So you roll along in life comfortable in your skills and abilities and then all of a sudden - WHAM! Someone throws you a curve ball and asks for something you’ve never learned or tried before and you think, at my stage in life do I really want to get involved?
Within the space of just a couple of days I was asked to add a ticketing and payment system to a website and then “Could I add a forum?” to another website.
Short answer to the first one was “It’s not for me to sort that out for you, give me the details after you’ve set it up and I’ll add it to your website”… Well, it didn’t quite work like that. The original booking form had been made last year in a paid JotForm account, the account had lapsed and it was now a free account with limitations - only 3 payments per month along with advertising on the form - not ideal.
The client was a little perplexed with it all so I made the account into a full account again (at a cost to the client of £32.00pm), some changes were made to the text and then the addition of a Paypal checkout (which the client also had to set up). Testing it with a £10 booking and it all worked, then the client checked it and it didn’t work! Looking at it all again I couldn’t find any problems, someone else made a booking which worked so we concluded the client had used the email address for the JotForm account and that was why it was thrown out at the final stage - 2 days on and it’s all up and running - Lesson one learned.
Can I add a forum to website? - "I’ve never done that mate, wouldn’t know where to start!" - Off to Google, I found hundreds (well a lot) of commercial options from $19pm to over $500pm which was totally out of the question for this client. Looking at Open Source stuff one option kept getting a mention - MyBB.
The install instructions looked easy so I downloaded it, unzipping the file and reading the install stuff again it all made sense, upload a folder via FTP, make some filename and permissions changes and it was good to go…..
It took me around 10 minutes to install, I entered the address in a Browser and it was all there - my own Forum! Then the hard work of formatting it into topic sections, forum styling, user permissions, backups etc started, so far I’ve spent 4 hours on it and it’s starting to look reasonable.
This was all just for a test so I knew what I was talking about next time the client phones but looking at what I’ve produced maybe an old dog can learn new tricks!