I want to make a site that can carry out most of the functions that the site descriptionari.com has:

  • A front-end user registration system, complete with email validation, profile pages, etc.
  • A feed system which lists the latest posts made by users.
  • The main feature, which is that users should be able to post paragraphs that are displayed in the aforementioned feed system.
  • A 'like' system.
  • Users should be able to gain priveleges based on things they have done, and likes they have earned from the aforementioned 'like' system, eventually earning moderator privileges.
  • The ability for users to "follow" other users.
  • A notification system

Essentially, I want something like this:

Mockup showing the 'feed': a list of paragraphs posted by different users, each with a number showing its likes

I thought I would build it from scratch using HTML, CSS, PHP and SQL, but that didn't work so well, and it requires immense amounts of skill, which I don't have. I thought I could make it using WordPress considering that it requires no coding skill, but it turns out that only applies for blogging sites, and no plugin exists that can satisfy my needs (apparently).

tl;dr, I ask for three things:

  1. What resources do I need to make a system such as the one above? What do I need to know?
  2. The system I have proposed is vast. Which specific component do I begin with?
  3. Can I even use WordPress to build such a site?
  • Well, you definitely need some form of Content Management System. Drupal is a perennial favourite, but I am not sure about the "likes" and badges. You might google for a S.O clone. And the source of all knowledge for things CMS is at cmsmatrix.org
    – Mawg
    Jun 30, 2015 at 6:35
  • 1
    @Mawg I appreciate that, for the first time, someone has heard my plea. But please understand, I am very new to this world as a whole :/. I am a high school student with middling knowledge of a paltry number of programming languages. That said, what is an SO?
    – Anjunadeep
    Jun 30, 2015 at 6:38
  • Sorry, that is Stack Overflow. The original site of Stack Exchange. So, if you you like the badges, upvotes, etc, of this site, google for a free clone of it. With a good SCM, you shouldn't need to do any coding, unless you really want to. Go to CMS Matrix, select tham all & compare, then start checking "must have" features and whittle them down. If you can't find it there, you can't find it anywhere.
    – Mawg
    Jun 30, 2015 at 6:42
  • Googling shows these, plus many others - so, if you like this site,t hen go for one of these ... meta.stackexchange.com/questions/44637/… meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2267/stack-exchange-clones coordino.com digitizor.com/2010/12/01/stackoverflow-clone-php
    – Mawg
    Jun 30, 2015 at 6:45
  • 1
    @Mawg Good stuff man. Thanks a lot, now I have a vague idea where to begin. I would upvote you if I could
    – Anjunadeep
    Jun 30, 2015 at 6:54

1 Answer 1


BuddyPress , made for WordPress, may do most of those things for you. (I have not used this system)

Full Message Forums can do everything you want with add-ons or plug-ins.

SimpleMachines is free and can do everything you want (with Modifications) I have used this system for years. It is easy to install and update.

Invision Power Services Is a commercial (paid) system that will also do what you want.

With Themes, you can change the appearance of each of these systems.

  • while SMF seems to be the most attractive of the bunch, I just did a quick search about how to make it work with wordpress. The results were mostly negative, many users of certain forums hailed wordpress as a terrible, inefficient CMS with a bad user control system. I know none about this, so I'm asking you: Did you use SMF with wordpress yourself? And would you recommend it to a novice programmer, such as myself?
    – Anjunadeep
    Jul 3, 2015 at 5:58
  • ^^^ I apologise for my question being largely opinion-based, as I'm aware how badly the community responds to such things >_> @kevan-sheridan
    – Anjunadeep
    Jul 3, 2015 at 6:00
  • No, I do not use SMF with WordPress and would not recommend that approach for reasons similar to what you point out. I think SMF is a great option for learning programming. Modifications can be easily applied and you can always view the source files to see what changes are made. Jul 4, 2015 at 0:05
  • I see. This is extremely valuable to me, thanks a lot!
    – Anjunadeep
    Jul 4, 2015 at 9:02

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