Skip to main content

Best Platform to Build a Social Network website

Main features of social networks Before we compare platforms to build a social network website, let's point out the core features of such websites: – Member profiles store users’ data, display social network activity, let users share content, and make them discoverable. – The activity feed is crucial to inform participants about what is happening on the site. Users can interact with content (comment, follow, subscribe, share, mark like/dislike, etc.) on an interest basis. – Groups help to classify content and strengthen the connection between users with a common interest. They act as one of the key channels for attracting new members. – Social networks should allow members to create appropriate types of content. – A powerful search engine makes it easy for users to find the content they want, as well as friends and other users. – Social network spam and fraud protection ensures that users feel safe. Feedback mechanisms are required in case of complaints about other users or sending

Best Platform to Build a Social Network website

Main features of social networks

Before we compare platforms to build a social network website, let's point out the core features of such websites:

– Member profiles store users’ data, display social network activity, let users share content, and make them discoverable.

– The activity feed is crucial to inform participants about what is happening on the site. Users can interact with content (comment, follow, subscribe, share, mark like/dislike, etc.) on an interest basis.

– Groups help to classify content and strengthen the connection between users with a common interest. They act as one of the key channels for attracting new members.

– Social networks should allow members to create appropriate types of content.

– A powerful search engine makes it easy for users to find the content they want, as well as friends and other users.

– Social network spam and fraud protection ensures that users feel safe. Feedback mechanisms are required in case of complaints about other users or sending technical reports.

– Networking must allow for a few levels of trust - a user can simply follow another user or two users can form a mutual friendship.

– It is extremely useful to monitor user behavior, as it allows you to identify problems in the organization of the network and more accurately build marketing programs.

– Notification subsystem must be a tool to keep the members updated about the important activities in the community and their profiles. Possible using push and in-app messages, email, SMS, and others.

Comparison of platforms

Existing offers on the IT market can be divided into three categories – self-hosted CMS, SaaS-based, and custom-built. All three options theoretically provide all the required functions. Therefore, the answer to the question of which platform for creating a social network website is better dependent primarily on its purpose. We have collected the main characteristics and evaluated all three approaches to a simple three-point system. The result was placed in this table:


Custom-built solutions scored more points in this rating, but if you remove unnecessary rows from the table, the situation may change. Let's consider the details.

The use of self-hosted CMS implies at least a little initial experience. You will have to choose the most suitable script for your task, and extension plugins. You also have to choose a hosting company and a domain name registrar. On the one hand, the CMS itself is offered as a free solution. But their versatility requires considerable effort to modify the source code, even when you buy a ready-made social network function plugin for CMS. If you can't do it yourself, you will need to invite third-party programmers.

Thus, self-hosted CMS begins to gradually lose its advantage of a free solution. In the future, the cost of ownership begins to increase. Often extension modifications become incompatible with new versions of the kernel of such a CMS, and you start the process of adapting your extensions again and again.

Source code of CMS is usually open, it is constantly investigated for vulnerabilities not only by the community of programmers creating it but also by hackers. Some vulnerabilities have not been fixed for years, and are imperceptibly used by intruders. In general, low security is the main problem for such solutions. Secure storage of user data in such CMS is a continuous headache for administrators.

Another serious problem of self-hosted CMS is low load capacity and poor scalability. Simultaneous maintenance of hundreds of users is not a problem for them. But hundreds of thousands of simultaneous requests can make your site unavailable. Such requests can be both productive (from customers) and counterproductive (DDoS attacks). Scaling is designed to solve the problem of the limited load capacity of one node, but there are no load balancing algorithms in such systems.

If everything is so bad with security, why are these solutions so popular? The answer will not be unambiguous. Firstly, in most cases, their use is not intended for the storage of big personal data. Most often these are small online stores, small corporate websites, and community sites for narrow interests. Such goals are not of interest to hackers until they have grown to projects with medium or great popularity. Secondly, many people are attracted by the free model and deceptive assumption of the easy moving the project to a more efficient platform in the future. This is a misconception because the main value of the social network website is its audience. Even the best serious changes in the platform will cause loss of loyalty of some users and social degradation of the project.

Examples of self-hosted CMS are Humhub, Elgg, Oxwall, Buddypress, Mastodon, Wallstant, Dolphin, Hotaru CMS, Anahita, Minds, Mono, Jcow.

If you are a beginner and do not make ambitious plans, try solutions on some SaaS platform. The main advantage will be the lack of the need for technical training of the user and little time to launch your project. Usually, the whole process takes three steps - register on the page of such a service, pay for the minimum package of services, choose a name for your website, choose a design template, and make some initial settings. The provider undertakes all other technical tasks.

