SocialEngine Blog

SocialEngine is the best way to create a unique community website. Let your friends, fans or customers geek out about anything you want.

SE4 Speed Improvements Coming Soon

Since our last blog post a few days ago, some SocialEngine community members have brought to light an important issue with SE4: site performance & slow page loads.

Based on the feedback we’ve received, it has become abundantly clear to everyone here at SocialEngine that speed is your top priority. We really value your feedback and want SocialEngine to be the best community platform out there, so our upcoming release will be completely devoted to achieving this goal.

We are committing 100% of our development resources and devoting our next dev cycle entirely to improving SE4 performance, out-of-the-box.

One interesting thing we’ve noticed is that while we know that a few of you have struggled with performance, most SE admins haven’t seen these problems or have solved them by following our server configuration tutorials. We have recently uploaded a few tutorial videos on how to install SE4. Also be sure to check out our recommended minimum system requirements to make sure your experience is fully optimized.


We’ve found that 95% of configuration issues that result in low performance can be fixed following a few easy steps. Check out these articles to get you started and as always feel free to contact us.

If you’ve got some of your own ideas on how we can speed up SE4, we’d love to hear them. Also, if you’ve followed all our config and optimization tips, haven’t installed any third-party addons, and still have major performance issues, please let us know so we can investigate. With your help and feedback, we can supercharge SE4!


  1. Nima
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I believe when I see it!
    you sound like,you just discover this issue.

  2. Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    We’ll make you a believer yet @b403507bc19f8e29444ddece4294ca09:disqus ! Be sure to check back in with us for the latest updates.

  3. Richard
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Wow! You just discovered the speed problem right now? How old is SE4 now and how long customers have been complaining for the speed problem. This was supposed to the first issue to be addressed from day you released the script. Unfortunately, you made it the last. Too late

  4. Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Hey @3eb98e2da6cb734bc8e39cdbd021bf9f:disqus ,

    SE4 was launched back in late 2010 and has gone through many updates to make it as extensible and customizable as possible. We are really focusing on SPEED during this next develop cycle and expect that you’ll be happy with what we’ve come up with.

    If you’re currently having issues with site performance, please feel free to check out some of our tips and tricks below. I’m confident that we can help you get SocialEngine running faster.

    As always, thanks for the feedback.

  5. Fred
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Seriously, to say that you’ve just realized that speed is a problem, shows that management is out of touch with its customers! Since SE4 – speed has been the number one issue on SE forums and here on this blog! Please get real….

  6. Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Fred, we hear you loud and clear, and we sincerely apologize that it’s taken us this long to make SE fast for everyone. We’ve been aware of the speed issues but haven’t been able to easily replicate them on our end, and most admins haven’t had issues. We are narrowing in on the bottlenecks and common config problems, and will work hard to make it work better for everyone with this release.

  7. Posted June 27, 2012 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    I really hope SE4 has a longer lifespan in terms of structure, but other than speed please do also improve on usability and features that are somehow hampering performance.

    It could be like this, if a post becomes a hot topic (many comments and likes) – those who made a comment and like receive notifications when other users post comments as well, so I guess the server gets busy sending notifications and emails and you also get flooded with redundant links on your notifications. An “unfollow/unsubscribe” link would be good, plus displaying it like this “user a, user b and user c also made a comment on user d’s post” – something like that. Grouping notifications for the same post and giving users an option to no longer receive notifications are one way of speeding performance at the same time making the whole script friendlier for end users.

    A change in how the layout is presented, making it ajaxified like PHPFox or MooSocial may also improve performance. I checked your competition’s demo sites and they always perform better in terms of speed, but I still prefer SE’s ease of customization.

    CSS sprites is also another suggestion that could enhance performance.

    A version 5 or 4.5 that is based on SE4’s framework but with better, more up-to-date features and performance improvements would be good. It doesn’t have to be like Facebook in every sense but following the structure of the leading social network is not bad, especially now that FB set many standards right now in what a social network should be.

  8. Julie
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Guys, be nice. It’s still the best platform for social networks out there, so give it a break. Better late than never.

  9. es7
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Sounds great!

    However from what I’ve seen there are two major reasons of bad performance:

    1. Numerous 3rd party plugins installed. If there are 25 or more plugins installed the speed of core does not matter much.
    Also most of 3rd party plugin developers concentrate on features, not speed.
    I think you should make a blog post about that. Or make an overview of plugins that are optimized for speed.

    2. Bad hosting recommendation. Currently you recommend shared hosting from one of companies. It does not perform well even for small active communities. People try it and think that SocialEngine itself is slow.
    You should clearly mention that at least VPS is required or mention more alternatives with some notes.


