I’ve been working on an amazing project for the last few weeks and I can’t begin to tell you how fulfilling it has been to my life. Since I started working for myself I have had countless numbers of clients asking me for their very own social networking site. I’ve tried hard to hack things together with Joomla, WordPress, and tried looking for the best system out there for a couple of years now and just couldn’t seem to find it.
With this current project I was basically being paid to find the “it” platform and make it happen. I started off with Ning but I couldn’t rely on them since they recently switched to only paid subscription. I didn’t mind paying monthly for it but they were talking about features that I wanted that just weren’t possible. I wasn’t going to suffer through promises for a couple of years like I have been while waiting for WordPress 3 to come out.
So I finally found another platform that I thought would work and we quickly tested it out. Needless to say we built the site in just a couple of weeks and have memberships rolling in. Let me tell you what all we are doing.
We have a paid membership system setup. The only thing required was either a PayPal business account or Authorize.net. We currently have 2 different levels of members but we can have up to three. It also integrates promo codes and trial periods.
It also has an integrated referral program and include an integrated affiliate system. We’re not using it but it is there and I believe it has a two tier system as well.
You can upload and integrate media into its integrate blog system with podcasting, forum system, and private messaging system. It also has web chat, live video conferencing, telephone conferencing. If you can think of a way to communicate it has it.
I love the Frequently Asked Questions module. I will notice that I start getting the same questions from people so I just post it there and they are ready to go.
If you want to sell something, it has an integrated shopping cart. All you have to do is plug in your payment variables from Authorize.net and it takes care of the rest including providing downloads for virtual products.
There are a large number of applications that we haven’t even started using yet such as audio video postcard system where you can send audio and video postcards to each other, you can also upload presentations for people to view. There is a file sharing module, a document creator module, member webpages, photo galleries, reviews system, and even task managers. It’s amazing how much is included in this program and you wouldn’t believe that you get it all for only $99 a month.
With this system we were able to build the new site in just two weeks and have over 200 members in less than a month. The members are blown away by the content we have provided so far and we haven’t even scratched the surface of it’s capabilities.
Now I will admit that the system is a little bit quirky. It doesn’t always work the way I think it should. But if you are looking for an affordable fast way to create your own social networking site, then you need to check out iGroops.
Our plan is to start building our own platform where it works exactly how we want it to but in the meantime this system provides us with the blueprint that we need to get started today. After years of trying to hack BuddyPress, and Jomsocial, as well as try out many other social networking platforms, you won’t find anything as extensive as what we have found with iGroops. I’m happy to say I have found a platform that I can recommend to my clients looking for a system like this.