Book Image

Elgg 1.8 Social Networking

By : Cash Costello
Book Image

Elgg 1.8 Social Networking

By: Cash Costello

Overview of this book

As an updated version of the first ever Elgg book, this is an excellent resource for those interested in Elgg development due to its attention to detail, clearly written style and knowledgeable author. - Dave Tosh, Elgg co-founder. In his book, Cash Costello makes full use of his skills in development and communication to tackle the complex subject of Elgg social networking. This easy-to-read guide gives end users, new developers, and old pros alike a solid base to start their venture into social media with Elgg. I highly recommend it as a useful and enjoyable read. - Brett Profitt, Elgg Lead Developer The web is becoming increasingly social as millions of people use it to blog, share, post, 'friend', 'unfriend' (which was made the Oxford word of the year in 2009), comment, and chat. Elgg ñ your award-winning open source social networking engine ñ is tailor-made to create any social networking or social media website you can imagine. If you want to create a social networking website from scratch using Elgg, then this book is exactly what you need.Elgg 1.8 Social Networking covers everything you need to know about building a social networking site with Elgg. It begins with instructions for installing Elgg, continues with a guided tour of its capabilities, and finishes with practical advice on deploying Elgg on a production server. And in between, it is packed with information on configuring and customizing Elgg through plugins and themes.This book is a learn-by-doing guide to creating your own social networking site. It includes three sample case studies on how Elgg could be used as an e-learning tool, an intranet application for organizations, and a niche social networking site. Step by step it takes you through the installation, configuration, and customization of Elgg. Valuable advice is sprinkled throughout the book to enable you to build your site like an expert. For developers, this book provides a multitude of options. First, there is a tutorial-based section that systematically teaches you how to build plugins. Soon you will have ten plugins for use on your site in addition to all the knowledge you have gained. Second, if you prefer a quick overview, this book has an appendix that describes Elgg using the terminology and design patterns common in web development. Third, if you are interested in creating a theme, it also includes a design tutorial and a catalog of Elgg's view templates. The book then goes on to describe what is involved in running a production website. It has sections on selecting a hosting provider, configuring and tuning the server, backing up the site, and dealing with spammers.
Table of Contents (21 chapters)
Elgg 1.8 Social Networking
About the Author
About the Author of 1st edition
About the Reviewers

A few words of advice

Throughout the book there is practical advice gained from experience building, developing, maintaining, and administering Elgg sites. Before you begin installing Elgg in the next chapter, take a little bit of time to read the general, but important advice below.

Take notes

As you work through the next few chapters, you will notice things that you would like to change or add. Jot those down in your notes so that when you are done, you have a list of possible customizations to prioritize.

Save resources

As you try out Elgg, you are going to be using the resources listed above. You will find interesting tutorials or hints about Elgg that you won't need to use at that moment. Save links to those resources—whether through browser bookmarks or web-based sites such as Delicious. In addition, as you browse the Web, you are going to run across features or design elements that you really like on other sites. Save those, so they can serve as inspiration as you design your site.

Be methodical

It is tempting to go to the Elgg community site, download 10 or 20 plugins, and install all of them at once. This is not a good idea. If one of the plugins causes a problem with your site, you will not know which the bad one is. It is better to systematically install and test one plugin at a time. Chapter 6 walks you through the process of finding, installing, and configuring plugins.

Finding help

Whether looking for guidance on how to do something or help fixing a problem, the best first stop is the Elgg wiki. Do a search there or check out the FAQs. If you do not find your answer, visit the Elgg community site. Search the forums to see if anyone has asked the same question before. If not, select the group that best matches your issue (often the Technical Support group) and ask your question. Be sure to use a descriptive title and provide plenty of details.


Using Google search with the Elgg community site

The search built into Elgg is not bad, but is not nearly as powerful as Google's search engine. You can search the Elgg community forums by including in your Google search query.