Have you ever thought about building your own small social network for you, your family, relatives, community, or team? Let's say, something like Facebook but on a small scale for private use!

Well, all you need is a self-hosted social network software and a server, and this article is to choose from the best open-source self-hosted social medial solutions.

fits for communities, companies, and teams

Why do you need your own social network?

  1. Protect your data and privacy
  2. A small focused network for your community
  3. Easier to manage
  4. Own your data
  5. Free to customize

Open-source solutions to build your own social network

1- Humhub


Humhub is an open-source enterprise, private social network kit suitable for groups, teams, small to huge businesses. The main aim of it is to boost your business, support your customers, teach your students, organize your football club.

HumHub's installation requires Apache or Nginx server, MySQL or MariaDB database, and 64 MB memory allocated for PHP.

It offers a self-hosted solution that gives full control over your social network. The software was developed on the PHP framework and licensed under the AGPL version 3.

Humhub Features:

  1. lightweight
  2. powerful
  3. comes with a user-friendly interface
  4. it comes with a user-friendly interface
  5. open- source
  6. Flexible
  7. Secure
  8. Overview and fast access to the most important information
  9. It has social tools (post, comment, follow, like…)
  10. With it, you can share documents, media files
  11. you can customize social network

GitHub: https://github.com/humhub/humhub/blob/master/LICENSE

2- Elgg


Elgg is an enterprise social networking engine agile platform that is free to download and use. This is a rapid development framework written in PHP. As the main focus of Elgg is the software development project and that’s why it has main support for agile.

It can manage, ​​govern, protect, and promote the Elgg open-source social network engine. Besides, it provides a stable, commercially and individually independent organization. The application is also available including the Bug Tracker, It provides a robust framework and more.

Elgg is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) Version 2 and written with PHP.

Elgg Key Features

  1. Well-documented core API
  2. Composer
  3. Flexible system of hooks and events
  4. Extendable system of views
  5. Cacheable system of static assets
  6. User authentication
  7. Security
  8. Client-side API
  9. Flexible entity system
  10. Opinionated data model
  11. Access control system
  12. File storage

GitHub: https://github.com/Elgg/Elgg

3- Oxwall


Oxwall is a free and open-source social marketplace business platform with a simple plugin to keep your Google Analytics tracking without messing with HTML/JavaScript code. It also has a simple interface like Facebook-style.

With it, you can create online and offline events to engage with users.  The Oxwall offers private on-site communication, image slideshow, it helps you to built and create your own customized social network.

The Oxwall is a flexible system which offers a Real-time chat for friends written by you.

Oxwall platform is licensed under Common Public Attribution License 1.0. It is written with PHP and uses MySQL as a database.

Oxwall Features

  1. Groups, forums, blogs
  2. Activity notifications
  3. Advertisement
  4. Facebook-like newsfeed
  5. Photo sharing
  6. User roles, permissions, paid upgrades
  7. Profile/content moderation
  8. Contact importer to invite friends
  9. Groups
  10. Photo sharing

GitHub: https://github.com/oxwall/oxwall

4- Buddypress


Buddypress is a complete WordPress plugin for free business applications. It is software for online communities, teams, and groups. It is aimed to power your community sit.

If you want to use Buddypress easily, it will automatically adapt, showing only the menu items, pages, and buttons for the features you have enabled.

It helps you build any kind of community website, fun and flexible software for online communities

It is based on PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript and runs on macOS, Windows, and Ubuntu

Buddypress Features:

  1. All WordPress features and plugins
  2. Flexible
  3. user profiles
  4. groups
  5. activity streams
  6. notifications

GitHub: https://github.com/buddypress/buddypress

5- Mastodon


Mastodon is a self-hosted and open-source social network server for thousands of communities, not like Twitter or Facebook. It is used by more than 4.4M people, individuals, and organizations.

For individuals, It allows them to consume content and Host their own social media platform on your own infrastructure for organizations.


It is released under the AGPL-3.0 license and written with Ruby.

