You have two options:
1) to watch as is usually done, using standard frameworks and try to make your own version.
2) invent everything myself from scratch without using someone else's code and architecture are ready, make your bike.
to guess how to do the equivalent of the toaster is easy, it's very simple app.
Learn to think for themselves and do the simple things yourself - this takes a few years of practice.
The second option gives you more possibilities because you do not depend and is not limited by.
To work in a standard template is necessary if you are ordered to do in the industry and with other coders.
If you write your own social network, my for yourself - you don't have to meet the standards, do what is convenient and easier. The threshold of entering into these is high, and this suffering is unnecessary.
Clearly understand who you're - you're all or you're on your own, you standard or alternative.
As a variant try the server, php can be easier, it has its advantages.
Node.js it is better if you need sockets to do, or the game server..
The analogue of the toaster easily done in php