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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast resurepus.com's Avatar
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    Question Alternatives to phpFoX

    As I can see there are a lot of negative reviews of phpFox. But are there really real alternatives to this script that have the same functionality? And the same or lower price?..

    I would really appreciate if you could help me make my mind about phpFoX or find another product for a social networking site. Thank you in advance!
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    If you run a forum, then you can utilize Zoints Local. It's a very powerful social networking script that offers blogs, personalized member homepages, and much more. Currently it integrates with vBulletin, but a phpbb2 version will be out any day now (and then other forum softwares thereafter). And to top it off, it's free

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast resurepus.com's Avatar
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    at this moment I am looking for standalone software product. Any advice and objective reviews of phpFox would be appreciated.
    http://www.DesignContest.net - post your webdesign project and many designers will compete for your business. You will pay only when you get the result you are looking for.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict Clenard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by resurepus.com
    at this moment I am looking for standalone software product. Any advice and objective reviews of phpFox would be appreciated.
    I can't give you any advice on anything other than PHPFox, Handshakes and Buddyzone, e-friends (alstrasoft) and Boonex Dolphin ... although I've used a few others - but I can say "keep searching" and you'll find plenty of reasons to use and not to use certain scripts...

    I know if you put "PHPFox" in google - the first listing is a thread that's bashing PHPFox - but that was made by a guy who never purchased PHPFox and there's even a guy on there bashing ME because I had him banned from the forums for stealing other peoples work and selling it off as his own. Yet he claims I was stealing money from other people...

    It's always interesting what you'll find if you just search. You probably know what you need for your idea - so check out the demo of PHPFox:
    http://www.phpfoxdemo.com and see if it's what you need or not... check the forums:
    http://phpfoxtalk.com

    Read their testimonials on the front page as well. There's a TON of sites with over 50,000 members on them and they're all running fine... yet you may hear people complain about speed and efficiency. Everybody has their own problems... it just seems PHPFox gets a bad wrap from competitors who try bringing them down.


    So read around and take some threads with a grain of salt. PHPFox owners on Sitepoint and Digitalpoint are always finding those threads attempting to bash the script they use and they'll give you the truth. The people who start them usually have 1 post or the others who "come in to help" have 1 post... you'll see the pattern

    DZOIC (handshakes) would be the second best in my opinion but again, try out the demo. I don't know if they have a Lease option yet but PHPFox and BuddyZone does for sure.

    I honestly can't say much about BuddyZone as it would make me sound biased but believe me - spend your money with caution and never tell the truth about their script even if it's 110% true. They'll call you a liar on public forums and claim you stole their script... you can imagine how their customer support is they're a shady bunch, period, and there's a few others on here that would definintely agree with me (ex-customers).

    Dolphin is an okay script and I believe they're getting better but read their license carefully as it may or may not be for you... some are fine with it and some are not. It's a nice little script though.

    Zoints looks cool but I believe you're looking for a stand alone script and I'm not experienced with it - I just know you need vBulletin for it and not sure if you're a license owner or not?

    ... you might even check out Mugg Shot from Red Hat? Looks promising but the license requires you to host it on your own server.

    Anyways - do your research before buying and read what real script owners have to say...

    Whatever you do - stay away from Alstrasoft... unless you love lots of problems and fixing lots of code

  5. #5
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    Look at elgg. It doesn't try to be mypace. It's its own thing, more like livejournal than anything else. I doubt you'll be able to get it to work with shared hosting.

    http://elgg.org/

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    From my point of view they are all mediocre. None of them will provide you with great solutions. DZOIC's Handshakes is unfortunately encoded and even if it is 99% open I cannot afford to make serious investments in software without having the support and development assurance I desire. Decent looking product but I decided against it including after talking to them.

    Buddyzone -- I am not a customer and have no relation to any social networking scripts nor Clint Lenard. My experience was that the developer is currently out to breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can only tell you that I had perhaps the funniest email exchange as a result of a personal inquiry into his software and some recommendations to improve his product and appearance. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that his cookie cutter site, inability to preview the back end administration before purchase, lack of support forums and other amateurish appearance might not warrant $400. He went ballistic on me accusing me of being associated with phpfox, etc. and ignored any reasonable good advice that is obvious. He then mentioned something about pursuing legal plans that left me with a great laugh. Move forward at your own risk with this one. He's turning away customers by the dozens...

    Altrasoft - wouldn't use any of their products, even if they were unencoded.

    Boonex - wasn't impressed enough at all. Being associated with aedating isn't impressive either IMHO. Perhaps in time.

    Web Scribble - they have a product but also copy protected. Others have run their scripts succesfully but have informed me of support issues and especially scalability. I can't say anything bad about them just that I wasn't willing to use their products.

