Starting your own Social Networking Site at 0 Cost

After browsing the hub-pages for a long time I finally came to know how much people are interested in creating a social network of their own. Although needs are divergent ranging from college network to family network and official one the goal is ultimately one.

Creating Social Network!

Although trying to create the next Facebook may not be a good idea, you may want to create a niche network or empower & add new features to the network you already have.

According to my first rule of Web Designing! Why go for paid when you can have open source softwares of same quality (by quality I mean features and usability) .

Applying this rule to our social networking site development we will be going through several possibilities of social media setup sooner.

There are several ways to create your own social network site numbering them from 1 we have..

1. Creating your own social network site.

If you are a computer geek and want to test your programming skills then this may seem good idea to you but not for actual situation. You must be aware of it that it takes long period of time and many hours of searching to create a pastry, when you can have a complete cake served from bakery.

To simplify, no doubt how awesome programmer you are, you cannot create a software competable to the software creating by large community of programmers from all over the world. Also you cannot get support in case anything goes wrong.

As far as your polishing of skills is concerned open source provides you opportunity. You can use any open source software to create social network site in minutes and then can add your own features to it since its open source.

2. Getting custom made software

Custom made means softwares that are designed by companies on people's demands and provide exactly what they need.

This option is only for organizations and offices where the social network is not just a place to talk and share but you want some real job get done.

It is expensive and obviously needs time and money.

3. Buying a software and customizing it.

Again a very expensive option where you not only need to buy a social networking software for your site but also have to pay someone to customize it for your needs. It can be a better option for organizations then custom made but not for individual people.

4. Using Open Source Softwares

Here comes my fav. choice.

First of all I would like to clarify the doubts in some people's minds that open source means it is less effective or usable or bla bla! which you may have heared many people saying, who are themselves goofy!

Majority of times open source softwares are even better then paid since millions of people have worked on them e.g. Mozilla Firefox, Drupal, ubuntu linux ..... and many more

Coming to main topic: Setting up Social Networking Site using Open Source Softwares ( Totally Free )

Using OSS (open source sotware) has many advantages over other ones.

a) You don't have to spend a single penny on it

b) You can make your site working in few hours if not in few minutes.

c) You can add features that you need

d) You have large base of helpers available to help you always.

These reasons are enough to use OSS rather than paid, custom made or customized softwares.

Going to the choices that are available it is a matter of use. Meaning how you want to use your network. A description of appropriate use is given with each choice.

Give a try to each if you have much spare time before choosing one.

Here goes the list....



It is widely used and mature social networking software. It has received award for creating best social networking software in 2008.

Among the many features available there are:

1. Advanced User management & administrative panel.

2. Large database of Widgets

3. Advanced Template System

4. Viewable on mobile

5. Helping Community

6. Nicely laid down documentation

....... all these things are enough to make it a good choice for community site. Its perfect for family and friends network. But we have better choices still there...

If you will ask me I will never go for elgg (honestly)



Its feature rich open source software for networking site and can be used for advanced communities. Besides basic options there are

1. Blogs

2. Forums 

3. Mailing List

4. Templates 

5. Modules

and many more options....

but still its not the best choice for networking site.



Buddypress is not an open source software on its own but its just a mod of wordpress that converts wordpress into social media....

Among its distinguished features are:

1. Grouping

2. Forums

3. Private Messaging

4. Activity Stream

5. Themes

It's a good choice for those who have already used wordpress (again Open Source)

I haven't used it personally so mot much idea about it.


Dolphin (My Favorite)

Dolphin by Bonnex has always remained my fav. one and believe me if you will use it you will become its fan too.

It can make you forget myspace and orkut. Dolphin is so feature rich and advanced that it outnumbers all the open source networking solutions on net.

It is built with PhP and MySQl with javascript. Feature list in endless

1. Themes

2.  Advanced user management and administrative panel

3. Forums

4. Blogs

5. Classifieds

6. Audio uploding and streaming

7. Video streaming

8. Advanced usage stats

9. Easily customisable

10. Online chat system

11. Real time board

Its just awesome. Must give it a try.....



Another popular social networking site. But you cannot install it on your server. Ning only gives you option to start your network on their site with address like....

It's a nice for choice if you need network of your friends only. But for larger scale go for installing on your own server rather than others. 

Features include: 

1. Themes 

2. Buddy List

3. videos and photos

4. mods

and others small ones....

Sorry this is in wrong place, but its popularity forced me to discuss this one.

It is not open source social  networking software! 


Believe me the list is endless. But the best have been discussed. Others include

1. Mugshot

2. AroundMe

3. GetBoo

4. Scuttle

Now to sum up all these. Dolphin stands at no. 1 and Elgg at 2nd according to my own rankings. But again its a matter of use how you wan to use it.

Try using the demos of all before making a choice and have


This is enough for now! as soon as i get more info I will update you people. Believe me I never stop searching and testing even after completing my topic.

My search is going on and on and on....

Once you have setup your social networking site your concern will certainly shift to increasing visitors and page rank.

Read my hub related to it: Start Reading Now -->   


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Comments 13 comments

dyesebel10 profile image

dyesebel10 6 years ago from USA

nice hub.. very informative.. thanx

Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 6 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

Great Info. This is something i have wanted to do for a long time now.

i scribble profile image

i scribble 6 years ago

I will check out Open Source. Thanks.

Hosting Murah 6 years ago

Great list of open source social networking script buddy... definitely will try some of the scripts...

Thanks for sharing...

emailmktg_nyc 5 years ago

Great Post – lots of ideas. I still haven’t taken the plunge to do a social networking business page because social networking indicates that no one will be able to search for you page… which means.. what real good is it ?

deepak 5 years ago

nice work man...

jay13213 4 years ago

yea good hub ,here are my 3 favorite scripts

Habib 4 years ago

good work buddy!!! thanks for giving us important knowledge....

ROCKBOK 4 years ago


Vinayak 2 years ago

Great buddy! That's ... I love dolphin now

sourabh goyal 2 years ago

well it is good but i want my own site in which i can motivating persons i mean a site which is not for chating and all but for social welfare..................................

milalo 18 months ago

Wellcome milalo

Rati 16 months ago

I like strange things.

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