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.
I used the same approach to find a wife as I did to find a job.
For my job, I posted resumes on every job website I could access, knowing quite well that I’d have to be persistent and patient as I waited for my future employer to find me and hire me.
For my wife, I created profiles on as many Muslim matchmaking websites as possible. I figured I’d cover as many bases to increase my chance of finding my future wife – but at unforgiving subscription prices per-site. When I was in the process of developing HalfOurDeen.com, maintaining a low, affordable price for subscribers was a key aspect I vowed to maintain … without compromising all of the cutting-edge features that make HalfOurDeen.com so unique.
But just like my job search, I did not take down my matchmaking profile after a month of unsuccessful leads. I was patient and persistent, knowing quite well I could luck out and find my match in a week or in a year (although I was hoping for the former!). Keep in mind success in your pursuit of a compatible partner to help complete Half your Deen, is in the Hands of Allah (SWT). A heavy dose of dua, patience and consistent effort are vital ingredients to lead you to the blissful wedding day … although when the search is in progress it might seem unattainable. Having kept this knowledge in mind, I purposely made HalfOurDeen.com the most affordable Muslim matchmaking website around. An annual subscription costs a paltry .16 cents per day, a small fee to help keep you out there searching for the most compatible partner to call your own.
The reality is that most people will not find their perfect match within 30 days so a $5 per month subscription fee was key to making this site as popular as it has become the past 2 months since the initial launch. We are excited and eager to report that we have received notification from several members who are already reporting a successful match with a fellow HalfOurDeen.com member! Although we did not anticipate such speedy results, we are excited for the couples to-be and pray the ball keeps rolling for all you singles on the search for the One that will help you build a life of happiness and obedience to Allah (SWT).
Keep the search and the faith, and remember: good things come to those who persevere and patiently pursue … HalfOurDeen.com is at your service to help you do just that.
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.
Human beings are visual creatures. Period.
Some of us may be more visual than others, but the bottom line is we all want to know who it is we are reading about, getting to know and hopefully/possibly clicking with. In a world of fast clicks and short attention spans, if your profile picture isn’t eye-catching, or illustrative of who you are, you may miss your shot at making a positive first impression. If you have a picture of your guitar, your pet cat Mr. Chow or (and this is the worst) nothing at all (!!!) you’re basically telling other subscribers you’re A) not that serious, or B) have something to hide.
Either way, not posting a real & current profile picture of yourself greatly lowers your chances of finding someone compatible with you on this site.
Unlike other free, social networking sites, everyone here is a full-paying member serious about seeking out their perfect match. Other members are out there trying to find someone who will click with them, in every way … starting with how they look!
Studies have shown that people tend to zero in on individuals who fall within their ‘looks range’ meaning you do not have to be a supermodel to be found attractive. Simply a casual picture of you (hopefully smiling and looking at the camera) is good enough. (Tips on taking a good profile picture coming up.)
So it’s all about the way you look, right? Well no, but the way you look is a definite starting point whether you would like to admit it or not. If someone is drawn to your profile content and your personality and character and finally gets to see a picture of you and isn’t attracted … well that’s simply a waste of time and energy for the both of you.
Half Our Deen was created to promote a healthy and mature exchange between individuals looking to find their life partner. Random and bored Internet snoopers have a whole world of free sites to scroll through. You can rest assure that everyone on this Muslim marriage website are full-paid members and are serious on hearing those wedding bells jingle.
About 10% of brothers and 31% of sisters on Half Our Deen don’t show their real pictures on their profiles. Modesty might be a concern for some of you. For others it might be a fear of rejection. Both are valid yet both do not belong on a Muslim Marriage website. In terms of the first concern, you are being encouraged to post a picture of yourself just as you would look if someone met you at a coffee shop or a social event. Nothing outlandish or inappropriate. Just something that speaks to how you would look if they ran into you while you were out and about. If your concern is the latter, the best way to avoid rejection is to display who you are and how you look from the onset. That way, anyone seeking you out already has a visual image of the person they are communicating with.
Then again you might be completely fine with the idea of posting a real profile picture of yourself … except for one thing: you don’t have any good pictures of yourself after the 3rd grade. Well, if you’re hard-pressed to find a flattering photo of yourself, your membership to this Muslim Matrimonial site is hopefully encouragement enough to start! Grab your digital camera (or borrow your buddies for the day) and take note then click away:
Save your group pictures for albums. This profile is about YOU. Don’t make whoever’s interested in you have to guess which one you are at the jam-packed restaurant table or group picture; make it easy and clear. Take a solo picture!
Show those pearly whites. A smile draws people in… even if it’s just a grin. Studies have shown that people who post picture of themselves smiling on social networking sites tend to attract other smilers as well.
Be honest (and be current). This means don’t Photoshop your way to a new pant size or a new head of hair and don’t post a picture of yourself when you were 20 pounds lighter/heavier … You want to attract someone who is interested in how you currently look. You are who you are – put that out there because you want the right person to come along and appreciate the current and true you.
Come out, come out, wherever you are! Nix the stunner shades, baseball hats and any other object that conceals your face and avoid zoomed out pictures of yourself near your favorite monument. Face-shots and/or full-body shots are probably your best bet. However; if you are niqabee then be all means, post a picture of yourself with a niqab. The key is to display who you are.
Click, pick and UPLOAD. After deciding on a picture (or several) you feel comfortable with, make sure you upload it as soon as possible to increase your chance of matching up with another potential. 95% of members click on profiles with real pictures when searching the site. This means without one, you’re greatly cutting your chances of matching up. You’ve already made a commitment to find your Mr./Mrs. Right by subscribing to the best Muslim matrimonial site … it’s time to put your trust in Allah, smile and say ‘cheese’ =]
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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