Merging and

As you know, more than a month ago we introduced — the supported Oxwall solution with the help from our friends at Skalfa.

The reasoning was simple — to stop confusing the majority of people coming to Oxwall. They want to launch their own community websites but do not know their way around technical aspects of that.

Now after a month it’s obvious that those who come to the livechat at are still confused. Typical questions we get:

  • How is different from
  • What is the difference between these 2 versions of Oxwall?
  • Can I buy this version and then install plugins from the .org version?

The thing is, has always been (with mixed success) the destination for two types of audiences at once: some looking for a product, while others needed a platform. The introduction of highlighted this discrepancy. Some people still think that is a product destination and thus assume that there are free and commercial versions of Oxwall.

To counter that confusion with a natural next step, we will separate the two destinations. The former will now become will serve mainstream users who want product, will serve developers and tech-savvy users who want platform. The site URL speaks for itself.


By making the main destination for all things Oxwall we aim to achieve the following things:

1) Most people (those needing help) will be able to get it right away — see demo, features, ask simplest questions, buy the supported solution with free installation;

2) Those having special needs with custom projects will also be able to talk to the team representatives;

3) Those who just want a free copy of Oxwall and know what to do with it, will click “Download” or “Developers” link;

4) Developers will just bookmark for all platform-, repository- and store-related things.

Basic needs of the majority are covered right at the door, sophisticated needs of the minority are a click away.


By having a dedicated developers’ resource, we’ll be able to further optimize it as such. We are planning to:

1) Open up the Github repository for the community strategically (something that existed in a shadow form before), provide all necessary Oxwall repo instruments for contributions and feedback;

2) Implement StackExchange-like forum which is a proven superior formula for question-answer types of communities instead of free-form discussions;

3) Offer nightly build downloads for plugin developers and enthusiasts.

This will be possible without the risk of increasing confusion for non-developers and non tech-savvy users. Hopefully, this is going to serve both parts of the community better.


From now on we will maintain both, the main blog (consumer-oriented, for product news), and developer blog (for platform news, beta releases and all things technical). You can expect these blogs to appeal to these separate types of audiences, removing the unnecessary confusion.


Open source projects start with communities but thrive on infrastructure. If the examples of Linux/RedHat or Drupal/Acquia are any indication, we need to make sure that both of our audiences are served well in their own distinct ways.

Since Oxwall project is past the stage of early adopters, we need to change to accommodate the needs of mainstream consumers. We strongly believe that this will help to reinvest more funds into Oxwall development, streamline serving developer community needs, and ultimately, create more quality sites built with Oxwall.


Greetings Oxwall users,

Today we are glad to announce that we’ve partnered with our friends at Skalfa (the original creators of Oxwall software) about launching — a commercial solution aimed at people who need help with launching their community websites.

Since day one there always were users in the Oxwall community who couldn’t quite cut it in the true open source fashion — download the software, deploy it on their own server, troubleshoot incompatibilities, hunt for cues in the documentation, etc. The problem was always there, we realized that and even launched premium Oxwall support section. Still the problem didn’t go, people were coming in, asking the same novice questions and leaving.

So, we asked if Skalfa could do some kind of an “official” supported solution to help those people (who went away unserved before), while Oxwall Foundation could continue focusing on the platform development.

Skalfa LLC is a company best positioned for that, being our main friend, contributor and donor all these years. Having developed the first version of Oxwall, Skalfa is now back in the game, collaborating with us tighter than ever.

So, what’s changing?

Nothing. (from Oxwall Foundation) continues to be what it is, focusing on Oxwall development. Oxwall platform is available as a free download, and some basic (mainly developer-oriented) help is offered at the forums. (from Skalfa LLC) is up and running and is welcoming people who need help with installation, custom development and additional commercial products and services. For example, Oxwall Starter package includes Skalfa’s solid portfolio of high demand Oxwall plugins.

I have a question…

Sure you do. You are welcome to visit and talk to the support team in live chat. Check it out.

We hope that by providing the “official” support for Oxwall, Skalfa will help launch more real, living Oxwall sites. This alone is the most important factor of the Oxwall project growth.

Oxwall team

Oxwall 2015

Hey everybody,

The year is off to a fast start, and January is already past without you realizing it. So it’s high time we shared our plans for 2015.

Before, let’s talk about our priorities. We have to choose wisely where to apply our effort, and here’s how we look at it. There are things that can grow to take care of themselves in the community (like any particular plugins, themes, translations and utilities) and those that require our full attention (like general direction, standards and critical platform functionality). Thus, for the next big iteration of the product (and the project) we identified key directions and objectives for this year.

CMS, interface changes

Content management has always been an underdeveloped part of Oxwall. We’ve been busy with making Oxwall better in social aspects (it’s a social network product after all), but because of that some basic tools that any website requires (like CMS) went overlooked. Having received fair criticism for that, we’ve developed our vision for content management in Oxwall’s next iteration. Together with that we refine existing interfaces and rethink some basic assumptions in the product, and how they match real life usage patterns.

