload Tool (so that you can upload the mp3 files without using FTP client -- this is one more reason why you will need a dedicated server)
                  Music Management Admin (to manage uploaded files)
                  User Management Interface ( create, add, modify, remove, disable, allow/restrict access to certain categories)
                  Widget that can be embedded into a web site
                  Security so that your apps does not get easily hacked.

                  I sure there are more things you can do here.

                  I hope this helps.

                  • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                    poloi3eai2 Wayfarer
                    Thanks for all the feedback it's helped me alot. I'm going to try those freelance bid websites. But I would preferably want someone local to me in VA. So I could sit down with them and contact them when I need updates or to fix any bugs. I could just set up an FTP network then have my clients download the files I upload to the FTP server. Then they load the playlists into Itunes. Pretty much I want a watered down version of Itunes online. I want a proprietary program that will keep clients in business with me. I think if I use Itunes my clients will eventually believe they can download their own songs and just use Itunes themselves. What do yall think? Should I go ahead and use Itunes or design my own proprietary software?
                      • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                        xenopod Adventurer
                        No I don't believe the other poster was referring to using iTunes he was saying something with similar interface and functionality as iTunes. That other site you mentioned IMEEM uses a large database, XML, flash media players, and other scripting code to distribute and collect data between users and the system. Are you looking to literally clone this site for your subscriber base or was there something specific on this site that you were particularly interested in using? You mentioned music specifically so is it safe to presume you are not interested in video distribution? Are your end users the stores themselves or the shoppers at the stores? Have you developed your business plan yet as some of the information you would have written up in there would be good to know to fully scope out what your project would need and some best practices in getting the results needed.
                      • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                        OrayTalu Newbie

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                        • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                          RobTaylor Wayfarer

                          I would never take a project of that magnitude and bid it out on a Freelance Website. Never. The majority of projects posted on those Websites never get done right the first time. Taking something like that to the lowest bidder and assuming (evil word) that they know how to build it is a mistake that many make. A lot of people on there are trying to get paid to learn and will post experience that they simply do not have. By the time you figure all this out you will have probably paid (at least something) for it and you will end up paying for it again.

                          If you are serious about what you are doing then you want to find an experienced development company that you can truly rely on to do the development. Basically, what you need to do is start interviewing development companies.

                          Before you do that, you want to sit down and iron out all the details of the project from A to Z. Envision the home page and all the links (i.e. features) you need to have. Then describe what each section is supposed to do. Don't forget about behind the scenes things such as how you would like to manage members and your music from a private admin section.

                          Then you can start to approach some development firms about getting a quote. This will also help you to find someone you are comfortable working with. You also would want to find a company who has done media applications before. Although, the details right now are brief and how involved this will get is up in the air. But it sounds like it will be rather involved.

                          I hope you take this in to consideration and good luck with your business.

                          • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                            NatOnline Tracker
                            You may try to buy a template at: and ad a module for digital deliveries. In general the template include a data base MS Access or SQL depending on which server you are planning to run your website (Available for ASP / Access / MS SQL Server for Windows hosting and PHP / mySQL version for UNIX / Linux / Apache servers.) all of this for $149 not bad at all when others charge more.

                            It is an excellent way to start in my opinion.
                            • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                              ecomconsult Adventurer
                              My vote also goes to and There are plenty of good companies as well as freelancers waiting to make a cut for your project. But be careful at the same as finding a quality provider is important even if it costs a little more. Take a look at feedback reviews and you will know whom to trust!
                              • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                                wildgift Newbie
                                I'm yet another programmer, but more on the development side than the design side. Also, i recently exited the market and am in a regular IT job, and have now become a customer.

                                I think the main thing you need to find is an designer/project-manager who knows a few different developers to work with. In my experience, the kind of development your're seeking will be either "cookie cutter" or "custom" (aka "bespoke"). In the former type of development, you purchase an application, and configure or extend it for your purposes. In the latter, you purchase the labor of a programmer to create your application.

