11 CMSs to Help You Create Your Own Social Networking Website

Posted in Tools, Web Design • Posted on 7 Comments

This is the era of social networking. Websites such as Facebook and Google+ dominate the time we spend on the internet. Needless to say, most (if not all) of us find them addictive or, to say the least, interesting.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the CMSs that can be used to create  social networking websites.

1. Dolphin

Dolphin is a CMS that lets you create social networks, dating sites and web communities. It comes loaded with video chat, recorder, video player, forums, groups, events, video messaging, emails, file sharing as well as desktop and mobile apps.

Pros: Wonderful mobile apps, good support for multimedia file types

Cons: Update frequency can be better

Dolphin

Dolphin

Demo | Download

2. Jcow

Jcow is a flexible social networking CMS coded in PHP. It features news feeds and ad blocking scripts. The community isn’t very large, so don’t expect instant replies, and the documentation isn’t the best out there.

Pros: No-nonsense interface, easy to get a hang of

Cons: Documentation isn’t up to the mark

jCow

JCow

Demo | Download

3. Oxwall

Oxwall is a swift and easy to use CMS that caters mainly to social networks and communities, but can also be tweaked for usage in enterprises and other collaborative environments. Oxwall can power many types of websites, including educational networks and other specialized genres of sites.

Pros: Easily extendable/scalable

Cons: Slightly less extensions/templates

Oxwall

Oxwall

Demo | Download

4. Beatz

Beatz is another CMS that focuses on social networks and community websites, though it is more apt for social communities related to music and artists.

Pros: Ideal for creating a music social network

Cons: Difficult to extend

Beatz

Beatz

Demo | Download

5. Etano

Etano lets you create a social network, dating website and other collaborative sites. It doesn’t really offer many unique features, but it can surely suffice for a small social networking project.

Pros: Good for smaller networks, customizable

Cons: Slow updates, less readymade extensions

Etano

Etano

Demo | Download

6. PeoplePods

PeoplePods claims to be “a developer friendly social software toolkit”. The CMS is flexible and is well-backed by active development.

Pros: Flexible, easily customizable, good documentation, active community

Cons: Free extensions can be better

PeoplePods

PeoplePods

Demo | Download

7. Elgg CMS

Elgg is a powerful open source CMS that has a strong community and loyal user base. It can cater to different types of sites and is not strictly meant for social networks. Some of the major sites powered by Elgg include UNESCO and The World Bank.

Pros: Active community, great documentation, good update frequency, decent set of extensions

Cons: Can be confusing for a newbie, slightly steep learning curve

Elgg

Elgg

Download

8. MonoX

MonoX is a social networking CMS based on ASP.NET Its documentation, though decent, isn’t really backed by a super-active community.

Pros: Ideal for ASP.NET users

Cons: Community support can be better

MonoX

MonoX

Demo | Download

9. LiveStreet CMS

LiveStreet CMS lets you create social networks and team blogs. It offers many extensions and multilingual translations.

Pros: Awesome extensions, language packs, etc.

Cons: Not the most nimble or swift CMS

LiveStreet CMS

LiveStreet CMS

Demo | Download

10. Pligg CMS

Pligg CMS is one of the easiest to use CMSs that can power social networks and other interactive websites. Just like Elgg, Pligg too caters to different types of websites.We once did a review of Pligg.

Pros: Easy availability of plugins/templates, good documentation, active community

Cons: Most modules are paid/premium

Pligg CMS

Pligg CMS

Demo | Download

11. Hotaru CMS

Hotaru CMS can be used to create social networks and other such websites. It is a robust CMS and offers numerous plugins and themes.

Pros: Good community support, good documentation, nice repository of themes/plugins

Cons: Even though CMS updates are regular, patches/fixes for extensions take their share of time

Hotaru CMS

Hotaru CMS

Demo | Download

With that said, you can also use mainstream CMSs such as Drupal, WordPress or even BuddyPress for powering social networks and collaborative sites. Here are two working examples: DesignBump (Drupal) and Wordtaps (WordPress).

What do you think of these social networking websites’ CMSs? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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Sufyan bin Uzayr writes for various magazine and blogs, and is the author of "Sufism: A Brief History". He blogs about technology, Linux and open source, mobile, web design and development, typography, and Content Management Systems at Code Carbon. You can learn more about him, follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook and Google+.

7 Comments Best Comments First
  • Chiara

    Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 19:37

    1

    The tricky part is getting the word out enough to compete with Facebook!

    +4
  • Steve

    Thursday, March 15th, 2012 22:05

    7

    I’m in awe that you forgot Buddypress??

    +3
  • Majalah Gratis

    Monday, March 5th, 2012 04:26

    5

    How to build social networking websites using wordpress? do we need premium plugin or is it possible to use free plugin only?

    +2
  • Jose

    Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 21:57

    2

    What about Drupal?

    +1
  • adham dannaway

    Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 03:15

    6

    Don’t forget Buddypress.org (made by the WordPress guys)

    +1
  • miggy

    Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 01:53

    3

    Hello.. Whats ur opinion on buddypress?

    -2
  • Dan

    Sunday, March 4th, 2012 17:03

    4

    Very interesting read, I hadn’t though of a social networking project before. Although it would be a nice challenge, but the chances are that you’ll follow in the footsteps of networks like Google Buzz and have a very limited success thanks to giants like Facebook and Twitter.

    But then again, it wouldnt be much of a challenge without competition!

    -5
  • Steve

    Thursday, March 15th, 2012 22:05

    7

    I’m in awe that you forgot Buddypress??

    +3
  • adham dannaway

    Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 03:15

    6

    Don’t forget Buddypress.org (made by the WordPress guys)

    +1
  • Majalah Gratis

    Monday, March 5th, 2012 04:26

    5

    How to build social networking websites using wordpress? do we need premium plugin or is it possible to use free plugin only?

    +2
  • Dan

    Sunday, March 4th, 2012 17:03

    4

    Very interesting read, I hadn’t though of a social networking project before. Although it would be a nice challenge, but the chances are that you’ll follow in the footsteps of networks like Google Buzz and have a very limited success thanks to giants like Facebook and Twitter.

    But then again, it wouldnt be much of a challenge without competition!

    -5
  • miggy

    Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 01:53

    3

    Hello.. Whats ur opinion on buddypress?

    -2
  • Jose

    Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 21:57

    2

    What about Drupal?

    +1
  • Chiara

    Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 19:37

    1

    The tricky part is getting the word out enough to compete with Facebook!

    +4

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