    PHPFox - Taking a while to rewrite their script. It needs it. Works out of the box. Doesn't scale well. UI is a confusing mess. Does have good forums and many add-on options, too many of them as silly add-on mods. At this point possibly the best PHP based option.

    Community Server - Windows alternative which is good but also has its own issues. A full blown license to run what you want probably will cost close to $2K. Limited free and lower cost versions (I think with limited picture albums) are under $1K but max out quickly.

    At this point, best option might be pooling resources and buying our own development team in India, Russia, Romania or other country where development is cheaper...
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict Clenard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    From my point of view they are all mediocre. None of them will provide you with great solutions. DZOIC's Handshakes is unfortunately encoded and even if it is 99% open I cannot afford to make serious investments in software without having the support and development assurance I desire. Decent looking product but I decided against it including after talking to them.

    Buddyzone -- I am not a customer and have no relation to any social networking scripts nor Clint Lenard. My experience was that the developer is currently out to breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can only tell you that I had perhaps the funniest email exchange as a result of a personal inquiry into his software and some recommendations to improve his product and appearance. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that his cookie cutter site, inability to preview the back end administration before purchase, lack of support forums and other amateurish appearance might not warrant $400. He went ballistic on me accusing me of being associated with phpfox, etc. and ignored any reasonable good advice that is obvious. He then mentioned something about pursuing legal plans that left me with a great laugh. Move forward at your own risk with this one. He's turning away customers by the dozens...

    Altrasoft - wouldn't use any of their products, even if they were unencoded.

    Boonex - wasn't impressed enough at all. Being associated with aedating isn't impressive either IMHO. Perhaps in time.

    Web Scribble - they have a product but also copy protected. Others have run their scripts succesfully but have informed me of support issues and especially scalability. I can't say anything bad about them just that I wasn't willing to use their products.

    PHPFox - Taking a while to rewrite their script. It needs it. Works out of the box. Doesn't scale well. UI is a confusing mess. Does have good forums and many add-on options, too many of them as silly add-on mods. At this point possibly the best PHP based option.

    Community Server - Windows alternative which is good but also has its own issues. A full blown license to run what you want probably will cost close to $2K. Limited free and lower cost versions (I think with limited picture albums) are under $1K but max out quickly.

    At this point, best option might be pooling resources and buying our own development team in India, Russia, Romania or other country where development is cheaper...

    Someone just linked me here and thought at first that you were saying I owned BuddyZone or something lol I see what you're referring to, though.

    Let me guess - my name was mentioned, right? The guy loves me now since I wrote up an article dedicated to him:
    http://www.clintlenard.com/introduci...me/10/06/2006/

    It was all thanks to accusing me of never owning his software and then ripping into another Member (codemonster) over on DP forums.

    It's all fun and games until someone gets butt hurt.

  8. #8
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    I have no beef with the guy. Apparently he's getting heckled by people at PHPFox who he's giving a little bit of a run for their money. The exchange was rather absurd from his initial reply, accused me of being you or phpfox folks and that he was taking legal action or something of that nature. He might be a young 'un and sympathize but I'm not spending $400 for this kind of ridiculous nonsense. He won't listen to script selling 101 lessons from potential customers and that doesn't bode well for his business.

    Of note to my list, zoints is a new script that IMHO needs a lot of work until it makes any sense, although they are working on it. Then there are other free scripts that are really nice blogs although they too lack the robust functionality of a true community networking site (pligg and elgg and barnraiser.)
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict Clenard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    I have no beef with the guy. Apparently he's getting heckled by people at PHPFox who he's giving a little bit of a run for their money. The exchange was rather absurd from his initial reply, accused me of being you or phpfox folks and that he was taking legal action or something of that nature. He might be a young 'un and sympathize but I'm not spending $400 for this kind of ridiculous nonsense. He won't listen to script selling 101 lessons from potential customers and that doesn't bode well for his business.

