SocialEngine Blog

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Ask John: Send Us Your Questions!

Hello, SocialEngine fans. This blog post brings back our Ask John spotlights, which highlights questions from you, our community, for our lead developer, John. For anyone who doesn’t know, John is the lead architect behind both SE Cloud and SE PHP. He knows the source code and everything else inside and out, so we’re opening up his knowledge to your questions. Please leave a comment with your question for John, or scan through comments after people start to share so you can upvote any comment you would like John to answer. Once we gather enough questions, we’ll write up a new post featuring your questions with John’s answers. Feel free to ask John anything related to our products. Questions in the past included ideal settings for caching, using Linux versus Windows, and Mootools versus Jquery. We’ll consider all types of questions, so go ahead and submit what’s on your mind. This is your chance to pick the brain of our lead developer, so jump in the comments and get started!


  1. Stepan
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    When will you finally release a new version of SE PHP? And do you plan to continue working on it and releasing monthly updates like before? If not which other social network platforms would you recommend that have active development?

  2. Posted October 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    We are still actively working on SE PHP development. We are working on our next release and are almost finished! We will let you all know as soon as it is done.

  3. Demetrios Fotographia
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    You need to do so so pelted revamping to eliminate all the speed issues people across the world are having. You have one of the best platforms IF you guys would spend the time to get all the bugs out and address the speed issue. Small speed enhancement don’t quite do it. Do you really want to be left behind or really take the market. You have seen many gripes and requests about this but you guys continue to do enhancements that are nice but just don’t matter if the speed isn’t there.

  4. Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Just waiting for the latest release of SE PHP…….it will be nice to add a easy css for each page if we wish to change the background-color or image…..ect
    and also try to implement the location of the member to be traced out automatically that frauds ….ect can be minimised and the opp member can identify from the member is from..
    please make the latest changes be very flexible and very advanced that members who join do find it effective
    many times i have seen that u guys ask us to question u if any doubts….but u never implement them…..

  5. Posted October 17, 2013 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    I desperately require to upgrade a heavily customized socialengine 3.15 version site to the latest one. We had integrated se 3.15 with vbulletin forum. Our portal is quite heavy with approximately half a million members and 2 million pages. Can you suggest a step by step upgrade method for it?

  6. Jim Manriquez
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Is there an anticipated release date for this new version?

  7. bwglive
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    The comment and passive interactive system (likes) seems to be about 6 or 7 years old. Will there be a better interactive system for PHP where comments can be viewed a discussion thread, filter capability, ability to add photos/videos to a comment, better integration with facebook comments, and a possibly expansion of the liking system into thumbs up/thumbs down, or vote up/down on posts and comments.

  8. Lance Peet
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Do you have a roadmap of what you plan for SE PHP, it would be great to see something like that so customers like myself know what you have planned.

    Also, I’m registered to your site and I should not have to create an account with Disqus to post feedback for you. I think you are self defeating the purpose of what your asking from your customers.

  9. Chance Trahan
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Can you suggest a way to take automatic-scheduled backups of database and files? That would be excellent advice. =]

    Posted October 18, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    I too would like to know when an update for SE php is coming!!! As well, what is on the roadmap, both for the next update but also future updates. Please!

  11. skidpics
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I remember reading a blog post that you hired an outside developer to study the SEphp code to find alternate ways to speed up the core.. How is this progress going?

  12. ayunitah
    Posted October 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    When SE can use bank transactions, particularly currency IDR (Indonesian Rupiah) and use the currency around the world. Because many developers create plug SE business. Thank you.

  13. Posted October 21, 2013 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    well…….when there is already facbook…y do u guys want same as facebook….? y cant it be a bit ahead and dffnt from fb….y wld memebers join if urs is just like fb…??

  14. Posted October 21, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    hope they get it done fast

  15. Varen Swaab
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I’m using SE PHP and various first and third-party plugins. I would like to enable users to upload photos from their mobile device while creating new content (using the mobile plugin) but every time I attempt to add a photo from my iPhone the image is replaced by some nutty placeholder. This happens regardless of which plugin I’m trying to upload from.

    Oddly, when I try to replace that placeholder image from the same device in the same post, the image uploads a new photo from the phone just fine and displays it perfectly. This says to me that you have purposefully disabled the image upload ability from mobile, but why?

    I purchased SE and several plugins with the expectation that the mobile plugin had the same functionality as the standard desktop templates and now I’m frustrated and disappointed that my members cannot add content with photos from their devices. It seems like this would be a top development priority for you but I can’t understand why this isn’t here yet? Please help me understand this!

  16. Joe
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I am missing something. I see instructions to go to Admin and change language manager. But i don’t see that. I don’t see layout editor or how to create a page of content with an editor. Can you point me in the right direction?

