The initial design concept behind Watermelon Classified Ads was to use it as a portal for site users to be able to advertise any products or services they would like to sell and connect with potential customers. As part of the initial structure of the project administration features to the site in order to allow employees tasked with day to day site maintenance to do so without needing to know how to code from scratch.
Choice of technology
Once the initial design concepts had been laid down and agreed upon the members of the development team we decided to complete the project using PHP. As an open source programming language it is one of the most widely used methods for building fully featured sites on the internet today. As an added bonus the open nature of the technology means that were able to draw from the best coding practices from developers around the world that detailed the most effective way to implement feature sets we wanted to include within the overall site; which included user registration and login components to allow the posting of new ads, site wide search, cloud tagging of the most common search items, and the ability for users to submit questions to the original ad poster.
Perhaps the most crucial feature to get working properly for this type of site was the search feature. This allows a user to search for key terms based on the types of ads that been posted. The user is able to search by several areas including the category of the ad, title, or price. based the key terms they search for they logged in users have the option of submitting a question to the original ad poster to for additional clarifications. One of the key learning challenges to overcome during the implementation of this feature was ensuring the proper results were posting back upon the user submission of a search.