This is going to be a series of releases spreading the new paradigm across the product and leaving plenty of time for user and developer adoption. Details will be gradually introduced in our Dev Diary column and beta release announcements.


Pocket version of Oxwall has been around for some time but it still lacks important features. We will be working on that front since a lot of people now use phones instead of desktops/tablets, even if Oxwall is not especially accommodating for that. We laid solid foundation for the small screen version of Oxwall but haven’t been active on feature development side yet. This will change.

To reiterate, we think that the “pocket” version of Oxwall (the one adapted for phones) differs from the desktop/tablet primarily by usage patterns, let alone obvious input/output characteristics. That’s why we made a decision to essentially build two products instead of one, so now we have to catch up in the mobile part.

Documentation, test coverage

More news coming to the Oxwall developers camp. This year we finally start covering code with tests and we’ll be working on better documentation. Right now third party developers mostly rely on the existing plugins to build their own ones. To create systematic approach to developing plugins we have to step up our game in the essential technical aspects. These works are to be launched together with the new development cycle.

All in all, we are looking into a very busy year of creating value for users and grow Oxwall as the product and the project. Although we are a small team and our capabilities are limited, we expect 2015 to be the year of making the biggest difference for users in a long time. Thanks for creating with us!

Oxwall team

Oxwall Store: important improvements

Hello there Oxwallers,

Our community grows. It’s exciting to see this growth since it assures that our work is important, and warrants that Oxwall is here to stay. With user growth some aspects of the community work also need to evolve, and today it’s the Oxwall Store that is affected.

We just released some small and big improvements that I want to introduce. They are based on developers’, designers’ and users’ feedback, and also on our own careful examination of the usage patterns. Let’s look in detail:

My purchases:

  • Item list is now divided into Plugins and Themes;
  • Search by item name (new);
  • Add review for purchased items right there (new).

My items:

  • Item list is now divided into Plugins and Themes;
  • Search by license key and buyer’s username.

Item listing improvements:

  • Oxwall Store now supports version compatibility between items and the platform. From now on every item should state platform versions that it supports, and users will see it;
  • Mandatory “Terms of Use” field for items (new);
  • Optional “ReadMe” field for items (new).

Suspended items:

  • Suspended items are now shown to license holders in “My Items”;
  • “Item suspended” page is shown to all but license holders;
  • Suspended items can’t be deleted by owners but will be deleted in 4 months unless activated by Store moderators.


  • Now authors can not only modify but also delete their reviews.

Apart from these changes there are many tiny things changed to help developers better manage their items.

Policy updates

Last but not least, we have updated Oxwall Store Terms of Use, and added Store Item Policy and Item Review Policy. Everybody is encouraged to actually read this document, it’s written by humans for humans in the most comprehensive way possible.

Enjoy the updated Oxwall Store and leave your feedback! We are always listening. Also, there’s a special Store-related forum, so developers can find additional technical info and questions.

Nominate Oxwall for People’s Choice CMS Awards

Hi guys!

We hope you are enjoying the summer (as well as our latest release), and have some free time on your hands. Feel like giving us a small pat on the back for all the work we put into the project? Here’s your chance.

The nominations for the annual People’s Choice CMS Awards are open until August 15, and we need a little help from you to get to the finals. We already claimed the accolades for Best Social Network Solution in the past, and it’d be nice to repeat that.

So here’s where you come in –

  • Go to People’s Choice CMS Awards nomination form;
  • Enter your name and email;
  • Enter “Oxwall” as the product name;
  • Tick off the “Best Social Networking Solution” “Best Free PHP CMS” and “Best Open Source PHP CMS” categories;
  • Give an example of when you’ve used Oxwall or list URLs of sites you’ve created with it.

And that’s it. The process is free and takes only a couple of minutes, but it gives us an enormous confidence boost, confirming that we are moving in the right direction.

Oxwall Foundation

Vote for Oxwall at 2013 Critic’s Choice CMS Awards

We are busy with Oxwall 1.6, we just gave developers enough material to be busy with, and now we have an idea what the rest of the community could do.

Oxwall has been nominated for the Critic’s Choice CMS Awards again this year. I’ll remind you that in 2012 Oxwall won People Choice award in the Best Social Network Solution category, thanks to you.

So, if you want to vote for Oxwall this year again, here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Critic’s Choice CMS Awards homepage;
  2. Enter your name and email;
  3. In the Best Social Network Solution category (last on the form) choose Oxwall and submit.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to show your appreciation for our hard work, while we fight for your convenience. With Oxwall 1.6 we are aiming to repeat and exceed the impact of Oxwall 1.5 last year, so now you can do it, too.

Thank you,
Emil Sarnogoev & the Oxwall Foundation team

Oxwall plugin development examples + public repository

While the product team is deep in Oxwall 1.6, we have an idea of what third party developers could do in the meantime.

