Well, it's been a while since I last updated my blog and for good reasons: I was doing Internet marketing and for the last month creating my community site or site de rencontre in French: 1coupleavie.com
It's a community for those looking for a serious relationship on the long term but understand French since I target the Canadian market and mostly my hometown of Quebec City. Sometimes, you have to build it so she will come..to you lolll Okay, some might not know that I vaguely referring to a line in the movie Field of Dreams.
I'm a bachelor/IMer so it made sense to me to build my own site to my own specs but by also help my friends find true love too.
My Skadate Review:
To help me build the site, I decided to use the Skadate(aff.) script.
Before I chose that script, I did my research but did not try other scripts to be honest with you. Unfortunately, it was rare to find real reviews about Skadate(aff.) since some were fake reviews that either wanted to make a sale or just bash the script.
What better way to write a mini review Skadate by using an actual site: my own site(French).
The installation took a few days and had delays because of the weekend when I ordered my script. They are very strict about protecting their script.
When they installed the script(it's free), they did it on my reseller account. But, it was slow as hell because my reseller account was not supporting a feature: nginx compatible.
So, I took the plunge and switch to a dedicated server instead of a VPS. For me, it was my first dedicated server and a higher price point to start with than I'm used too. I got great support making the move since they did it for free.
I chose the Standard Dedicated Server because I did not want to move again if I had gone with VPS. Based on the forum and the expectation of the number of users I will get in the next months, it was better than the Basic Dedicated Server that cost a little less. I did not want to take the chance and move once more thus delaying my launch.
To Be French or Not To Be French
One of the features I looked for the most was it needed to be available in a French version. By design, the script support multiple languages. You just need to try the Admin demo to better understand that part.
But when it was installed, the French texts were not loaded by default. Only English was loaded since it's the main market. I had to installed it myself but was simple to do. The downside is that the values are missing French accent and some of the text are translated too much word for word. In time, the translation will be fixed but did a lot of them.
Careful about the translation. Sometimes, I forgot to close a HTML tag thus give weird results. Sometimes, I suspect it was text that were not properly closed or created when it was translated by them.
Show me the Features
Wow! I see a lot of features and potential from this script everyday. Plus, they continue to upgrade it. The features page will tell you more about it and you can even suggest some to them. The ones with the most votes will considered in later functions.
They have a build in very basic affiliate and referral system. But, I would had like to allow members to promote my site using a referrer link instead of just be able to use the internal email recommend feature. This way, without needing for a member to register as an affiliate, a referral link could be used on Facebook or a blog.
To Pay or To Be Free
You can create an entire free site, pay only site or a mixed of the two options. I took the last one but made it very affordable.
You have a lot of options and it's hard to decided what's free or not and what's only available to member only or not. I was a member of such sites in the past so it gave me a better perspective on what to charge and offer for free.
You can use the Credit system. You want to promote your profile, buy credits. Wand to offer a gift, use your credits....
You can also offer recurring or one time subscription to members. In my case, you can see who saw your profile but you must be a paid member. I could had used the credits system too if I wanted for free members to get that features.
Before I asked a question, I checked the forum. If it's not the answer I'm looking for, I write a ticket and it get answered fairly fast depending of when I wrote it. They don't have a 24/7 support so I rely on the forum.
Why? Because you get the first month free then you pay a monthly support. It's optional but I might have to do that for the next few months. You should consider that in your launch cost.
But to get the most of it, get to a test phase quicker to get the bugs out sooner. I'm not a machine so today, I decided to open it in test phase so that I can check the server performance, search criteria with a real profiles, chat ... by having real people using the community. I can even stopped new members until I fix what's broken or deficient.
The past week, I asked a few friends to take it on a spin for me. But since their time was limited, they could not do it more than I expected. But, I did learn a lot more on how people will react during the process of just subscribing.
I had to write a ticket because my friends could not upload photos greater than the 2500 x2500 but lesser than 5MB. They were photos that were small(2MB) but bigger than the maximum resolution. Now, I support 3500x3500 photos because I had to raised the PHP memory_limit to 128MB instead of 64MB(default). I wasted time on that one so check if your hosting allow that in your package. ;)
Selecting the templates
They have a lot of templates based of the type of site you want to create(social, dating, adult, business). I selected the SweetDate one in my case. My friends find it very useful and great to use. But, until I'm ready, I'm refraining of make major changes.
I concentrated on the main page and the graphics. You can download the PSD of the theme but some of the graphic did not have the PSD so I had to create one myself to make it French.
Field of Dreams
You can configure a lot of the fields and I'm still getting the hang of it. But, I decided to stop adding fields for the profiles because I wanted my site to be too perfect. I will had them along the way based on the feedback from members. If I would had done that first, I could had started testing sooner with more people.
Some are complaining on the forum that the script is too slow. Because of the way it's done(multiple language) and the features it support, I suspect they had to balance those versus speed . Then again the word version exist so they will make a better optimize script in a later major update. The price of the servers are getting lower that you can just get more horse power until this get done. I know, it's not perfect but what is nowdays?
It's my mini review of Skadate(aff.) based on my first month using or should I write ...configuring it because you have a lot to do. I suggest again that you use the Demo Admin Panel to get a better feel on how to use it before buying. I'm glad I did. :D
I hope I gave you an honest view point and a way for you to better plan ahead of the things you could face when using Skadate(aff.) or any other scripts like this one.
Keywords: 1coupleavie.com, Business, Dating, Entrepreneurship, Hosting, Internet, Review, Review, Skadate