DZOIC Handshakes Review
The DZOIC Handshakes social networking software has been around since 2005. DZOIC LLC the company behind this social networking platform has had a lot of success in the world of social networking and video tube sites. DZOIC Handshakes is a lightweight social networking script with a lot of popular features found in social networking today. DZOIC also sells a video tube script called ClipHouse which is a leader in building sites similar to YouTube. At the time of the review DZOIC Handshakes is currently at version 4.1
DZOIC Handshakes is another social networking script that does not have the most straightforward installation. The script requires either Flash Media Server (FMS) which costs money per each license or Red5 if you want to take advantage of audio and video recording as well as video chat functionality. Both FMS and Red5 are server side installations which require some knowledge of linux. If you have a good support team with your web hosting company they may be able to assist with the installation and configuration of these services. Out side of the server side dependencies the DZOIC Handshakes installation is pretty easy. As with most other social networking scripts on the market, their is a wizard based installer script. One just needs to upload the script to their web server, create the necessary databases and initiate the installation script. DZOIC also offers a paid installation service whereby their staff will install the server dependencies of either FMS or Red5 and install the DZOIC Handshakes script for you for an additional fee.
II. DZOIC Handshakes built in features
It appears the DZOIC Handshakes has not been updated in a while (version 4.1 was released on 06/09/2011). The two newest features to this script are as follows:
- Activity Wall – This is your standard activity feed that your users can use to post messages, share links, events, videos and photos and chat back and forth with other user’s walls.
- Q&A Module – This module allows users to post questions to the entire social networking site. Users can then respond with their answers to the questions posed.
Additional features of the DZOIC Handshake platform are:
- Forum – Users can post and reply to topics in the forum. As an administrator you can assign forum moderators and control what threads are allowed. You can also sticky specific posts.
- Photo Crop Tool – This allows users to upload photos with a lot of content and crop only the portion of the photo they want to display.
- Video Chat – This is a great plugin for any social network as it allows users to interact face to face through your site. The server requirements are a bit steep but if you can use this feature your users will love it.
- Music and Videos – Users can upload both music and video files to your site to share with the community.
- Chat rooms and Instant Messaging – DZOIC Handshakes uses Flash Chat for chat rooms and instant messaging of users on the site.
Other modules common to social networks and part of DZOIC Handshakes are: Events, Blogs, Classifieds, Clubs (Groups), and polls.
- Admin Console – Using the Admin Console, you can enable and disable modules, view member activity, choose different colors and themes for your site. If you are interested in earning money from your site you can do so by creating multiple membership levels and prices for each package. In addition you can sell featured placement for blogs, classified ads and clubs to members. The script also supports advertisement campaigns with targeting options.
DZOIC has a few 1st party plugins that are beneficial but not included with the core script. They include the following:
- Video Ads Plugin – This is another great mean to monetize your site. With this tool you can display advertisements prior, midway though or at the end of any video content on your site.
- Video Grabber Plugin – This allows your users to easily import video content from YouTube by entering the video URL.
- Load Balance Plugin – This allows you to utilize multiple servers for your social networking site and spread the load across them. This is great for large social networking sites.
III. DZOIC Support Community and 3rd Party Developers Area
DZOIC has a community forum where DZOIC Handshakes license holders can post questions and answers. The community does not appear to be as active as those of phpFox, SocialEngine or BoonEx Dolphin. Also DZOIC does not have a marketplace dedicated to 3rd party modules. They do have a section to link users to developers but not a full on marketplace similar to the scripts listed in the previous sentence.
IV. Final Overview
DZOIC Handshakes is in dire need of an update. The last update to this script was over two years ago. If you take a look at the demo page you will see that the profile and features of the site look very plain and old. The script has no trial license and retails for $249.00. For the cost of the script and the fact that their is limited support and updates I would not recommend utilizing DZOIC Handshakes if you were going to build a social network today. If the developers at DZOIC were to do an overhaul on the script and bring it up to date my opinion may change. If you want information on some higher recommended scripts take a look at our phpFox review, SocialEngine review, or BoonEx Dolphin review.