I\’ve a little task, a task that should be entirely trivial for someone who knows what they\’re doing but quite complex to someone like me who doesn\’t.
We\’re setting up a little membership organisation over here (gets people discounts on the price of golf and kiddies activities, bit off restaurant prices here and there etc).
The main website is being set up using WordPress, got a designer in to make it look pretty etc. No problems there.
Hosted at GoDaddy.
However, what I need is an email database. Got to do all the usual things about spam. Double confirmation (I think that\’s right? They sign up, they get an email asking them to agree that they have signed up?) and unsubscribe options. Plus we need to be able to distiguish between people who have just signed up to get information and those who are actually members.
Am I right that this is a reasonably trivial task for those who know what they\’re doing?
And is there one among you who for £50 or whatever would set this up on GoDaddy\’s space for us?
Use http://mailchimp.com/. It’s a surprisingly complicated problem to implement well in the presence of spam detection, dealing with out of office replies / bounces / desperate pleas to take yourself off the list.
Also, formatting email messages that are more complex that plain text that will work for webmail accounts, outlook etc is a total swine. They have templating that can deal with that
Maybe get a plumber to do it?
Nah wait – they’d probably charge at least £50 just to turn up…
Are you keeping the DB on the webspace, Tim? If you are you might like to consider an automatic backup like http://www.backupmachine.com/ – that sounds a bit of a spammy plug and it is a little, I suppose, but it would be a good idea.
I know a few bands who use this and rate it well;
All the sophistication you could want for $9/month.
This is not my area, so I cant help. But I know enough about it to know that it’s not a trivial piece of work (I work in corporate systems, not web). Suggest you need to look for a better angle cos this would cost you a few thousand comercially (i.e. not a couple of hours tinkering) and that’s obviously not viable. You will also need ongoing backup. You either need
1. a true pointy head who’ll do it cos it’s fun/cool
2. someone trying to get experience in this area (watch out for teething problems)
3. someone you can offer something else to (e.g. marketing links – “built by conehead the geek” on the website)
4. someone who is willing to contribute to what you’re doing and you offer ongoing involvement beyond just the technical. i.e. becomes part of the group. (that volunteer sector that the massively foreheaded one is counting on, but unlikely to find).
They are out there, you just need to pitch it right. Basic economics even if non-monetary ;o)
P.S. taken another look. This could be a trivial peice of work if the tools are readily available. Just not sure they are. As I said, not my area.
Suggest you check out the links above. even if they are spam, if the tools exist, you should be able to do it yourself.
And even if they’re spam, at least they’re reading you ;o)
From scratch you’ll need to:
Setup a database of some sort, most small websites rely on mySQL but you can go simpler if that’s overkill. Godaddy provide it so I don’t think there’s much work to get this up and running.
Design the pages for the main functions, the main problem being how should you and end users be able to interact with the site? It sounds like you need at least registration, address confirmation/verification, subscription control (change settings or remove themselves), a single click unsubscribe page etc.
If you’re not prepared to modify the data directly you’ll also need an admin interface but you’d need to know what functions you want to perform before it can be done properly.
You mention you want to distinguish between new users and members but you’ll need a way to identify them, it can be done simply just by passing an extra bit of information through like their membershipid or just a simple flag.
Plus what’s this database actually doing? Do you want a system that sends out to these users or are you just taking the data to use with something else? If it’s the former then you’ll need to decide what options you want to have when sending and if it ever got into big user numbers you’ll have performance considerations to start worrying about.
Not to discourage you but unless you can find someone with most of this stuff already written (to be fair, this is a pretty common bit of functionality) it actually requires a bit of effort to get it done right. The most common mistake I come across when someone pays for some custom code is they haven’t thought it through and end up paying through the nose for all the extra features they need because they didn’t have a clear understanding of every step.
I’d expect it to be 1-2 days worth of work for a medium skill developer and there’s plenty of sites out there that cater to this kind of stuff like http://www.freelancers.net/ but I think you’ll save yourself a lot of headache by just getting a package off the shelf.
Forgot to add these guys, had a client which used them for a while.
To echo Simon B, it’s more than £50 of work. The thing about members/non-members and the mailing list makes it more than that.