JomSocial is social network component for Joomla, probably the only complete solution that work out of the box (with few minor settings) that can help you to establish your own social network in a matter of hours.
First I will start with the basics, Joomla and JomSocial requires good web hosting. So forget about shared hosting solution, you need at least mid-level VPS to run these two monsters, also forget about low-end cheap VPS. Second you need special template for your Joomla website that is compatible with JomSocial - most are premium, I would personally recommend RocketTheme templates, but you have find high quality templates that are free, for example based on Gantry framework
All right, so what do you get for $149? JomSocial package includes the main component, several modules and bunch of plug-ins (applications). Installation is very easy and if you have some experience with Joomla probably you will not have any problems. I personally would start with installation of suitable template and upload the component through FTP in the root folder and after that use installation from URL (this may save some headaches if upload_max_size value is low).
Set-up is a different ball game, setting up; component, modules and plug-ins require complete dedication and understanding some of Joomla basics, as well as how everything works. Refer to official documentation; learning curve isn’t very long and not too complicated.
JomSocial package includes
- Member System
- Photo Gallery (Albums)
- Video Gallery
- Activity Stream
- Integration with 3rd Party Components
Reading some reviews at JED, I saw many negative reviews, but I guess most of those people don’t really understand how this social network solution for Joomla works. Few of them mentioned that there is no forum component. Well, integration with Kunena Forum component is working out of the box as you get native forum component. On the other hand EasyBlog is integration is also very easy, just name popular component and I assure you it will work with JomSocial. Few others have mentioned lack of support or very slow support, my personal experience is that support team is doing a great job, however being a bit dirty (when they made a fix on our website, they left debug on, screw-up ACL permissions, but after I complained they clean up everything).
If you want to integrate social network into your Joomla based website, go for JomSocial, the price is minimal compared to similar solutions based on other popular open source CMS or stand alone scripts.
Often JomSocial is on promo and you can test it for one month for $1, definitely worth to try!