I am very new to the whole coding/ creating website thing but I am very interested in getting started. I want to create a social media site and wanted to know how I might do that. I've heard of people using Joomla to write scripts. Anything helps to get me started! Thanks!
Start with basic PHP, maybe take a look at Tutsplus (Web) which might have some useful resources, then learn a PHP framework which will allow you to skip reinventing the wheel for many things and use existing best practices.
Note that writing any kind of web-application will take time and dedication, especially if it's new to you. Be prepared to rewrite things often and end up failing frequently, realizing that your old code is too bad and you probably should make a newer set of practices, etc.
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Indeed I am hearing more and more about phpFox recently but I don't know if their prices are justified (the cheapest, Lite Version, has most of the functionality unavailable anyways).
To be honest haven't looked into Social Networking scripts recently but previously Dolphin was an often used option (although it was quite resource-costly). Elgg is definitely a good choice also, might check them and compare to see which one will serve your needs best
The OP never said he wanted to compete with FaceBook... There are opportunities for niche social networks.
The "best" script you will depend largely on the features and expectations for your project.
In my case, I went with Socialengine PHP. I spend about 6months looking at Dolphin, PHPfox, Socialengine PHP, Socialengine cloud, elegg, jomsocial (Joomla), easysocial (Joomla), buddy press (WP), moosocial, oxwall and some others that escape my mind.
I went blurry eyed looking at them all, went back and fourth so many times it was crazy.
My opinion.....don't let the script or technology decide what you use. This might seem odd, but if you want to build a community work from the community, backwards.
Decide on the features that benefit your planned community best, draw up a list, compare the scripts and make your decision then.
In my case, socialengine PHP, with certain proven add-ons was the answer. I couldn't quite find the same match of requirements with phpfox, but that's not to say you won't for your community.
At the very least, I would run my requirements sheet against SE PHP, SE Cloud and phpfox.
I think that they need to have some kind of a target date and then decide how to get there. Learning PHP is going to take a while and besides the learning you have to worry about security holes.
Just my 2 cents.
To be frank I just do not think that it is possible for a single person to create such a big social networking websites.
You may start with basic and PHP would be best preferred scripting language for you.