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How realistic is it to expect a single developer to build a site that functions like booking.com or similar online hotel booking system from scratch? Doesn't have to be on par with those popular sites.

Is this something you would be able to do alone?

I got asked about doing it and I haven't responded a clear yes or no. I'm not sure if I'm under estimating the technical difficulty.

Comments
  • 2
    The devil is in the detail. Is there a reasonable spec of requirements? If this is for a start up type client then is it an option to phase the functionality and if it starts to become successful then hire more devs?
  • 3
    @joycestick has great points, but seriously, it can turn into an absolute endless feature grabber, especially if you actually look at booking.com, rating systems, proper payment integration, reviews, content managment, reporting tools, ..
  • 2
    Welp. I did that before.
    This time though, someone laid the basics and 3 years later, (almost) nothing is left of those and I'm still implementing shit on a bad database structure.
    So, my2c, if you know what you're doing, you won't tackle such a job all by yourself, but when you do, at least do it on a decent structure and abide some general rules as if it's your life line.
  • 6
    What do you mean by "from scratch"?

    I was implementing a hotel booking system for a startup, used an api for booking, for searching and for payment.

    Doing it all yourself will take more then one life

    Bad things are
    Bed types, room sizes, hotel names that change, hotels that go bankrupt and dont tell anybody, when to pay, prices with other currencies and deferred payment, is a toilet in the room, is there breakfast available at all, Some city names exist 20+ times on earth

    German special : does the invoice show all taxes correctly?

    And thats not a complete list!

    So if it is really from scratch, better dont think about it
  • 3
    @joycestick The requirements are kinda clear, he basically wants the site have 3 kind of accounts - site owner, hotel owner, and user and obvious features expected for each of those accounts. He wants to see if it will click and if it is profitable he would want to expand.

    @JoshBent that's one thing that scares, don't intend to be tied down to this project for life.

    @xewl Will keep that in mind.

    @tkdmatze I have a backup plan in mind. I have seen some solutions online which can be bought that should cover more than 90% of the work. Actually I have seen some it companies advertising scripts for bulding booking.com clone, airbnb clone etc.

    Also, it's not intended to as gigantic as booking.com, it's meant to be a regional site and maybe cover a country at max (highly unlikely because of following reasons).

    The website name he proposed and bought domain for is shit imo. Also, from a business point of view I think he is underestimating the cost and work 4 bringing an online customer.
  • 0
    Not sure if I should be suggesting ideas about business aspects of the project like coming up with a good brandable name, customer acquisition strategy, social media promotion etc. Could result in getting to much work.
  • 1
    @HoloDreamer

    Forget the idea that any hotel owner would like to sign in for the n-th provider, most of them have 4+ providers or one who bundles them

    Hotel booking has incredible high custumer aquisition cost and a low margin, so "regional" will not work anyway
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