If you are considering building your own custom social networking site either as an addition to your existing website or as a stand alone site you are probably considering all the options when it comes to selecting a software to build your custom social networking site. You can use a pre-existing social networking platform built from a template that comes with social networking software or you can have custom social networking platforms built for you by a social networking website developer.

When you’re considering which option to use to build your custom social networking site here are a few things to consider that will help you choose which type of software is the best for you:

Functionality – Functionality is a crucial component of social networking platforms. No one will want to use a social networking site that doesn’t work. When you use social networking platforms built on templates from boxed software it’s safe to assume that those platforms have functionality but if something goes wrong you will have to contact customer support and work closely with the company to figure out what went wrong.

If you use custom built social networking platforms then you will be able to contact your web developer directly to fix the problem but it might end up costing you more than you thought if it’s an emergency fix or something difficult to fix.

Features – One of the things that draws people to one social networking community over another is the features that the community offers. Social networking platforms that are built from templates will probably only have a limited number of features that are included. However you may be able to customize some features and choose not to use features that you don’t really need.

If you have custom social networking platforms built for your company you will be able to customize every feature, but that might drive the cost of the project out of your price range so be careful with how many custom features you commission for your social networking site.

Integration capability – When you build a community site it’s important that the site be programmed in such a way that it can work seamlessly with other websites and widgets. Buying software for a social networking site with pre-programmed templates makes it a lot easier to incorporate other popular website modules and widgets like Digg into your social networking site.

If you have custom platforms built it might take a lot of extra work to get the site to integrate other websites and programs smoothly, so consider that when you’re thinking about whether or not to hire a professional web developer to build a custom site for you or use a pre-made software program to create your social networking site.