Hello! I am a community building newbie and have been looking at a few platforms to build a community for a small group (max 500 people). Having played around with Elgg, I like the features it offers and its ease of use.I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has built a community using Elgg and if they encountered any significant issues with it. Many thanks in advance.
Hi @snehal – welcome!
Your timing is impeccable. We were just discussing Elgg earlier today. I believe @Todd_Nilson may have some insight to share.
Hello @snehal - I have been working with a well established elgg community with one of our current customers. While I can’t talk about the particulars of the engagement, I can tell you that it does appear to have some issues with usability, user notifications, and mobile view. It is possible that my customer is working with an older version of the software that has been getting progressively worse over time but the issues I just mentioned are significant dings to the user experience. What’s more, these are what I consider basics of what a modern community software platform should do. I’d do some further looking around in the market before making a decision. There are other open source platforms to choose from, so I’d be curious whether you’ve rejected some of them already for one specific reason or another.
@HAWK Thank you for your prompt reply and pointing me to the right person.
@Todd_Nilson Thank you for your input. May I ask you the version of Elgg that was used? Without getting into the details of the engagement would you be able to give me a better idea of what the usability and mobile view issues are? I did notice some problems with notifications, but I don’t plan on enabling site wide notifications, chats on the site or emailing either. I plan on heavily using the group plugin however.
To answer your question, I have looked at paid and open source platforms.
- Wordpress using BBPress: Seemed limiting in terms of event management plugins and “group aware” plugins in general. The discussion forums have a lot of unanswered questions.
- Social Engine: Seemed to be heavily dependent on highly specialised server configuration for any kind of decent performance.
- Oxwall: I didn’t find Oxwall documentation comprehensive enough to bet on tackling it by myself.
- PHPFox: I am still unsure if this platform is extensible at all.
- Jamroom: Seemed like a community for establishing profiles and followers more than a school community.
- Elgg: Ticked boxes on ease of installation, comprehensive documentation, stable core, loads of plugins out of the box and/or freely available, good support on discussion forums, good client showcase.
Would you be able to point me to any other open source platforms that I have overlooked? Thanks again and hope to hear your thoughts.
I’d definitely recommend looking into these modern open-source options:
Thanks Sarah. As I understand these are forum software. My requirements go beyond forums. Specifically, I need the ability for users to create groups. Within groups, allow users to create events, upload files, share photos, create blogs and have discussions. I also don’t have a big budget as I am not doing this for a business but for a local community. Hence a full fledged, open source community software is what I am after.
Ah, I see. You are correct – they are forum platforms. Most are heavily extensible, but I couldn’t personally attest for all the requirements that you mention. It would be worth posting in their respective OS communities to see what plugins exist.
Our customer’s version of Elgg was last updated in November 2011, so it is quite possible that the platform provider has some more stable versions up and running. However, I would suggest that you get a data architect to evaluate the back end of the platform. That in particular has been a source of irritation for our current customer.