    Of note to my list, zoints is a new script that IMHO needs a lot of work until it makes any sense, although they are working on it. Then there are other free scripts that are really nice blogs although they too lack the robust functionality of a true community networking site (pligg and elgg and barnraiser.)
    He's full of it... nobody said anything other than the truth and then he swears up and down that I'm the owner or a developer of PHPFox. It's funny, though. He might have been giving PHPFox a run for their money before June or so - but his Business Ethics have been killing him since then... along with his script.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast resurepus.com's Avatar
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    Actually I am testing Alicia by phpizabi right now and so far I am pretty happy with it.
    http://www.DesignContest.net - post your webdesign project and many designers will compete for your business. You will pay only when you get the result you are looking for.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by resurepus.com
    Actually I am testing Alicia by phpizabi right now and so far I am pretty happy with it.
    I think I've heard about Alicia forever and, unless it's bug free and so fully featured that the add-on list is small, I can only wonder about where it goes from release stage. They certainly turned away a community of potential users in order to cloak development. Let us know what you think... I'd say I'm not leaning towards that direction as of now.
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast resurepus.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    I think I've heard about Alicia forever and, unless it's bug free and so fully featured that the add-on list is small, I can only wonder about where it goes from release stage. They certainly turned away a community of potential users in order to cloak development. Let us know what you think... I'd say I'm not leaning towards that direction as of now.
    even though you will want to make some modifications to your Alicia, the screept looks pretty functional. I have installed it on http://www.ArtCrowd.org and I am pretty happy so far.
    http://www.DesignContest.net - post your webdesign project and many designers will compete for your business. You will pay only when you get the result you are looking for.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by resurepus.com
    Actually I am testing Alicia by phpizabi right now and so far I am pretty happy with it.
    Check the other SNS thread...there were some interesting revelations about Alicia. I crossed it off of my list.
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast resurepus.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat
    Check the other SNS thread...there were some interesting revelations about Alicia. I crossed it off of my list.
    there are quite a few threads, could you provide the link to the one you are talking about?
    http://www.DesignContest.net - post your webdesign project and many designers will compete for your business. You will pay only when you get the result you are looking for.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by resurepus.com
    there are quite a few threads, could you provide the link to the one you are talking about?
    This one:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=358919

    Start at the end and go backwards to get to the Alicia discussion. The 'problem' wasn't with functionality...it was with the 'fine print' that you have to agree to when using the platform.
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast resurepus.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat
    This one:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=358919

    Start at the end and go backwards to get to the Alicia discussion. The 'problem' wasn't with functionality...it was with the 'fine print' that you have to agree to when using the platform.
    if you are talking about this part:
    "6. Selling or Transferring Ownership Rights of a Website Powered by PHPizabi.
    You must submit a "Transfer of License" request to Reality Medias 10 business days prior to transferring ownership of a PHPizabi powered website, and/or database compiled of member/user data obtained through a website powered by PHPizabi. The "Transfer of License" form can be obtained at {link}.

    A "Transfer of License" request is subject to a 15% royalty fee of the total sale and/or transfer price. Royalty fee is due 30 calendar days upon completion of stated sale and/or transfer in US ($) Dollars, payable by certified bank check or bank electronic transfer. The License agreement shall be void if the terms of the "Transfer of License" are not met within 30 calendar days of completion of the sale and/or transfer.

    When selling a website running and/or using PHPizabi, the purchaser must be made aware under any and all conditions that PHPizabi is available for use free of charge, and the core PHPizabi package cannot be included in the sale price.

    You shall add the following disclaimer to any notice of sale or transfer of ownership, for the full duration of notice, displayed in 12 pt. Arial Bold, in such a way to be noticeably visible.

    The following website offered for sale and/or transfer as described herein is Powered by PHPizabi. PHPizabi is a trademark of Reality Medias. For more information, please visit: www.phpizabi.net"
    it is of course sad, but I don't see a big problem in this.
    http://www.DesignContest.net - post your webdesign project and many designers will compete for your business. You will pay only when you get the result you are looking for.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    $300-$400 is not a lot to spend on one of the premade social networking scripts with "out of the box" functionality" - good or bad as they are. Anyone serious about making social networking site will have a sensible business plan and budget.


    just me 2p's worth

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluedreamer
    $300-$400 is not a lot to spend on one of the premade social networking scripts with "out of the box" functionality" - good or bad as they are. Anyone serious about making social networking site will have a sensible business plan and budget.
    just me 2p's worth
    Thanks for sharing. I think you missed the point by a wide margin. It's only worth that money i*IF* you get to see just how functional it really is and if the script provides you with a reasonably good, scalable solution. I couldn't see the administration tools, which is probably the most important component of most scripts, IMHO.

    That said, I don't think any of the current social networking scripts are up to par just yet. The manner in which these small shops operate also make me incredibly reluctant to spend $400, especially if encoded.
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  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    That said, I don't think any of the current social networking scripts are up to par just yet. The manner in which these small shops operate also make me incredibly reluctant to spend $400, especially if encoded.
    I think the current $300/$400 price bracket is the going rate because of the recent trend in building these types of site, and not necessarily because they're worth it. The developers are simply cashing in at the moment.

    That sort of money is a lot to waste on a crappy script, especially if the support is poor - I'd expect darn good support for that sort of money. If they were $99 then it would be a bit different.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Addict Clenard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    Thanks for sharing. I think you missed the point by a wide margin. It's only worth that money i*IF* you get to see just how functional it really is and if the script provides you with a reasonably good, scalable solution. I couldn't see the administration tools, which is probably the most important component of most scripts, IMHO.