Mastodon Features:

  1. comes with effective anti-abuse tools
  2. You can use custom emojis
  3. You can adjust the thumbnails of your pictures with focal points
  4. It hides things behind spoiler warnings
  5. You can delete and redraft for quick corrections.

GitHub: https://github.com/mastodon/mastodon

6- Wallstant


Wallstant is a tool that helps you to create your own social network. It has a real-time messaging system with a powerful dashboard that allows the admin to edit, remove, and see statistics about all databases. It is also written with PHP language.

Wallstant Features:

  1. Open source
  2. Fast and Secure
  3. Messaging system
  4. Emoji system
  5. Verify badge
  6. Multi-Language
  7. Powerful dashboard
  8. fast
  9. secure
  10. easy to develop and use

GitHub: https://github.com/wallstant/wallstant

7- Dolphin


The dolphin is another best open-source social network software with Fast, smart, personal. It browses for small businesses.

It offers multiple modules such as Ads, Payments, Photos, Polls, Profile Customizer, Profiler, Chat, Profiler, Desktop, Facebook Connect, and more.

It has wonderful mobile apps, good support for multimedia file types.

Dolphin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license and written in PHP language and uses MySQL for the database. You can download it from the app store and google play.

Dolphin features:

  1. Open multiple tabs for all-in-one browsing
  2. Quickly access bookmarks and options with a swipe
  3. You can sync your data across compatible devices
  4. smart voice search
  5. Share and sync with Facebook, Evernote, Box, and more
  6. customizable
  7. Support flash (Android only)

GitHub: https://github.com/boonex/dolphin.pro

8- Hotaru CMS

Hotaru cms

Hotarucms is a free and open-source CMS software that helps you to run your own social media site. It is used by developers, designers, and many users.

It is released under GPLv3 and written with PHP and uses MySQL as a database.

HotaruCMS Features:

  1. It has Free Themes
  2. HotaruCMS has over 100 plugins
  3. multi-language support
  4. It has a great admin interface

GitHub: https://github.com/hotarucms/

9- Anahita

Anahita is an open-source social networking platform for developing open science and knowledge-sharing applications.

Anahita Features:

  1. It provides a graph architecture
  2. It has design patterns for developing social apps
  3. used for real-time analysis
  4. You can also build your custom apps
  5. Super easy to install and use

GitHub: https://github.com/anahitasocial/anahita

10- Minds


Minds is a free, open source social network dedicated to privacy and freedom. It is an anti-Facebook that pays you for your time.

It helps you to get paid for creating content driving traffic and referring friends

You can download it from the Android App or App store.

Minds Features:

  1. Post videos, blogs, images, and statuses
  2. Message and video chat securely with groups or directly with friends
  3. Discover great content through trending feeds and hashtags
  4. You can also receive direct payments in USD, Bitcoin, and Ether from your fans
  5. Take back control of your social media

GitHub: https://github.com/Minds

11- Mono


Mono is an open-source implementation of Microsoft that builds outstanding software. It allows developers to easily create cross-platform applications.

It is a .NET Framework based on the ECMA standards for C# and the Common Language Runtime.

Mono Features:

  1. Customize
  2. It  provides design and development services
  3. It is transforming big ideas into exceptional products.

GitHub: https://github.com/mono/mono

12-  Jcow

Jcow is an open-source software to create a social website. It is written in PHP and the database uses MySQL.

It has a Facebook-like interface and with it, you can create a social app with no need to learn app programming, build your iOS/Android apps, submit to App Store and Play Store.

Jcow Features:

  1. Free
  2. Handle large traffic
  3. Mobile Friendly
  4. Post Boosting system
  5. Deeply Google Map integrated
  6. URL-preview in the Share box
  7. AdSense Optimized
  8. We use our own product
  9. User and Group suggestions
  10. Cross-platform Chat box

Official website: https://www.jcow.net/


So, we have seen in this list many open-source form builders that are more than enough to be a Self-hosted Social Media  Network.

If you have any additional software you would like to see in this list, then we would love to hear about them in the comments.