This Developer Spotlight features Vidit and Niranjan of longtime SocialEngine development team, SocialEngineAddOns. These prolific module developers provide customization and support services for the SocialEngine community, as well as some of the highest rated add-ons. Here’s Vidit and Niranjan!
SocialEngineAddons: Our team has been developing social networking software for a long time. In 2008, we came across SocialEngine for the first time when it proved to be the best platform for a Client’s project. We had developed modules for other platforms previously, so moving to plugin development for SocialEngine was a natural progression for us. Thus, SocialEngineAddOns was born!
SocialEngine: That’s great. You have quite the plugin selection! Which ones are the most popular?
SocialEngineAddOns: The Directory / Pages Plugin is our most popular and most appreciated plugin. We are ourselves surprised to see the numerous ways in which this is being used by our Clients. Our Advanced Photo Albums Plugin is also a favorite of a large number of SocialEngine communities and seeing it display photos beautifully on sites brings a proud smile on our faces . The Advanced Activity Feeds / Wall Plugin is one plugin which was developed due to popular demand and we incorporated a lot of features from Client suggestions. Our Advertisements / Community Ads Plugin is used by many to monetize their social networks. Our other popular plugins worth mentioning are: Advanced Facebook Integration Plugin, Suggestions / Recommendations / People you may know & Inviter plugin, Listings / Catalog Showcase Plugin, and Documents / Scribd iPaper Plugin.
SocialEngine: You generously offer free plugins to the community as well, why’s that?
SocialEngineAddOns: The plugins that we are offering for free are high quality plugins and have been in popular demand. We decided to offer these plugins for free to thank the SocialEngine community for showing appreciation for our work, and we believe that the features provided by these plugins are essential for all communities. Just like our other plugins, we are committed to provide regular upgrades for our free plugins as well.
SocialEngine: How do you decide on what new features to develop? How is developing with our platform?
SocialEngineAddOns: We believe that for a feature to be successful on a site, apart from its specifications, its user experience and administrative flexibility are equally important. Whenever we have a new idea for plugin development or feature enhancement, we ask some of our Clients for their views, who give us valuable suggestions in the process. We hold brainstorming sessions within our team over these ideas. In this way, we are able to get the right functionality specifications for our products. We also take up those ideas for development for which we receive numerous requests from Clients.
Our team enjoys developing for SocialEngine because of its modular architecture, code quality and the endless possibilities that can be achieved with it. We have worked on other platforms as well, but SocialEngine is by far the best and will surely continue to be so. We are committed to contributing our best for the growth of SocialEngine.
SocialEngine: What types of customization services do you provide?
SocialEngineAddOns: We receive frequent requests for customizations ranging from complete new plugin developments, customization of our plugins, feature enhancements, etc. However, we are able to take up very few of these because of time and manpower constraints. In many cases, when Clients’ requirements could be fulfilled with an existing 3rd-party plugin or administration setting, we provide them with appropriate options.
SocialEngine: What future plans can you share with your fans?!
SocialEngineAddOns: We have some exciting releases coming up in the next few weeks. One of our goals is to develop products which increase the applications in which SocialEngine can be used and you will see some plugins in this direction. We’ve got some surprises for you
SocialEngine: What tips do you recommend to new SocialEngine users? Any tips for SE veterans?
SocialEngineAddOns: We have observed that many new SocialEngine Clients are not able to make the most out of the powerful core SocialEngine features like Member Levels, Networks, Profile Types, Performance & Caching, etc, although these could be very useful for their communities. Eventually, when they realize the worth of these features, the re-configuration of site’s settings becomes cumbersome. Thus, we advise everyone to go thoroughly through the Documentation, Knowledgebase and Video Tutorials on SocialEngine.net. It is equally important to explore the administration panel of SocialEngine core and the plugins so that all possibilities are well known before beginning site configuration. We provide helpful FAQs in all our plugins.
Once the community is set up, it is very important to get the site buzzing with activity. Users should get to see something new everytime they visit the site. Site administrators should identify some loyal users and gather feedback from them.
SocialEngine: Some great tips, thanks! So our clients give you positive reviews for the quality of your plugins and support service. What motivates you to provide good products and support?
SocialEngineAddOns: Developing for SocialEngine has become our passion. I think this is what enables us to develop awesome plugins. We love what we do. Appreciation for our work from our Clients is also a big motivating factor. Testimonials via emails or positive reviews inspire us to provide quality support and enhancements in our products. Top-notch customer support service complements our software products. We realize that providing effective support is an important part of our Client relationships and crucial for their websites.
SocialEngine: Any closing thoughts?
SocialEngineAddOns: SocialEngine’s and the community’s growth is our growth. We would like to thank our Clients for their trust in us, and the SocialEngine team for their great product. Thanks to Alex, Charlotte and John to give life to SocialEngine. A special cheers goes out to our team which works hard and enjoys together. By the way, our whole team recently went for an exciting camping and rafting trip in the Himalayas Finally Matt, thanks for this opportunity to connect with the community.
SocialEngine: Thank you, guys. We look forward to your release surprises!
SocialEngineAddOns is offering a special discount of 10% on all orders till 31st May via the Coupon Code: THANKS10