How to Build Your Own Social Networking Website ?

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Ever thought of building your own social networking website for college, organization or something like facebook? If yes, then this article is for you. Even if you know nothing about coding, you can still get your social networking site up and running. In “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”, Eric S. Raymond said –

“Good programmers know what to write. Great ones know what to rewrite (and reuse).”

Which means if there are already tools available to build a social networking website, why will anyone want to start from scratch? let’s re-use existing tools, setup your own social network and if you need anything which is not present in it; only then you have to code for it.

As of today, there are quite a good number of social networking platform exist- commercial, cloud-based and open source. We will see the list of available platforms but will pick the best one for building our own.

1. Elgg

An award-winning social networking engine. Completely open source, PHP based and very powerful. Elgg powers networks for a wide range of organizations including Australian Government, British Government, Wiley Publishing and many more.

2. CommunityEngine

A free, open-source social network plugin for Ruby on Rails applications. Drop it into your new or existing application, and you’ll instantly have all the features of a basic community site.

3. SocialEngine

Commercial and very powerful. Available as cloud or self-hosted solution. We will probably not look at this.

4. Ning

Commercial but cheaper than SocialEngine. Built from the ground up for social, Ning’s scalable hosted platform gives you the tools and expertise you need to publish and connect with your community.

5. phpFox [updated]

Commercial and ready to go  social network for your business. It is modular based allowing you to easily plug-in or plug-out a feature with a click on a button. This allows developers to easily develop new and awesome features to further extend your communities capabilities.

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