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Elgg 1.8 Social Networking

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Cash Costello

Create, customize, and deploy your very own social networking site with Elgg with this book and ebook
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Book Details

ISBN 139781849511308
Paperback384 pages

About This Book

  •   An updated version of the very first book on Elgg
  •   Detailed and easy-to-understand analysis on building your very own social networking site with Elgg
  •   Explore the vast range of Elgg's social networking capabilities including communities, sharing, profiles and relationships
  •   Learn to create plugins and themes with extensive tutorials
  •   Written by Cash Costello, a core developer of the Elgg team, with a foreword from Dave Tosh, Elgg co-founder.

Who This Book Is For

If you want to create a social networking site using Elgg and do not have a background in software development, this book provides all the information and advice that you need written just for you. If you are a developer, it also contains valuable tutorials and reference material so that you can begin writing code right away.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Social Networking and Elgg
Social features
What is Elgg?
The Elgg engine
The power of plugins
Case studies
Elgg resources
A few words of advice
Summary
Chapter 2: Installing Elgg
Preparing the server
Run Elgg's installer
Summary
Chapter 3: A Tour of Your First Elgg Site
Getting around
Registering users
User profiles and avatars
Friends
Activity stream
Tools
User settings
Administration
Customizing your site
Summary
Chapter 4: Sharing Content
Blogs
Bookmarks
File
The wire
Summary
Chapter 5: Communities, Collaboration, and Conversation
Groups
Pages
Messages
Message board
Summary
Chapter 6: Finding and Using Plugins
Plugin administration
Finding plugins
Installing plugins
Themes
Major community plugins
Summary
Chapter 7: Creating Your First Plugin
What you need to know
Elgg developer resources
Setting up your development environment
Hello, World!
Debugging
Summary
Chapter 8: Customization through Plugins
Lesson 1: Changing wording
Lesson 2: Modifying a section of a page
Lesson 3: Adding new content to a page
Lesson 4: Doing something when X happens
Lesson 5: Creating a custom widget
Lesson 6: Giving your users options
Lesson 7: Adding JavaScript
Lesson 8: Changing how Elgg does X
Lesson 9: Collecting and storing data
Summary
Chapter 9: Theming Elgg
What you need to know
Theming basics
Comparing theming in WordPress to Elgg
Building a theme
Creating a mobile theme
Summary
Chapter 10: Moving to Production
Selecting a server
Configuring a server
Managing the site
Testing, upgrading, and moving a site
Performance
Reporting bugs
Summary

What You Will Learn

  •  Install your very own site using Elgg and learn to administer it.
  •  Customize your site using the plugins available from the Elgg plugin repository.
  •  Build your own plugins from scratch while following the step-by-step tutorials.
  •  Create your own theme by selecting recipes from the theming cookbook.
  •  Learn how to share content with other users.
  •  Deploy Elgg in a production environment with ample advice on server configuration, back-ups, site monitoring, and daily administrative tasks.
  •  Examine the design of Elgg from a developer’s perspective.
  •  Learn how you can contribute to the vibrant and ever growing Elgg community

In Detail

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 – your award-winning open source social networking engine – 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.

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