This is a sponsored review of the Jomsocial extension. For details of having your extension reviewed, please contact us. Note that a sponsored review doesn’t mean I’ll like the product, just that I’ll take the time to review it thoroughly.
For several years there has really one been one social networking option for Joomla … Community Builder. Some people love it, others hate it, but it was impossible to ignore. We use it here on alledia.com because three years ago it was really the only option for expanded user profiles and networking.
Two months ago Azrul, the developer of Jomcomment and MyBlog, released an alternative social networking solution called Jomsocial. Is it any good?
- Easy to use. We’re running Jomsocial on a site aimed at non-techincal people. Almost all of them have found it easy to upload an image and edit their profile. I couldn’t always say the same about Community Builder.
- In-built features. To allow people to create their own groups, upload photos and send private messages. Community Builder needed extra plugins. Groups were handled by the consistently buggy Groupjive and there were a few photo solutions, none as tightly integrated as Jomsocial.
- Design. Sorry CB, but Jomsocial looks better. It ships with two good templates and the navigation is very intuitive.
- Integrations. The key factor with many extensions is whether they can convince other developers to make their work compatible. Jomsocial is off to a great start. I’ve found integrations with Eventlist, jReviews, Fireboard, Seyret, Mosets Tree and of course, Jomcomment and MyBlog.
- People like it. Simple as that. From talking to other Joomla developers and then seeing the number of posts on their forums and blog, people like Jomsocial. That gives it a good chance of being around for a long time.
The main drawback is that its not cheap. At $149 its one of the more expensive extensions on the market. Its also not GPL so you’ll need one license per site. There are also some current limitations caused by the fact that its only two months old. These cons exist, although I expect them to be solved in future versions:
- No forum integration yet (except a beta called “ccBoard”) phpBB3 and Kunena (the new fork of Fireboard) are planned, but not yet ready.
- No registration expansion. You can’t use Jomsocial to collect more information when people register, only after.
- Limited profile customization. Currently the site adminsitrator defines user profile fields. There’s no option for individual users or groups to customize their profiles.
The Verdict on Jomsocial
I like it and I’ll use it. We’ve implemented it already on two big sites, including one that I’ll reveal tomorrow. It’s not right for every site, but here’s where I see it fitting in:
- Lower budget sites: Community Builder still works smoothly and of course, its free.
- More advanced sites: If you need a social networking setup that feels familar to people raised on Facebook and Twitter, Jomsocial is a good solution at a reasonable price.
- Enterprise site: Kickapps or Userplane will remain the options for very high-end sites with large budgets.
Over to You …
I know a lot of have already tried Jomsocial. What do you think … ?