What Programming Skills Would Be Needed?

31 replies
Hi everyone ,

I am new to programming and was trying to figure out what programming skills would be needed to create a site like Lynda.com? It is basically a video members site that allows access to some of the videos on a course for all visitors but you have to login as a member to get access to all the other videos of the course.

I also fear this may be beyond my limited programming experience and so was wondering what experienced programmers would expect it would cost to get a similar website done? In addition, what would be a reasonable time estimate to expect the work completed in? Basically, if I were to outsource this, what type of skills would I want from a programmer to have them do a great job and what should I expect for cost and the time it would take to complete it?
#needed #programming #skills
  • Profile picture of the author rajeevrla
    lynda.com is a great site, I have learned everything from them. You'll need the programming skills like PHP which involves database. Try to find if a programmer is capable of handling database site. Obviously HTML ans CSS skills should be good.

    This is a membership site, it should take around 1-2 months to get it ready.
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    • Profile picture of the author JDSalinger
      Originally Posted by rajeevrla View Post

      lynda.com is a great site, I have learned everything from them. You'll need the programming skills like PHP which involves database. Try to find if a programmer is capable of handling database site. Obviously HTML ans CSS skills should be good.

      This is a membership site, it should take around 1-2 months to get it ready.
      Thanks rajeevrla for the quick response. The WarriorForum is the best.

      Ok, so I should look for someone who has skills in PHP, HTML, and CSS. Anything else, you think?

      Also, any idea how much something like that would cost in terms of price to put together?

      Since you are familar with the site, do you see anything tricky about its programming setup that I should know about and tell the programmer? For example, I really like how they have put together the features where you can watch some videos for free as a teaser and then login to see the others? Is this hard for programmers to put together or is this pretty standard? What about close captioning? Pretty basic or a challenge?
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  • Profile picture of the author rajeevrla
    lynda.com is a highly recognized site and it has a lot of features as you have pointed out already. Developer must have good experience with ecommerce site, Jquery knowledge would be an advantage.

    The developer can add the functionality to offer free videos as a teaser and the Close Captioning. I won't say these are basic, yes they need good skills so you must see the similar work that has been done by him. Cost shouldn't be less than $5,000.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      If you have a site like that coded from scratch, you're talking some serious coin. The front-end would be relatively easy, but there would be a TON of back-end coding involved for a site like that. I guarantee you that the development costs for Lynda.com far exceeded 5 G's!

      A far more cost-effective solution would be to look for an existing video sharing / membership script that you can buy and have modified to suit your needs. If you go that route, you'd still need to find a developer who was skilled in (at a minimum) HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and MySQL, in order for him to be able to make all of the necessary changes.

      And that doesn't even factor in the video production costs, which would not be cheap if you want quality work.

      There's no way for anyone here to give you a very meaningful estimate of what a project like that would cost though, unless we knew a LOT more about the specifics of the project (ie we would need to see a very detailed project description, which breaks down every single feature of every part the site). Also, the cost would of course greatly depending on the developer who you hire (their competence / skill level / reputation).

      I love video tutorial sites though... I think it would probably be a great business model, if done right.
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      • Profile picture of the author JDSalinger
        Thanks for the response Brandon. I have a few questions below for you if you don't mind.

        Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

        If you have a site like that coded from scratch, you're talking some serious coin. The front-end would be relatively easy, but there would be a TON of back-end coding involved for a site like that. I guarantee you that the development costs for Lynda.com far exceeded 5 G's!
        What type of things would you consider back end coding here? Also, what be considered simply front end coding in this example?

        Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

        A far more cost-effective solution would be to look for an existing video sharing / membership script that you can buy and have modified to suit your needs. If you go that route, you'd still need to find a developer who was skilled in (at a minimum) HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and MySQL, in order for him to be able to make all of the necessary changes.
        Thanks for this suggestion. I will have to look into it. Where would one go to find something like this? What would you expect to pay for something like this? How could you tell if it was good work or not? Unfortunately, I am still a newbie for programming so can't tell by looking at it.

        Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

        And that doesn't even factor in the video production costs, which would not be cheap if you want quality work.
        What specifically are you talking about here? Are we still talking programming or are you talking about the cost to actually create the videos themselves like the filming, hiring the talent, etc.?

        Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

        There's no way for anyone here to give you a very meaningful estimate of what a project like that would cost though, unless we knew a LOT more about the specifics of the project (ie we would need to see a very detailed project description, which breaks down every single feature of every part the site). Also, the cost would of course greatly depending on the developer who you hire (their competence / skill level / reputation).
        I think I am basically trying to figure out what exactly I need for the project description. The stuff I listed before are the main things I believe I need to get started. I recognize that I can always add in some stuff later. I hope to be at a point where I can do some of the smaller stuff myself. But at this point, I am hoping you guys can help me out with filling in some of the details for what should be in the project description and what I should be looking for in terms of a good programmer and expectations for price/duration.

        Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

        I love video tutorial sites though... I think it would probably be a great business model, if done right.
        I like them too. I think video is a great way to learn things.

        Thanks again for your help here. Let it never be said that the Warrior Forum does not deliver.
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        • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
          Originally Posted by JDSalinger View Post

          What type of things would you consider back end coding here? Also, what be considered simply front end coding in this example?
          The "front-end" is the design part of the website (HTML, CSS, etc). The "back-end" is basically the "brains" behind it all, and is what makes it all work (PHP code, database, etc.)

          Originally Posted by JDSalinger View Post

          Thanks for this suggestion. I will have to look into it. Where would one go to find something like this? What would you expect to pay for something like this? How could you tell if it was good work or not? Unfortunately, I am still a newbie for programming so can't tell by looking at it.
          Google "membership site script" or "video sharing script". Honestly though... a membership site script would probably get you closest to what you're trying to achieve... because you want (paying) members who you serve videos to. A "video sharing" script would be like a YouTube clone.

          Membership site scripts can vary quite a bit in cost... depending on the features you need, a decent script can cost anywhere from @ $100, to several times that. It just depends on what all you need. I can't recommend any one in particular, as I've always "rolled my own" whenever I've needed that type of functionality. But I've seen lots of membership scripts reviewed here at the WF over the years, so you might want to do a search for "membership script" threads.

          Originally Posted by JDSalinger View Post

          What specifically are you talking about here? Are we still talking programming or are you talking about the cost to actually create the videos themselves like the filming, hiring the talent, etc.?
          Talking about the cost to create the actual videos here (hiring video talent). If your videos are going to be of the "screen capture" type (like on Lynda.com), then getting those type of videos produced shouldn't be quite as expensive as videos that require a video camera. But either way, you're going to want good "teachers" who know their subject in and out (if you want a quality product)... and that type of talent usually doesn't come cheap.

          Originally Posted by JDSalinger View Post

          I think I am basically trying to figure out what exactly I need for the project description.
          Go to Lynda.com and click on all of the links on the home page (there's LOTS of links near the bottom of the page!), and make a detailed list of everything you want. Then get a 1 month membership, so that you have access to all of the features that the members get, and make a detailed list of everything you have access to there as well.

          Hope that helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author JDSalinger
    What does everyone else think? Do you agree with rajeevrla's advice (it looks good to me) or would you recommend I add in something else?

    What other things should I be thinking about?
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  • Profile picture of the author wayfarer
    If you wanted to know what Lynda is actually built with, it's ASP.NET. I can tell from the response headers. Probably a C# job, something that enterprising would never use VB.
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    • Profile picture of the author JDSalinger
      Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post

      If you wanted to know what Lynda is actually built with, it's ASP.NET. I can tell from the response headers. Probably a C# job, something that enterprising would never use VB.
      Thank you for the detective work. I am not trying to create a site exactly like it, but do like the functionality that the site offers and would like to build something similar in terms of this functionality. Do you think I should still be looking at php programming and the like or do you feel that would be a mistake? Basically, what would you do if you were me?
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      • Profile picture of the author wayfarer
        Originally Posted by JDSalinger View Post

        Thank you for the detective work. I am not trying to create a site exactly like it, but do like the functionality that the site offers and would like to build something similar in terms of this functionality. Do you think I should still be looking at php programming and the like or do you feel that would be a mistake? Basically, what would you do if you were me?
        If you were going to build it from scratch, without adding onto an existing framework, I would prefer to use more enterprise level technology. PHP is ok for smaller stuff (yes, I know it runs Facebook and Wikipedia), but for medium-large projects I prefer Python with Django. There's a lot of stuff that would work though, from Java to Ruby on Rails or even ASP.NET.

        Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

        If you have a site like that coded from scratch, you're talking some serious coin. The front-end would be relatively easy, but there would be a TON of back-end coding involved for a site like that. I guarantee you that the development costs for Lynda.com far exceeded 5 G's!
        That's true, it's pretty easy to spend 5 grand. Even 10 or 15 grand is easy. I've seen a $25k project from the early 2000's that has way less features than you probably want. Technology has improved a lot since then though. You can get a lot more bang for the buck these days, but to get something good it still takes time.

        I wouldn't be surprised if Lynda has spent a million dollars on their site. Of course, that includes revenue being reinvested in the site and all of the maintenance. They probably have venture capital.

