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    Fashion Aggregator Guidelines


    I am trying to find the following information online but I haven't been able to since most Fashion Aggregators seem to develop their websites in-house.

    I would really appreciate if someone could guide us on what we should be looking for in a developers' team in order to built a Fashion Aggregator like ShopStyle or Net-A-Porter on a smaller scale considering that it refers to a smaller market than US or UK.

    More specifically:

    - What technologies, programming languages etc. should the team be skilled at,
    - How many developers should be involved for something like shopstyle or net-a-porter on a smaller scale,
    - How much time would it take for the initial development to take place,
    - Any cost estimation would really help as well,
    - Does the service usually run on in-house infrastructure or is it hosted by third parties,
    - What is the standard practice for developing such a service, i.e. is it usually developed in-house or by a third party,
    - What are the risks of outsourcing the development,
    - Do you know of any UK or other European development firm that is able to provide this service.

    Thank you very much in advance.
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    For a web based project your team needs to be skilled at some server side language, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and some dialect of SQL. You should have at least one person who is able to design a good database, because nothing will hurt you more in the long run than a poorly designed database. Additionally an aggregator site like this is going to depend heavily on third party APIs, so someone who is familiar with building and using APIs would be beneficial. Search is also going to be a major part of the development of a site like this. It's also something that is easy to do poorly, so someone who is familiar with high performance searching is important too. You may want to consider using something like SOLR for searching.

    The number of developers you use is a trade-off. More developers will finish the project faster, but will cost more because efficiency is lost as you add more developers to the project. A smaller higher skilled team is more likely to be successful than a larger lower skilled team, even if the cost is the same. One developer could complete the work, two or three might be more ideal. I would not use more than three.

    Time and cost, which are directly related, are difficult to say without actual specifications. Both of the sites you mentioned would be 5 figures (USD) to develop from scratch if you contracted the company I work for to do the work (just to clarify: that's not an offer or bid; I don't do sales or solicit work).

    Very few companies own their own data centers because a proper data center costs millions of dollars to build and equip. All E-Commerce sites should run on dedicated hardware, or at least a virtual private server. You should not run an E-Commerce site on shared hosting.

    There is no standard practice for in-house vs third party development. It depends on whether you expect to need the services of a developer continually or only during the initial development. Large websites almost always need constant attention from a developer or webmaster. I would guess the two sites you linked to are not quite large enough to require a full time developer.

    The risks of outsourcing development are the same as the risks of not outsourcing development, except that it's a lot harder and more expensive to sue someone for breach of contract if they live in a different country and you often have a language barrier problem. One thing to note though, even if you hire locally the work might still be outsourced by the company you hire.
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    Dear Moderator,

    Thank you so much for your thorough answer. It is much appreciated.

    Please allow me to continue the discussion as this is of much interest to us.

    All points that you are making are perfectly clear and reasonable however I would like to ask for your insight on the outsourcing part. Let us say that the project is outsourced to a firm in the US, a country far away from the location of the business itself. How would this work?

    Apart from the language barrier which I believe is the most insignificant one since there are many ways to deal with it especially when both ends speak English, I wonder what the cooperating structure would be like if you have any relevant experience from such a "remote" cooperation. Wouldn't this affect the efficiency of the project with many risks involved?

    Would it be helpful and effective for us if there is at least one developer from our end that would cooperate with the firm in the US?

    You also mentioned that you are working for a company that would be able to carry out such a project and we would be very interested to know what is the name of the firm.

    Thank you very much for your help.
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    I am software engineer , having 4 years of exp. in open source technologies.
    My working rates - $8/hour. I prefer daily/weekly pay.
    I work on project basis/task basis.
    My contact details -
    Email - chetankulthe at yahoo dot com
    Cell - +91-98600 23329

    thanks
    Chetan Kulthe

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