Branding themselves as a platform that empowers people to create their own social networks, Ning is a website builder service that now hosts over 2,000,000 networks since their inception in 2004. Think of it like creating your very own Facebook, only with a much higher degree of customizability and control. You get to set up your own professional social community with zero coding knowledge: their intuitive drag-and-drop builder allows you to create a fully-functional website with ease. More code-savvy users have the option of customizing their networks with HTML and CSS, of course, and 24/7 support is available to help you set up whatever you need if you get stuck. Integrate other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for multichannel communication, and add your own blog, photos, videos, or forums. You can even transform your social network into a money-making engine with Ning’s e-commerce module – or if you’re a charitable organization, set up fundraising campaigns and donation portals online.
Ning’s most popular plan is dubbed Performance, which accommodates up to 5 administrators, 10,000 members, 10 gigs of file storage, 5 e-mail marketing campaigns a month, and 15 RSS feeds. All plans come with their trademark drag-and-drop builder, photo and video plugins, blogs, forums, traffic analytics, a custom domain, and more. A free trial is also available.
Before you make a decision, read my colleague’s comparison of the best website builders to make sure you’re not missing out on better alternatives.