  10. sundeep
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I have tried ipragmatech’s link which is listed in this blog, It’s great tutorial to improve social engine’s performance. Thanks…

  11. Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    with 4GB of RAM and a Quad Core, performance is not really a issue for us. We can be an exception (I understand that this kind of servers are expensive), but our real problem are the many bugs still present on the platform! For example, as previously mentioned, it is impossible to register on YOUR online demo using jainrain; it always returns a server error or something, both with twitter and facebook.

  12. Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I want to add that in my opinion SE company should invest a little more resources on a product that generated at least 3 million dollars of revenues already (according your blog). The number of bugs fixed on every release is not satisfactory.

  13. Flippic
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Dear All, I am so happy that you are going to make an effort to speed up the script. Wow, great ! I hope that some magic will happen and the script will load fast like facebook. Just to mention, try to evaluate “BigPipe” technology adopted by facebook to speedup the script. (It is just a suggestion and any method to improve the script loading time and making the website using the script faster will be very highly appreciated!). Thanks.

  14. Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    There were a couple of interesting discussions about
    SocialEngine 4 speed here:

  15. Saad
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    in order to speed up you need to add amazon mysql so the database also goes over there and less rush to only local stupid server or hosting account rest can be takencare

    also i have noticed that all your external folder not moved to amazon cloudfront why?it must be there to load all css and js from there

    please you must respond to followings

    1- Consider amazon SQL?
    2- Move your External folder to cloudfront?

  16. John
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    He never said that he “just realized that speed is a problem” He is saying that they are in the code optimizing stage

  17. Randy
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    I always thought besides speed, one of the problems is plug-ins. Why wouldn’t you develop more of your own advanced plug ins. With us using more third party plug-ins this could be one of the major problems with speed. What better people are out there to build more advanced plug-ins, then the developers that built core of the software. This is not to knock any other developers. I use a lot of third party plug-ins. I just find SE puts no effort into the standard ones that they offer with their software. Just my opinion.

    Very happy to finally see the speed issue addressed.

  18. Ferry
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s great that social engine listens to the people’s opinion. I really hope it will improve and i can’t wait what social engine has to offer!! Keep up the good work guy’s :)

  19. Forilla
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    I commend SE for addressing this so honestly. It’s already making me feel a little better about a company that I was seriously starting to loath. Looking forward to the updates, and thanks for listening. It shows that you’re as serious about your business as some of us are. Now everyone else just stand back and give them some room to work. 😉

  20. David McWhinnie
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Saad, I run on Amazon SQL today (Amazon RDS) with no issues.

  21. Ben
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    PHPfox is a good example, one fee $299 gets nearly everything, super fast speed.! SE4 $799..? SE needs to start to create their own add on’s and plugins etc…. why allow your customers shop else where.?

  22. Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the support, Forilla. We’ve internally changed how we approach development, so we are now much (much!) more organized and focused. Good things are coming soon!

  23. Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Thanks Ferry! We now know that involving you guys more in our development process is totally crucial. We’ll keep the dialogue going!

  24. Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Given Facebook’s vast resources, it’s pretty tough to compete with them on speed, but we’ll do our absolute best to make SE4 as fast as possible for as many people as possible. We will definitely check out BigPipe – thanks for the suggestion.

  25. Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Ouch. We are refreshing the live demo over the next few days. Will definitely address that, thanks. Glad to hear speed isn’t a problem for you.

  26. Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    That’s right!

  27. Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much Julie! We’ll work hard to make SE4 kick more ass.

  28. Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Thanks Randy. The reason we don’t develop more of our own plugins is this: We want to foster a developer community around SocialEngine. That’s something we believe makes SE unique and competitive – the fact that so many people build on the platform and create their own products for it.

    Also, we get tons (like thousands) of feature requests. If we build all of those features ourselves, we’ll see a lot of bloated, over-built communities powered by SE, which means poorer performance, and unhappy site-builders. That’s no good! We’d rather you guys just buy what you absolutely need and want, and nothing else.

  29. Posted June 28, 2012 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    I think one catch here is not actually feature requests but request for feature improvements – things like an “always open” comment box once a comment or like has been placed, a more improved privacy and sharing system (share a content on your wall or a friend’s wall) and some other stuff that I posted in my previous comment – you know, improve on features that already exist in SE that may also be helpful with the site’s overall performance. It’s time for you guys to catch up and improve on your existing features and not necessarily add anything more and bloat them up. I think SE now more than ever needs to be more competitive in terms of features and performance – with a high priority on the latter.

