Im working on a community website, atm its simple and only has the standard static website and normal forums (powerboard) but the next version is supposed to feature user database (age, location, etc), intergrated forums, personal messages, chat, etc. just how hard and complex is the programming behind all this? how much time do you think i would need, and is it possible to get it allready done and just change the interface part and the variables about the users etc?
it's not hard it's just tedious. seriously, if you decide to undertake this you're going to find out that you will be using the same code over and over again. i'm doing sort of what you want to do right now and what took me the longest was figuring out how i wanted it to look and how normalize the database. if you know what you want to put in the database and you already have the basic design than the coding wont take you that long. i mean, yea, it's going to take ME a month to do my website, but that's just because i'm only working 30 mins a day...so i think you could do it in two weeks. but it all depends on how experienced you are.
using scripts will help, specially if you've never done this before...so that way you learn how to do it, but i would recommend doing it all by yourself, just so you know what's going and you know the insides and outs of your website. it's quite rewarding.
i hope this helped. bye.