I have little experience in website programming. However, I have an idea for a website that I would like to make real. It would have many of the same features that a site such as TripAdvisor uses, but obviously on a smaller scale, and its main feature being a user rating system.

Whilst it would be ideal for me to learn how to do it myself, I feel it would be unrealistic given the complexity and time consuming nature of it. Therefore, my question is what will I need to know and understand before I approach a web developing team?, i.e., what are the questions that they will ask me when I sit down to talk with them about my idea?

On a slightly separate note, what are the legal restrictions on creating a website that has already been done? There are a small number (2 or 3) of websites that I would be essentially doing the same as, but in my opinion, I would be providing the users with far more useful features in a more user friendly manner.

4 Answers 4


Here's a pretty good article on questions developer's would find useful. Legally, as long as you're not doing a near carbon copy, using their trademarks, scraping their data, or something like that, you should be fine.


Bring money. Plenty of it. You are a customer.


Karl's list is great. I would add a fe points:

  • Do you have a design? If not who will do it?
  • Do you want it done in a specific language or framework? Some companies don't care at all, others have very clear views, others again don't care much as long as it's open source and so on.
  • How many users do you expect to use the site?

My suggestion is that you really sit down and think about what you're trying to accomplish. The organizations you are trying to compete against have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into their business and to implementing all of the features that you currently see on their websites.

So to say that your site will be exactly like theirs -- businesses who have been in this space for a very long time -- except you'll have more features than them, makes me wonder if you understand the full scope of what is involved in developing such a solution.

It can take you years just to catch up to where your competitors are now, and by the time you catch up they may have moved on ahead even further.

Instead, I think you need to focus on doing something that makes you different than the competitors. Ask yourself what value can you bring to the table now that your competitors cannot. Is there a market that isn't being served by those vendors but whom you may be able to help?

In my experience, if you try to do too much, you will be heavily in debt and will not have a product that sells. If you focus on a specific target market, one that your competitors are not seeking, then you're more likely to be successful.

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