What's your experience with Elgg and a live site?

I'm considering Elgg and some others for a project and wondered how many here are actually running full social sites?
Not demo sites or sites with few users but real, live, fair sized sites using Elgg.

I like that it seems almost anything could be done but that's kind of the case with any open source software.

Being honest, I'm concerned that practically anything I want to do with involve development work because most of the plugins I've seen are super outdated.

Also a bit concerned that posts are years old, plugins mostly the same and nervous about what I might get into by using Elgg.

Mostly, I want to understand what I'm getting into by using Elgg as it doesn't seem as active as I imagined it would be.

Not complaining, just asking for thoughts from those who are actively using Elgg as their live sites.


  • No edit option to edit the above.

  • I have an site based on Elgg since the beginning of 2010. The site has a few 1000 members. But most of the members are not really active (the site has some specific theme and it's required to join to see anything so quite a number of people joined to look around but never returned or stopped visiting after a while). And it seems people stay more on a few large sites and ignore the many, many other sites available.

    I've started with Elgg 1.6 and bought some commercial plugins when I started with the site with the intention to rely on Elgg core and these plugins also on future versions of Elgg.

    Well, it didn't work out this way. Elgg got updated regularly ever since then but almost all the 3rd party plugins I'm using got abandoned (regardless if free or bought). So, I've started to learn maintaining the plugins myself to be able to keep the site at least up-to-date somehow.

    Maintaining a lot of plugins on your own - in your spare time - is not easy. So, I'm quite behind with keeping the plugins working on more recent Elgg versions. Right now my site is still on Elgg 2.3...

    My experience: try to use as few 3rd party plugins as possible. Elgg core gets updated but keeping the 3rd party plugin up-to-date can be hard (both for the developers or for you if you try it on your own).

    Choose any 3rd party plugins carefully. Any plugins written by Coldtrick are safe to use because the same guys also maintain Elgg core and get their own plugins updated regularly. Any other plugins might require work on your own or maybe future investments to get them updated.

    But any other social network frameworks might not be better either... I have to admit I'm not keeping informed about any others. But they either will cost from the beginning or might cost for customizations (if even possible depending on the license used or if maybe even closed source code). And any predictions about the future of Elgg and other systems is futile. Nobody could say for sure what will be in some years from now. At least Elgg is open source and free. So, there's always the option that someone else can continue.

  • Over the past 15 years we've maintained several websites based on Elgg. Some with only a few 100 users, others with 80k+ users.

    Growing a website from 100's to 1000's of users can be a challenge but with a little bit of thinking it can scale very well.

    Like iionly said Elgg is a framework, it needs to be extended with plugins. So you eighter have to do this yourself or have a good relationship with a developer.

    Since we (ColdTrick) also maintain the Elgg core in our spare time our plugin will (mostly) be up-to-date. It depends if a client of ours is using the plugin.

  • Thank you iionly and Jerome.

    Can you elaborate more on the sentence "Growing a website from 100's to 1000's of users can be a challenge but with a little bit of thinking it can scale very well."

    I guess thinking is not enough :)

    Thank you