Developing my Vanilla Forum
(Sorry for the long drawn out posting here)
Hi so I am building a website using vanilla forums. My budget is not very much for this project.
About a year ago I had idea to build a chat program with a user ranking feature and I told 2 of my friends. One of whom designed my previous website and another who did AutoCAD designs. I decided not to go ahead with the project because I was moving to our land in the countryside and I didn’t want to take on any projects and lose money. They were both encouraging me to go ahead with the project and together all 3 of us came up with a wireframe design. I didn’t have money to pay into the production of the app so it was forgotten.
A few months later I got a call from my website designer in Bangladesh and he wanted to continue the project. I told him I’m not in a position to put money in but he said don’t worry just pay me $300 a month and I will take a small percentage of the business if it goes well.
Another few months later he called me again and said he is ready to start. I said OK I can send you some money and then I will give you the AutoCAD designers direct contact because I will be out in the village with sporadic internet connectivity. I have an old friend who has some money and at the right time I will try to connect you guys up and he could easily invest like 20k – 50k and not even ask about the project anymore. If he replies me then its good but if not, then nobody can send anymore funds after that. And he said OK I will work up some basic app and send it to him in a short time.
A week later I contacted him and he was traveling. Another week passed and he said sorry he had some problems and he didn’t have money and he has been reading the documentation but hadn’t worked on the project.
About this time, I was resting one day and started thinking. I am going to the village and I could use this program to support my building efforts in the village. But I was also thinking when you make a chat program at first people find you from google ads, google play, but generally people come and the chat room is empty and people just leave. So, it’s kind of like chicken and egg problem. You need active users to bring in users but how to get the first users to stay there.
I was thinking a forum is much slower paced and people don’t expect an immediate reply, so it’s the best way to start. So, I started looking online for forums and I went through them all and vanilla was the closest in functionality and a look that matched my requirements. So, I contact the designer who we had never met but were good friends from past 2-3 years of work and as I understood from the conversation, no work had been done yet on the chat so I told him to look at Vanilla. He was wanting me to do a WordPress site and use WordPress forum but it offered no functionality that I needed. I said I am leaving for the village in less than a month so whatever you need to do if you need to hire and expert or need some other code purchased, or if you need some more money give me a list so I can decide.
After a week I had an automatic install from Installatron in my cPanel. And a Yaga wasn’t working. We did a google meet and he showed me Yaga wasn’t working.
The thing is I have always been the type of person to try to learn something. I remember Neil deGrasse Tyson said; If I do a job interview and ask the applicants a hard question, which applicant will I hire. Will I hire the guy that knows the answer, the guy that doesn’t know the answer or the guy that goes and figures out the answer? I want the guy that figures out the answer, the guy that innovates. So, I did a lot of reading on vanilla and started posting on the forum and I got some basic information. I was starting to realize that my developer/friend was more WordPress, html, CSS and not able to handle the project. So, money has been paid and I didn’t see any code so I’m not too happy but I understand everyone has hard times in their life.
So I posted on Fiverr for a developer. You know like 20 years ago I had auction websites and forums and I would pay to have some scripting changes done and boom it was done immediately. But that was a different time a different price was paid. Now I’m back in a third world country and its one of the poorest countries in the world so my budget is low.
Many Fiverr developers replied and they could do the job but when they saw all the details, they would say no I am front end only. So many developers on Fiverr say they are full stack and actually they are front end. I found a guy and he started the job and when he delivered it looked nothing like my design and it was not functional. So, I told him maybe I have underestimated how hard this is, I am willing to pay 2x or 3x original amount if you can make it look like look exactly as my design or if not, I can hire you to do the html work on the static pages of the site so the we can offset some of the time you spent on the forum but I really can’t do anything with the design you provided.
I can do basic html and CSS so decided I wanted to find someone to teach me php and that way I can learn and be self-sufficient. I also believe hard work will get a good result. So, I found a guy from Pakistan to teach me on an hourly basis. We did a google meet and he couldn’t figure out the right way to log into through delegated access to my hosting and he sounded like he was sleeping so I decided I better find someone clicks well with me and I better have them do a screen recorder with audio so that this can flow.
So, I met Asim on Fiverr he was offering teaching on an hourly basis. I hired him to do the GUI design and do a screen recorder and audio comments while he worked so that I could study this after it is completed. I’m not sure if Asim has skill in this area but at least he has come to the forum to ask a question. I came to the forum the first day to ask questions because I have no shame when it comes to learning. Last developers didn’t come to ask any questions.
Once this GUI is completed, I will post all videos on YouTube as a tutorial to give insight to anyone trying to build on Vanilla.
I noticed that we had installed a hoangsoft theme and from reading we should build the theme from boilerplate or foundation.
If anyone is willing to help out to review the work that we are doing please let me know. That way when done we can post a proper tutorial for vanilla.