Prior to launching a social networking site it is important that business owners come up with an effective plan for starting their new community. Creating a business plan can be a tedious process but when it comes to an online community venture the first step is deciding what sort of social networking platform should be used. There are two options commonly available; the first option is to hire a designer to create a custom social networking platform and the second option is to build a site using an existing social networking platform. These existing platforms are either templates or websites that have been created to host multiple communities (forums, group blogs, etc.).
Many individuals, especially those on a budget, prefer to use an existing template or website. There are many websites that offer premium forums or blog communities for a monthly fee. These sites are easy to set up and can sometimes be edited to include custom graphics or logos. While these websites are affordable and perfect for individuals or businesses hoping to host only small groups or communities they are not a wise choice if you are one who hopes to have a highly trafficked social networking community.
If you are a person who needs a social networking platform that will support hundreds or thousands of users daily then it is not safe to depend on a third party or cookie cutter template. These templates and websites will often include advertisements for the site or their affiliates and will sometimes not permit any additional advertisements. This will cut down on your potential to earn a stable monthly income. There is also the chance that the traffic you drive to your site will be lost to the third party site or even competitors who are also using the platform for their own social networks. Worst of all some members of your community might decide to create their own competing social networks using the same platform if they disagree with any of your rules or policies.
Even if you are not concerned about competition or losing traffic depending on a third parties social networking platform means that if the third party site goes down for any reason there is little you can do. If you were the owner of the website you will be able to directly contact a hosting company, web designer, or others to get the matter resolved but if you are depending on another company you can do nothing. When regular members of your community begin complaining about downtime all you can do is send emails and support tickets while trying to find an alternative solution. This is a sure way to lose visitors, members, and valuable traffic. If you do not want to depend on a third party and can afford to hire a professional then you will be able to hire a developer to create a customized social networking platform.
With your own social networking platform you will be able to control its look branding it to suit your tastes or business needs. The only rules you will need to follow are your hosting company or your own rules if you invest in your own server. Plus you will be able to get immediate results if there are any problems such as downtime, server errors, or internal site errors.
While investing in a professionally designed social networking platform is expensive it is well worth the cost. By spending a bit of extra money you will be able to launch your networking with a professional look and feel which will help your site gain more popularity and traffic in a short amount of time.
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