I am curious to know which site is better for creating my own social network, socialengine or phpfox? My website will need a lot of bandwidth along with unlimited members. Which site offers more customization's? Also, if the site were o ever grow rapidly would I need to hire my own web hosting team or do these sites include a web host that supports a large social network? Anything helps.
I've used PHPFox. It's pretty good, but not quite great. Its downfalls are that it can be a bit buggy at times, and there's limited plugins/themes available. This isn't like WordPress where you're just bombarded with options; the pickin's are slim.
I've be meandering my way through setting up a social site.... Here's my 2x..
My suggestion is to sit down and list off the features/plugins you feel your need for your community, then compare two platforms. In my case I went with SE. Overall I found the aftermarket support for SE to be wider ranging for my needs.
I started my initial build on a geekstorage shared plan that offered litespeed and it ran very well.
When you are ready for the next step be it a VPS or dedicated server, get as much RAM as you can. CPU utilization isn't that bad with SE but your DB will be swallowing memory. Also, as wisely pointed out to me on this board remember that RAM is infinitely faster than any SSD out there!
PHP opcode caching is essential: APC or eaccelerator
Consider using Nginx or litespeed over apache.
A CDN is essential, almost anything is better than nothing.
Consider using AWS services such as S3 combined with Cloudfront to deliver your images and other big files/uploads to your site.
When you have the core of your site built you can seek sql optimization too.