                                Obviously, the former will be far less expensive. It could also be less successful, if you have tough competition -- because you're competing on the quality of your software. But, beware that custom code is very, very expensive. I couldn't see doing the programming for your site for less than $10,000, and the result would be less full-featured than whatever imeem has. (Of course, most of the features aren't visible to the users - the real work is in reporting and analysis.) Also, the graphics usually cost the same as the programming, if you want it to look "legit" - so, another $10,000. Just to be realistic, I might give a quote of $30,000, because you will have a lot of media, and that takes some domain knowledge, as well as additional code to handle music uploads and downloads, in bulk.

                                Software isn't cheap. Even if you hired foreign programmers, you'd need to have a local quasi-hacker to translate what you want into what you really need. The artist would cost the same, because it's hard to get the right "look" from someone in another country.

                                Now, if you just need a spartan looking site, and you find canned software that works, you can get the thing going for a lot less money.

                                Also, all that said, there might be something to be said for testing your idea out without software first. Do it "by hand" for some clients, first, then see if the like to pay the price you're asking. Identify the need, and fill it, and see if it's profitable. Maybe you can do it by installing PCs to play music at the stores. Then, once you know it works, take the concept online. All the money spent up-front to build your catalog, your relationships with the copyright administrators, and stores will serve as a barrier to entry for competitors. Make the site plain, and hard to access at first, so the competition can't copy you immediately.

                                There's a lot to be said for developing the product before the software, because changes in software cost more after the system is operational and public.
                                • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                                  holdenweb Newbie
                                  This is a tricky question, because web site design and build has become a very competitive business. That's good because it keeps your price down and stops people from gouging you too much, but it's bad because it has attracted a lot of mediocre talent into the market place.

                                  If you work with other small businesses, look at their web sites and ask the companies with the ones that most appeal to you who did the work. Personal recommendation is invaluable, if you get get one. Alternatively, surf the web (using Google to keep your search as local as possible) to find sites you like. Often the design company will have a link to their own site (my designer has, see the bottom right-hand corner of the pages, but sadly he's in the UK, so no good to you).

                                  I would recommend against using an overseas company: they can have very attractive rates, but the quality is very variable, and managing a project across time zones is a skill that takes a while to acquire. Also, try and get a site that allows you to do some of the content editing yourself.

                                    • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                                      ecomconsult Adventurer
                                      I would partly agree with Steve for the fact that Web design business
                                      has attracted a lot of mediocre people but when online marketplaces
                                      like Elance and Guru have strong feedback rating systems this is taken
                                      care of well. So making an apprehension that overseas companies provide
                                      poor quality of web design service and managing your project over a
                                      different timezone needs skills of rocket science is not quite
                                      digestible. I do not mean to offend but this particular justification
                                      would have made sense 5-7 years back that too for someone who is doing
                                      it for the first time.

                                      Competition improves quality and on online service marketplaces like
                                      Elance and Guru when all web development companies have surely grown
                                      up. They are competing with the best not only in terms of price but
                                      quality as well. I don't know how would justify a company on quality if
                                      it has been getting 100% positive feedback over 10 years on a buyer
                                      driven marketplace.

                                      In the end if you do good offers and bad offers you can easily find who
                                      has been doing well for a business/website like you. See their work and
                                      compare for the quality yourself.

                                      Managing your project over a different timezone would only be affected
                                      by the time difference and internet has brought plenty of revolution in
                                      reducing this difference years back.
                                    • Re: Where should I go to have a web based application built??
                                      IAmSpartacus Adventurer
                                      Another platform to consider it DotNetNuke. Based on your short description, it sound like it can do what you need right out of the box with standard modules. It would therefore be quite inexpensive to at least get off of the ground.

                                      When looking to partner with a technology company, there is one golden rule I often advise people to follow that I think is more important than anything else... Ask them to tell talk to you about YOUR business and if they can tell you something you didn't already know, you've found your partner.

                                      Web design and development have become commodities. You are no doubt capable of determining whether or not a company has the appropriate level of experience and track record for customer satisfaction. These things are easily verified. So the differentiator is going to be someone who has some knowledge of the space in which you're operating and can therefore add value to the process. This will help avoid the very common situation of having a web development company (or any technology consultant for that matter) deliver exactly what you asked for, but not what you wanted.

                                      I have written a couple of blog posts where you might find some more useful advice: