5 Ways to Launch a Hacker News Clone in 10 Minutes

Hacker News by Y Combinator is probably the most known developer/engineer website in the World; it simply does its job really good, it helps people to consume the latest content in the particular niche, as well as helps them to stay on top of things. Though, the greatest asset of Hacker News must be the comments, and all the intellectual insights that you’re able to collect there.

I remember several years ago when I would dream of building something similar to Hacker News myself, because the idea of collective link sharing was really appealing to me. In many ways, the community aspect of brining everyone together for the same reason was what really resonated with me. But, back then, only the skilled coders would take their time to build something of that nature. (I wasn’t a great coder at the time!)

Fast forward a couple of years, and we’re still struggling with meeting the requirements of many different types of personalities. While the default Hacker News idea is good, the simple/narrow design doesn’t seem to be cutting it for everyone. Lets take a look at what are our options for creating and launching our own Hacker News type of website in just a couple of minutes.

1. Drum

Drum is a Reddit / Hacker News clone, built using Mezzanine and Django. It is BSD licensed, and designed to demonstrate some of the non-CMS capabilities of Mezzanine, such as threaded comments, ratings, and public user accounts.

The moment I learned of Drum; I feel in love with it, and even though I had some major difficulties of getting it up and running, there is always a good bunch of supportive people available on the IRC channel.

2. React News

react news
React is the new technology that makes superficial movie-like coding possible, things built with React are truly reactive, and React News is no exception. The project is still a work in progress, but the demo looks really good, and anyone can throw up a template of their own choosing in a few hours.

3. Helius

helius hacker news clone
This is a really lovely project that puts together two well-known technologies: PHP and EmberJS. It takes just a couple of minutes to get it up and running. Two things to note is that it works just fine with a MySQL database, and in order for people to signup/login you will need to create a Twitter access key. It’s a weekend project, but gives you enough space to play around yourself, because I think that the design is flawless/appealing.

4. Lamer News

Top news Lamer News
Lamer news is an implementation of a Reddit / Hacker News style news web site written using Ruby, Sinatra, Redis and jQuery. There are a few websites using this code (with modifications), and one of the most well-known ones is probably EchoJS – the JavaScript news resource. Simple design, simple code.

5. Telescope

Telescope Build your own Hacker News Reddit or Product Hunt.
I saved the best for the last. Telescope is truly a one-of-a-kind types of Hacker News clone, and it goes far beyond the basic functionality. Now that I’m learning Meteor, I also frequently use the Crater.io site to learn about the latest news, and it too, is powered by Telescope.

Over the last couple of months the project has turned into a full-fledged / well-designed social website that allows for more than just collection of links and comments, there is a nice feel to sites running with this project, and I really encourage you to check it out – if only because of the fact that it is open-source and encourages people to share their own ideas.

Try out the Showcase section to see what type of websites are running Telescope already, but do keep in mind that you’ll probably need a separate server to be running this installation, or at least a server that can support the requirements of the technology.

Launching Your Own Hacker News Website in a Flash

Surely, there are dozens of other forks out there for all of these scripts, all with their little tiny modifcations to better suit personal needs. I feel that the ones we’ve looked at here is more than enough (including variety of technology) to play around with for weeks ahead. In the end, it comes down to your own personal liking and needs for a particular site. Perhaps you just needed a starting point for building one of your own.

If you’re aware of more such scripts and clones out there, please do share with us as it always helps to know what’s out there and what to suggest if someone is looking for a solution to this particular subject.