        You could always go to angel.co and look for an investor. Starting small could work too though.
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        • Profile picture of the author lite_ws
          It's easy to know what technologies and framework are using to built a website:

          just check it with the website called : builtwith.com

          Like Wayfarer said Lynda is made with the ASP.NET Framwork, for that you need the software Visual Studio (450$) and the database is not Mysql.
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  • Profile picture of the author wordpressmania
    PHP is the latest programming language and easy to learn ( it is open sours ). So I will tell you to learn PHP and MySQL... then you can go for WordPress... I assume you are trying to learn web development.. so HTML and CSS is a must for you

    Hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author JDSalinger
      Originally Posted by wordpressmania View Post

      PHP is the latest programming language and easy to learn ( it is open sours ). So I will tell you to learn PHP and MySQL... then you can go for WordPress... I assume you are trying to learn web development.. so HTML and CSS is a must for you

      Hope this helps.
      Yes, that is the path I have been following and so I think it is good advice. For this project though, it will probably take me at least a couple of years to where I can get to a point to do the same level of work. But it is always good to hear I am on the right track. Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author rankingconsult
    "just check it with the website called : builtwith.com "

    Nice one, Not heard of that before.
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  • Profile picture of the author rising_sun
    Banned
    Use php with mysql combination ,
    or asp.net with c#,
    but mind it you need a huge space to store video.
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  • Profile picture of the author janecristy
    I have visited lynda.com it has informative and useful tutorials for php css and other languages...W3schools is also good for learning php and other programming languages....positively....
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  • Profile picture of the author edbarnes
    For building such websites, You will need HTML, Javascript, PHP or ASP.NET, MySQL or any other database, and maybe AJAX . If you are just starting, I recommend learning HTML and Javascript, You'll probably find your own path after that
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  • Profile picture of the author doyle20
    If you want to learn programming just to create a website like that, You better not waste your time and hire someone else to do It
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  • Profile picture of the author Chuck Dimon
    Backend: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (or Ruby, Python, Perl)
    Frontend: HTML, CSS, Javascript

    The initial development of the site is only the first step on a very long road. Maintenance will quickly make your initial investment seem quite small.

    Hosting video's consumes a huge amount of bandwidth and CPU. Your going to need at the very least 1 VPS or dedicated server to get started.

    Good Luck to you. Hope you can make it happen.
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  • Profile picture of the author ababuobana
    Creating such website needs knowledge of HTML, CSS, Javascript, AJAX, PHP and MySQL . I think You can hire someone to do It for $500-$1000 in 2-3 weeks in freelancer.com
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  • Profile picture of the author edward20
    You must learn web programming . Many languages are involved with this, like HTML, Javascript and PHP
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
    Home - PHP & MySQL: Novice to Ninja, 5th Edition

    This book will take you from zero programming knowledge to everything you need to custom program your own membership site.

    I read the first edition 11 years ago; it's been rewritten 4 times since then to stay up-to-date.
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  • Profile picture of the author css4me
    You need to have basic html and css knowledge, that is required for photoshop slicing and for right functioning you need to have knowledge of PHP. that is a open source, also you need to have data base knowledge fro connectivity, if you don't want to make your website in core PHP you can also take advantage from amazing and dazzling CMS available, like joomla, wordpress etc. Or in any case you want to outsource the designing and development you can have a chat with the prestigious companies available like Css4me[dot]com
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  • Profile picture of the author TheApex
    If you want to make your own site, you could try to learn PHP or ASP.NET for the scripting/accounts part and html/css/jquery for design. But this takes time...

    However, you can try creating that site using wordpress/drupal/joomla, and just edit the design - it's easier if you don't have experience in web development.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheAlexander
    Originally Posted by Rahat View Post

    Hi,
    Accoirding to me in order to understand this site you should have the knowledge of the following languages:
    PHP, HTML, CSS, ASP.NET .

    Thanks.
    You should have the knowledge of either PHP or ASP.NET. They don't work hand in hand, just separate. Also, add JavaScript and jQuery.
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  • Profile picture of the author FirstSocialApps
    No offense .. but if you have to ask .. your very very far from even starting. I would start with learning some basic HTML / PHP / MYSQL / Javascript / JQuery .. do some simple scripts and work your way up.
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  • Profile picture of the author Maja00
    Banned
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  • Profile picture of the author rasynomarlo
    Well, as such it is unpredictable to say that what are the techniques that have been used in Lynda.com, because that site has involved too much of developing skills and great designing and hence it cannot be said surely that the site has been developed using PHP. I guess just being an open source language is not only the reason that it would be used in that website.
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  • Profile picture of the author mayron56
    If I am trying to start my online system using HTML or PHP? I signed up for a program called 12 Minute Payday and I recieved the PDF information on what to do, but I don't know what to do, can some one help me out?
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Ray
    If you are inspired to learn web development, you should definitely learn it; but only if you are really interested in it and truly motivated. Then, you will be able to learn it in about a year and it will be a lot of fun.

    Otherwise, if you want to learn programming just to build one site like lynda.com so you don't have to pay for development, you will have a hard time learning this stuff.

    Web development, especially backend programming is definitely a learning curve but it's worth it. I recommend learning it.
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