The Lounge is rated PG. If you're about to post something you wouldn't want your
kid sister to read then don't post it. No flame wars, no abusive conduct, no programming
questions and please don't post ads.
If it is just to display some marketing content with a few forms to get some customers in contact - wordpress all the way. There's loads of templates out there, and if you can't find one that fits you can find people that produce wordpress templates for you for very small amounts of money. WordPress is all yucky, and you'll need to take a shower afterwards, but you'll be up and going so quickly with a pretty great result. I inherited the management of a WordPress site that made use of the Advanced Custom Fields plugin. You can attach any sort of fields to any post type (blog, page etc). It made getting a UI to edit content so simple, and the backend php was a breeze to copy and paste to get going. Each time I tinker with it I mentally recoil in horror at just how much boilerplate I'd have to write to get the same effect in asp.net MVC.
If you're after something a bit less one-size-fits-all, I'd go for a static site generator. Theres LOADS of them out there. Set up your templates, content markdown, run a command, and out pops regular plain html read to be statically served.
But for a complete web app - I can't go past asp.net. I love the debugging experience. Node in vscode is almost as nice, but I'm just not as familiar with it.
The owner wants a store front, unfortunately, drawing from multiple suppliers' online catalogs. I'm guessing that WordPress isn't going to be up to the challenge, other than to present a home page with general information and links to our Store. The Store itself will have to be hand tailored, probably using ASP.Net, since that's the only tool I am familiar with and have on hand. I've got Dreamweaver, too, but I always feel I need to wash my hands after I open it.
While I usually have a strong opinion one way or the other, in this case, it depends. If I'm doing a basically static site, WordPress, SquareSpace, etc, are great for putting together something that looks decent. If it's a small site I'm building from scratch that requires a database, business logic, etc., then I use C#/.NET and my own server code (I don't even tie in to IIS.) So that's a partial "Microsoft tools." I haven't needed to use EF, Razor, ASP.NET, because I'm not very fond of them, but since the rest of the Microsoft world goes one of those routes, I end up having to use them occasionally.
These days I only use Razor to render my Angular templates. I do that to leverage the Data Annotations metadata, like 'Display Name', or 'DataType', etc. The data goes straight to the Angular module from a Web API.
The owner is virtually computer illiterate, but has grandiose dreams. It's a gun shop, and the way that business works, there are a half dozen or so large distributors that the manufacturers sell to, and small shops have to get their stock from those dealers. At least one of them offers a direct sales solution for dealers to integrate into their individual websites; it displays that distributor's products, accepts orders and payments from online customers, then ships the product to the local dealer for background checks and final tender to the local customer. I think that's a great solution, but it's going to create a need for some detailed integration, and I suspect I'll want to use whatever technology the distributor uses for integration ease.
But the other distributors don't all carry the same product lines, and don't offer a prebuilt solution we can hook into, so presenting their products will require a bunch of work. Then there's the in-store inventory, which someone will have to photograph and maintain in the online catalog... I don't have much experience with WordPress or other quick and dirty solutions, but I doubt very much that any of them can handle much in the way of complexity. In fact, thinking about it since my first post, I'm leaning toward trying a MVC approach, with a different model for each source of product, including the store stock as a separate vendor. Scary.
I was hoping this would be a simple thing, especially since I was hired to sell and repair guns.
and don't offer a prebuilt solution we can hook into
Which always surprises me, that sites don't have some sort of a REST API for maintaining their products and exposing their products to third parties. It makes me wonder how they update their own site.
Roger Wright wrote:
I'm leaning toward trying a MVC approach, with a different model for each source of product, including the store stock as a separate vendor. Scary.
A very reasonable approach, IMO, but gads, if you start dealing with screen scraping, the nightmare that'll be when the third party changes their layout. Maybe there's a much larger business opportunity here, to talk everyone into contracting you to write something sane. I mean, wasn't that what the holy grail of web services was supposed to be all about?
Roger Wright wrote:
especially since I was hired to sell and repair guns.
See what happens when you mention you have skills in other areas?
The company is willing and able to spend very little money, but it can spend as much time as it takes to get it done. I get a very tiny wage for sales and gunsmithing, and I'm expected to get this working in my 'spare' time. On the flip side, once it's working I'll be splitting the net with the company, so it's in my best interest to get it running soon.