TodasLasRecetas is online    Posted:


My first post in is to announce a personal project call Todas las Recetas that I launched on-line few weeks ago. It is a search engine of recipes published in Spanish sites but the subject of the site is just an excuse.

My intention with this project is to be able to experience in first person all the steps of setting up a web application and to have a site to make experiments about SEO, A/B testing, scalability and any new technology that appears and I would like to try. I am going to publish my progress and experiments because I really would like to share with all of you what I am learing during the process.

TodasLasRecetas architecture    Posted:


TodasLasRecetas is a project that I started to let me try technologies that were new for me. Moreover, I am fond of lean technologies that make you very productive and let you focus in your product.

Following these values I have chosen for the web the next stack.

  • Apache2 as web-server: with the traffic the site has I don't need anything more sophisticated.
  • Django as framework: as I have said, I wanted something very productive and I am a python person, then the decision was clear.
  • Solr + Haystack as search engine: as a search engine a need something that worked in Spanish because this is the language of the web. Once Solr was decided Haystack look the most sensitive choice because it is the Django application for textual searching with more momentum at present and makes the use of Solr much simpler.
  • MySQL as DB: just because I know it and the site at this moment is just read only. I have planned to use PostgreSQL as soon as I start letting users introduce data.
  • Ubuntu as distro: distros are almost a religion, I am not going to try to convince you if you are not yet.
  • Linode as VPS: I wanted to have root access, it's simple very simple to setup and it has a very good reputation (that I completely support after having use it). I have one instance of the smaller ones and with peaks of 5 users per minute the virtual server is almost always sleeping.

This is the main stack but I use several free web services that help me a lot. Obviously the Google triad, Google Web Master Tools, Google Analytics and Google AdSense. And finally, the free account of CloudKick that warm me by email if my site is not responding a 200 to a GET. CloudKick is able to monitor many more things but this is what you get for free.

Very basic SEO    Posted:


I have read in many places that SEO is a difficult business but my personal experience is that the first steps positioning a web page in Google are rather straight forward.

Following the advise of Google's SEO Stater Guide and the Beginner guide to SEO of SEOmoz you have to follow few steps to start positioning your web page.

First you have to include in your web page the following HTML elements (they are list in order of importance):

  • a clear page title with your brand at the end.
  • a larger meta description, it is what google uses in its search results snippet.
  • an em, a strong and a h1 per page with the words you want to emphasize.
  • h2 and h3 if you want to structure the content of your page.
  • and last but not least, links between your pages to let google crawl your site.

Obviously you have to have content that people would like to find, as much content as you can. You need external links to point to your site to get some relevance for Google. for that you can include your site in public web directories and contact sites similar to yours to interchange links. Look for them in google, they are not hard to find. And finally, it is very convenient to register your site in google webmaster tools web service to warn google of your existence and to monitor how your positioning in Google is going.

With these simple steps I have achieved 30k visits per month in 6 months and my web is visit mostly in Spain, imagine what can you get in bigger countries.

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