Tutorial: How to build "Facebook Clone" using Dolphin

VictorT posted 27th of August 2010 in . 29 comments.

We've started preparing and publishing a set of tutorials which would help people get a deeper and better understanding of "what" and "how" they can do using Dolphin.


At this stage, we have started with the first one under the title: "How to build "Facebook Clone" using Dolphin".


The tutorial contains a general set of recommendations and directives using common sense, while some of the other details in this might require a very specific and individual approach.


To finalize, we kindly ask you to take your time examining it (it's not big), and post your opinions and/or criticisms in order to improve and update it accordingly.


How to build a Facebook-clone using Dolphin 7

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Thank's 4 sharing

but why you call this >> How to build "Facebook Clone" using Dolphin

This is how to get done your installation is nothing about facebook

Can you teach people how to make simple splash page for registration and login like the splash page facebook is using for sign up and login

Thank's a lot
Nathan Paton
@UFO360: You must not have read it all the way.
Amazing article and nice to see our mod in that list too :)

Those 2 sites look really really good...
I am always perplexed when someone wants to build a site just like Facebook, or just like Myspace. Wouldn't it be a whole lot easier to just make a splash page with a link to the Facebook.com join form, or just use a permanent redirect to myspace.com?

Whatever happen to originality? Everybody want to be just like facebook. How would you advertise a facebook clone site. Would your ad slogan say, "We're just like Facebook, except we hardly have any members"? Sorry..... I just don't see more get it.
Particularly when Facebook is preparing for war against similar social networking sites.
I agree with houstonlively that it seems silly if someone wants to make an exact copy of Facebook. However, there is a market for this. There are a lot of people that would be willing to pay money to make a site like Facebook.

However, every now and then somebody makes a unique spin on the Facebook brand. Take for example Shagbook.com - I saw it the other day and thought it might have a chance of succeeding. It's already on the second page of Google for "Adult Dating".
Reading the comments here I must respond. First, the reasoning behind cloning the look and feel of facebook has to do with comfort with users. The more familiar someone is with a particular software such as Microsoft's Windows or the look and feel of a social media site as facebook or myspace the more likely they will use it. Of course, a small percentage of the population will take the time or have a preference for a different program such as Apple or other aspiring social sites. As a user if i see more know where to go to maximize the benefits of a site I will use that site more likely. With all the different sites out do I really want to take the time to learn how to use a new site or figure out where everything is? So, by a web developer laying out a site similar to facebook or myspace they are maximizing comfort with users. Second, even though the article is called "how to make a site like facebook" the author should have said that it will require the PURCHASE of some mods and that the basic dolphin installation will not provide you with the tools to build a facebook clone. Facebook is so widely successful because it is simplicity at its finest and follows the "KISS" philosophy of sales: KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. Simplicity can be a complicated thing to achieve and Facebook has mastered it. So, why wouldn't I as a developer want to learn from the best and maximize that knowledge.
Show me one single successful facebook clone site, and maybe I'll change my mind.
Nathan Paton
@houstonlively: I'm not sure of successful ones, but I can probabbly scrape up a list of clone sites that spent hundreds of dollars to mimic Facebook, only to fail horribly.

If someone wants to have the look and features of Facebook, they are not going to go to your site, they are going to go to Facebook. It's that simple.
After reading this tutorial the owners of Myspace are busy installing Dolphin as we speak, haha.
I noticed that shagbook.com has just made changes to their index page. It doesn't look quite as much like facebook now.
I wonder if facebook sent them a threatening letter...
Andrew Boon
The idea here is not so much to help in building a Facebook clone, per se. This is a sample sequence of actions telling one how to put pieces together - change the look, apply modules, get extensions from Unity, change settings, etc. "Facebook-clone" is just like a comfort zone that lets people understand the process better and take it as an example when working on their own ideas.

We do not suggest that building a Facebook clone would be a great idea, it wouldn't. Knowing how to build see more a Facebook clone with Dolphin IS a great thing, though.
How about teaching us how to clone the Facebook iPhone app... only for Dolphin.
So will this tutorial show me how to have an instant messenger that can handle more than 10 people at a time without having to upgrade to a dedicated server equivalent to the likes used by Skynet or will it tell me how to make the instant messenger go "Ping!" when someone tried to contact me?

I bet it doesn't. lol
Andrew Boon
re:How about teaching us how to clone the Facebook iPhone app... only for Dolphin.

Good idea! Will do.
Andrew Boon

For performance, we are adding a new tutorial today. For "Ping" thing, not too sure what you mean, a sound alert for new messages?
Andrew, did you develop the iPhone app in-house, or did you outsource it?
We are still a long way from this, our site is http://carpbook.co.uk
also we have found a number of mods in the boonex market are a load of rubbish, i wont mention these as i dont want to p*ss people off. Just be careful and do your research first :)
Looking forward to the performance tutorial. Really hope there is something that can help. Re the "Ping" thing, yes I did mean a sound alert.
Andrew Boon
re: Andrew, did you develop the iPhone app in-house, or did you outsource it?

In-house. Android app is being developed in-house too, and is taking longer due to current load with Dolphin released.

re: performance tutorial

It's here now - http://www.boonex.com/trac/dolphin/wiki/HostingServerSetupRecommendations

Sound alert feature in simple messenger will be added in future versions:
I see merit in a facebook clone in a specialized community, but it should not mimic the theme right down to the colors and fonts. Ease of use? Yes. Simple layout? Yes. Exact duplicate with no changes other than a domain name? NO! If your intent is to compete with facebook, you'll need a new idea and thousands of dollars in development costs. Installing dolphin 7 on a shared hosting account with a facebook theme applied IS NOT GOING TO CUT IT.

Fortunately, most dolphin users are running a specialized see more and isolated community, whereas a similar look to facebook will give members something they are used to, but the content and members will be completely focused on the same thing that they are. You still need to think outside the box on this one though.

Last note - is there a tutorial posted for a quick join home page like the one in the second screenshot? This is something I'd like to implement on my site to boost member join rates, but don't want to head off in my own direction if someone already has a best practice!
@ buckmcgoo After reading this tutorial the owners of Myspace are busy installing Dolphin as we speak, haha.

I truly feel like we should stay as far away from any facebook ideas. Don't you think dolphin is making fb feel real un-easy right now? you bet they do. I think this dolphin software was a brilliant creation. I for one always hate fb, I hated there simply interface, I hated the lack of privacy, I hated the lack of dynamics. I thin there is more flexibility with Boonex. And that's why I think fb is creating all these new addition because of boonex.
Boonex Sucks BIG TIME.

too many bugs.
I thought about making a site much like fb, but decided I don't need it. What is this "Boonex Sucks BIG TIME. too many bugs"?

I don't see any requirement for people to use this script in order to have a social networking site. In fact, there are other scripts out there. It's a big world go get them.

I will say, in the 40+ years I have been around programming and computers, I have NEVER seen a program that didn't have bugs. It is guaranteed that if there is a program, there will be see more bugs. That's the way it is, unless you just create a simple, one page html site. Then you have problems with being limited on the features you can have.

If you don't like the bugs, why don't you contribute to finding and fixing them rather than slamming the script. No, it isn't perfect. Yes, if you go to a site which analyzes the coding use in Dolphin there are some major for functioning and efficiency. Every script will have problems like that. New technology evolves every day which makes things previously coded become obsolete and slower than the new stuff.

If you want to try to code a script like this and keep up with the changes required, I will be interested in seeing what you come up with.

This script isn't perfect. I haven't found one that is. I don't think you will either.

I for one have spend a lot of money on this script and mods for this script. I am well pleased with what I have.
If I never make any money form my site, I have learned a great deal and I have had a lot of fun. Sometimes frustrating, but most of all fun.

Facebook? Someone is too used to going to a fast food joint and ordering the same thing all the time.. This ain't McDonalds people..
i think this option will be fine
Dear Sir,

is Dolpin based on html or php? it is good to build up database? Thanks.

Below is the legacy version of the Boonex site, maintained for Dolphin.Pro 7.x support.
The new Dolphin solution is powered by UNA Community Management System.