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Experience With Social Media Systems?

Discussion in 'Technical Board' started by walt, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. walt

    walt
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    I have an idea for a social media site ( Facebook clone ) I'd like to try, but I'm running into a couple snags.

    The first is, I'm told it won't work well on a shared hosting account once more than 20 people sign up. Something about the data having to be open and running for every person who is loved on bogging down the speed of the site. That's perhaps the biggest hurdle I have right now, as I don't have a shitload of money to spend on it ( although I'd like to monetize it enough to be self-sustaining within a year ).

    The second question I have is, does anyone here have any experience with any of the vast amounts of programs available out there? I've looked at "The Social Script" , Elgg ( which makes my brain hurt ) and this one among others.

    I know I could easily fire up another forum for the idea I have, but I'd like it to be something different.
     
  2. Binary

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    @walt

    Shared hosting is often problematic with any site that ends up being data-intensive for any reason.

    Are you at all IT-capable? The best way to do this kind of thing is to set up a Virtual Private Server (VPS), which creates an entire server just for you on shared hardware, and allows you to scale the hardware up or down depending on the demands. You can use a place like www.digitalocean.com and set up your own server. I'm guessing you would be fine to start with a $10/month Standard server and you can always increase the specs as the site demands it.

    DigitalOcean also has tons of documentation on how to stand up and secure servers:
    https://www.digitalocean.com/commun...inux-apache-mysql-php-lamp-stack-ubuntu-18-04

    They also have pre-configured instances. You can definitely use that, but if you're going to manage your own server, I would be careful about how much of a "black box" you turn it into: you might want to be familiar with how the server is configured.
    https://marketplace.digitalocean.com/apps/lamp

    I'm not a shill for DigitalOcean - there are tons of other VPS providers out there. I personally use RamNode, which is pretty cheap and good performance - not as fancy, but I don't care. Linode is another top-tier VPS provider that has preconfigured instances:
    https://www.linode.com/docs/platform/one-click/deploy-lamp-stack-with-one-click-apps/

    Can't help you with software selection, I'm afraid. I haven't used any self-hosted social software that isn't a forum.
     
  3. Nettdata

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    This site itself is hosted on Linode.
     
  4. walt

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    I run my other site off of shared hosting, I guess I just assumed I'd be able to do the same with a social media platform. I've learned in the days since starting this thread how wrong I was. At this time I'm not so much in the "that would be cool", more towards the " I don't need that headache and expense" camp.

    We live in the country and I'm working off of an ATT wi-fi box, which I'm sure they don't even make any more. It works well for streaming Netflix and all things on here, but to run a VPS from the house? Not likely. That could change as there is fiber being run to our town sometime this year, early next. But even then I'm not the most tech savvy person other than basic WordPress and Invision.

    So I'm kinda in a holding pattern right now. I have some people really interested, and I suppose I could fire up another forum. But it's not as revolutionary as the original idea.

    Oh well.
     
  5. Binary

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    I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding here...

    A virtual private server runs off a hosting provider's infrastructure. You don't need to have good bandwidth and it doesn't matter where you live. It's similar to a shared hosting provider, in that you're using someone else's infrastructure, but you get a specific allocation of resources, which you and grow or shrink as required (e.g. if your server is running slow, you can log into DigitalOcean and bump it from a 2 CPU/4 GB server to a 4 CPU/8 GB server). That means you'll get much better and more predictable performance, at the cost of having to configure the server yourself.

    When you provision a VPS, the hosting provider creates a virtual server, sends you login information, and then you can log in and configure it.

    If you have a budget, you could probably pay someone to configure it. Standing up a new server with SQL and Apache doesn't take more than a couple hours. But those pre-provisioned instances are pretty simple, too.
     
  6. walt

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    I probably misunderstood.

    I was forced to a VPS a few years ago and it cost me hundreds of dollars.( I later went back to a shared server with no issues... go figure. ) So I'm really looking at it as a cost thing at the moment. I mean, I wanted to monetize it somehow eventually, even if through crowd sharing, but to lay out a lot of money right now isn't feasible.
     
  7. Nettdata

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    There are 2 ways to look at remote hosting stuff... using their computer in their environment, or using your computer that is hosted in their environment.

    Most stuff these days is the former, with many different variations to it, and it's technically accomplished by using things like "virtual machines", like VMWare, or other technologies that allow multiple "virtual servers" to run on the same physical hardware. That's why it's called a "Virtual Private Server". Generally the companies make money because they have way more virtual servers than physical servers, and they can usually get away with it because not every server is running 100% 100% of the time, so they can swap in and out to use the physical CPU/memory/etc as they need to. You can also say "hey, give me a virtual server but don't let anyone else use the same hardware", so you're basically renting the underlying hardware for your exclusive use. That's usually done for heavy workloads by companies with big money, as it's usually not cheap.

    There are many ways to do the VPS stuff in the shared layout like I described; Amazon has one way of doing it (their EC2 instances), Linode has another (like how this site is run, etc). This site costs me about US $10 a month to host, and it's running a single Linux box with a certain amount of memory/disk/bandwidth included. You can do A LOT with that, if you know what you're doing.

    If I wanted to, I could migrate this server to a larger instance with much more CPU, memory, disk, or network bandwidth, just but clicking on the admin console at Linode, and they'd charge me significantly more.

    So, for your stuff, you should be able to do a simple POC thing somewhere that shouldn't cost you more than a few coffees a month. Again, depends on what you're running, and how many people you want to serve without having a revenue stream, but it's never been easier to do that kind of shit on the cheap to prove out a concept. Hell, Amazon has a ton of "free" use stuff where you get X CPU credits a month. I have 3 instances that I'm using occasionally that I have yet to pay for because they don't do enough work in a month to use up the cpu credits... and even if they did, they are pennies per hour to pay for.
     
  8. Binary

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    I pointed out in my original post that you'd probably be fine in a $10/month VPS.

    Cost isn't a problem here, just the technical capacity of being able to run your own server.
     
  9. Nettdata

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    Exactly.
     
  10. walt

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    I'll be the first to admit, that for as much as I do know, there's a whole lot I don't, especially when it comes to messing around on a server. I avoid doing too much on mine like the plague. However I do have a good friend who is good with that stuff and has offered to help me. So I'm moving forward, albeit slowly with the idea.

    After my last post I had to go pick up my kids and it gave me time to think more about the issue. So I'm gonna take your advice and look into the VPS options again.