How to create a social networking website in 5 minutes

Hello Friends,

Social media is the way to go now-a-days. After Orkut, Facebook and My Space we saw hundreds of social networking site making their mark in the market. However now a days socialness is not only restricted to social networking sites. Now every company wants to include some amount of socialness into their website, product or whatever it is.

However the features which any of the social networking site provide are same and restricted to a certain extent. 3 of the sites which I have developed so far, all have socialness as a base component. (Gtalkbots, Altertunes, IITG Alumni) However after I saw Elgg a few days back, I was just wondering how much time I wasted in building social features in all the 3 sites. I just wish I could have found this before.

Here in 5 minutes we will see how to build a full fledged social networking site using Elgg:

  1. Download Elgg setup from the download page here or directly using this link http://elgg.org/getelgg.php?forward=elgg1.1.zip
  2. Lets name our social networking site as Snizr.
  3. Extract the downloaded zip file in your Apache Document Root and name the folder as snizr. In my case it is C:Workspacesnizr 
  4. Now just open the url http://localhost/snizr and you will see a page like this:

  5. Create a database named snizr in mysql and enter the details in the form above. Press enter and you will come to the system settings page. If for some reasons this configuration page doesn’t take you to the system settings page, manually go to engine/settings.example.php and rename it to engine/settings.php and enter the details inside.

  6. Now enter the details of your social network here. Create a upload folder outside the installation directory e.g. C:Workspacesnizr-uploads . You will be asked to enter this path in the system settings above.
  7. After you are done you are taken to the registration page. The first registered user is admin by default.

  8. Thats it. You have a full social networking available for you. After registration you come to the login page and after loggin in you come to your dashboard.

Features provided by Elgg:
You just got a feel of how easy it is and its not even 5 minutes as per my watch. Still 2 min to go 😉 .
Quickly lets see what else does Elgg offer.

  1. Click on Administration link at the top navigation bar and you will be amazed to see the kind of admin panel it provides.
  2. Next go to Tool Administration and you can see about 10 plugins at your service. From Blog, API, Bookmarks, Friends, Groups, Messages, Status, UserValidationByEmail and what not.
  3. Enable a few and go to your profile pages to see them being reflected immediately.

Now I will leave to explore rest of it yourself. 5 minutes are almost over 😉

I hope you enjoyed discovering Elgg.