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Website Development: Programming issue
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Jul 24, 2014, 02:40 PM
 
Hello all,

At the company where I work we have a website with a beautiful front side, and a great backside which allows us to use the built in database of current and past clients so to draft documents with their info on the fly. It's 14 years old, and now realizing it was ahead of its time. Over the years it's become buggy, and the guy who originally wrote the code has been patching it, and is now migrating away from development and maintenance.

After dealing with the lack of SEO, and the bugs the owners of the company finally decided on a new system. We had one company design the front side which our clients see, and another working with them for the backside, and now we bought into yet another which is a contact manager system which doesn't talk to the other, so we have three companies involved, and the end result is a horrific website which is time consuming, confusing, and nearly unworkable, whereas the program written 14 years ago is beautiful(lots of compliments about the look and functionality) and does everything, except its buggy and not optimized.

So quite a few months have gone by, and for the most part I've checked out and have been focusing on my own business for income until this gets sorted out. My question is how difficult would it be for someone to look into this system and clean it up so that the bugs are eliminated, and some functions were added, and it was fully optimized(and continually optimized)? I realize this could be a big project, but it seems that what we had(in fact it was turned back on so we could utilize the critical database parts) was perfect, and we shouldn't try and recreate this, but try and fix this.

Any ideas on where to start?

Thanks in advance.
     
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Jul 24, 2014, 05:50 PM
 
Hi Rob,

I'm tempted to move this to developer for you, but I think you want more anecdotal advice than programming tips.

You aren't specific with the platforms involved... so it's hard to argue the merits. That said, anything 14 years old is bound to have some inadequacies, not least of which is not being mobile-friendly/responsive. Even if you got your old-timer to fix all the bugs, there are those modern considerations.

Did your old developer recommend the new vendors/system? Or did the owners get dazzled by a salesman's technobabble? It does sound convoluted. Any design should work with any content system, if the ability to edit css/swap graphics is given. Some CMS are very curmudgeonly and expect everyone to use the same cookie cutter format.

Rather than let anyone get swayed by buzzwords, before you talk platform, you should wireframe out your website. How does it function? How does it function on a phone?
     
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Jul 24, 2014, 06:01 PM
 
Hello Andi

I think that is exactly what happened. They came in cheap, and said "whatever your old system can do, we can do better...". I found out later they never bothered to look inside the system, and were fairly amazed at such a robust system,(It's for vacation rental and sales for an RE firm). I know the new system as buggy as it is optimized for customers on ipad/iphones. Our old system I can pull up anything it has database wise from my phone.
     
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Jul 25, 2014, 05:09 AM
 
First, where is this system located? Private server, VPS, cloud? Are stakeholders happy with the current hosting situation?

Second, find out what technology this system is using. For something 14 years old, my guess would be a LAMP stack. If that is it, you would be looking for a PHP developer. Look for something like San Diego PHP (San Diego, CA) - Meetup in your area, and contact the coordinator and tell them what kind of problems you're having and ask about the best way to engage with a developer.
     
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Jul 25, 2014, 06:57 AM
 
Thanks for that. It's on the developers server for now, but since he wants to be completely done with it I suspect it will either go on our server or cloud.
     
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Sep 27, 2014, 11:04 PM
 
After a meeting this past week it was agreed that we would find out what language the program was written in, and also a description from the developers standpoint as to what it is, does, and what needs to be done to bring it current.
     
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Sep 28, 2014, 09:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by RobOnTheCape View Post
Hello all,

At the company where I work we have a website with a beautiful front side, and a great backside
Always say Front end and Back end.
Aron Dave Peterson, designer, coder. My stuff : Mac Pro, Macbook Pro 13", iPhone 6
     
   
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