Another late evening working on http://www.cloud9sites.com
As ever, getting the graphics up is pretty simple. Powerpoint is, beleive it or not, a great tool for creating all of the curved boxes, gradients and 3d buttons that you might ever want.
I have started working on navigation and have had some challenges getting my embedded URL's to save in the DNN Text/HTML editors. I was saving anchors/tags without text between the brackets. The text isn't needed as I am using CSS to replace the anchors with button images. DNN just sees the missing text as invalid and deletes the tag when the Source HTML is saved. The resolution is just to put a non printable character between the tags.
The major part of the site is the wizard and store front used to guide the user through the site building process. The first goal is simply to catch the required data (site template, payment options, site content).
Step 1: Template and Payment Option
I have used the DNN store module and specifically the Category Products selection to filter the product categories shown as part of the wizard. I have created two categories: Themes and Packages to hold the DNN skins and the payment options respectively. The theme images in the store module are taken from the thumbnails that come with the free downloaded skins. Nice and simple. The payment options are text only, so again very simple. The idea is that the user adds a theme and a payment option to the cart. Not slick, but a simple way to get up and running until I find (or develop) something better.
Step 2: Content
This is work in progress. I have just installed the Form Creation DNN Module from http://www.code5systems.com/ and this looks like it will do the job of giving me a form that will capture all of the fields that I need for the site; including uploading images. The main challenge with all of these tools seems to be getting consistency around the look and feel of the lables, titles and action buttons in line with my skin/theme.
Step 3: Domain Search
I need to find an easy way to plug in a module that will find a domain name and, even better, suggest one based upon the company name.
Step 4: Collecting Payment
Paypal seems to be the lowest friction option, but for the first few sites I won't automatically collect payment, I just want to guage interest.