Review Summary

Highly Customizable But Behind the Curve in Areas
Tiered with Free Option
Cost Info: 
Free option has member, transfer, file space and other limitations.
Strong and friendly page/layout controls, Highly customizable user profiles
No threading or quoting in forums, feature-weak subgroups
Editor Rating: 

If you take a look around you'll find many references to sprūz among those seeking a social networking solution. It made the short list for many who were seeking an alternative when Ning began to charge a fee for all sites. Beyond that it can be difficult to find info on this 2007 startup based in Seymour, Tennessee. Most of the information I was able to find about the company was contained in their contacts to site "owners" archived in their forums and included the common promises and reasons why they would be able to continue offering a free product.

Sprūz does, indeed, have some things going for it. It has some very strong tools for customizing pages and layouts including a drag and drop block-style layout editor. From robust user profiles that include to ability to add custom fields to a very granular user permissions/roles administration, it's obvious that sprūz has put a lot of attention and effort into specific facets of the site. Unfortunately, it appears that other areas have been neglected as a result. For example, the forums offer no ability to quote and they are not threaded. Subgroups are probably the weakest link lacking the ability to create group events, house group photos, or subscribe to group forum posts. These are glaring oversights in an otherwise solid platform. For what it's worth, my test sites on sprūz tended to be slower than others. YMMV.

If layout customization is important and you aren't in need of feature-rich subgroups and forums, sprūz may be a platform you want to look into.

Significant Feature Notes

Resources - Owner support community. Support tickets available with paid plans. Setup and Design services available at extra cost. Reseller program.

Pricing - Tiered with free option (transfer, space, broadcast email, and member (250) limited. No downloads, video uploading, content templates, company support). 3 other tiered plans that increase the limited items and provide additional features.

General Use - User friendly. Well organized. RSS capabilities. Activity Stream.

Admin - Easily access statistics like limited items (members, traffic, file space). Limited widgets available to add. Several levels of permissions available if needed. Highly customizable user profiles, including custom fields/questions. Ability to collect money from members with the reported caveat that money must go toward services at sprūz.

Layout – Very strong feature. Ability to add individual pages to site. Nice drag and drop, block-style, layout editor, including templates for layout "zones". Plenty of color/style customization options. If you have the time, you can get pretty detailed in the customization.

Forums - Very basic. No quoting. No threading. No ability to subscribe to forums; only topics. Email notifications are available.

Events - RSVP, start and end time, comments, adjust when comments are allowed and by who. Strong features but missing recurring events and built-in map generation based on location.

Groups - Weak Point. Has own forum and group permissions, but that's it. No group events, photos, etc. Group forum doesn't allow you to subscribe to topics.

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