  17. gabry
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Hy , using SE 4.6.0 i have started a fresh install of SE php.After finished the install i have made a backup without using any plugins etc. or make some changes in admin panel.

    After i have played a little with my website i tried to use my backup so after i have uploaded the sql file i have received a big sql error. I tried 3 times and the same error appears.

    I tried also some other sql files from joomla and wordpress and i don’t have this error, only with the sql file from the SE.

    I repeat that is a database backup of a fresh and clean install without any modificationsin admin panel and the script is installed on my VPS.

    Here is the error …please some advice :

    There is a chance that you may have found a bug in the SQL parser.
    Please examine your query closely, and check that the quotes are correct
    and not mis-matched. Other possible failure causes may be that you are
    uploading a file with binary outside of a quoted text area. You can also
    try your query on the MySQL command line interface. The MySQL server
    error output below, if there is any, may also help you in diagnosing the
    problem. If you still have problems or if the parser fails where the
    command line interface succeeds, please reduce your SQL query input to
    the single query that causes problems, and submit a bug report with the
    data chunk in the CUT section below:

    —-BEGIN CUT—-




    —-END CUT—-

    —-BEGIN RAW—-

    ERROR: C1 C2 LEN: 1 2 11

    MySQL: 5.5.32-cll
    PMA: 4.0.5
    PHP VER,OS: 5.3.17 Linux
    LANG: en
    —-END RAW—-

    SQL query:


    MySQL said:

    #1064 – You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that
    corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use
    near ‘’ at line 1

  18. Traian Borgovan
    Posted October 22, 2013 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    So, the biggest problem is the speed, so all social networks SE, it is very difficult to grow

  19. Chance Trahan
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    You need to find a new host! Preferably a host that is easy on the wallet & knows what they’re doing (Specializes in SOCIALENGINE hosting and configuration)

  20. Chance Trahan
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    You NEED a [TOUCH] mobile plugin, allow users to choose between desktop and mobile versions. Do not force them to do things they possibly don’t want to do (Although it really is your choice, but I advise heavily against it). You never know, your users have the choice to leave your site or not, and if you force things on them, they find other networks that won’t.

  21. Chance Trahan
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    You need a reliable host that knows what they’re doing. You need to stay in constant contact with them… If they ignore your requests or tickets then it’s time to find a new host that won’t!

  22. Chance Trahan
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    I suggest you work closely with your host on this issue. This is largely out of their hands, the documentation is thorough but you really should be asking your host this question, as they are more careful than you will be about not losing your data or members.

  23. Chance Trahan
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    There is no problem with speed, do you see facebook struggling with speed? It is all about your hosting! Ask your host why it is so slow to load, if they don’t give you a straight forward answer, then simply switch to a better and much faster host that does answer you and gives you what you need, and not a bunch of excuses.

  24. Chance Trahan
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    It all depends on how competent your hosting provider and their technical support team are! If they are not, then this means you need to find a host that specializes in Social Engine setup and config.

  25. ChunkyMonkey
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I have been an SE user for 3 years now and I have not seen any real action taken against dealing with the speed issue. I also feel we have been neglected for a few months now as well with not so much as even a word on a new update. I have a decent community but it has unfortunately become apparent to me that SE just does not care about us as their customers and could care less about the thousands of people requesting a rewrite to speed the engine up. I have received handfuls of messages about the speed of my site. I have even went and removed/disabled a a lot of plugins from the core to 3rd party just to get things a bit faster. It has not. I was very happy at first with SE but it is very hard to maintain new members on my site when the speed is too slow and there is nothing i can do about it. I upped my server which helped a bit but this framework is clunky as hell still and I won’t pay $200 a month for a dedicated if i can’t keep members active.

    Unfortunately I have stared rebuilding and duplicating my site using another framework and if SE don’t handle their stuff by the time I’m done, well then I’m done with SE….Now Quit with the BS and WORK ON THE DAMN SPEED!

  26. Dizzybusy Mamas
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Site speed has been an issue even with changing server packages. Also site urls are not the least bit seo helpful. Are there solutions for SE site owners who would like these issues fixed. I too am debating moving to another platform for cost effectiveness.

  27. Patrice Calligaris
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Look at Apple as an example. It’s all about details ! I have been requesting the ability to remove the default icons since years and you never done it. These icons are horrible, so PCs and do not match all themes. They even give a bad look to some themes. When you will care about details and customer requests, social engine will grow. But for now, I think the PHP platform is dead.

