The first name that strikes our mind when we talk about social network websites is Facebook. Yet, this social network website has specific rules, agendas, and restrictions that can be limited to specific businesses, people, and viewpoints. In today’s existing world, the social network is not limited to just communicating, for business enterprises it is now a source of engaging customers, building brand reputation and creating awareness.
Before planning to build any social websites it is important to have an in-depth knowledge of PHP, MySQL, and Linux. But this knowledge is not sufficient, as social network development is a long, slow and time-consuming process. So, what is the best approach to make a social networking website? To build an engaging, smooth and secure platform you need social network development platforms. These platforms include inbuilt features which are flexible and helps to develop the customized web application.
There are a couple of remarkable online platforms available to build social networking sites but it is recommended to self-host software to get full control over your social networking website. There are numerous paid and free platforms available to create a social network but in this blog, we have mentioned some of the best ones.
This platform is the first choice for most of the people looking to build a professional social website. It has the feature to integrate directly with renowned social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Your target audience can sign up with their social accounts to your site, and bring additional traffic in terms of their friends.
Moreover, your website content can be shared easily by users through social networks, resulting in higher online visibility. To make site engaging, you can customize the way users vote, comment and discuss within the website. These customization features are not easily available elsewhere.
It has a wide array of extensions, features and add-ons that makes it a powerful social network development platform. Unlike other platforms, it offers you HTML & CSS access with a layout editor, to make the website totally unique.
Elgg is a robust social networking platform proficient to build all types of social environments. This CMS is simple to use and includes a wide array of features, as well as offers additional functionality through multiple Elgg plugins. Developers love this platform as it powerful, simple and development is easy with this CMS.
It uses and works on Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP that makes it perfect for the developers. A proper plan can be developed regarding what to do and how to do. Definitely, it is perfect for the development process as it is open-source CMS having a large fan base. It’s not limited to build social networking websites, as it has other uses as well. The World Bank website runs completely on the Elgg.
• Properly-documented API for the developers to easily start the development
• Availability of composer to make the installation easy and simple
• Availability of extension and easy modifications of application can be done using plugins, custom themes
• Cacheable features for good performance & user authentication
• Built-in security like anti-CSRF validation, HMAC signatures and strict XSS filters
• Client-side API
• Content access policies
• File storage
• Notifications service
• RPC web services
The Pligg development platform was designed to manage a website having a large number of authors and contributors. In simple words, all the participants have complete access to the website’s content. This is not like a regular website structure, where content is controlled by a few members particularly the administrators.
Pligg is easy to use as well as manage and can help people to build interactive social networks. There are several templates, plugins and extensions to select for development. The platform encourages website visitors to register so that they can submit their content and communicate with others. The contribution and participation from independent authors is the reason of CMS success. Initially, Pligg was a simple CMS allowing registered users to simply submit, comment and vote on the stories. Amongst other interactions, members can vote on articles and publications that appeal to them, and the ones getting maximum votes to appear on the homepage.
HumHub platform has a friendly interface like Facebook. It is lightweight having multiple features and tools to make an engaging social website. The Humhub offers easy customization to build and create a social network, intranet or an enterprise application. The interface of it includes a flexible system and provides a modular design that can be scaled using third-party tools. It offers a solution which provides full control over a social network, regarding server, data, and rules. It is available in the community and enterprise edition options.
• Activity Stream
• Search files and peoples
• Social tools
• User profiles
• Share content with non-registered users
• Mobile Ready
BuddyPress is a product of the renowned CMS WordPress. It helps in the creation of social media websites with WordPress. It is simple to access and plenty of themes are available for it, those help to customize the look and feel of the social network website. It is based on PHP and can be easily customized if you have the coding skills. It is a free & open-source development platform. The major features it includes Custom profile fields, email notifications, personal profile, and allow your users to build micro-communities, plugins and extensions support. The features that engage the most are private messaging, friendship connections, and a platform for discussions.
Using Ning development platform, a whole new level of engagement and communication medium is offered. It helps to build communities in style all because of the built-in email broadcast functionality for HTML newsletters. With Social Sign-In feature the new members can easily sign-up to their social network using their Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn accounts. Importantly, such integration can do good publicity for your website.
Members can easily set up the profiles and engage with others through comments and discussion boards. Above all, the core content published by you is presented in a compelling way. The advantages of using NING is it’s easy to work structure, the content ranks higher on the Google searches, and the platform is easy to monetize.
Oxwall is an open-source social network development software. It is based on PHP and implements an MYSQL database to build a social network website. It is available in multiple versions as per the user requirements Free, Starter solution and advanced solution. In the free version, Oxwall software, Access to developer’s forum, third-party plugins, and documentation is provided. This CMS is compatible with all sort of websites and is highly scalable as well.
• Activity notifications
• User blogs
• Facebook Connect for easy Login
• Facebook kind system
• Google Analytics
• Cloudflare integration
• Video embeds from major streaming channels like Youtube, & Dailymotion
• Social media sharing
• Contact importer to invite friends
• Image slideshow
• Photo sharing
• Create online and offline events
• Displaying members birthdays
• Privacy control
Similar to Facebook and LinkedIn, phpFox is able to build an online community based on social profiles and content sharing. Having predefined features like pages and groups, Polls, Instant messaging and discussion boards, help to create own social network with simplicity.
PhpFox provides a wide range of themes, in addition to WYSIWYG editor for making social network website building and design simple. Monetization through advertisements is a prominent feature, along with the extensive branding and marketing options. Numerous extensions are available in this CMS to fully personalize and refine your social networking website, meaning a unique appealing interface is designed.
Mixxt is basically a social network design company that develop social networks. It manages the content and website through a single tool. It includes a dedicated platform for quick development and scalability. Build your social website with the help of custom designs, wikis, forums, and photos. It also offers a private network to build community and ensures it grows in the right direction.
XOOPS is a perfect platform for moving from small to big community sites, as well as building web portals. It has a customizable format that can be scaled as per requirements. You can simply start with the blog and later move to a social networking website having more functionality. The module available to build a website using XOOPS is the Yogurt. YouTube, pictures, friend list, communities, and mp3 tracks are some of the features available in XOOPS.
To conclude, there is no CMS platform mentioned above that is better than another. At last, the best social networking CMS platform is the one that suits your business requirements. After all, each business is different and hence, deserves to select a unique platform on which they build their social network. But hopefully, this blog has some great options that are present and helped businesses to make that decision in a better way.