As I mentioned in my about page, I am a self-taught programmer and my preferred language is C#. I created a few Windows Forms applications and libraries in the past, but lately I’ve been really working a lot on web development. Over the last two years my knowledge and experience grew exponentially and while learning I used a project as my own personal “lab”. So, here’s what I wanted to do: I wanted to create a site that has a clear focus and provides all the popular networking and community features that are available today. So, I need the site to be able to provide the following:
A membership framework that allows user management and user profiles
- A blog / journal posting for users
- A complete forum
- An article posting engine
- A poll framework
- A messaging framework
So, that’s how I came up with Vacation Rentals Lounge. Feel free to check the site out and give me your feedback, I’m always eager to hear constructive (or not) criticism.
The site was launched recently, as version 1.0 and I think I managed to cover the first round of things on my wish-list.
The next step is to “facebookize” it. What does that mean? Well, at this point, the users on the site can post journal entries, can talk in forums and between them via the messaging system and can read the articles posted by the site administrator and interact (rate, comment, etc). So, the next step is to allow users on the site to “friend” each other. Since the site deals with vacation rentals, you will have a number of property owners and a number of travelers or rentals. It’s only normal that the site should allow these two groups to friend each other, recommend each other and otherwise interact with each other. So that is the next step.
During the next few months, every now and then I will post a little blog entry in which I will tackle some of the issues that I dealt with while creating this site. I will work on things like:
- Friendly URLs and re-routing
- Tier development
- Website Performance testing
- Database performance
- and many other issues that I encountered
I hope this series will help other people and encourage others to tackle such a large project.
In the mean time, I am open to suggestions as how you think this site might become more of a “Web 2.0″ site. What other things you would like to see if you were a property owner or a traveler or renter?
To help you evaluate and test the site, here are some of the site’s features through a list of representative links:
An article dealing with lake rentals
A journal entry about Napa Valley
A forum entry about San Antonio
The guide entry for the history of New York State
Main page for Texas State
A vacation rentals property listing
Ok, so thank you for your time, and I hope you get a chance to review my new site and give me some more ideas about it’s future development!