Implementing a HackerNews clone

Engineering Programming


A social news website that covers a variety of topics relating to technology, programming, and startups, Hacker News is known simply as “Hacker News.” Y Combinator, which was founded by Paul Graham, began operating as a startup accelerator in the year 2007. The content of the website is curated by its community of users, who are the ones who submit stories, vote on them, and comment on them.

If you are interested in developing a social news website similar to Hacker News, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration first. In this article, we will discuss the essential components that must be included when creating a clone of Hacker News.

The Platform & Framework

Making a decision about the platform and the framework on which to build a clone of Hacker News is the first step in the process. Ruby on Rails, Django, and Node.js are three well-known platforms that are frequently used for the development of social news websites. The knowledge and experience of your team, as well as the demands of the project in terms of scalability, will guide the selection of the platform.

You will require a framework that enables user authentication, content submission, and voting in order to replicate the functionality of Hacker News. Ruby on Rails is a well-liked option for the development of social news websites due to the vibrant community it supports as well as the extensive number of libraries and plugins it provides.


Authentication of users is a feature that is necessary for any social news website to have. Users should be able to sign up for accounts, log in, and edit their profiles without any problems. You will need to implement a secure authentication system in order to clone Hacker News. Some of the features that should be included in this system are password encryption, two-factor authentication, and the ability to reset a forgotten password.

When it comes to implementing user authentication in your Ruby on Rails application, you can make use of a gem such as Devise or Auth0. Devise offers a comprehensive authentication solution, which includes user registration, login, and the ability to reset a forgotten password. Auth0 is a cloud-based authentication and authorization platform that offers support for a variety of authentication methods, such as social login and two-factor authentication. Auth0 also offers support for multiple authentication methods.

Content Submission

Through the use of the website’s content submission feature, users are able to post links or articles to the website. In a website that is meant to be similar to Hacker News, the community should be in charge of moderating the user-submitted content to ensure that it adheres to the site’s policies.

In order to implement content submission, you will need to create a form that users can fill out to provide information about the content, including its title, URL, and description. You will also need to develop a moderation system that gives users the ability to vote on the content that is submitted and to report content that is inappropriate.

Voting System

A social news website is not complete without a voting system because it is one of the most important features. Users are given the opportunity to cast their votes on the content that has been submitted and help decide which content will be featured on the homepage.

In order to put a voting system into action, you will first need to design a model for the votes and then link that model to the content that has been submitted. In addition to this, you will need to devise a method by which users can “upvote” or “downvote” content and figure out the overall score for each submission.

Comment System

Users are given the opportunity to discuss the submitted content and voice their opinions through the comment system. A comment system that is moderated in a Hacker News clone should be used to prevent spam and inappropriate comments from being posted.

In order to put a comment system into action, you will first need to design a model for the comments and then link that model to the content that users submit. In addition to this, you will need to design a form for users to use in order to post comments, as well as a moderation system that enables users to report comments that are deemed inappropriate.

Front-end Design

Any website, including social news websites, must have a well-designed front end in order to be considered complete. It is important that the front-end design be friendly to users, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing.

In order to put the front-end design into action, you could make use of a CSS framework such as Bootstrap or Materialize. These frameworks give you access to pre-built user interface components that you can use to create a front-end design that is both responsive and appealing.

Closing Notes

The creation of a social news website such as Hacker News requires a unique set of skills, including both technical know-how and an understanding of how users interact with websites. You will be able to construct a functional and friendly-to-use clone of Hacker News if you follow the steps that are outlined in this article. If you want your social news website to be successful, you need to make sure that user authentication, content submission, voting systems, comment systems, and front-end design are your top priorities.