Web Development



New website and back end system - where do I start?

By neilo1978 ·
As a lot of you will relate to, I am a one man IT department, looking after 200 users and everything they use to do their jobs (basically, anything with a plug on it!). I am a good jack of all trades, but master of pretty much none. I enjoy my role, and the challenges that come with it, but have to admit, this one seems like a real mountain to climb right now?.

We have had a website up and running for approx 4 years, which was bought as I started, and was basically a website in a box. But as the business has grown, this is no longer suitable and we need to develop a new website. This then led on to what we want from a new website, and the obvious thing was to stream line the whole ecommerce side of things.

I see the project being broken down into two stages, the first phase being getting the back end sorted out, and the second being the new website which is basically just the customer front end to whatever we put in place in phase 1.

Currently, our guys have a lot of data duplication to do. To get one order out of the door, the guys have to use 3 or 4 different systems. We need to use this opportunity to consolidate our systems into one, from which we will then have a platform on which to build our new and improved website (well, we will get someone in to do it for us) but I don?t have a clue where to start. We have a budget of approx ?10k which seems nowhere near enough from the research I have done so far.

I would appreciate any help you guys can offer in recommending something that will act as a stock system, CRM and have some form of accounts package built in. SAP Business One has been mentioned, but we?d need to at least double or budget for that. Same for Sage200.

Sorry it?s so long.

Thanks in advance?.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Cart before the Horse, perhaps ? ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to New website and back end ...

If as you say "..to build our new and improved website (well, we will get someone in to do it for us)" - I'd suggest you discuss this critical stage with whoever you're going to use to build this new site.

You wouldn't want to take 3rd party advice as to how to correlate all this data, just to be told by the web designer that THAT wouldn't have been his/her choice.

Collapse -

Cart before the Horse...

by neilo1978 In reply to Cart before the Horse, pe ...

Thanks for the reply?

I hear what you are saying, but I (maybe wrongly?) think we will have an easier job finding a web developer than the core system, whatever that is going to be.

I am looking at products that will output data in a format that is commonly used by developers (not that I really know what that is yet) so we have a wider choice of people to go with when it comes to the new website. We won?t be committing to anything until we know that the new system will enable us to get a good new website.

We did look at doing the website first, but then that presented the question of what data will they be working with?

Think it?s more of a chicken and egg scenario than horse and cart?

Collapse -

A developer will make whatever you want

by CG IT In reply to Cart before the Horse...

the costs might be prohibitive. A turnkey application is probably a better solution.

Someone there has to make decision, like:

This is what we want to see, this is how we want to see it. This is what it has to do. We want to be able to see it ___________ and it has to be able to be seen ___________ to mention just a few questions that need answers. Once someone decides, this is what we want to see and this is how we want to see it, then you can go to a developer and say, this is what we want to see, this how we want to see it, this is what is has to do and how much does all that cost and how long will it take you.

Collapse -

Yea What he Said

by mwalsh In reply to A developer will make wha ...

I am in the same situation as your in. We sat down with 3 different web designers and said we want this and want to be able to do this. Then they left came back with proposal. I agree you need to at least say we want this information to appear and we want it to have these features.

Shop it around. Make sure you look at the portfolio of the designer. Check out the sites they have built for others. Some of these guys use a lot of template's and you can tell when you look at the site.

Hope that helps

Collapse -


by neilo1978 In reply to A developer will make wha ...

Thanks for the replies guys.

We'll sit down and come up with a more detailed plan of what we want out of our new website, and then take it to some developers and see what they suggest.

Collapse -

My 2 cents

by PoppaTab In reply to Thanks...


Take a look at the sites of those you compete with as far as the what the customer would view. The always new and fresh look of a site helps, but not if it looks just like xyz company. You really do need to decide what IT is going to be asked to do as far as company business. This is where the real cost comes from. Do you want enterprise like IBM under the hood, or do you want what Joe's auto parts has? There are an overwhelming number of backends to be used and paid for and the same goes for the front end. Sit down with those responsible and do some web surfing with them and see what they like. Ask at least 3-6 web developers to see what is real. Just like everyone else says; decide what you want and then what you need.

Collapse -


by jamiekownacki In reply to New website and back end ...

I would look at the following items:


also, you may want to consider Joomla. This is a great content management solution that is easy to administer and FREE.

Related Discussions

Related Forums