In Progress

Completion of [url removed, login to view] / sql website rebuild

My original site written in .asp and mySQL has been badly re-written in .net. I know nothing about the technicalities of web sites and have been let down by my tech guy. I want someone to check the programming and make 20-30 minor changes so that the site runs properly. There may be further changes in a year or two but no maintenance is required. Before my tech guy dropped out because he was too busy with his regular job, two freelancers said there was about 60 hours work. The work to be done is as follows:

A. LOG-ON: I can log-on to the site (as an administrator) but cannot log-on under any of my 12 aliases and members cannot log-on either.

B MEMBERSHIPS: We have only one category of member but we need to have two, “Forum Members” who must register to be able to post but do not pay, and “Forum & Database Members” who register and must pay for a week or a year’s access to the database). When we didn’t charge anybody anything for full access to the site we gradually built-up a large following of active forum members, this is the only way we market the site. By the time we started charging, other forums had become common and all were free, so our active members dropped away! We must restore free membership access to the forums but must charge for access to the database because this is our only source of income.

C. IMAGES: On the old site these appeared below the histories info and “Other Info” on the page that visitors see: [url removed, login to view] . The images are in the database and they must be restored to the relevant history page. I note that [url removed, login to view] is on the new site, and I note that it contains the names etc of all the images (over 1000). One can delete images on this page. In testing the site some time ago I tried to delete an image but do not know if it was successful or not - as the images don’t appear you can’t tell! When deleting an image on the old site I would go to LABEL ADMINISTRATION, call up an image by maker’s name and date, and press “delete”. I was then shown the image as a double check. This is very necessary because there are often two or even three different images identified by the same gun maker’s and the same date. The new site simply deletes the image so I have no way of checking I’m deleting the right image.

D. The categories in the forums are rolled-up so one has to click on them to bring up the topics, this is unnecessary, time-wasting, and will put people off. Can they please be permanently unrolled.

E. The topics in the forums are listed randomly, it is obvious to any idiot that they should be in date order, most recent at the top. While on this subject, on the old site at the bottom of the page we printed the acknowledgement “ PHPBB version 1.0. “ Had we better not do the same here if we want to avoid being sued by PHPBB? I don’t want to install a more up-to-date programme, PHPBB version 1.0 is simple and almost fool-proof.

F. [url removed, login to view] To change a password on the old site, which I had to do occasionally, especially when a member complained he couldn’t get into the site (usually because his security settings were too high and his browser refused to accept the cookie), I simply logged-in and changed his password so that I could do a test log-in under his name (when that had been done I reported back to him and told him to change his password back to the original or something new). On the new site I am prevented from doing this because I’m asked for his old password which, of course, I can’t read because it is encrypted. This old password requirement must be deleted.

G. On registering, there is no explanation of acceptable passwords, you only find out later if the one you chose isn’t acceptable. On the registration page it actually says “ allowable characters are letters, numbers and underscore.” But it doesn’t say that passwords MUST contain at least 1 number. Can we remove the requirement for numbers and insert an explanation that that passwords are case sensitive.

H. If I go to change my details I can’t change my password – “Server error in “/” Application Object reference not set to an instance of an object” or “Please enter valid password”. Also, it doesn’t say whether this should be the old or the new password.

I After registering one eventually gets to the Payment Page where you select the week or year option and then press “BUY”. This seems to work sometimes but at other times it results in an “error “/” Application There was no row at position O.”.

J The server is very slow to start-up, is the site optimised?

K Stats and backups? There is no stats facility and no back-up facility. The old site had a bit of programming that sent me an email at about [url removed, login to view] each night which gave me a link to the server and the next day I took a download of the database to my computer. It took seconds. This way I knew back-ups were done on time every time. I update histories in the database almost every day and it is impossible to record and repeat the work, a weekly back-up is not sufficient and I have found that leaving back-ups to others is unreliable. I must have this database back-up facility.

L Remove VAT space from invoices.

M We make no money from advertising, it’s a hassle, our method of detailing adverts is complicated and messy, some websites now offer free advertising. We had a problem with errors when calling-up adverts, you cured this but when calling up adverts now we are told there are no adverts matching our criteria which is rubbish. I think we should do away with advertising (registered members can always use the forums) and delete all references to advertising, payment for advertising, and all the advertising programming including invoicing.

The above are the most important points, once these have been done we can go live. Subsidiary points are:

1. In all the histories that members see, the first paragraph is indented by 1 character. Odd and wrong!

2. When doing a history search members are given a page which shows a maximum of 10 items, can this be increased to 1000 (it’s much more than we need but it is easier to scroll than look for the tiny page numbers at the right bottom of the page and click on them. In any event, cannot these numbers be enlarged (everywhere on the site) so they are easier to find and click on?

3. In Admin mode. when I am searching history entries to find the one I want to update, the default number of rows to show is set at 100, can this default be increased to 1000? I know I can change the figure every time but why do I have to when changing the default is a one off job!

4. We have done away with “Suppliers” and “Products & Services” we can also delete the following facility: [url removed, login to view]

5. After successfully registering on the site one gets a “User Created” page which asks for various things such as ICG number, AIM name, etc. Can we get rid of this? In 10 years nobody has used it!

6. As an administrator I have buttons for creating new dealers/ Suppliers/ Clubs and Associations. We can delete these.

From Original List of Jobs to be done:

Item 4 Develop marketing page which holds a small summary of each gun maker’s details (e.g. names, addresses etc with first say 100 characters of the historical text about the maker). The purpose of this is that it is not restricted to the registered membership, it is available for the search engines to find, and for unregistered people – they can see if we have no significant info on that maker and are not conned into paying for membership which is no use to them.

Item 14 Add "Paypal" to the payment system. Also American Express which Worldpay now accepts.

Item Members should be sent an email 7 days before their membership expires.

Item 15 Facility to add free members. We need to be able to give a small number of people (e.g. people who give us info on family histories) free membership (for a week, a month and a year - it can be extended under the present set-up). Suggestion: could this be done by “code number” put on the registration page? “If you have a code number, enter it here” – and by-pass the payment pages.

Item 18 Monthly newsletter for all users registered on the website. Add facility for user if they want to unsubscribe from newsletter.

Item 19 [url removed, login to view] DATABASE Would like ability to search text for more than one word e.g. TRADE MAKERS rather than TRADE, and phrases? If possible, when entering a string of letters it should only search for words which "starts with" and not that sequence of letters or numbers in the middle or at the end of.

Item 15 Forums: a "Private Message" notification should be sent to the recipient.

Item 30 When user uploads a picture on the forum these pics are uploaded on one of many picture hosting sites rather than local/IGC server. When a user uploads pics they should be uploaded and saved in the IGC database. Currently some users send pics to John and then John saves it to [url removed, login to view] , resizes it and then uploads it on the forum. Tedious! Item 32 We need automatic image resizing program on website. The pic size should be 650 wide but length doesn't matter; resolution 72 pixels?

Item 31 We need put gun maker’s catalogues on the website with a link from the maker’s history page. Should these be as images or in pdf format? If they are images the user may not see sufficient detail. Should the User able to read but not download ?

Skills: .NET, ASP, SQL

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