Why I Am Building Custom Hive Front-Ends, And You Should Too

in The CTP Swarm5 months ago (edited)

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Why would you build a website around your Hive posting when existing Hive websites already show up on the web?

It's come to my attention that I have been talking about programming custom Hive front-ends assuming everyone would already know the benefits, for example, this from @mba2020:

I have no idea how a front end would benefit my business or if the time exists to learn how to implement it into our businesses.

Oops! Let me set that right ...

What ARE Hive Front-Ends?

First I guess I need to say what a Hive front-end is.

Essentially, a Hive front-end in this context is a Hive website that is JUST YOURS, that hosts your content (or a subset) and nobody elses.

When you write blog posts on Hive, you are using the existing multi-user front-ends such as Peakd and Ecency. They are general-purpose websites for reading and posting to Hive.

There are also community or topic-centric front-ends. In the case of my writing today, I am using ctptalk, and I also often use STEMGeeks and Leo.

In the crypto community, we talk a lot about the benefits of decentralization, but then I get pushback whenever I talk about building our own sites that draw content from the Hive blockchain - what gives?

While these established Hive sites are convenient and feature-rich, they are also poor for personal branding and for building your business because they are not yours, they are like using Reddit or Facebook for your business, their user interface (that you have very little control over) is designed to distract you away from your writing to someone else's.

Contrast that with your own website where you have complete control - as well as publishing content, you can have a contact form, static pages, an email newsletter signup form, embed code and any multimedia, and even sell physical goods, memberships, and digital products.

Not only this, many of us are afraid on Hive of "stepping out of line" and getting downvoted or worse - when you own your own website, and have the ability to post content OFF of Hive as well as on chain, what you say goes.

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If you are writing on Hive on a daily basis, don't waste that content by only using it once, give the Hive family the first look and opportunity to vote it up then recycle it on your own assets.

In my case, I am doing content syndication automagically using my own homegrown apps, but you could get started today using simple copy and paste if you wanted to!

Front-End Myth: SEO Penalties

The first objection people usually pipe up with is having your own Hive front-end will damage your SEO rankings, saying there is a "duplicate content penalty".

There is no such penalty, it is a filter.

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Most of the time I don't really care which of my articles ranks, so long as I rank, and I have other methods to influence which site will rank on the occasions it does matter, anyway.

In a direct competition between versions of my syndicated articles, Medium always beats the several Hive front-ends, unless I have my own site on my own domain in which case that usually wins once I have built it up.

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The fact is, your Hive blog using the usual Hive front-ends is not the SEO powerhouse people seem to think it should be. If SEO is important to you, then build your own website that you own and control.

Front-End Myth: Spam and Plagiarism Downvotes

I've been syndicating my Hive content for ages and have yet to receive any spam-control downvotes.

The reason is, unlike the previous tools for repurposing Hive content, I post to Hive FIRST. That means that it is authentically original content on the Hive blockchain at the point of posting.

Doing it this way also allows us to later embellish the content with all the bells and whistles afforded by more richly formatted publishing platforms after the first Hive draft is created using basic markdown markup.

How to get started

As already mentioned, I have been building a reusable front-end based on the high-performance NextJS framework, which is so fast a couple of people commented that I must be cheating somehow ;) You can see the development of that in my previous articles on the topic.

If you want the code behind that, I am happy to share, but after talking to @diggndeeper.com I realized a lot more than just professional developers want in on this action.

With that in mind, I have decided instead to focus on building open source WordPress tools - WordPress powers 45% of the commercial web (not just mom and pops either - 62% of the Inc 5000 use WordPress), and is easy to use for everyone, not just developers.

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Anyone who wants a website quickly can just let me know and I will help you get set up when my prototypes are ready - no commitment necessary, I just want to grow the Hive community.

For anyone who can't wait, there are the Build It project from @build-it and Super Hive by @bambukah.

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Thanks for the shout-out Champ! #buidl

Of course! 🤜⚡️🤛

Wow that sounds really interesting. I would like to learn but I have barely got started.
There seems like a lot to learn. Thanks for the great post

I've been using the Exxp.io/SteemPress WordPress plugin to post to both my website and Hive and it's honestly been working pretty great.

Hive has the short-term benefit of votes and comments while my own site has the potential for SEO, affiliate-links, etc.

The problem with posting TO HIVE using plugins is you’re risking plagiarism bots, you’re paying the forced beneficiary, and you can’t use the additional rich formatting that WordPress offers.

That’s why the tools I’m building bring the posts in from Hive based on criteria - I keep up my daily Hive posting and the content then gets repurposed and routed where I want it to go :)

I actually really like that reverse concept.. there's a few things that I post directly to Hive for specific reasons that obviously then don't end up on my website.

I personally haven't noticed any issues with plagiarism bots on Hive. I don't know if they're just not as prevalent on Hive as they were on Steem... or because of the text that Exxp automatically adds to the end "Posted from my blog with Exxp : link".

Exxp sometimes upvote my posts which I guess would offset the beneficiary but to be honest it seems like maybe they forget to do that a lot.

Super interested in what you're building though, definitely keen to see if it would work for me.

Yeah I guess the spam tools are not going to share all the details of how they operate in case it gives spammers a heads up :)

hey! great post.. good to see you are doing this..
i have been a front end web dev for nearly 30 years.. i know a bit about code and integrating it, and can write javascript.. but im not really a great coder..

i have been wanting to learn HOW to integrate a website and front end into the blockchain for a long time.. and im very interested to learn by using someones code that is simple and can be modified..

maybe you are able to share something with me that is a basic site with integrations into Hive for voting, commenting etc.. id LOVE to play with it and learn.. maybe one day i can do something useful with it.. generally id like to stay off wordpress for many reasons..

thanks!!!!