Simple Social Networking with Boonex Dolphin
For the many social media CMS’ available today it’s not so strange to see powerful libraries. Boonex is one of the lesser-known companies which sponsors the creation of powerful open-source scripts. Of their vast library Boonex Dolphin is their most prominent release.
Dolphin 7 is the latest release in their free open source software package. Inside you’ll find loads of files and demo plugins which work to add functionality into your website. This process is very simple and provides a routine way towards building your own social networking community.
The results are astounding based upon the many social news and media websites. Boonex offers tons of demo links for the curious mind of web developers. A full example of their Dolphin script demonstrates how many modules are set for download by default.
When downloading Dolphin you’ll find many social networking features which come standard in other websites. MySpace and Facebook are two prime examples, although there are many lesser known companies such as Friendster and Hi5.
Among the many media types you’ll find images, articles, threaded forums, user profiles, and video uploads. Possibly one of the best features coming out of Dolphin is how customized each plugin becomes. Your social networking site could be entirely bare with just a users directory of profiles and links. Similarly you may want to include just images, just videos, just blogs, or any combination!
The entirety of the script includes over 25 unique plugins from scratch. Particularly some of the newer additions are very eye-catching as they haven’t been seen elsewhere. These include in-page messenger (such as Facebook IM), shoutbox, file storage, and mobile communication. The latter is a very powerful plugin optimizing ringtones and text messages for your social networking profile.
The entire script is run over a PHP/MySQL backend. This is a standard LAMP setup on any Linux server stack found in the most popular hosting companies. Although the installation process is fairly simple Boonex does offer self-install services for a nominal fee.
Aside from free downloads they also offer an Enterprise edition to the software. With this you’ll be awarded unlimited licences to install and customize your own social networks. Similarly the team is more than happy to answer your support tickets above the rest, hold the state of a premium member.
You’ll also be given access to the Boonex marketplace which is chalk-full of templates and unique plugins. These have been created by members of the Boonex staff or 3rd party developers looking to earn a small living. There are tons of new apps such as resume builder and SEO management. Truly the hottest sellers are templates which offer custom logos and page views.
Considering Page Design
If you’ve viewed their demo you may notice how modular each aspect has become. This makes the designing process much simpler as editing template files becomes routine maintenance. Even a novice in HTML and CSS should be able to convert a very simple layout to a live running network.
Much of the admin panel has been redesigned with version 7, meaning you are given much more control over the user base. Admins have full power to delete and create new users along with purging outdated database storage.
It’s also easy as cake to install social media badges within your pages. These include small buttons such as seen on Digg or Reddit for sharing your pages with the world. Google tends to recognize these types of websites better, so you may be surprised with how quickly your network can grow.
If you’ve still got questions the Boonex information page offers a lot more details. They run a fairly small operation, so contact details are presented front and center. For those curious minds their personal YouTube channel has a demo video reprising some of the better features. I’ve included it below for those wishing to understand the system a little better.
If you have worked with Dolphin 7 I’d love to hear more opinions on the topic! Clearly this script has been ironed over and truly enhanced within a matter of just a few years.
All personal opinions and suggestions for new developers are welcome. Those of you with personal experience should certainly open up and help the community interested in running their own network! Incidentally if you manage or follow a Dolphin social network I encourage you to share links within the comments discussion below.