Setting up a social networking website will require planning, creativity, marketing and funds to design and develop the website. Social networking is gaining in popularity with sites developed for a variety people to network: co-workers for the same company, animal lovers, college alumni, students and many other special interests groups. Determining the niche of people you want to attract and developing a site revolving around this group will be the first step in the process.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Create a list of the functions you want the website to have. Do you want people to be able to post photos or videos, chat, instant message, create private profiles, create buddy lists or play games? You need to have a clear idea of the functions you want the site to have to plan the creation of the site.
Build a website. The design and development of the website will be the most costly and time-consuming portion of the project. Hire web freelancers if you need help building the site.
Use a web hosting company that offers a dedicated server. Avoid web hosting companies that use shared server space. If your website is going to grow to have many members and have options that use a lot of bandwidth, such as photos, videos or chats, you will need a dedicated server.
Design promotional material and ads. Pass out information to everyone you know---church families, co-workers, neighbours, friends and family. Post information on your social site on related blogs and discussion forums. Leave your website address on every blog post or forum post. Search engines pick up your website address, which helps to push your website up in position during a user's web search.
Prepare to spend a lot of time getting this site up and running. Troubleshoot bugs, market and promote the site. It is hard to keep members at a site without enough members to hold member's attention. Do not launch the site until you feel you have an influx of waiting members to capture attention and spread the word. Members who feel the site has something to offer will spread positive information to other people.
Tips and warnings
- If you plan to charge members for use of your site, contact your state agency that governs businesses to see if you need a business license.
- Set up accounts with Facebook and Twitter to help attract users you can convert to your social networking website.
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