Our feature article for this month takes a look at free open-source clone scripts of popular websites, with a whopping list of over 20 clone scripts reviewed for you.
Twitter Clone Scripts
ShareTronix is an open source microblogging platform with features aplenty. It supports all the features you’re already accustomed with on Twitter and also includes a lot of extra functionalities aimed at enterprise-level microblogging. As with most applications of this type, you’ll find support for status update, real-time dashboard with network activity, groups, search and content tagging. ShareTronix takes status updates beyond text and allow you to attach pictures, videos and other files to your posts to make your conversation more engaging. Some other nice features that caught my attention are real-time RSS aggregation, a powerful search powered by Sphinx, LDAP authentication support, and great integration with Twitter and Facebook.
PeoplePods is a social software toolkit aimed at building applications where people meet, talk, share, read, work and explore. Based on the foundation of Twitter-like features, registered members can create their own profile, follow others and join public or private groups. PeoplePods has overtime matured in a really stable platform and now powers a couple of great communities, with NeighborGoods.net being my favorite.
StatusNet is an enterprise social network application available as a hosted or on the premise solution. Based in PHP and mySQL, this microblogging application allows its members to ask questions, share information and read posts in real-time. It has support for groups, topics, activity streams, search, etc. The best thing about StatusNet is that it is open source and there are multiple plugins and extensions available to customize the site to your needs.
Twitter Script is a free PHP application that allows you to run your own microblogging web site just like Twitter and Jaiku. It has multi-language support, comes with a template system that is easy to customize and makes great use of AJAX to provide a responsive experience.
Digg, Mixx and Reddit Clone Scripts
Pligg was the first Digg clone released a couple of years ago and is still actively maintained by a group of enthusiast and developers. Users can submit and vote on news article and top voted articles make it to the top of the homepage of your Pligg site. It has support for RSS subscription, groups, private messaging, commenting, etc. Pligg is powered by the Smarty template system, which makes it easier for skinning.
PHPDug is a lightweight Digg clone that is easy to setup and maintain. It has great multilingual support and sports a minimalist but clean design. It has the ability to automatically add stories from RSS feed and can also generate on-the-fly thumbnails for YouTube and Google videos.
YouTube Clone Scripts
PHPmotion is a free video sharing application that mimics YouTube to some extend. Your members can upload videos, and add description/tags. Videos can, in turn, be embedded on 3rd-party web sites. PHPmotion will automatically convert your movies into FLV – it can handle .mpg. .avi, .divx and other video formats. Other than videos, PHPmotion can be used as an image or audio sharing platform.
ClipBucket is an open source multimedia management script provided free to the community. This script comes with all the bells & whistles required to start your own video sharing web site like YouTube, DailyMotion or MetaCafe. The script is constantly updated to provide the most versatile, reliable and scalable media distribution platform with the latest social networking features.
Facebook Clone Scripts
BuddyPress is a collection of multiple WordPress plugins and themes that transform an installation of WordPress into a social networking platform. It has all features you’d expect to let your members socially interact. Each registered member gets a personal blog and an extended profile page with his list of friends and groups. Members can private messages each other or leave short messages on each other’s wire.
Elgg is an award-winning open source social networking engine that provides a robust framework on which to build all kinds of social environments, from a campus wide social network for your university, school or college or an internal collaborative platform for your organization through to a brand-building communications tool for your company and its clients.
Oxwall is a flexible and easy to use PHP/mySQL community software platform. It comes with some great features like photo and video sharing, blogs, forums, wiki, groups, events, privacy control, etc. Oxwall also has some great plugins and themes to allow you to further customize your social site.
Groupon Clone Script
NDOT Deals is unfortunately the only free open source Groupon clone application that I could locate. It allows you to start your own group buying web site. Some of the features includes mobile version of the site, affiliates integration, payment gateway integration, free themes and social media integration. Please take note that the free version is very limited in terms of features.
Google Calendar Clone Script
wdCalendar is a JQuery-based Google Calendar clone. The interface makes great use of AJAX to provide a responsive interface with drag-and-drop functionalities. The calendar can be set to daily/weekly/monthly view.
StackOverflow / Yahoo Answers Clone Scripts
Question2Asnwer is a free and open source platform for Q&A communities similar to StackOverflow or Yahoo Answers. It is based in PHP and mySQL and is very easy to install. Question2Asnwer has some great community engagement tools like commenting, voting, email notification, user points and rankings. If you use WordPress, please take note that Question2Asnwer offers out-of-the-box integration with your existing WordPress site and user database.
Coordino is based on the standard PHP/mySQL platform to provide a feature-rich question and answer system. You can use it to create a niche question and answer site or as a knowledge base solution for your Intranet. Some of its key features include user rewards, tagging, site administration and remote authentication.
OSQA is a free open source Q&A system written in Python and utilizes the Django application framework. It is more than a mere Q&A platform but comes with some decent features not found in other similar applications. Your members can for instance follow other people and topics and exchange private messages. There is also support for widgets to expand its functionality and most importantly its interface is sleek and usable.
Photobucket / ImageShack Clone Scripts
Chevereto is a free script, written in PHP, that lets you set up your own image hosting on your web server. It supports image upload either from your local computer or from a remote URL. Images uploaded can be set to automatically resize and you can set it to shorten the image URL using TinyURL web service.
CF Image Host
CF Image Host is a free, simple and easy to use PHP Image hosting script, which aims to make it easy to setup and maintain a photo/image hosting/sharing site. With thumbnails and social bookmarking links generated for each image, sharing your images or photos across the web couldn’t be made any easier.
Dropbox Clone Script
SparkleShare is a free open source collaboration and sharing tool similar to Dropbox. You can store files on your hosting account and share them with others. Documents are synchronized to all your peers when changes are made. You will also be notified via its desktop client (available for Mac, Windows, Linux and Android) when someone has made a change.
TinyURL Clone Scripts
YOURLS is a small set of PHP scripts that will allow you to run your own URL shortening service (a la TinyURL). You can make it private or public, you can pick custom keyword URLs, it comes with its own API. It also includes some really great analytics like historical click reports, referrals tracking, and visitors’ geo-location.
lilURL is a simple PHP/ mySQL script for generating short URLs. It’s similar to TinyURL, Shorl, MakeAShorterLink, etc, but you can run it on your own server.
PopURLs Clone Script
NewsBlock is a free PHP script that allows you to replicate functionalities of PopURLs. This script leverages SimplePie’s RSS feed parsing capabilities to return multiple feeds from various website with each one having its own block on the homepage.
Del.icio.us Clone Script
GetBoo is a PHP-based del.icio.us clone with a decent bookmarking system that can support both social (with tags) and private (with folders) bookmarks. It has a feature that will allow your users to import and export their bookmark from their browsers. The admin console includes spam protection, transaction, bookmarklets, RSS feeds, and more.