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  • Pligg

What is Pligg Hosting?

Pligg is an Open Source social networking system that allows you to create online communities. WordPress and other content management systems (CMSs) are great for mostly one-way communication. They allow you to build a website or host a blog where you can share posts, and allow readers to comment, if you wish. But even with that kind of communication and exchange, those kinds of sites are, for the most part, broadcasting rather than collaborating.

If you want to create a site built on true sharing, what you're looking for might be a social publishing CMS rather than a traditional CMS. That's what Pligg is — an Open Source social publishing system.

Key Pligg Features

Open Source
Pligg is Free and Open Source (FAOS) software, which means that all the code is available for inspection, modification, and redistribution. Somewhat unusually, Pligg is released under the Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0) licensed. (This is unusual because that license is more often associated with content, rather than code.)

Admin Panel
Pligg offers a centralized admin control panel and dashboard for managing your entire social network. From here you can edit site settings, moderate content, manage users, enable and disable modules, and setup groups.

Module System
Pligg provides a rich set of hooks and filters, and a well-documented API, for adding functionality through Modules. Existing Modules provide a wide range of additional features beyond Pligg Core, and anyone can write a new Module to support any special needs.

Your Pligg site's look and feel is completely in your control through the built-in Smarty Template System. You can customize the colors and options in an existing template, or design one of your own.

Users can organize themselves into special-interest groups and share content and messages with each other.

Member Profiles
Site users can share biographical information, activity history, images, and other content on their own customizable profile page.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
URLs for content can be optimized to be Search Engine friendly, and metadata is fully customizable.

Advanced Commenting
Users can comment on content. And comment on comments. And comment on comment comments. They can also vote on content and comments. Comment threads can be organized chronologically (conversation view)or based on vote count (best answer view).

Internationalization and Localization
Pligg is fully internationalized, storing UI strings in configurable language files. It is already localized for most of the world's users, containing translations into Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkmen.

RSS Feeds : Users can subscribe to receive content via RSS for reading in their own RSS Reader. Feeds are extremely granular, allowing users to individually subscribe to voting activity, content submissions, commenting, news, or individual categories.

Example Modules

Pligg's core functionality can be extended by the use of third-party or custom-built modules. The system has a number of great modules for it already, and anyone can create a new one. To get a sense of what modules can accomplish, here are some of the more popular ones.

Status Updates
This module allows users to write short status messages and share them with other users, similar to Facebook and Twitter.

XML Sitemaps
Sitemaps are a key SEO (Search Engine Optimization) feature, as they tell search engines how to efficiently index your site. This module adds XML Sitemaps to your Pligg site.

Twitter Module
The Twitter Module lets users log in with their Twitter account, and post to the Twitter feeds automatically.

Facebook Module
With the Facebook module, users can log in and register with their Facebook account, import profile details, invite friends to join, and auto-post updates to their own feed.

Anonymous Mode
Allow users to protect their privacy by enabling anonymous posting, commenting, and voting.

Keep spam and vandalism at bay with a human verification system. The CAPTCHA module supports four different Captcha services.

Private Messaging
The Private Messaging module allows users to connect and communicate with each other privately.

Pligg Hosting

The requirements for running Pligg are supported by most web hosts (though you should always check):

  • Apache Web Server
  • PHP 5.x +
  • MySQL 5.x +

Many web hosts provide one-click installation support for Pligg from their administration control panel.

Shared hosting will work fine for testing and development purposes, and for small communities. If you anticipate a very large community of people using your Pligg-powered social networking site, you will probably want to upgrade to (at a minimum) a Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting plan.

Pligg Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a social publishing system?

    A social publishing system is a content management system designed for the social networking community. In other words, it allows you to easily create an online community where large numbers of users create content, as opposed to you creating and posting all the content. Users can create profiles, submit articles, and leave comments for other users in the community. Some of the best known social networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

  • How does the Creative Commons License differ from other open source licenses?

    The Creative Commons License is very similar to other open source licenses, in that the user is free to download, copy, and redistribute the source code or software in any form, and they can modify the code in any way they choose. However, under the Creative Commons License, they must give appropriate credit (attribution) for the original code, provide a link to the license, and note if changes were made.

  • Is it possible to download older versions of Pligg?

    Yes. While the Pligg website only contains the latest release, you can find many previous releases via GitHub. GitHub also hosts their pre-release, development versions, if you’re interested in testing out new futures ahead of time.

  • Why would it work better on a Virtual Private Server (VPS) than shared hosting?

    With a shared hosting plan, your bandwidth and number of visitors is highly limited, and shared by other sites hosted on the plan. While fine for sites with limited traffic, shared hosting will struggle to support too many visitors. A VPS plan typically provides a minimum level of server resources, so you don’t have to worry about going down if your “neighbors” get too much traffic that day. Most hosts will also offer a variety of packages, making it easy to upgrade or downgrade as necessary. This can be particularly important for a social media site, where active users can ramp up quickly.

  • Are the templates and modules free too?

    Much like other CMS platforms, there are a large number of core templates and modules offered for free. Other advanced add-ons, like a news maps and Bitcoin functionality, are available for a small fee.

  • What type of support is available?

    Like most open source software, Pligg provides a community-based support system. You’ll need to sign in to post, but that’s to be expected. This is social media software after all. The support forums will give you a good sense of the platform, since each request is listed as a personal post, with a very blog-like feel.

  • How do I find all the free modules?

    The Pligg download page is a little overrun by paid modules, but there’s an easy fix. Scroll down just a little ways and you’ll find a “Filter By Price” option on the left-hand side. Just slide the bar all the way to $0 and put your credit card away!

  • Why so few templates?

    If you’re looking for WordPress variety, you’re not going to get it with Pligg. There are only a few dozen templates available on their website, and only two are available for free at the time of this writing. But don’t fret. Their templates are customizable, so you can alter color and add images. And remember, Pligg is designed to create social media sites, where it’s best to avoid too much personalization. If we learned nothing else from the MySpace/Facebook battle, it’s that we shouldn’t get hung up on templates.

  • Is Pligg mobile compatible?

    Yes. Both the admin panel and front end design are based on Bootstrap, which is designed for all platforms: desktop browsers, tablets, and smartphones.

  • What’s up with the Pligg forums?

    The Pligg forums were shut down in late 2013. While we would typically warn you about any software with an inactive forum community, Pligg’s community is still very active. They moved the active discussions to the support section of their website, where users can interact in a more social way (as they would on their Pligg-created sites). You can still find quite a bit of information on their old forums, but they aren’t allowing any new discussion there, and they can’t guarantee the accuracy of any information.

  • Are there any alternatives to Pligg?

    There are a number of other social networking CMS applications available. BuddyPress, created by the team behind WordPress, provides a high degree of customization and seamlessly integrates into an existing WordPress site. Like Pligg, it’s free to download and customize. Dolphin may be the most comprehensive social networking CMS available. It provides video chat, discussion forums, file sharing, and more. On the other hand, all those features come at a price. A Google search should find you several other options, each with varying features and price tags.

  • How can I contribute to Pligg?

    If you’re a developer interested in working on Pligg, you can sign up to contribute via their GitHub page. You can also find their complete source code available there. If you’re interested in creating modules for Pligg, you can sign up to sell your Pligg module through their website.

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