How To Choose Web Hosting for a New Social Networking Site

Posted on by Aaron Binders
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Choosing the right hosting for your social networking site allows you to create a community around your content, products, and services. And online communities have been shown to have a huge impact on the bottom line for many companies. If you are considering starting your own social networking site, be sure to choose the right web hosting provider upfront so you can scale as needed with your audience.

In today’s article, we’re going to check a few important things you should keep in mind while choosing your own social network hosting solution.

Social media comes as one of the most vital and attractive features that can bring your entire business to a higher level. The Internet offers a wide variety of networking platforms where you can share articles in addition to the rest of your content. Creating your own social networking site would allow your readers and fans to interact with each other about your services in entirely new ways. 

Working on your social media presence is an excellent opportunity to both increase engagement and boost organic traffic. Organic website traffic is the number of visits you naturally get without pyaing ads to climb on a higher spot in search results. 

In the same fashion, social media platforms have changed the way people communicate. In 2021, over three billion people are using social media. When there, you maintain relationships with your friends and family and look for some appealing content you might be interested in. As a matter of fact, over 40 percent of people use these platforms to stay in touch with what people who matter to them are doing. These platforms have arisen even more after mobile devices arrived; they are now present and available in all spheres of our everyday life.

Social networking sites provide companies an opportunity to reach users anytime they’re browsing websites. The goal is to turn them into leads, which stands for prospective customers that show genuine interest in your offer and site content. That’s precisely why it’s important to build social networking platforms: to create a valuable network of loyal followers as well as foster relationships with and amongst your fan base.

Need infrastructure for your new site? Download our eBook to find out Why Outsourcing Your Managed Web Services is Better For Your Business.
how to choose hardware, software and location for hosting for social networking site

What Types of Infrastructure Are Needed for Hosting Social Networking Sites?

There are certain things you need to pay attention to when deciding on social media and web host services for your website. 

When it comes to hardware, location, and storage, you want to set the infrastructure that will be efficient today and work in the future when you expand your audience.

Hardware

So, how do you select the right CPU, RAM, and storage? Make a final decision based on the requirements your platform will need. It’s important to avoid hardware bottlenecks. For example, you don’t need too much RAM if your CPU is less performant. Also, components of hardware need to work fluidly with each other.

Social media platforms are constantly growing, with some of them going through unbelievably rapid changes. Your server doesn’t have to be ready for millions of visitors at the moment, but you want to avoid the situation of not having a system that can deal with the additional load of increasing traffic.

You want to go for a scalable solution you can upgrade to later.

When it comes to location, it’s desirable to partner up with the hosting company that has a large number of data centers strategically positioned across the targeted areas where you are looking to grow market share (where your clients are). The closer the data centers are to your clients, the shorter the response time is to access your site.

The Liquid Web Family of Brands has three large data centers in the US and Europe with on-site security, redundant networks, cooling and power, Tier-1 premium bandwidth, geographic redundancy availability, and high-performance hardware.

The primary goal of choosing a web hosting company for your new social networking site is stability and expansion capacity.

Another thing to keep in mind is to try keeping your website isolated from other clients on the same server. Of course, you can go with a VPS hosting plan, but consider purchasing a dedicated server or cloud hosting if your budget allows.

Software

Social media users have high expectations when it comes to responsiveness, speed, loading times, and so many other elements, which are essential to a great customer experience. Ensure the database is set up to handle your site and traffic loads well.

The database comes as the foundation of building social networks as well as the entire multi-tier infrastructure. Any issues that may occur during stress testing, site growth, or development in general can almost always be seen in the database first. 

Also, having an SSL certificate is a must. SSL stands for secure sockets layer and is a cryptographic protocol used to secure data transferred between two machines. It gives your visitors some kind of guarantee your site is safe. Plus, search engines boost sites using HTTPS with a better-ranked position in search results.

Network

When your website is too far from the rest of the hardware, the network won’t be responsive and snappy. In that case, you’ll spend way too much time just keeping your nodes working, so you won’t have time to improve the overall quality of your site and additional features.

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) decreases the geographic distance between visitors and your site's server, minimizing page load time and maximizing your user’s experience.

What Else Do You Need To Know About Social Network Hosting?

Scalability and uptime are two of the most important qualities to look for when it comes to hosting for a social networking site, followed by fast loading time, customization tools, and location. 

It’s okay to start with cheaper shared hosting, but pretty soon, you’ll run out of resources and need to invest more in cloud or dedicated servers. Cloud servers offer numerous benefits including security, flexibility, agility, and scalability.

Four Social Networking Applications to Consider

BuddyPress

If you're looking for a way to add social networking to your WordPress site or simply want to create a social network on the WordPress framework, BuddyPress is an excellent solution for you. It's a flexible piece of software made up of a series of multiple WordPress plugins.

It’s a great choice for those of you who already know WordPress well and simply want to add some more cool social networking features to your existing site. If WordPress is not the primary platform where you share your content, you will want to go with another option.

Also, keep in mind WordPress is a widely-used platform, making it a frequent target of malicious attacks. If you want to add an extra protection feature to your WordPress site, consider iThemes Security Pro.

Elgg

Elgg is an open-source social network system that provides you with plenty of tools to create an interactive online community as well as manage files and user account administration.

It brings various app programming interfaces (APIs) through which it supports themes and other customization features. 

It also includes dashboards, friends, profiles, user groups, avatars, and widgets while supporting custom pages, message boards, blogging, bookmarking, and many other things you need from your social network software.

Dolphin

Dolphin Pro is a popular full-featured content management system with over 2,000 useful features, more than 30 modules, and thousands of extensions. It's probably the most feature-rich platform at the moment, which is something many have already recognized since Dolphin powers more than 300,000 sites.

Dolphin is great for blogging, articles, calendars, classified ads, and so much more, depending on the type of network you'd like to build. Dolphin most likely has a module that supports your idea. Be aware that Dolphin is not quite as easy to use for social networking sites due to its wide variety of features.

Oxwall

Oxwallis a flexible open-source social networking software built using MySQL and PHP. You can set up forums, wikis, groups, and multimedia sharing and scale to fit your preferences.

For instance, it's commonly used as a collaboration tool amongst co-workers. It can also be used as a community software for a particular cause; social networking website for fans, friends and family; or a collection point for a group of entrepreneurs that think alike.

You also get to choose amongst plenty of language options as well as numerous customization tools and themes.

Find the Best Hosting for Your New Social Networking Site

Amongst the most popular social networking sites of 2021 are TikTok and ClubHouse

TikTok is a fast-growing and rather popular platform where you can share short-form videos on basically any topic out there. 

ClubHouse, on the other hand, is a social networking app for drop-in audio sessions (think on-demand Podcasting). Currently, you can’t download it or join - it’s sort of an exclusive platform where you have to receive an invitation from an existing member to join.

These types of platforms are growing at astronomical rates and require sophisticated hosting solutions such as public cloud or cloud clustering to achieve maximum availability, scalability, and burstability for growth. CDNs are also helpful for ensuring global audience growth.

With a CDN such as Cloudflare or Akamai along with enterprise-level solutions such as public cloud or clustered dedicated hosting, you can put the content you want to share available worldwide.

Get Started Building Your New Social Networking Site Today

Need Infrastructure for Your New Site? Download Our eBook to Find Out Why Outsourcing Your Managed Web Services is Better For Your Business.
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About the Author

Aaron Binders

Aaron Binders works as a Linux Support Technician at Liquid Web and focuses on resolving server-side customer issues. When not spending time with his family, he has a passion for sports such as football and boxing, as well as reading the latest ICT magazines.

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