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Freelance website for publishing freelancer services

Now many sites freelance services provide their sites for placing different types of ads. The huge range of different freelance sites brings some uncertainty - which one to choose?  First of all, you need to browse a large number of the most popular services and identify several that suit you - where there are interesting categories or where popular similar to your services. Of the selected services, half of the freelance sites will not support your language and suitable payment method for your region. Also, most services will simply be unavailable, when placing ads, for your country. Moreover, even if there will be popular category of services, similar or more or less suitable for you, most likely niche will be occupied by hundreds, or even thousands of ads, where your freelance service just lost. As a result, there will be 1-2 freelance site, which still will not satisfy all the needs of the freelancer - «Best of the worst». After the research, the question remains: why is there stil

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. 

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