Make your own SocialNetwork with Socialengine! Review!

by Ruchira on October 27, 2011

Too many reviews these days meh? But I cant pass this one because working on this thing has become integral part of my carrier now. Its SocialEngine and its used to create social networks. Yes its like wordpress, its a script but costs money.  In my case we spent $669 for the script and all the default plugins. But its kinda worth the money we spent and it got many options to customize the features.

Script Features

  • Built on Zend Framework PHP+MySql
  • Most importantly code isn’t encrypted ( IonCubed) so any type of custom modifications are possible which is very handy
  • All Licenses comes with “No branding” option. which means there wont be any copyright text from developer company left in the footer and they wont ask more $$ to remove it. Which is very good considering other commercial scripts charge $$ or $$$ to remove the branding.

Community Around it

  • You will find considerable community working behind it unofficially. which means many sites to download plugins, themes,addons are available¬† and some forums are there to get help if you need.
  • Since this is a paid script you will have to pay to get the plugins and things from those web sites as for now I have found only few free plugins to it.
  • Also site itself got some great documents about how to get things up and going.

Value Added Features

  • There is built in CDN support which supports Amazon S3,CloudFront and MaXCDN. And setting it up is very easy and probably this is the best cloud integration that I ever seen on a script.
  • Admin panel plugin,theme,addon installation support. Remember the days you installed plugins via FTP on your wordpress blog? yes things have changed and with socialengine you can install plugins saved on your computer and upgrade to newer version by using your admin panel GUI.
  • Admin panel editor for site layout and theme codes is available and its even better than wordpress theme/layout editor.
  • Built-in support for caching is available and supports File Based caching (like WP-Super-Cache) , Memcached, APC, Xcache

What kind of cost you should be looking at

  • Well it mostly depends on you. minimal code base (without default plugins) costs $299
  • All the official plugins cost $370
  • If you want fully fledged site with this it will easily run you about $1000 and even more.
  • Third party plugins starts at about $10 and costs as much as $120 for some great plugins.

Whats Bad

  • And its very bad! Take a look at below image

And its a screenshot of my amazon S3 bucket which I use to host images,mp3s,thumbnails of the users of our socialnetwork. As you can see it creates stupid amount of Folders to store images and thumbnails of users.

For example remember wordpress creates single folder to store a month worth of uploads such as wp-content/uploads/2011/10/ that directory stores all uploads to web site on october 2011.

But this socialengine script creates stupid and crazy amount of folders to store images and most of the time there is only 1 image on a folder and I think there are folders than the files :( And its bullshit! I dont know why they did this and this might be artifact of Zend Framework. ( please correct me on comments if im wrong) And this makes the backing up process hard and it would be ridiculous to backup those folders without like zipping the whole directory and then backing it up.

its fairly easy to manage the script via admin interface and can be easily get used to it after few days of use. At last I would recommend SocialEngine to anyone who is searching for good socialnetwork script and I would rate this 8/10 and you lost 2 stars because of that folder problem socialengine :(

I'm Ruchira Sahan and all posts on this blog are completely my thoughts and writings. I love DIY and Technology. So feel free to contact me for anything about this blog and don't forget to add a comment if this blog helped you! Thanks
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Last 5 posts by Ruchira

  • Ankit Saini

    Is social engine supports multi player games by publishers such as mochimedia, etc..


  • Keith

    Thanks For Great Review …

    1) Are you still working with Social Engine ? If so, would you still recommend SE ?
    2) Is this a true DIY for building s serious website, or requires professional assistance ?

    Thanks again …. – Keith

    • Ruchira

      1. Yes still working on it. And we are doing huge project around the social engine, which includes inegration of magento and wordpress to it. :) Yes if you want to build a good social engine is much recommended.

      2. yes its DIY for the most of it. But if you want to differentiate and have some uniqueness it will require some serious knowledge on developing php on zend framework

  • Katherine Schneider

    I’m curious, I currently run a social engine site off of a dedicated server. I want to set up a new site on hosting then use the Amazon S3 feature to host the files, do you think this would work or would the site run too slow?

    My dedicated server has created so many problems for my site and cost me thousands in management and mistakes wiped out half my members twice, I’d rather stay away from dedicated if I can and the S3 looks like a viable option.


    • Ruchira

      There is no simple answer to your question. There are many variables to consider

      1. How many members are there
      2. How much members logged in at the same time
      3. How much visitors that you get daily.

      etc etc

      If your dedicated server is crashing due to load, you wont be able to go a shared hosting and just use amazon s3 to host the files it will just slow down the site.
      Using S3 wont reduce the server loads much but it will increase load times to your visitors.

  • Kris

    are you also using cloudfront? what are you thought about max cdn?

    • Ruchira

      Yes didnt gave maxcdn go, cloudfront is great! :)

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