Featured Best Software as basis for community

Discussion in 'Social Networking' started by sugo, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. sugo

    sugo Neophyte

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    I want to build a new community with a lot of custom coding (because we want features that you won't get normally out of the box).

    But I don't want to reinvent the wheel. So, things for like user registration or private messages I want to use a CMS-like software as a basis.

    My favorite community software is XenForo (even better with the coming version 2). But It lacks a few features a community has to have, like mutual friendships. I also know that in XenForo 1 it was very hard to implement mutual friendships as addon (especially regarding performance). XenForo is really great software, but more for specific usage cases.

    I also looked at an other forum (and CMS/Community) software: Woltlab Suite: Compared to XenForo 2 the plugin creation process is very complicated. I did not look too deep into it, but seems to be o.k. I really like the modular approach.

    I have also looked at SocialEngine. Does not look bad regarding features, but I could not find a good Development Documentation, and don't know how good the code is.

    Many years ago I have used PhpFox (with custom development by the creators of the software). Back then the software was o.k., but not too consistent (regarding UX), and upgrading was very complicated after all the changes. But I think the project has been improved over the last (about) 7 years, while I did not use it.

    I don't think Wordpress is a good idea to use for communities (tough there are many addons that claim to make a community out of Wordpress; just want to mention that).

    What I want to have is (at least):
    • User Management
    • Mutual Friendships
    • Private Messages / Conversations
    • Good Performance
    • MVC Approach / Modern programming techniques
    • Good Documentation (also for developers)
    Price is o.k. up to 4 digits (for a really really good software).
     
  2. doubt

    doubt Tazmanian

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    Agreed.
     
  3. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Tazmanian

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    Xenforo is only a forum.
    It is definitely not community software.
     
  4. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Tazmanian

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    I really don think there is good community software.

    If you tell me more about your community I might be able to help.

    I recently demo'd igloo software. Has its perks.
     
  5. sugo

    sugo Neophyte

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    well, at least XF has a lot of features a community needs: Conversations, Alerts, Mentions, the whole user-management, "Trophy Points", Warnings, Moderation features, ... And it can easily be extended.

    But of course, it is not the perfect way to go when you want to build a community and don't care too much for the forum part.

    What I search for is a software with similar code quality and more focus on community features.
     
  6. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Tazmanian

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    Me too.

    Doesn't exist.

    What software have you looked at ?
     
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  7. Bikenut

    Bikenut Enthusiast

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    Man, I'm playing around on SocialEngine and I think its freaking amazing. Im really liking it and only downside I see is that there doesn't seem to be many themes available for it.
     
  8. sugo

    sugo Neophyte

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    Over the last hours I looked at Laravel CMS Scripts / Packages. There seem to be a lot of them.

    this one looks pretty good: https://codecanyon.net/item/socialite-laravel-social-network-script/17553328

    Here some other free ones: https://github.com/chiraggude/awesome-laravel#content-management-systems

    I have not installed any of them. Maybe I'll try the payed one.

    Good thing about Laravel: I have already played with the framework. :)

    What I need is a Package with the mentioned features, that can be installed along with other laravel packages..
     
  9. haqzore

    haqzore Habitué

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    Invision Power is getting closer and closer. Especially with their activity views and recent introduction of groups.
     
  10. Sal Collaziano

    Sal Collaziano Womanizer

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    Well, you could always give WordPress with BuddyPress (plugin) a try. I have that setup running here:
    https://cadillacmagazine.com/

    It's nothing serious, I don't spend really any time on it. It's just an installation I pretty much use so that if and when I want to create a quick social network type site, I can just pretty much copy and paste that one onto another domain, clear the data and be up and running in 20 minutes. I think it's pretty robust...
     
  11. ChrisTERiS

    ChrisTERiS Adherent

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    In my opinion, you're doing a big mistake. You're asking which framework to use (as long as you're talking for extras/addons, then we can talk for frameworks), instead to say "Do I need to go with a framework, or to create a new PHP script meeting 100% my requirements?"

    Had the same discussion with my best client, 6 years ago. He wanted a lot of vBulletin addons, I was suggesting him "Go for a custom PHP script". He didn't accepted my suggestion. What happened? Has paid in total more than 50.000 Euros and now needs to pay more. Why?

    First and most important. There are 100's of thousands PHP coders. You can find many to work for your project with as low as $10/per hour. Can you find a xF developer, or WP developer etc at this rate? Impossible. You'll be very lucky to find a professional xF developer with $30/per hour. Average is $50/per hour. Wordpress is better in this case as there are more developers than xF or any other forum software.

    Updates. Don't underestimate this cost. With any xF (or WP etc) update, most probably, you must update your extra plugins. This can be a small amount, but can be even like to pay again. Let me give you an example. Let's say that you already had ready your site working with xF1. Now xF2 is under portas. Your code for which you paid good money goes to rubbishes. You need to pay again your developer to change almost everything, as code between xF1 and xF2 is different.