Oxwall plugin skeleton

Newbie in Oxwall development? We were thinking of you. Today we want to introduce probably the easiest and fastest way for you to start and get up to speed with the platform. Experienced Oxwall developer will also find it useful to complete and refine their knowledge.

Here goes Oxwall plugin skeleton. Its name speaks for itself — this plugin implements a carcass for real world plugins, demonstrating working examples of various pieces of Oxwall functionality. It tackles:

  • File structure
  • Developer Tools
  • plugin.xml
  • Routing
  • Localization
  • Forms
  • Database
  • File storage
  • Sending email
  • Notifications
  • Newsfeed
  • Floatbox
  • Widgets
  • Access Level
  • Profile Questions
  • Cron jobs
  • Ping
  • Plugin installation/activation

As you can see, the range of functionality is extensive. It should help you create plugins of any levels of complexity — all with the best practices from the Oxwall dev team. Benefits? Better compatibility, less inter-plugin conflicts, faster store review times, and ultimately, better user experience.

How to start:

  1. Download and install the plugin on a test setup (not on your live site!);
  2. Sign in as admin, open URL;
  3. Find what you are interested in, say Database;
  4. View how the example works, and find listed code files implementing the example. All of this Oxwall plugin sample code is self-explanatory. Non-intuitive situations are commented along right in the code.

Development for Oxwall can be easier and/or trickier than you think. See how we do it, do it with us, and create new plugins for the Oxwall Store!

Oxwall public repository

Apart from your own Oxwall plugins, this new knowledge can also have a good use.
From now on, developers can submit patches to the stable branch, if they find bugs, inconsistencies, or optimization opportunities.

Repository URL:

So, developers, we are waiting for your contributions. Oh, and don’t forget about Oxwall coding standards while creating your patches and plugins.

As a real open source project, we are gradually opening up and stepping towards decentralization. So, we think it’s crucial to enhance and maintain communication with developers through code. Exciting times to be a part of Oxwall movement!

Thank you,
Oxwall Foundation team

Oxwall 1.6 is delayed

Earlier we announced to release it in June, then we changed the target to August, now we are doing it again. Yes. Sorry.

We are very aware about armies of users waiting 1.6 with mobile solutions, and we know that expectations are high. This is the exact reason why we are taking more time to develop and polish every detail.

I’ll remind you that we are not just making “mobile versions” of essential plugins — our task is to also provide a basis for mobile plugins by other developers. Oxwall is a platform. Originally, Oxwall 1.0 also took much longer than it would take to just develop its community site features. And inevitably, also longer than we planned.

Oxwall 1.5 received spectacular feedback and community movement. We are aiming at repeating and exceeding this with 1.6. Having said that, I want to assure you that we are not making this mistake of miscommunication again. Target release date will be announced when we are 100% able to meet it, about the time Oxwall 1.6 enters the internal testing stage.

Oxwall has been known for its quality and support beyond what people expect from open source projects of similar size. We will do our best to keep it this way further. It’s your support and feedback that enables us to do so.

Thank you,
Oxwall Foundation team

SkaDate Lite: Oxwall for dating

While we work on this much awaited release (1.6 with mobile), our friends from Skalfa shipped the first commercial product based on Oxwall – SkaDate Lite.

This is an impressive product and a business solution for setting up an online dating site. Skalfa has been working in online dating market for almost a decade, so it’s fascinating to see Oxwall platform as the basis for a sophisticated business product.

Technically, SkaDate Lite consists of the Oxwall platform, specific dating plugins, dating site themes, and support solutions. A smart move by a commercial company that opens up the potential of the platform.

Right now we are talking to several other entities who plan to create vertical products based on the Oxwall core. We are ready to offer all kinds of assistance for that. This was our long-term goal from the very start, since Oxwall is a sophisticated platform that provides instant community features for any type of a website. SkaDate Lite is the first, but definitely not the last Oxwall-based third party product.

This is only the beginning.

The state of Oxwall 1.6

We are 5 days before the end of June, which we promised as the month of Oxwall mobile release. I have to inform you that we move the target release date to August.

We are deep in design and development, we make a lot of iterations to finally deliver the best result. This forces us to change plans because we always prefer quality to speed. That way we can deliver the results that you’ve come to expect from Oxwall.

This piece of news may disappoint somebody, but it’s all about not disappointing you with the product.

Critics Choice CMS Awards

Now, while we are working hard to put our best effort into your hands for free, you can do something in return. CMS Critic announced nominations for Critics Choice CMS Awards for this year.

Just to remind you, in 2012 Oxwall won People’s Choice award in the “Best Social Network Solution” nomination. Many of you contributed to this recognition, and now it’s time to repeat and outperform it.

  • Go to Critics Choice CMS Awards nomination form;
  • Enter your name and email;
  • Enter “Oxwall” as the product name;
  • Tick off the “Best Social Networking Solution’ category.

You are done. Oxwall is on its way to conquer the world.

We are excited with the growth of the project and can’t wait to give you the next major piece of Oxwall evolution. Let’s create the next wave of the social Internet together.



Oxwall Foundation