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Starting a Wiki based site, and outsourcing the work

2:45 am on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

I'd like to open a discussion about this.

I'm planning on starting a wiki site using mediawiki (http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki). Ideally I would have a few ads down the road(Google Adsense) and generate a revenue from the site.

I know VERY little about starting a website, which is why I'm at this forum, and why I'm also strongly considering outsourcing the work.

Basically I'd like to discuss the steps needed to complete this goal. I'll start with some basic questions such as

1) When hiring somebody to build this, what should I be looking for - an expert in PHP, SQL, CSS, etc? I'm a little cloudy on what mediawiki runs on.

2) I'm looking at places like Elance to do the hiring from. How many hours (ballpark) do you think it would take for someone to set up a website like this? Since it's a wiki based website, users will contribute the bulk of the content. Therefore this person just needs to get the basic framework in place for me.

I look forward to hearing your answers and learning from this place!

Thank you,

6:43 am on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to WebmasterWorld, JFetter.

For the technical part, you should be looking for a general web developer who knows php (and, of course, also knows sql, but that kind of goes without saying today). CSS is more of a layout-thingy, so you might be looking at more than one person for the project: one to install and manage the software (it's not an install & forget-project, you need to update it, patch it when security leaks occur etc) and one to design your new page and modify the templates.

I can't give you a clear amount of hours, because that heavily depends on wether you need any extras that need to be developed or changed while installing. generally, if you've done it before and the server is setup right, installing mediawiki is done quickly, say, within two hours. but work isn't over when it's installed: there will be bugs, security breaches, feature updates. thus, you'll probably have to look for someone for a continuing business relationship.

9:28 am on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You could have the basic framework of mediawiki up in a couple of hours but after that it will take time to make it how you want it, for example, you will need to setup short URL's to start with as the standard htaccess uses index.php?...... you will also need to add an extension to add meta description tags, the standard installation only has a title element and keyword meta tag, there are hundreds of different extensions that cover almost everything you would want, including different ways and locations for displaying AdSense.

Then as you say you will want to run adsense on it in the future, be careful if you intend to let users add all their content and time only for you to generate revenue from their work, not sure how you will get around this.

Of course you could do all the content yourself and block of allowing users to sign up, that way you would be using the software sort of like a CMS.

To setup mediawiki you don't really need to know any language, it runs on php mysql, to install it all you need to know are the database settings, the installer does the rest.

It's a fairly robust piece of software that you can easily change/modify to suit what you want it to do.

My opinion, do it yourself and ask here if you hit a snag, all you need to do is get your hosting setup with MySql and download the mediawiki package and go for it, what's the worst that can happen? a re install

3:11 am on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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i had the same question.now i understand thnx frnds
2:53 am on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the replies!

I have been sick the last few days so sorry for the late response.

You've talked me into starting this myself. These are the first steps, correct?

1- Register a domain name
2- Buy hosting

I have some confusion regarding hosting. I know this forum doesn't allow you to directly recommend a host, but are there any good links someone can supply me with? (that compare common hosts, pros/cons, etc.) And if memory serves a dedicated host costs more than most, but the uptime and security make it worth it?

Maybe someone can provide me with a ballpark of what I should pay a month to start this out the right way.

< One place > I'm seeing hosting for under $10 a month for unlimited space (too good to be true?)

And < another place > for in the hundreds a month for hosting that is space limited

Thanks guys!


[edited by: tedster at 4:52 am (utc) on Feb. 20, 2009]
[edit reason] removed the specific website links [/edit]

9:58 am on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi Jared

Yes register the domain of your choice and get a hosting account, as the site is new I wouldn't recommend a dedicated server yet, it's more expensive and I doubt your traffic will be that much in the first year, as for where to host, sorry no idea I run my own servers. As long as the hosting account has php and mysql available AND you are able to modify your own htaccess file then you should be ok.

Forgot to mention, upgrades to mediawiki are via command line SSH, make sure you have that facility too. So you need to make sure the host you choose allows modifications to your htaccess and provides you with SSH connection.

10:15 am on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Of course, then you will need to market the site in order to get the visitors to come and add the content.

Unfortunately build it and they will come doesn't work :)

So you'll need to look into SEO and maybe some PPC in order to get the site moving.


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