Sorry, but this is a trusty forum for me. I guess this is also DW related.
I have a client that of course wants all be the bells and whistles. Will they ever use it?
They wanted to sell some products online but also wanted a forum etc.
I had suggested that we build an OSCommerce website for them first to get their online business up and running and their sales ticking over and then build a PHPBB or something simlar that runs off the OSC.
The reason for OSC was that it was like if you want to go on the sand, then get a 4wd that will do the right job for which it was meant to do.
My other option for them (which I didn't tell them about) was to build the one site "Joomla" and add the shopping cart "Virtue Mart" and a forum from there.
I would just like to know your thoughts on this advise? ie: building a platfrom for a specific outcome or something like Joomla to which "addons or extensions can be added"
There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. Start with the customer's requirements. What payment methods will they accept? Who do they use for merchant services (credit card processing)? What will they use for accounting? For example, will they use QuickBooks? Do they need QB integration with their shopping cart? Which options meet their technical and business requirements?
What about their preferred design? Do they want Flash? In which platform will it be easier for you to implement their design preferences? PHPBB is a great forum tool, but will they want to charge members for different levels of participation in their forum, or will membership be free? If you want to charge for membership, then you need vBulletin. Will they sell ad space?
The good thing about a Joomla site with add ons is that everything has the same look and feel. However, you should investigate the functionality and design limitations of all pieces.
The good thing about a DW site with PHPBB and shopping cart is that you have the functionality and design freedom that you need.
BTW, other carts you can look into are ZenCart and IAmodules. ZenCart is free and has plug-ins for QB integration. IAmodules has seemless QB and DW integration but is anything but free. However, hosting is included and they also host the site. You can actually integrate the entire site with this cart. They also help with design if needed. I found their support to be highly competent but slow to respond.