  30. juan guerrero
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    My suggestion are that you should take out the confirmation option that
    show that the member is going to enjoy in a group, they do not need to
    know that there are in the group when they already know it since they
    click it to enjoy in the group. Also, when someone is going to add a
    friend, the pop-out that come out that said the confirmation of the
    friend, the person do not need to know that since they know that they
    add the person as a friend. Furthermore, when member send a message
    the page reload it, you can take that out since that is forcing the
    server. Another suggestion is that you should fix the javascript to
    upload the picture or the music since when a members want to add
    something and they are using mozilla the members have to click two times
    for the window to pop-out. My last suggestion is about the comment
    that members left in their profile and multiple using comments in the
    same comment. For that part, I want you to take out the confirmation
    option since that confirmation sending the same message over again when
    multiple comments at the same time were left in the member comment. I
    will like you to improve that part by only send the member only one
    confirmation, not a lot of confirmations as it is right now.
    All of
    that are my suggestion since those would help your company to improve
    since I notice that a lot of my members do not want a lot of pop-out and
    confirmation option. I want you to take my suggestion in account and
    if you need more you can tell me that I willing to help you with that.

  31. jmast
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    All of SE help is geared toward the site owner and, or developers. We need an end user manual for the full package features, that can be make available to our site members.

  32. Posted June 28, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Hey guys, have any of you followed the tips in this thread?

    Some people are reporting major speed improvements. Can any of you confirm that too?


  33. Viki
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Yes the speed issue is the only reason why i have not installed social engine please do something about it.

  34. Posted June 28, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Speed will be greatly increase if you guys develop more plugins of your own.Below there are a few recommendations of the most use plugins.

    1. Advance photo view
    2. Suggestions
    3. Pop up user info
    4. Advance wall like SEaddons
    5. Social login
    6. Virtual Gifts
    7. CCbill payment gateway

    I have about 83 plugins installed on my site ( Not all active ) it would greatly help if I could replace those with SE ones. Keep up the good work and we will continue to support !

    A few suggestion on how to speed SocialEngine site

  35. Nikitti
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    What do you mean by “most admins haven’t had [speed] issues”? You think the those who have been complaining about the speed issue were not admins? Get real Webligo and stop providing excuses.

  36. brown
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Neither VPS is enough. What Welbigo and
    3rd party developers should know is that any project starts from somewhere. You cannot start a project today and go straight for a dedicated server with very few members. It has to start somewhere. Even Facebook, Youtube, etc didn’t jump straight to dedicated server when they started out. But with a very new SE4 site, we are advised to look for a higher server for the script to work even if you have 10 members on the site.

  37. Posted June 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much @827ff0c824ca344a9c8b69d9c85f7bca:disqus ! We’ll be sure to keep you and the community at large in the loop moving forward!

  38. Posted June 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Really appreciate the vote of confidence @dc245ea9df3f90b77a420d49c4cbda87:disqus . Thanks!

  39. Posted June 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    We hear ya and will be addressing speed with a laser-like focus for our upcoming release :-) Thanks!

  40. es7
    Posted June 29, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Well-configured VPS is a perfect choice for the start. Of course if you won’t use video or chat. is hosted on a minimal VPS from linode. There are more than 10 members.

    Posted June 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Technology like BigPipe is the way to go. Currently my entire SE4 frontpage loads and renders in under 3 seconds. That is on a VPS. But, those 3 seconds are constant. Whatever link you click, you will have to wait those 3 seconds. That is what annoys people today. Facebook is just as slow, but they make sure the users sees the page load progressively. Display crucial parts first, show the rest as it comes.

  42. Randy
    Posted June 29, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for responding. I see your point, but I think one that needs to be done is to put some sort of standards in place for developers. Just today I had to pull off 2 plugins because they were messing up a new one I had put in. What is happening is the developer will say ” We don’t support 3rd party plugins, then the other developer will give you the run around as well. It is getting to the point that you say to yourself why bother? Once you get your site working, don’t buy any more plug ins and don’t upgrade. I can see their point about not wanting to support someone else s plugin but if there was a standard set we might have a lot less of this. I’m sure there’s lots of other people that feel this way. There’s been some very poor plugins advertised on this site, that should have never made it on here. Just like our forums they need to be monitored.

  43. redurbana.Org
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Right now your VPS has plenty of free memory, though load is fairly
    high. You’re averaging about 50% CPU utilization, so I could easily see
    that creating problems if your site got busy. index.php are both
    processes that are consistently using significant CPU.

    is your page completely unavailable when you’re having these problems, or is it slow/throwing errors?

