Build a Money-Making Website in 10 Minutes With DevHub

DevHubI’m always a little sceptical about online website building systems. Many make bold claims that anyone can build a professional website in minutes. If that were true, most of us would have been out of a job years ago.

However, the rise of blogging systems and social networks proves there are many millions of people who just want to write content and interact with like-minded individuals. It is a bonus if they can make a little money from their endeavors.

DevHub is a new system from the EVO Media Group that is firmly aimed at bloggers, entrepreneurs, topical experts, affiliate marketers, and users who would normally head to Squidoo or HubPages. The system is a result of 18 months development and was launched in February 2009. By the end of the first month, over 100,000 sites had been created on the platform.

How is DevHub Different?

Unlike some competing systems, DevHub offers:

  • up to 10 different sites (you can request more if your existing efforts pass their quality-control inspection!)
  • easy domain registration or a free devhub.com sub-domain
  • multiple pages with integrated blogging
  • a drag-and-drop page editor
  • customizable themes and color editing
  • SEO and statistics tools
  • integration with Twitter, Google Analytics, and bookmarking sites
  • zero cost.

Ultimately, DevHub has one goal: to monetize your site. The website builder has a selection of advertising modules including products, local directories, property listings, and job vacancies. DevHub takes a proportion of the revenue and gives you the rest.

The adverts are hard-coded HTML inside your webpage rather than remotely-hosted scripts or images. It certainly prevents Adblock Plus and other advert blockers from hiding the links. However, DevHub do not insist on adverts; the user can choose how many or how few they use.

The 10-Minute Challenge

My challenge was to test DevHub’s marketing claim and build a site in 10 minutes without prior knowledge of the system. I chose a subject – the 2009 Formula 1 season – and prepared a little content and an image.

Minute 1: sign up
Sign-up is quicker than most, although I was fortunate that the ‘formula1′ sub-domain had not been taken.

Minute 2 to 5: the home page
The editor is straight-forward: you drag a content box from the panel to the page and change its properties as necessary. One, two, or three-column layouts can be selected.

I probably spent a little longer than necessary experimenting with themes and colors. There are not a huge number of choices, but there are enough options to keep most people happy.

DevHub screen

Minute 6 to 7: added blog articles
Clicking the blog link allows you to post, remove, or edit individual articles. I added two posts and placed a ‘blog entries’ widget on the home page.

Minute 8 to 9: additional pages
Two further pages were added:

  • news – this shows an F1 RSS feed from the BBC
  • pictures – a selection of photographs determined by keywords

I added several advertising blocks to both pages.

Minute 10: tidy up
I previewed the site and rearranged some content to make better use of the space.

The result can be viewed at http://formula1.devhub.com/. It will never win any awards, but it proved that a 10-minute site is possible.

The promise of easy money during a recession makes DevHub an increasingly attractive proposition. The community is growing exponentially and an API is expected shortly that will allow developers to build further modules for the platform.

Try it for yourself: click here to join DevHub (affiliate link, all proceeds will go to charity)

What do you think? Is DevHub offering anything new? Are you earning any money from it? Will novices find the system easy to use? Can it succeed in an already-crowed market?

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  • http://www.patricksamphire.com/ PatrickSamphire

    It’ll be interesting to see if you make any money from this, Craig. You have the advantage of being able to link from a sitepoint blog entry, which probably gives you more visitors than most. I guess, like a lot of these sites, I can’t imagine why I would go there.

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    Let’s see what happens. DevHub are a little vague as to how much money you could earn and certainly much of it will depend on visitors buying goods.

    I will report any earnings made from my F1 page here and all the proceeds will be donated to charity.

  • 12sharks

    Not to sound like a jerk, but “an professional” is not very, well, professional.

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    Well spotted!

  • n0other

    They’re kinda new. And unless they can provide the traffic, making money won’t be any easier..

  • praetor

    Where are all those people who chant ‘content is king’?

    Now, why this service would make money from thin air as opposed to a blogger account? I think WP has proved that anyone can have their site within minutes. However this ‘feature’ doesn’t guaranty any income.

    Yet another fire for the moths.

  • Tom

    So this is just a plug to promote an affiliate link to DevHub? Yea thats why i visit sitepoint…the good stuff :/

  • http://www.evanbot.com ETbyrne

    An interesting idea, but the only people that are going to make any money off this deal are the folks running DevHub. If a person clicks on a link on your blog, then they get a cut of your ‘rewards’. So even if you never make more than a cent or two they will make a lot of money because they will be making a little money off every site they host.

  • http://metaldenver.com Jack Rugile

    Anyone who is truly interested in producing quality content with creative freedom should not use this site. Anyone who is interested in making money must provide quality content.
    These type of sites stand out like a sore thumb to me and receive a single page view of about .5 seconds before I hit the back button. I am sure many of you agree.

    The customization and organizational options are so limited. I would use WordPress instead. This company is out to make money, not provide quality websites.

  • http://www.magain.com/ mattymcg

    Nice write-up Craig. As an aside, I could hear the hum of the Formula 1 cars doing qualifying laps this morning from my house here in Melbourne! :)

  • e-man

    If you really want to make money in affiliate marketing you need to create a unique site with solid content. Thin sites like the ones created by this service is exactly what Google is trying to filter out of organic search rankings.

    Build your own site, get a nice design, develop strong/worthwhile content and see what happens.

  • Anonymous

    Thin sites like this just increase noise. My mother wouldn’t be able to recognise a site like this for what it is and it contributes to the reason that she can spend 3 hours looking for information that I can find in a few minutes.

    I do hope that google and other search engines focus on demoting these kind of sites.

  • fproof

    I totally agree with Tom…

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    With regard to the content, DevHub allows you to write any you like. It is up to you whether you want adverts or not. However, EVO are clearly marketing the system at those who want to raise revenue.

    As a blogging tool, it’s actually not bad. It is much simpler than WordPress which could make it ideal for novices.

    My example is ad-heavy, but that was more to do with trying out every widget rather than raising money (which is a good job because I’m yet to receive any!)

  • http://www.para-diddledesign.com somecallmejosh

    @Tom and @fproof,

    Completely agree with both of you. This seems like an advertisement for some other company’s “rehashed” ideas. Why not throw in some Amazon Affiliate links as well? Disappointing…

    Josh

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    I’m sorry you feel that way, Josh. But news is news and DevHub are not paying for this post. DevHub are new and could be big. At the very least, you’ll now be able to answer clients who say “why should I use your services when I can do everything myself on DevHub”?

    Incidentally, I’ve got some more news about DevHub coming soon. I’ll understand if you don’t want to read it!

  • Anonymous

    Craig I think you’re missing the point of some of the backlash here that is around your inclusion of affiliate links to DevHub. No less than three of them embedded in the article and an extra one with “click here to join…”.

    Plenty of professional blog articles don’t include their affiliate ID in the external link these days.

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    Affiliate links were included to test DevHub’s revenue possibilities and report back. So far, my F1 site has received 808 visits, 1633 page views, and a grand total revenue of … $6.90 ($5.82 is CPC). There’s a news story coming up that makes this information far more relevant.

    As mentioned, neither SitePoint or I will received any money from DevHub and all proceeds will be donated to charity.

  • Kevin

    I npoticed your last entry was on March 31, 2009. Is rthat any reflection on DevHub?