Pligg: A Social Networking Content Management System

What is Pligg? Don’t we use WordPress as the “default” Content Management System? Enough, you WordPress dreamers! The world outside WordPress is huge and you got to jump out of your favorite content management system so as to discover the rest of the virtual world. Today, we will break some shackles to travel outside our comfort zone. It is time to discover one Content Management System which has been doing rounds for quite some time: Pligg.

P.S. You will notice how by the end of the article I slowly drift into the favor of WordPress (even when I won’t mention this openly). After all, WordPress rocks!

So, What is Pligg?

I know, I ended up pushing all my energy into my introduction which resulted in the major question being left unanswered. So, let me bite my tongue and introduce you to the definition of Pligg.

Pligg is an Open source Social Networking Content Management System (CMS) Combining social bookmarking, blogging, and syndication and a democratic editorial system enables users to collaboratively submit and vote articles. It was influenced by the extremely popular English technology site Digg, where when a user submits a news article it is placed in the “upcoming” area until it gains sufficient votes to be promoted to the main page. – Wikipedia

The above definition of Pligg really wraps up everything that can be said about Pligg. While WordPress was solely launched as a CMS for blogging purposes, Pligg on the other hand was launched as a social networking Content Management System. It has been designed to handle multiple authors who can be registered users controlling the website’s content. Those who know Digg (almost all of us do) might have already figured out Pligg’s initial purpose. Although the uses of Pligg have evolved in recent years yet the voting system remains the backbone for Pligg.

Features of Pligg

There isn’t much about Pligg so I don’t want to push lot of useless content in this article. Pligg is still growing. Their Wikipedia Page isn’t complete yet! To give you an example – is a news site which nowhere deals with Pligg although it uses Pligg as its backend.

Let us go through the features of Pligg before we jump over to the Pligg Showcase:

  • Voting - Well, that is the obvious feature of Pligg so I do not need to discuss more of this. Although I will like to specify that Pligg also offers “5 star” voting system other than the Digg like voting system.
  • User Profiles - Pligg lets users create their own profiles thus giving them the much required personal feeling. One can view other profiles, add others as friends, check what others are voting for and a lot more.
  • Private Messaging - One can use the private messaging feature of Pligg for private communications.
  • Groups - Like minded people can create groups where they can share stuff that will be appreciated by all.
  • Module System - Like WordPress Plugins feature, Pligg has Module System which can be utilized by users to add extra features to their Pligg based websites.
  • Smarty Templates - Website designed can be changed by using Smarty Templates which are more or less like WordPress templates. They won’t affect the backend of your website and will just change the front look of your Pligg based website.
  • Easy Upgrades - Like WordPress, Pligg offers automatic upgrades and easy installation features thus making it more user-friendly.
  • RSS Feeds – I guess I don’t need to explain this. Pligg offers its own RSS Feeds system which can be used by visitors of that particular website to keep themselves updated with latest updates from that Pligg based website.
  • Multilingual Support - Pligg supports multiple languages thus making it widely available for users from other countries. Also, you can join the Pligg Translator Group to help them add your country in Pligg if it isn’t already present.

Suggestions for Pligg

Although Pligg seems to have some future, they still have a lot of room for improvement. The below suggestions are solely my thoughts and must not be misunderstood.

  • I am not sure why this exists but Pligg’s About Page has “Advertise Here” sections just above the footer. I mean why is a Content Management System looking for ads like a regular blog would? Also, they charge only $70 per month. Well, does this mean that they aren’t famous? Really, Pligg, remove these “Advertise Here” images right away.
  • Free up some of the modules. I was checking out the Pligg’s Pro section and there were modules that just amazed me. Don’t get me wrong. They didn’t amaze me due to their features. They did so because they were charging for modules that only offered basic functions. Like the Twitter Module is worth $23.99! I mean why would I spend that amount of money for Twitter integration. If Pligg wants to stand against the best CMS then they got to give away stuff for – FREE!
  • Expand yourself, please. Pligg, as a community, needs to start working in order to expand their reach. I have so many webmaster friends who know nothing about Pligg. Why is that? They are failing somewhere for sure. They must re-think their marketing strategy to improve their reach.

I have a lot more to tell them but I would rather give them time to improve. They still have a lot to learn and a long way to go.

The Showcase

As is the case usually, I cannot let you guys go away without an inspirational showcase of websites that run on Pligg. Believe me, there is lot of niche Digg like websites that have a stronghold in their regions. Here we go …

1. Ball Tribe

2. Biz Sugar

3. Blog News

4. CG Digg

5. Community Radar

6. CSS Leaf

7. Cute A Holic

8. Dealigg

9. Design Float

10. Design Poke

11. FAQPal

12. Furryne

13. Fuze News


15. Graphic Design Links

16. Mascota Tube

17. Motatagz

18. Open Faves

19. Snoogle News

20. Sphinn

Salman Siddiqui

Salman Siddiqui is an alpha geek, design guru and seasoned WordPress critic. Writing, for him, started out of ego but it has become the most luring and enlightening career option of his life. He is walking that extra mile for his freelancing dream.

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  1. Zhen says

    Pligg appears to be the only choice for a digg like site. But Seenthis is a lovely one. It should be based on StatusNet I assume. What’s the plugin seenthis for?

  2. Dannie says

    Pligg is probably the best platform for creating sites such as Digg, but there is also another script integrated in Drupal and is called Drigg. Thanks for the great article Salman!

  3. says

    I remember a few years ago when I tried out the software and was present on their boards and it was a nightmare. The code was badly written and full of security holes which were exploited by the spammers, while of a handful of lead developers one left leaving the remaining two scratching their arses wondering what to do next. To quote the author: “They still have a lot to learn and a long way to go.” Well if they haven’t got there now then they’ll never get there/

    • Salman Siddiqui says

      I still give them that one last chance. Digg isn’t dead yet and so has the craze for similar sites. They have the chance but it is on them if they feel like using it or not.