I apologize in advance if this isn't the best question ever asked here. (Please let me know if there's a better StackExchange page to ask this on). I am looking to create a website for my business and need some information about what would be required. We're trying to create a website where users from the general site population could form their own private groups to interact and chat. I use Roll 20 as an example because it allows users to form their own virtual DnD groups. Facebook groups would be another example. (Our business has absolutely nothing to do with DnD or Facebook, not trying to copy them.)

I know very little about coding beyond basic python or java scripting and pretty much nothing about websites beyond basic layout stuff. We're looking to find people to help us build a site, but we need some information first to help us decide what exactly we need and who to look for.

I know that if I ask "what is best," I'll get a whole lot of opinions and probably a bunch of downvotes, so instead I'll ask this: what sort of network sytems would we need to create a website with a large database of members where members could form their own groups and exchange information and interact? Is this the kind of thing that is usually hashed out in HTML, or built in WordPress, or what? What sort of backend systems would you need to process that kind of data and allow such a site to function? Are there existing services that would make this easy to do?


This is a hard to answer question, so let's start with the answering what we know about the technologies used by https://roll20.net/

Roll20 stack

This website let's you look up what you can determine by looking at the source of the frontend

Which doesn't tell us anything about the backend in this case. Some websites would give away a PHP version or something through its headers.

Building you own

Well you can choose "whatever" nowadays to build a website. And it's always good to take your time to choose the right tool / language / framework for you.

note: This piece of the answer is heavily opinionated and does not take other languages into consideration.

A common tool (CMS in this case) is Wordpress, written in PHP, which will allow you to create (static) pages quickly. However if you want to have some custom features you have to write plugins for it. If the site has a lot of custom features I would suggest to stay clear from Wordpress and build your website from scratch with a framework like Laravel for example (easy to use and good documentation).

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