  44. redurbana.Org
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    received from

    Right now your VPS has plenty of free memory, though load is fairly
    high. You’re averaging about 50% CPU utilization, so I could easily see
    that creating problems if your site got busy. index.php are both
    processes that are consistently using significant CPU.

    is your page completely unavailable when you’re having these problems, or is it slow/throwing errors?

  45. Saad
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    thats greate can you please share with us how you did this?

  46. redurbana.Org
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    How many users do you have in your page at the same times?, Because I have 1500 users in my web, but when I have 26 users online my page go down and the page go too slow.

  47. Posted July 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Have you timescale for this please? The owner of a site I host is about to abandon Social Engine precisely because of slow speeds!

  48. Anvesh
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Hello Social Engine,

    I’m very happy to see a post that is i’m waiting to see from last 2 years. I’m using SE from SE V3 and i had a good SE based site. It was the biggest and largest community site built on social engine. At that time, when i got 70 concurrent users came online at a time, My SE was about to die and it was used to take 3 minutes to load a page for my users.

    And later i was forced to stop the website in the middle just because of the speed issues. I’ve contacted so many so called big programmers, technical persons specially devoted to Social Engine and offered them thousands of dollars to make my se site faster. But none dint do that. I’ve stopped my website in the middle and i was QUIT at that time.

    But when i heard that SE V4 is coming, i thought that all these speed issues will be gone in that latest release. But nothing changed, that speed problem is still persists and i stopped all my plans on social networking sites and i dint use my SE V4 license till now.

    I don’t think, that you don’t know that the speed is main concern, issue and a big problem in socialengine till now. When around 50 to 100 users comes online at a time, your script gonna die. SE is really not a good product for serious social networking site makers.

    I’m really happy to know that you guys are concentrating on what thousands of social engine users are eagerly waiting to see. Please ty to make it best. SPEED is the most crucial thing for any website. With the current page loading speeds, really no one can’t do a serious large social network with your script.

    Please make it speed, for atleast 2k to 3K concurrent users. Because any serious community site will cross that number in an year.


  49. Posted July 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Hey @facebook-799474398:disqus,

    Thanks for asking.

    We’ve been working really hard on it and are projecting having something to show for it in 4 to 6 weeks.

  50. frank
    Posted July 4, 2012 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    speed! hurray!! Finally, speed, concurrent users, and more speed. Please!

  51. frank
    Posted July 4, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    lots of comments about plugins…and how they can slow things down, and why SE is, or isn’t developing them. SE needs its own store. It needs not so much as develop plugins but rather to make sure that plugins meet some standards. Some vital plugins, plugins dealing with revenue generation for example, can’t be allowed to attack the credibility of the platform. Start your own “s-store’. Make plug in developers meet standards that will enhance the company’s stature, not detract from it. Or, build your own critical plugins. Those would be the ones dealing with say advertising, or privacy, and so on.

    Poor quality plugins are hurting everyone. Just sayin’

  52. neg
    Posted July 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I have 2600 users. When the event comes to see photos such as for example, 100 people at once the problem starts. But it works.

    I used minify, memcache, and of CDN hosting. unfortunately does not work with gzip. I deeply regret.

  53. redurbana.Org
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    hey remove Human Verification

  54. Bajan Firefighters
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Yes, SE is still the best platform out there. We look forward to bigger and better things for the future.

  55. Grublits
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you can add different services from AWS. elasticache would be great!

  56. John
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Julie, I used to think this way as well. Let’s not kid ourselves though. Their sudden *ahem* epiphany is I’m sure more a matter of losing revenue. I was inches away from buying from SE, but found another platform that received better reviews. I’m not saying that the company I chose is great, but they’ve already proven that they are far more attentive and faster than social engine.

  57. thatmtnman
    Posted July 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    to all the critics about speed and issues related to concurrent users. I feel your pain. I really do. But the SE team is on it now, and they’re going to do a great job I bet. They know a lack of speed, and the lack of ability to handle large amounts of concurrent users will kill every single successful SE project that happens. Does anyone think SE wants that reputation? No. So as someone who has worked with them for years, I would say ‘hurray’ and hold on to your pants-I bet its going to be supersonic!

  58. thatmtnman
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Dear Team SE-its August already-can we please have an eta on the speed upgrade release date? Even a range would be great….many thanks….

  59. Pulkit
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I thought 100% resources were dedicated to developing SE4 for a better speed. Didn’t know SE5 was gonna hit us 😛

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to Post a Comment.