Community Website Tutorial

What is a Social Networking/Community Website

A social network community represents and connects people that share common interests in a certain area. The members of a social network community can manage their profiles through the functionality provided by the social network website they use. The common area of interests enables users of the community website to meet new friends and like-minded people. Users connect with each other, rate peers and objects, ask questions, get answers and discuss relevant topics.

Why do I need to build a Social Networking/Community website?

It is a common practice for companies and organizations to create a community website in order to manage their employees, partners and customers and target their area of interest in a stimulating and effective way. Most multimedia companies, artists, clubs or widely popular service providers maintain a community web site for their needs. The most important reasons to do so are:

  • You can target your members through the community with relevant new information that they would expect to find through the community website.
  • You can maintain constant contact with your customers/members/fans through regular updates about upcoming events, news etc.
  • The human interaction between members keep them interested in the particular field/product resulting in user generated content for the community website and thus expanding the website with relevant unique content.

Social network communities often grow through viral marketing. Members invite their friends, and hence it is possible to reach a large number of people with a very limited marketing budget. Also the chances are big that once members connect within a social network community they will remain members of the community. Members will be loyal to each other as it is only natural for people with common interests. This member loyalty is what makes social network communities highly valuable.

What are the most commonly used web applications for building Social Networking websites?

Here is a short list of the most popular open source applications used for building community web sites. Our team has created guides for each of these scripts with detailed instructions how to install and use them: