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The premise for my questions: For another social networking site that I have researched the market for, I would like to start it in such a way that it's not so dependent on a particular programmer's coding, and also one that we can get up and running QUICKLY. I've looked at Ning, but you can't take your subscriber base with you. I'm considering Kickapps now.
1. This site will become very big, very fast (I know how hard it is to build memberships, but I do have this ball rolling already, and again, associations waiting to set up their groups on the site, and bring their members with them.) Can you put a site built with Kickapps or similar solutions on a dedicated server, instead of using shared hosting? (I wouldn't be having kickapps integrating with an existing site -- I would be starting a brand new site.)
2. I'll need to add many other features than just the standard profile/groups/photos. I'll need to add in instant messaging, private chat, an uploads/downloads center, a shopping cart, etc. Can these things be added into sites built with social networking scripts (I guess you call them scripts) like kickapps?
3. From reading 1 and 2 above, do you have any suggestions for a script/platform/whatever you call it/ aside from Ning or kickapps that might be most appropriate for my needs?
Thank you so much for any help, as these seemingly simple issues are really holding me back from my dream right now!
To get up and running quickly just get 3 very experienced php programmers working on a tier each full time for a month will do it.
This approach typically costs more because it is quality object oriented design and a higher skill set, and requires interface specifications for each programmer.
But if you have the three programmers working together at the same time on a tier each, itís much more productive as the interface specs arenít as critical and you get good problem solving in the team.
Open source would cost more because of the security and access to good designers and coders that know the applications limits.
Good luck, make sure you budget for a vulnerability assessment prior to release.
Have your programmer(s) lock down your code from the application perspective.
If your venture is going to be as big as you say it is, you may need to hire a webmaster to take care of all of this for you. It is not something you will be able to pickup overnight. And if your community is not managed properly, it can all come crashing down after all your hard pre-work of building it up.
Have you considered how you are going to manage spam, abuse, moderation, etc? Those alone can take up 1 full time person on a high traffic social site.