    That said, I don't think any of the current social networking scripts are up to par just yet. The manner in which these small shops operate also make me incredibly reluctant to spend $400, especially if encoded.
    Hey Slinky,

    PHPFox hasn't been encoded since like June... I was one of the main people who complained about it and was very upset because of it. They quickly changed that thanks to all of the other members in the community and then only the license was encoded - which was finally taken out in September with 1.1 leaving it 100% unencoded... 1.5 is tha same although the entire script has been rewritten in OOP and it's now much, much faster and cleaner since the rewrite.

    Yesterday they actually setup the community to use PHPFox itself...so if you sign up on the Forums - you get to use PHPFox in action as well as they've integrated the two for all members to use on the live site.

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    Same here. I had high hopes for Alicia way back....but the recent stuff has meant it is off my list too. I wouldn't touch that lot with a bargepole now

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries
    Same here. I had high hopes for Alicia way back....but the recent stuff has meant it is off my list too. I wouldn't touch that lot with a bargepole now
    Considering what I just read about licensing, if there ever was a thought I had to consider this software it's long gone now. Consider this a "non-option" for the indefinite future unless there is some world changing event occurs.
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

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    Clenard - I know all about phpfox and fortunately it is unencoded. It has to be.

    I saw 1.5 and it seems to work, sans many of the existing features as well as the inability to have any available modifications, most of which are necessary. As far as it being completely rewritten, OOP is not the magic word. That will only make it faster and more efficient but customizing was still a total beast. Templating is improving. Many of the existing 1.1 add-ons (some of which are no longer available) will need to be made available or part of the base software.

    Most important is that the entire rewrite won't be ready until version 2.0, which is a long way off. Am I saying that it might not be a great thing when done? No, I'm saying it could be. But for those who are hoping to get the upgrade by year's end or at least January of 2007 I don't think it's happening by then.
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  24. #24
    SitePoint Addict Clenard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    Clenard - I know all about phpfox and fortunately it is unencoded. It has to be.

    I saw 1.5 and it seems to work, sans many of the existing features as well as the inability to have any available modifications, most of which are necessary. As far as it being completely rewritten, OOP is not the magic word. That will only make it faster and more efficient but customizing was still a total beast. Templating is improving. Many of the existing 1.1 add-ons (some of which are no longer available) will need to be made available or part of the base software.

    Most important is that the entire rewrite won't be ready until version 2.0, which is a long way off. Am I saying that it might not be a great thing when done? No, I'm saying it could be. But for those who are hoping to get the upgrade by year's end or at least January of 2007 I don't think it's happening by then.
    Slinky,

    I'm not sure what you're saying in a few sentences but as for being written in OOP and the Templating: OOP actually is slower than Procedural coding but it leaves the ability to create Plugins much, much easier as it's modular and not thrown together as most Procedural code is. Anybody with experience in OOP with PHP can easily create Plugins. I've already finished my first Plugin for 1.5 and need to test it over the next few days to make sure it's ready for the public...

    The Templating System is based on Smarty so of course it's VERY easy to design the templates now if you have design experience.

    As for 2.0 I'm not sure what you're referring to... there will be new additions to 2.0, that's all. Things that never existed before such as Supported plugins (PHPBB, IPB, etc) will be released in this version, that's all.

    1.5 RC1 will be the same as 1.1 with brand new, much improved, code, templating system, much more efficient Queries, etc. The Speed issues that were being reported in the past are gone... not 1 issue in the bug reporting forum has come up regarding speed in any way.

    As of today I can publicly say that 1.5 will have the Flash Chat with the download...already integrated. vBulletin integration as you can read about here:
    http://www.raybenc.com/2006/11/26/vb...n-integration/

    Basically 1.5 was to completely rewrite the code, clean up excessive queries and/or resource intensive system calls/requests and get ready for 2.0 which would have the vb, ipb, phpbb and other plugins like the Video Script, etc.

    But they've taken their time (a good thing in my book) before releasing RC1 so they could test the product through themselves, scripts, the community and 3rd party security groups. Which has turned out successful as even all the other PHPFox owners I've spoken to are excited about 1.5 even as Beta1 (at the time) was just released... it's so much better than all the other scripts - it really isn't funny.

    So while I'm not here to argue with anyone - I do want to clear up any confusions you've had.

    Hope this helps!

  25. #25
    SitePoint Addict Clenard's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, in 1.5 or 2.0 there will be a Windows Version as well... and they're also working on a PHP5 Compatible version but I'm not sure if that's in 1.5 or 2.0, yet.


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