c# – Common functionality recommendations for a small-business site – Education Career Blog

So a friend of mine has a small business, where he sells paper products, as well as custom posters, banners, and the like. He doesn’t have a website, so he’s hired me to create one for him, where users can place orders, check the status of their order, etc.

Other than his requirements, I’m trying to come up with other common functionalities that I should include in the site; things like a company blog, an admin section containing a simple CMS and error tracking/logging, a contact form, etc. Just common things that would be useful for a business site that he (or even I) might not think of.

Even small ideas are welcome. Someone suggested a global announcement module that would display a message on every page, for announcements like “Site maintenance from 1:00 – 4:00 tomorrow”, or something like that.

Any other suggestions?

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For a small business site I wouldn’t even think of building it myself. Instead, just get a CMS like DotNetuke, or Drupal. Basically pick your poison.

All of the major ones have a number of free (and for sale) modules you can just drop in. Little things like shopping carts, blogs, photo carousels, etc.

Also, I wouldn’t consider setting up a blog on the site unless the owner is going to commit to actually posting stuff to it.

All of this has been built a million times over and doing a custom solution for your friend is just going to hamstring him and lock you into doing updates. Ultimately you can set up a site in an afternoon with a decent skin for under $200 using one of the CMS’s above. This is going to be far less than the amount of time you spend coding it yourself… And, I can pretty much guarantee he would end up with far more functionality than you could conceivably provide in any feasible amount of time.

Now if you just want to build your own CMS then I’d suggest doing it for your own site instead of his. Friends don’t let Friends code when it’s not necessary.

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You could work on some design related ideas like pricing tables for his products or the ability for clients to be able to publisise the work he sells by creating links to DIGG, TWTITTER, FACEBOOK, etc.
Consider:
http://uxmovement.com/
It’s an excellent design oriented blog that concentrates a lot on website and UI design.
Good luck!

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