  28. Stuart William Ross
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I’ve found the Social Engine and Plug-in framework a robust set of tools for addressing architectural issues of a community. But I’m perplexed at what appears to be an aversion to addressing or improving content publishing and maintenance (HTML tools). I have found the existing resources lack the flexibility to incorporate site/community wide layer of publishing similar to what one would encounter in WordPress.

  29. thatmtnman
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    let me guess, you just happen ‘to know a guy’? The speed issues are well know and have nothing to do with typical dedicated hosting. Cloud hosting has unlimited resources and you still can’t get 100 concurrent users on the system without crashing it, never mind thousands of users. Wrong place to try to sell stuff.

  30. thatmtnman
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    amen! what framework?

  31. thatmtnman
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    now you’re getting spammy…

  32. thatmtnman
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    yeah, I agree on the disquis thing…esp since SE sells something similar…not much confidence in their own stuff.

  33. Chance Trahan
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Will you PLEASE make posts and comments editable after they are posted with no time restrictions on SE-PHP? This feature was promised over 6 months ago by Kim Jung and had never made it’s debut! :d

  34. Varen Swaab
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Chance, Sorry but I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m talking about having users upload pics from their phones via the Mobile plugin. Nobody is forcing anyone to do anything… please explain…

  35. Chance Trahan
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Using publish to Twitter , the updates containing a link typed out like this: are published on Twitter in full HTML, showing the A HREF and NOFOLLOW code and everything. Will you please fix this inconsistency?

  36. vinienco
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    For all on this thread that have issues with speed.
    i has speed issues until i changed to a host that has SE specific solutions.

    I use webritam/ hostiso. can be found in the 3rd party app section.

    my site is fast now.

  37. vinienco
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    i has speed issues until i changed to a host that has SE specific solutions.

    I use webritam/ hostiso. can be found in the 3rd party app section.

    my site is fast now.

  38. vinienco
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    SEO IS a biggy for me too. ive got the speed sorted out tho.

    i has speed issues until i changed to a host that has SE specific solutions.
    I use webritam/ hostiso. can be found in the 3rd party app section.
    my site is fast now.

  39. Posted October 25, 2013 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    My website is amazing, but what’s the use of everything I’ve worked on if SocialEngine PHP is so slow?? Please fix the SPEED!!!

  40. Rafik Rahman
    Posted October 25, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    when SE can use bank transfer transaction, in order to support the use of all global currency?????

  41. skidpics
    Posted October 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    That’s not an answer..

  42. skidpics
    Posted October 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    You can. Just replace the images pointing to the bad icons with a set you like.

  43. skidpics
    Posted October 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Who uses bank transfers? It’s not commonly practices that I am aware of unless you are running a green dot scam…

  44. skidpics
    Posted October 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Good luck with the site..

  45. skidpics
    Posted October 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have that problem.. hmm.

  46. Chance Trahan
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Please explain how telling someone their host is incompetent when they flat out are is spammy? If you have a better suggestion for them then I would love to hear it. Just go ahead, don’t be afraid there, shout your epic knowledge right on out at anytime now. Please enlighten us oh great one.

  47. Chance Trahan
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    You can do it using the touch mobile and tablet version for only 40 bucks. It’s legit!

  48. Loren Cramp
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I agree .. I only lasted 2 days with avixe before I went to hostiso .. the best customer service. As soon as I have a problem, they get back to me within 2-3 hrs and on weekends too! Worth spending the extra money for super fast speed and almost 24/7 support :)

  49. Austin Crafts
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Are there any hopes of creating an API/code documentation for PHP SE for developers who wish to be able to fully customize their site? I’ve twiddled with code here and there to add custom functionality but if there was documentation that would make the work flow much more efficient. Also a quick custom module guide would be extremely beneficial.

  50. Gerald Sanchez
    Posted October 28, 2013 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    hi i would like to test the install trial. I’ve checked the server properties of hostpapa and everything is accepted/ok and all the files from 4.6.0 are complete on air, CHMODs are set too.

    I still bekome a not found page “error 404″ for install

    can you tell me please what’s the problem? is it a server problem or SE?


  51. ChunkyMonkey
    Posted October 28, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I am rebuilding in Joomla.

  52. Patrice Calligaris
    Posted October 29, 2013 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    It’s a nightmare to do that ! icons are placed everywhere !! They all should be in the same location.

  53. Jacqui Seddon
    Posted October 29, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    There is a major bug in the search functionality that overrides all the restricted permissions that you have put on your social network. All restricted content can be found through the search box, and accessed by simply clicking on it! If a member enters a word in the search box, everything that includes that word in the entire database appears in the list, and the member can click on it to see it, even if they do not belong to the network it is assigned to. This is a big issue for us, and needs fixing urgently.

