I'm looking to start a small social media site how difficult is this project and what are the cost associated?
I'm looking to start a small social media site how difficult is this project and what are the cost associated? What type of engineer would be used to this type of project? What would be the time table for something like this? Are there any types DIY of applications or programs I could use?
I highly recommend you read the Lean Startup and adapt the methodology to developing your product. This will help understand the demand of the product and help steer you in a direction that will be more likely to succeed without over-investing upfront.
Secondly, there are some distinctions to be made to scope the cost of this kind of website. Is this truly a social media site or a discussion board. Discussion boards can be created using existing software such as BuddyPress or others for a considerably smaller budget.
However, for a true social media website, you're likely talking about building a custom web application (likely with a developer using something such as Ruby on Rails), which is in a whole other category and will require a budget much higher than a traditional website. I would plan for at least $100K to start with. However, taking on the Lean Startup methodology, you could get started with considerably less and ease into the larger costs.
Take a look at Envato, aka themeforest.com. For a small price, you can purchase a pre-made social media site template capable of running on top of several manageable content management systems such as Wordpress, Drupal or even just a simple PHP based solution.
You can expand your offering by either learning to develop new features yourself in an easy to learn programming language like PHP, Ruby on Rails or jQuery (which is what this site uses for a front end.)
If you don't have the savoir faire to program your own solution, check out Envato Studio, another piece of Envato's vast template and web services library where you can purchase custom coding services. I find that tackling a tiny project through the portal, exchanging emails and then contacting the vendor directly yields much better rates and gives you an opportunity to complete an escrow based test project before committing to a developer more fully.
Inexpensive VPS hosting on Linode or Digital Ocean to start up is about $10/month. Initial server setup can be outsourced for about $80 or handled in-house. Templates range from $50.00 to $1500.00 depending on whether users are charged for access to the service. Finally, custom coding ranges from $20 to $20,000 depending on objectives, scope, time frame and talent.
You should be able to have something up and running for about $200.00 including domain registration. Expect to spend your first week learning the platform and tweaking your site.
And then: the Marketing Blitz. Or even better: buy the domain now and use a launch template and start the blitz early. Then, when you do launch it, you'll have an influx of excited new users who've been waiting for the date.
Eric, from your Mosaichub profile I don't see any experience with sw de before, though I may be surely mistaken. But if I'm not I wouldn't do anything like social media site by myself.
From the first sight it may look like smth very simple, hm "small social media site"-nothing complicated. But there are lots of pitfalls hidden here, which are better to trust to the professionals.
As for your questions about difficulty, costs, timetable etc. none of the professional agencies will be able to give you the answers basing on the description provided. So, my general advice (no matter if you start doing it by yourself or entrust the case to the professionals) is to write down all your requirements/desires/all your vision in the very detail and in order of appearance. I'm not talking about a technical specification for 80 pages, but a simple Word doc with structured requirements will be enough. Afterwards, you may send the doc to several agencies so that they provide you with an estimate and a quote. Even if there is something unclear for them, professional agencies will pose you a list of clarifying questions. After all this you'll see for yourself what your "small social media site" may turn into.
Hope this helps. You may PM me if further help is needed.
You can spend a fortune if you want to. Or better yet, do it all for free except the expense of the time you are willing to put into the project. You fail to explain your skill level as well as what a small social media site really means. Also, keep in mind that there are plenty of people standing by ready to sell you what you don't need. Define your objective and then repost.
Let me be very specific.
1. Difficult - Not at all as long as you get have a competent team which includes designer, developer and you.
2. Time - 1 month and above can go upto more than a year. A basic MVP(minimum viable product) can be ready within 3 months.
3. Cost - Depends on team you hire and costing model you choose. Can't be evaluated at this level.
4. DIY - There are programs available like PHPFox, WordPress+BuddyPress etc but they are not 100% DIY. You will need a team for sure.
I hope this helps.
It highly depends on what you mean by "small".
In order to have any chance at evaluating your project you should be able to break it down into features like "A user should be able to ...". It won't be 100% accurate but it will be a lot closer to the truth. It will also help you decide what you want to build first and what to leave out to accommodate your budget.
As for engineers, I would hire at least one senior engineer or get a tech co-founder.