General discussion


Setting up a database driven website

By clive.reader ·
I have a technical background, but not to the detailed level in websites and the internet. I am setting up my own new website, which will require a database behind it to allow comparison of thousands of records - like an internet dating site, or a price comparison site.

I envisage about 100,000 records, each with about 150 questions, each of which has an average of 5 fixed answers (anywhere from 2 to 12 each) to be selected by the users. The answsers given are then compared between all 100,000 records.

The web front end needs to allow for subscription, data entry from subscribers, output of comparison results, upload of photos, display of photos, etc.

I want build all of this myself, to learn the required skills, but, although I did computer programming back in the late 70s and early 80s at machine code level, I have not done any since - and things have moved on, a very long way!

I've had advice from a friend who has set up her own site that I should use Joomla, with a MySQL database behind it, and that all of the hard work has already been done by others and I can download Joomla templates, etc. and configure a database engine easily, without programming skills in PHP, etc.

Can any of you experts out there validate this, and let me know what Joomla extensions I would need, and which ones are free, and which ones I'll need to pay for? Also, is this easy to setup as a hosted site?

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I suggest

by The 'G-Man.' In reply to Setting up a database dri ...

if this is going to be a paid for site (as in customers) you get an onsite professional to help you. Imagine what would happen if you charge people and everything goes south?

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Good idea

by Shellbot In reply to I suggest

I've just spent 5 days debugging a problem with our companies intranet/internet site..which is database driven..
Was written for us a number of years ago..(badly) and is a nightmare to work with.

If it was something people had to pay to access, we'd be in deep trouble..

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Joomla & SQL

by devcordj In reply to Setting up a database dri ...

I do believe you are headed in the right direction regarding Joomla!. However, before I go further, as with any situation like this, I would heed the warning of the two previous posters . . . if it's something you need to get up and running quickly and are getting paid for, then get some professional help.

That said, Joomla! (Yes, with an exclamation point), is bursting at the seams. There are developers world-wide and Joomla! developed sites that are now too many to count.

Your best bet is to do some research starting at From there, you will find an incredible list of resources, including a company, for example, under the URL of One of their claims to fames is the owner, Barrie North, who has authored several books & videos. Another claim is their sister company, Simpleweb. Simpleweb specialized turnkey Joomla! hosting and guides you from A-Z.

I am not affiliated with any of these folks, but am a "Joomla! Junkie" as we call ourselves and am a member of the Joomla NH User's Group.

Check it out and good luck!


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Joomla! and SQL

by clive.reader In reply to Joomla & SQL

Thanks for pointing out the need for the exclamation mark in Joomla! I don't want to upset Joomla! aficionados!

I've subscribed to "Start Learning Joomla!" ( and have managed to set myself up with hosting and a Joomla! installation for my chosen domain name and am just about to try to work out how to import a template, having downloaded one to my laptop - one from Barry North's Joomlashack.

As you say there are boundless resources available - in some ways too many for a beginner!

In response to the other kind respondents to my original message: I'm sure I shall need to get the help of a professional (or two) at some point, but this is a website I am building for myself, to create my own business, so the risk is entirely mine at the moment, and the whole point is to learn from the experience. Then I'll be in a position to have meaningful conversations with the experts, and explain exactly what I'm trying to achieve and how.

Where I'm struggling to find information is around the mySQL back-end, and how Joomla! works with this. Does anyone know any good sources of information about this?



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