I am a grey-haired professional programmer, quiet conversant in PHP, MySql, HTL, CSS which means I can tweak things or code plugins if need be, but I’d like something off the shelf as far as possible.

I would prefer something free but can pay if it is not hideously expensive (actually, I started out thinking free only, until I found http://pligg.com/ which is dedicated to communities, but has plugins which cost about $10, and I might be willing to pay for convenience).

Before I found that, I was heavily in favour of Drupal, but might be swayed by something dedicated to my needs or with many, many users or great support or a great deal of plug-ins.

Anyhoo, what am I trying to do?

A social site for ex-pats to help them adjust to their new country. Preparing to get there, legal/visa issues, employment opportunities, accommodation, shopping, plus social stuff.

The demographic is mainly girls in their 20s, so a social angle is important. Integration of FaceBook, Flikr & the like might be nice. What I am thinking of is - main content provided by me and a few moderators - a Wiki to which everyone can contribute - forums for discussions - small ads/freebie - user registration (which may limit access to certain parts of the site) - groups of friends, with shared .. stuff (photos, discussion rooms, etc) - per user blog - per user photo album - mailing lists - I think you get the picture …. 9and can you suggest moe?)

As I said, I was originally set on Drupal, which also has some pre-configured distros, but I didn’t find one yet that really matches my needs. Then I saw Pligg, which looks good, but I might have to shell out $100 or $200 to get it the way I want it. And I still continue to search.

Any suggestions? Thanks

2 Answers 2


Maybe BuddyPress for Wordpress is something for you. It's a social networking plugin, which may be combined with any other WP-plugins.


Drupal actually offers lots of community based modules and/or plugins:

Drigg Solution

Not sure if you looked at it but there is a drupal/pligg module, called drigg, that tries to reproduce what pligg does.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of participation the module hasn't picked up speed. There isn't even a version for 7 yet.

If you're interested in participating there seems to be a thread about reviving development: http://drupal.org/node/528518

Drupal Commons

If you're not needing something like voting akin to pligg. You may want to check out the drupal commons distro.

From the project page:

Commons is a ready-to-use solution for building either internal or external communities. It provides a complete social business software solution for organizations.

Commons helps organize content into topic (organic) groups with blog, discussion, document, wiki, and event content types. It also allows users to create (user) relationships with each other in order to follow each other's activities on a site. Authenticated users can view a personalized dashboard containing content from all their subscribed groups. Site owners can quickly and easily change the theme (powered by Fusion from Top Notch Themes) to incorporate their own branding. Plus many other features for community-building.

This module has been picked up at acquia, thus it is downloaded directly from their site

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