    Same happened with vBulletin between versions 3 to 4 and from 4 to 5. Same with IPB between ver 3 and 4. So? Do you want to pay again and again?

    A script coded in PHP may needs 10 years and more to need changes.

    Think well before getting your decision unless if you've money to spend around :)

    Chris
     
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  12. sugo

    sugo Neophyte

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    Good Posting, ChrisTERiSChrisTERiS ! I agree with many things, but not with this:
    A complex webapp needs updates more often; It does not matter if it is based on a CMS or made using a webframework (at least I would not code without a framework like laravel). Laravel 5.5 (LTS!) will get security fixes for just 3 years. If you don't use any boilerplate you may also have to deal with updated APIs, new PHP versions or just modern requirements (like responsive design a few years ago).

    At the moment I consider building my own Boilerplate with laravel and a few packages for user management, conversations, admin area and other things from github.
     
  13. ChrisTERiS

    ChrisTERiS Adherent

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    I do agree. 100% right. But I was in rush to finish the message and my English is not the best. What I had in mind (even if I wrote it false) is that "With PHP your project maybe will takes 10 days to stop working (due to incompatibilities)".

    For sure, a serious businessman, needs to take care very often to update his site with new coding, adding features etc. But is different to pay for improving my site and different to pay to make it compatible with a framework's upgrade.

    ....hmmmm....... Reading again this message I think that again I was not so clear. In anycase. PHP scripts last much more than any forum or CMS.
     
  14. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Tazmanian

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    Why do you keep working with vB then ?
     
  15. ChrisTERiS

    ChrisTERiS Adherent

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    Who said it? Last 2 years I've coded 4 PHP scripts:
    1. paradoxBB Multiuser Blog
    2. A custom Dating Community (Full dating plus fully featured forum).
    3. A custom Website (eShop, Newsletter and some other plugins). This site is not responsive
    4. An Articles based custom website (responsive).
    5. ....and now I'm working on UserClubs.
    Also in last 3 months I released 4 addons for WHMCS (including a fully featured Forum AddOn). Don't know if it's fair to make a comparization but in just 3 months I got more profits selling these 4 addons, that the profits that I got with 50 vB addons in 10+ years.

    But I'll continue coding for vBulletin. As long as there are people who want to use it, I can't reject their requests. I'm professional and need to follow what client wants. But I'll never start a site for my own use based in any framework (Forum script, Wordpress or any other CMS). I'll go with pure PHP.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
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  16. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    I realy like the look of site 3 looks nice.
     
  17. ChrisTERiS

    ChrisTERiS Adherent

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    Thank you. It's because is not responsive. Designing with fix width you've more freedom to do anything. My client wants to keep it as is, and maybe to make a new design for mobile browsers.
     
  18. ChrisTERiS

    ChrisTERiS Adherent

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    As long as you wrote that your community needs "a lot of custom coding", my opinion is that before asking which software is better for you, to check how much it will costs you.

    Talking in random, let's say that you'll need 3 plugins:
    - Articles
    - Classifieds
    - Reviews

    Let's say now that you're getting quotes from Freelancers and the cost (for all 3 plugins) is:
    - Pure PHP $1.000
    - xenForo $2.000
    - IPS4 $2.500
    - Wordpres $1.500
    etc etc....

    After having the cost, only then, and depending in your budget, you can get the best desicion. By selecting first the software, and then trying to code your plugins, the best solution is to end with a good working site but in double price of your budget, but you can (most common) end up with spending lot of money and getting rubbishes.
     
  19. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Tazmanian

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    Are you going to do the coding ? or hire someone ?

    phpfox. :D heh. I remember that. At the time I thought it was going to bring something major to the table but it never really did. I was interested though. Most software is not interesting to me.
     
  20. sugo

    sugo Neophyte

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    Regarding Coding: When you want to have the perfect solution, you have to do it by your own (or work very very close with a coder). At least you should be involved in the coding, and have an understanding of what has to be done - that's my experience. I prefer spending some days or even weeks learning a new technique, over hiring a coder and don't know what's happening behind the scene.

    Once I hired a coder for a local guide based on symphony (PHP Framework). It costed much more that 10.000 EUR and was far away form "perfect". I spent a lot of time testing all things out, found really many bugs and many things were done different that I wanted to have them. After some time I decided to let the site "die" (it was not a community, no user registration).

    I don't want to say "you must do it all by yourself". But you should do as much as you can by yourself: You may learn new things and you get what you want. If something is beyond your scope, you have to decide: learn it or let that part be coded.

    Regarding Costs: I don't make hobby sites and I want them to grow and not be terminated after a few years. So a few (or even 1) really good site(s) (with higher costs) are better than 20+ Wordpress Sites (made of a WP Theme and a few Plugins) - in my opinion.
     
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