What kind of software would I need for an online event alert website?

by on September 22, 2009

Q: I would like to start a website where people can go to find out what events are going on near where they live. When they subscribe, they can put their zip code and/or city of choice into the system and they will get timely e-mail alerts as to what, where, when, who is going on in their chosen geographic location. What kind of software would this be called, to do that sort of thing?


3 Responses to “What kind of software would I need for an online event alert website?”
  1.  

    This sounds like an interesting website you are describing. This would be called a custom web based application. It would have to be designed and then created by a software developer and a graphic designer. Depending on the exact features you are looking at it could cost you anywhere from as little as a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

     
  2.  

    Thanks, but, why so much $ ?
    It doesn’t seem like such a difficult thing to do.
    I don’t know much about software, but, I do have a nephew who writes software for a living. Maybe, it’s time to cozy up to him and ask him to help me out.

     
  3.  

    Why so much is a common question when people come up with software or web ideas. The simple answer is that there is a lot more to it than you can imagine. Just writing up a requirements document and work flow for what you have described could easily end up taking more than a week the way I picture it in my head. So depending on who you go with that could be a few few thousand dollars right there.

    The biggest issue first timers have is they don’t even do that step. They just come up with a 1 paragraph description of what they want done and then they hire the cheapest company they can find. The problem with this is that the company is going to do exactly what you ask for. They are not going to put any time and energy into thinking it though, they are just going to quickly code it.

    Once they get a week or two into the project and start showing you stuff then you will realize you want things a little different or you want to add this feature or that feature. The next thing you know the time line for the project doubled or tripled because of the “little” feature and your budget just increased 10x. Sometimes adding a “simple feature” can actually cause everything to change even though you see no change in your browser.

    My most memorable moment was when a client came to our office and wanted to sit with us while we were doing the work on his website because he could not figure out why things were falling behind and why his budget was increasing daily. He was asking for “small little changes” thinking they would be quick and when it ended up taking hours and not minutes he finally realized why the entire project was taking so long. The reason was these things that he thinks are so small and so easy to tweak are really very difficult to make happen and are adding months to the project.

    Good luck with your project and I hope your nephew is able to give you a little more insight.