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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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+.