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What kind of directory are you looking to create? What will be in it?
As far as databases go, I would say it would depend on your server. Your current pages appear to be PHP pages which lead me to believe that you are on a Linux server which means you probably have mySQL databases already available to you depending on your host. Access and MS SQL would not be able to run on the same server as the Linux website meaning you would need an additional server that the web server would need to connect to with those database types.
Let's start with a description of what you need and then go with a description of what is available to you. Then based on your current description I would recommend looking at a pre-built solution (whether open source or commercial options) and then point you in a direction to get you going.
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As Snake says, follow some intial logical steps then check for available solutions:
- start by defining the goal clearly (what kind of directory, how many records how many total users and concurrent users)
The more info you can tell us about the directory you have in mind, the better the solutions we can point you to.
- check what tools are currently available to you.
The example website for the link you gave is on a PHP-enabled server which often means Linux server and MySql database already available - all very robust tools. What do you have available to you at the moment?
Thank you for the quick and helpful reply!
The directory I am looking to create will encompass certified personal trainers (as well as weight lifting instructors, yoga/pilates instructors, etc.) across the province of BC (and if all goes well, it will be updated later to become a national directory). The idea is to allow visitors to quickly search for trainers in their area, with a quick description of them and contact information readily available.
We are actually not affiliated with SportMedBC, we are just looking to model our directory after theirs. This is the link to our current website, which uses the .NET platform: http://canadianfitness.net/index.html# although adding the directory is part of a major revamp we are planning (including the introduction of an online store).
I don't have too much of the server information but I have just requested via email the password for our google analytics account for the website, so hopefully I will have more access to this information shortly. Does the fact that we use the .NET platform mean that Access and MS SQL might be able to run on the same server after all? I certainly wouldn't be opposed to a pre-built solution but wouldn't have much of an idea of where to start and unfortunately price would likely be an object, but if it would be worth it hopefully I would be able to get approval :-)
Check out this free directory list for some ideas. Most of the directories there are running a PHP script named php link directory. It's affordable and gives easy user management. And the template system can be modified easily with Dreamweaver.
Thank you so much Jamie! After exploring www.phplinkdirectory.com, it looks like a great choice for the directory I will be creating and they even have great support staff to hold my hand throughout the process. Even better, there are much cheaper than the alternatives I was looking at :-)