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DevHub is really impressive

I know, it's been around for several months now, but I just got around to really taking DevHub for a spin... and I walked away very impressed by it's ease of use, the available customizations and the very effective monetization options. There are a few short comings but for those who are either looking for a quick site setup or those who don't have the development time or skill to get themselves setup with their own site, DevHub is a great, free option that I can highly recommend.


So, one of my favorite product .info names is Sprouters.info (I also own the singular). The problem is I have very little time to do any setup of affiliates, develop unique content or market this name in order to attract the raw food fanatics or those just looking to save some money by growing their own food and making their own Wheatgrass Shooters and such. I had estimated at least 10 hours to really develop out the site and make it look good enough to eat :) Sprouters.info made the perfect test case for DevHub!

DevHub Setup

DevHub's sign up is incredibly simple and it's a completely free service. You enter your name, your website and what the site is about and you are ready to go. When you first sign up, you have 10 free sites you can create. As you develop your sites and start adding unique content to them, you'll be granted additional site credits, so don't expect to setup hundreds of sites at once like you can with services like WhyPark. But in exchange, you get a much more feature rich website, so it's a fair trade I think. DevHub wants good content as that reflects well on them and so they reward those that use their system effectively. It's a very elegant setup.
Setting up your site couldn't be easier. There are numerous layout templates and color choices to be made and these can be tweaked with background images and logos as well. You can create multiple pages and each one can be optimized - for example each page can have their own meta tags and custom built page title. You can also setup site wide scripts for things like Google Analytics, but we'll get to stat tracking later.
The really powerful feature of DevHub though is what you can add to your pages. There are numerous monetization options, such as cpa and cpc product listings, property listings and job listings (I am trying out a geo domain on DevHub next!). But you can drop onto your pages a variety of non-monetized objects as well such as autogenerated news content, widgets for things like Stocks and Games, photo galleries, blog articles and much more. They also make it very easy to add your own code so you can include your own affiliate and advertising links as well.

DevHub Stats Reporting

DevHub provides a free reporting tool for your sites that covers the basics. They show search engine traffic versus total traffic and break downs of revenue. I would highly recommend including a Google Analytics code on your sites though (or an alternative tracking system) so you can really monitor how people are finding your site, what pages are most popular, bounce rates and more... which DevHub doesn't really provide. What's there is certainly functional though for basic quick stat checking.


DevHub has a great platform. I was able to develop a very professional site with lots of features in a matter of a couple of hours (and half that time was spent on the logo :) ) and now that I've gotten comfortable with the system, I could probably spit out several sites per day. It's a great mass development platform but it does require showing that you are going to put the necessary work into the sites you create in order to be allowed to create more than 10 sites.
There are a few bugs and hiccups that I don't see as major stumbling blocks. The recipe widget for example never loaded for me, which would have been nice to have on Sprouters.info... but no major loss. I love how you can incorporate any content you want, and that there are numerous types of listing already available, but my ideal platform would allow me to create my own searchable, sortable listings and I've not seen a way to do that automatically. It will require either creating my own widget or just resorting to static html. Also, I encountered some duplicates in my product listings as multiple vendors had the same item apparently. It's kind of embarrassing to have 2 out of the 5 items I have for sale under a specific category be the same item but have 2 different prices. I'd like to see the "uniqueness" issue resolved in the future by either allowing me to override an item or just by having them choose the lowest priced one.
Finally, I'm a bit worried about SEO. The sites in their gallery are pretty much all horribly ranked. That's not to say there aren't examples out there using DevHub that are ranked well, but you'll have to use some of the time you save by creating your site quickly on good link building and such to make sure you get ranked well. I'll report back on how Sprouters.info does both in terms of revenue and search engine rankings in a few months.
You really need to check out what's possible with DevHub if you haven't already. I really believe you'll be as impressed as I am.

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