You are spared the need to register a domain name yourself, search for hosting, exhaust yourself by installing, configuring, and testing scripts. But keep in mind that the possibilities of developing the project in the future will either be extremely limited or will not have them at all. This is because SaaS solutions involve mass character, and do not offer a noticeable variety to customers. This applies both to the exterior design of your project and its functional content.

If the idea of your social network can attract many users, their maintenance on the SaaS platform can cause a problem. No one will be able to promise you a high load capacity of the service in advance. Buying additional computing resources will not solve the problem, as it makes sense only with a developed load balancing system. But who will create it for the sake of your site among hundreds of small websites operating simultaneously in the provider's virtual machines?

The security of such services can be assessed as moderate, but with reservations. All client websites run in a common virtual space and use a common pool of IP addresses. Therefore, a DDoS attack on one website will inevitably shut down dozens or even hundreds of other websites in this pool.

Examples of good SaaS systems are Website Toolbox, Tribe, Honeycommb, idloom-Wall.

The third class of systems, Custom solutions, is based on platforms that are designed and tested to implement large social websites. But this does not mean that they cannot be used for small projects. They are initially deprived of the main disadvantages of the first two classes. The highest level of project customization, high load capacity, scalability, and unprecedented security are some of the distinctive features of such platforms. In addition, such systems allow using some unique functions. Automatic multilingualism allows you to translate all content into the user's language. This can be extremely important when the project is aimed at an international audience. Another interesting practical feature is the use of artificial intelligence. It is not difficult to moderate content manually when the user community is limited, but the explosive growth of the content will require automatic pre-moderation. Simple settings, such as a library of forbidden words, are completely insufficient to analyze meanings. Artificial intelligence support is indispensable.

The creation of such a system requires a lot of experience and takes a long time. Most likely, these are decades of painstaking work in the IT industry. If you want to create a social network website, it makes no sense to spend resources on creating a platform from scratch. After all, the main value is the audience, and a platform is only a tool for working with it. But we get two drawbacks.

The first disadvantage is a relatively high cost. If you decide to take advantage of other people's many years of experience, you pay for the time saved and for the opportunity to avoid mistakes. To be fair, it should be said that in some cases the cost of development can be significantly reduced. Try to find an integrator who is ready to co-finance your project.

Secondly, the launch of such a website takes a lot of time. These are not weeks, as in the first two methods, but months. However, when it comes to serious projects, this is not a problem. On the contrary, at the initial stage, the customer himself often does not fully understand the functioning of the final product. With flexible development, you can make many changes before the project starts.

The QSNE platform can be considered as an example of the third approach to building a social website.

It provides all described functions, including artificial intelligence. In addition, the developer company Qwerty Networks is proposing a partnership. Their website has a calculator that allows you to estimate in advance the cost of bringing your idea to life. 


Popular posts from this blog

How to create your own social network?

Social media is a very profitable business; at least one successful startup appears in this area every year. So how do you create your own social network? Many of those who want to create their own social network spend precious time looking for ready-made engines or trying to develop them on their own. This is a big mistake. The fact is that, despite the availability of proposals, ready-made social media engines (for example, on WordPress) will only allow you to create a web project that looks like a social network, but will not be such. The fact is that "under the hood" of real successful social networks, solutions and stack technologies are used that are different from those used to create ordinary web projects. Social networks are, first of all, highly loaded projects. Secondly, there are serious OWASP security requirements, incl. personal data of users. Thirdly, the technology stack used to create social networks includes solutions based on artificial intelligence. Artifi

Powerfull Social Media Platform

Choosing a platform to build a true scale-out social network is the first step to building a successful and viable project. Remember - none of the existing solutions based on well-known web engines (WordPress, InstantCMS and others) is suitable for creating a real social network. What are the requirements for a platform for creating a social network? 1. Scalability. Scalability refers to the ability to use distributed computing and storage systems. Social media must be able to withstand colossal pressures. The usual stack of technologies used to create ordinary sites and engines is not suitable for creating complex high-load projects. 2. Using artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is an irreplaceable assistant in moderation of a huge amount of user content. Imagine that every second the volume of publications increases by 1000. And all of these publications should be automatically checked for their content (including images and videos). 3. User data security and end-to-end e

How to Build a Social Media App in 2022

Creating a mobile application for social networks cannot be considered in isolation from the social network itself. We can discuss the shortcomings of existing applications for dominant social networks. But you have to accept the fact that creating a mobile application today makes sense only to apply to your social network. And before we talk about aspects of mobile application development, we deal with the possibility of creating your social network. Given the availability of technology and the experience gained, we give an affirmative answer. Is there a need for this in a market dominated by only a few players? After the presentation and takeoff of the Clubhouse, the answer, as every time, is positive. And it's not only that the market itself is not saturated (only half of the world's population uses social networks), but also the inability of large social networks to cover all aspects of human behavior. The business model of existing networks constrains their creativity, so