I just got back from doing a 5 city UK tour to help promote Half Our Deen. Alhamdulillah I was able to get on stage and speak to an audience of nearly 40,000. I also traveled to different cities all over UK. Nearly 6,000 Half Our Deen flyers were passed out and I also did a good number of interviews and locked in future interviews that will be coming soon InshAllah. The results? 50% of new memberships are coming from the UK which is a big plus for all those Single UK Muslims who are looking for matches from the other side of the Atlantic ocean. Although I live in the states, my wife is from the UK. Allah (swt) has made us in pairs but you never know where your other half is. I traveled half the world to find my other half and it was worth every mile, Alhamdulillah. I pray that Allah (swt) gives you patience and strength to find your ideal match InshAllah.
Starting a matchmaking site is a Catch 22.
I made this realization several years ago when I invested (and lost) every penny I had into a site that ended up failing miserably. I was told by my programmer that the only way to get a matchmaking site going is to create fake profiles *gasp*!
He explained that the only way to get member is to have members. And the only way to have members is to get members. Hence the creation of fake profiles to use as bait.
I refused, knowing very well that following the standard ‘fake profile setup’ procedure was unIslamic and deceptive to the people I was trying to draw in. Another aspect of traditional matchmaking sites that I wanted to avoid was the plethora of advertisements that crowd up the screen and annoy (and distract) the users to death.
Years later when I revisited the idea of starting up a matchmaking site, I not only kept to my ideals, but added many new, user-focused features you see now on HalfOurDeen.com. And by the Grace of God the site is not only flourishing, it’s breaking estimates of what we had initially planned for membership. With 1,000 members strong, the lesson I learned was when you sacrifice something for the sake of Allah (SWT), then He will replace it with something better, and Alhamdullilah Half Our Deen is better than its initial skeleton so many years ago.
Other tricky techniques you won’t find on this site are the impossible-to-find membership fees or the promise of no membership fee at all! Only to find out (after divulging you’re your private information and wasting a good 15 minutes of your time) that you have to cough up $29 to $44 per month to access other singles on the site! Of course many dismayed people will turn around and walk away at this point, registered or not, yet the site still uses their partial registration towards its membership count giving other singles the impression they have more members than they actually do! The deceit doesn’t end there. Once you’re in, you realize that you cannot access everyone, rather only the people who paid the hefty membership fee too. Leaving you searching through profiles for what is “real” and what isn’t.
These were all things I wanted to avoid. At Half Our Deen our rates are displayed clearly off of a link on our home page. No registration is needed to access this. And every single member from the opposite gender is accessible. You will not get bogged down by dozens of ads per click and you can rest assure you have joined one of the highest-quality, member-oriented Muslim matchmaking sites around. Just like any other project, we are constantly improving and enhancing our features to make this site the best stepping stone from single dome to marital bliss.
Stay tuned for more improvements and enhancements! I’ll keep you posted on the blog.
When I told my friends that Half Our Deen was not going to have public searches, they were concerned if people would use it since all the other Muslim Matrimonial Sites allowed EVERYONE to see who is on their website. I argued that privacy would be one of the key reasons many people would want to use Half Our Deen vs the other guys and Alhamdulillah, our recent stats speak louder than any words that I can type here. Alhamdulillah within 10 weeks of launch, Half Our Deen has reached 1,000,000 page views!
The only people that should know you’re looking to get married are people who are also looking to get married. Many years ago, when I had no choice but to use the current Muslim Marriage sites that you see out there today, my online profile was up for everyone and their mama to read. I was already uncomfortable putting my profile online, but to have it public made me feel even more uneasy. Imagine how bad it would look if your profile shows up on Google when someone searches for “single Muslim”. Umm yeah, I pass! That’s why I was very adamant on making Half Our Deen completely private, so people like you and I can be comfortable with our profile being online. Just because you like romantic walks on the beach (after marriage of course), doesn’t mean the whole world needs to know. =)
For all those in doubt of people using a private Muslim Matchmaking site like Half Our Deen, well I hope the stat, 1 million page views in 10 weeks, makes you feel more comfortable. Alhamdulillah!
What does this mean? Well, more definitely means better. Better for you! With more and more members joining Half Our Deen by the day and approaching the 1000 member mark, we are being proactive and taking the proper measures to add new servers to our back end to facilitate a more efficient user experience.
Here is the 411 on that:
For you silly =)
A new shiny server.
For those familiar with the technical aspect of servers, here are the specs:
Processor: 2 x Intel® Xeon® Quad Core Processors – E5530
(8M Cache, 2.40 GHz, 5.86 GT/s Intel® QPI)
RAM: 4 GB DDR3-1333 Registered ECC
Hard Drive: 250 GB SATA2
In layman’s terms, very fast!
In a Lucky server room somewhere.
We are hoping to have your new server up and running within the next week or so. It has been ordered. We will keep you updated InshAllah.
The matching service is one of our main features and uses up most of the current server’s resources. Most sites have everything on 1 server which causes issues with load balancing, not to mention if that server went down, the whole site would go down with it. The new server will facilitate a faster and improved matching service. It will also balance the resources between our front end, data base and our application layer. If the matching service were to ever go down, this would not affect the main site since it is stored on its own server. In summary, a good move. Alhamdulillah!
With every new business small issues and problems do occur. Forgive us for any shortcomings experienced, but it is a learning process for us all With a great technical team behind HOD, we are working hard to implement new functional and fun features for you. Our goal is to give you an amazing and unique service at a ridiculously inexpensive price! $5-$9 a month. A fraction of what other Muslim Matrimonial sites charge single Muslims these days. If you have a feature in mind, let us know below with your comments.
Half Our Deen is always a work in progress so we hope to use the blog to open the doors of communication with our members. We will not be advertising on this blog nor will this blog be used to spam any of our members but rather we hope to use this blog as a way to hear the voices of our members so we can help to continuously improve our site InshAllah.
JazakAllahKhair for supporting Half Our Deen.
Ali Ardekani (Baba Ali)
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