  54. Posted November 2, 2013 at 2:38 am | Permalink
  55. Posted November 2, 2013 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    There are 3rd party plugins for this. I can’t remember what they are, but a search in the plugins section will reveal them.

  56. Posted November 2, 2013 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Site urls can be made simpler with at least 2 3rd party plugins. Check the plugins section. There’s also a 3rd party plugin for speed called Minify. However, I have just created a social engine so I haven’t tested these plugins, yet.

  57. Rafik Rahman
    Posted November 3, 2013 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Maybe you are mistaken, because not all users use the SE automatic transaction paypal and 2chackout, could probably use another transaction system that can use all of the country’s currency.

  58. Stepan
    Posted November 4, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Can see v. 4.7 for download)) so excited..

  59. gabry
    Posted November 6, 2013 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    I think you did not read my message very good …i have my own VPS and is un-managed … all that’s happening on my VPS is made by me … i have installed all the mod’s and optimizations requested by SE script plus APC,memcache etc etc … all other scripts on my server like wordpress,joomla etc they don’t have this error on database only SE is the only one …. how do you explain ?
    And why to change my hosting provider ? the only thing they are doing is to give me the VPS i am doing all the jobs with it they don’t touch it.
    About the money i am paying 22 euros per month for Genuine Intel(R) CPU @ 2.27GHzX3,100Gb space,unlimited band,1Gb memory,WHM-Cpanel and 6 ip’s included all for this price …

  60. Chance Trahan
    Posted November 20, 2013 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Thank you!!!

  61. Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Glad I could help. :) Also, a lot of hosts have backup software. I just joined hostiso and the site speeded up a lot and they have backup software.

  62. Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks a lot for the suggestion. :) I just joined hostiso through hire experts and my site speeded up majorly. I’m not an affiliate (yet) but I just listened to this advice. I was even on a cloud host and it wasn’t as fast.

  63. Posted November 21, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Also thank you for emphasizing a host specializing in social engine hosting. I joined hostiso and that made my site fast.

  64. vinienco
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    good to hear Yuna. they are an excellent host and SE ‘specialists’

  65. Posted November 28, 2013 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    I would like to be able to price the subscriptions with checklists or checkboxes. Then, people would be able to customize their own packages. That would probably increase communities ability to sell.

  66. Chance Trahan
    Posted January 10, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    HostISO is crap, and no I will not tell you who hosts me. I do not trust HoSTISO!!! They try to hack your site and ddos it until you go running back to them, that is illegal to do and it is NOT good practice!!!

  67. Posted August 26, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Hi Bill, Hope all is well! For installation and for help getting started with setting up your site, refer to the Getting Started article in our Knowledgebase,

    For tips on how to optimize your site speed, refer to the Speed Enhancement Tips article in our Knowledgebase

    For any other support you can view our Knowledgebase to browse our collection of support articles,

    I hope this helps!

  68. Posted January 28, 2015 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    I’ve passed this along to our PHP Product Manager. Thanks for heightening this issue.

  69. Michael Mcmenamin
    Posted February 9, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    is the adding members feature unlimited on cloud or does it have a members limit

  70. Posted February 9, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    There is no hard limit, but we do have soft limits in place to ensure the platform does not get overcrowded.

  71. Michael Mcmenamin
    Posted February 9, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    thank you for replying and what is the soft limits

  72. Posted February 9, 2016 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    We don’t publish them as each usage scenario is different. You could have 1,000 members that post and interact a lot and could be considered overcrowding, others could have 10,000 members with no issues (we have several communities in that range, and above).

  73. Posted March 3, 2016 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Hello Ashish, please make sure that this file “/var/www/html/application/libraries/Zend/Db/Profiler.php” has enough permissions (i.e. 644) and also please open this file and make sure that the file is not empty. You can also check re-uploading this file from downloaded SE native files to make sure that no customization has been done.
    If you still face the same issue, then please file a support ticket or send an email to along with your site’s details to enable our team look deeper into this issue on your specific installation. Thanks.

  74. Scott Jones
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Just purchased a S.E. php-pro package last month the site is experiencing high traffic on the server with many processes open at the same time. We are a small site with only about 500 users so far and growing daily, and expect to hit nearly 4500 by end of the year. Any Server settings or Server Management that we can apply to help with the processor overload… We are currently running on a 6 x2.80GHz, 8 RAM, with 8 TB Bandwidth and with 12,000plus page views a day we are still bogging down. Scott J. Adm.

  75. Posted April 4, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the question – the answer isn’t simple and will depend on your exact use case. We recommend employing help of a 3rd party developer specializing in scaling.

    I would suggest looking at caching such as cloudflare as you have quite a few pageviews to relatively low members.

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