Groupon Clone Series

CodeIgniter Framework – Based Daily Deal/Groupon Clone Aggregator Script

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Note: Due to the age of this post as well as the evolution of the Groupon clone/aggregator system, RJH Solutions will no longer offer support for these systems. The “writing on the wall” was seen when Groupon’s CEO was fired early 2013. In the meantime, please continue browsing the rest of the site. -Rafi

In the past I wrote about Groupon Clones and reviews. Well, the hype on that seems to have cooled off, and now people are wondering what to do next. Well, there are are always Daily Deal Aggregator scripts.

Of the many Groupon Clone websites that launched, while not many lasted beyond 3-6 months, the number remaining still is a nice number. Also, daily deal sites still are looking for exposure on various other sites. Until the market is dominated by 1-2 Daily Deal sites, people will wonder how to get the best deal on which site covering a niche they like. Enter Daily Deal Aggregator websites.

From a business perspective, it makes a lot of sense. Host all niche Daily Deal websites and earn a small percentage from each sale. A nice amount of money can be made from this business without the headache of running a single deal.

Sounds tempting? Want in? Okay, I can tell you’re hungry. That’s good, right? Well, RJH Solutions has partnered with Extanet to provide you one of the most modular, user-friendly daily deal scripts around. Built in CodeIgniter, this script can be extended to include whatever your heart desires – all within reason of course.

Contact us today for a free quote on not only the script, but to setup.

A demo is currently pending and we will update you on when it is available.

Pinterest Clone Scripts Reviews

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Pinterest is one of the hottest social neworking sites today. Some people are looking to create their own niche Pinterest sites as there’s marketing value to keeping everything under one theme.

It makes perfect marketing sense: If you attract a large user base you can market “likeable” material.

Here are some Pinterest clone script reviews that might lead you into the right direction in terms of what to purchase.

Joomla! Social Pinboard by Apptha (Contus)

Contus, now Apptha, has come out with another clone built on an existing platform – Joomla! Being a big fan of scripts built on an existing platform, this has caught my eye.

Overall, the script looks solid with a ton of new features.

Pros

  • Solid, robust back-end.
  • Fluid interface.
  • iPhone and Android Apps at an additional price.

Cons

  • Session times are too short
  • No Admin demo in back-end
  • Contus is known to use spaghetti-code methodology that nonetheless “works.”

Price: $249

Rating: 3/5

Drupal PinBoard Theme by ThemeSnap

Drupal’s PinBoard theme is similar to the Joomla script in several ways, focusing on social network and location filters.

Pros

  • I am personally a big fan of scripts built on already-established platforms, and Drupal is certainly one of the best platforms to build on.
  • It is also easily available in it’s own mobile app!
  • The Drupal script makes Pinterest a little more personal.
  • “Look” is solid and secure.
  • In the demo, an email verification gets sent to activate a user account.

Cons

  • The theme is only in Beta mode
  • Theme is only compatible with certain browsers (IE 7+, Chrome, Opera and Firefox)
  • Theme only works with certain versions of Drupal (right now, it’s compatible with Drupal 7 only).
  • No admin username/password access in Demo.

Price: $229

Demo: http://www.themesnap.com/theme-demos/pinboard/

Rating: 3.5/5

Pinterestclones Pinboarding Pro

Pinboarding Pro is one of the highly recommended Pinterest clone scripts available. On their website there are a few ‘Showcase‘ clones.

The graphical interface though looks oddly similar to that of Alstrasoft.com. I don’t know for sure if they’re different scripts or if one white-labels the other.

The demo contains most features, allowing you to perform o a complete test before purchasing. Completely customize your own Pinterest clone script in the simplest way possible.

Pros

  • I like the cleanliness of the back-end.
  • Manage Pages has meta fields for SEO.

Cons

The following, though, are show-stoppers:

  • The “Create Username” page on the demo is non-existent.
  • Too few fields for each section.
  • Also, the graphical interface looks oddly similar to that of alstrasoft.com, or vice versa.
  • You cannot manage/edit Pin boards.
  • No Facebook/Twitter integration with Admin back-end, though it exists for end user.
  • No indication of whether or not an iPhone or Android app is in store in the future. ***UPDATE*** It may be in development, but an Alstrasoft representative just mentioned that it’s not a priority. I believe it is as more people today are using their smart-phones for internet access than the traditional desktops and laptops.

Price: $199

Demo: http://www.Pinterestclones.com/demos

Rating: 2/5

Alstrasoft Pinterest Clone Script

Alstrasoft comes with it’s unfortunately long history of nice-looking scripts with horrific back-ends.

It has recently been brought to my attention that Alstrasoft has been stealing older versions of scripts and offering substandard support. While I don’t know how true this is, I did notice that Alstrasoft and PinterestClones have a similar script, though they have allegedly been caught stealing other pieces of software such as “AdQuick” which is owned by someone else. Therefore it stands to reason that they’re stealing other pieces of software. Not cool! I don’t trust either the company or their product.

Pros/Cons: Similar to Pinboarding Pro, though PinBoarding Pro has more features.

Price: $179

Demo: http://www.alstrasoft.com/Pinterest-clone.htm

Rating: 1/5

Cogzidel’s Pinderful

Still a product with room for improvement, the Pinderful clone script is still able to meet all of your basic startup needs. This script is specifically useful for those who are new to Pinterest and haven’t got a clue on what’s so important. With a long list of ‘Upcoming features’ it might be useful to understand the basics before moving up a level anyway.

In terms of the demo, from a back-end perspective, here are the pros and cons:

Pros

  • I personally like the design and fluid sidebar.
  • Facebook/Twitter/Email integration

Cons

  • The site functionality leaves a lot to be desired.
  • From an SEO perspective, there is a site “meta keywords” and “meta description” but not for specific pages.
  • “Manage Website” doesn’t allow you to manage a website.
  • “View Pin” doesn’t give the Pinned user any credit.
  • “Board Management” has too few fields.

Price: $299

Demo: http://www.cogzidel.com/Pinterest-clone, on the right side

Rating: 2/5

Uniprogy Pinnect

Uniprogy, the makers of Couponic, is a Russian-based script provider. It’s built on the same Yii framework that was used for Couponic.

Pros

  • Easy installation with guide
  • Front-end looks easy to use
  • Being built on a framework means that there is no “spaghetti code.”

Cons

  • Maybe this is because it’s on the demo server, but verification email for front-end takes a long while to send.
  • Beyond-ugly back-end interface
  • Complicated modular structure
  • Page module is under “Setup/CMS” and has no SEO meta fields.
  • Doesn’t seem to “get it.”
  • Since it’s Framework-based, to make modifications and design changes a high degree of Object-Oriented programming expertise is required.

Price: $200 for the base script, $35-$100 per add-on. However, there is a package of four scripts for a $295 instead of $320.

Demo: http://uniprogy.com/pinnect/demos

Rating: 2/5

SEOToolster Script

This is a script that is not built yet but is in development. Being that there is no live demo, here is my review based on what’s written:

Pros

  • Script is purportedly built on CodeIgniter framework, ensuring that there is no spaghetti code and that everything is clean.
  • SEO-friendly
  • There are ideas for an HTML 5 version of the script

Cons

  • Price point for an undeveloped script is way too high.
  • Everything right now is just that – an idea.

Price: $749 just to book the script!

Script Site: http://seotoolster.com/clone-scripts/Pinterest-clone-script-social-pinboard-script/

Rating: 0/5

PinPress WordPress Theme

PinPress is a theme built on WordPress, an established framework. Launched in April 18, the script shows promise.

Pros

  • Widget-ready.
  • Complete Pinterest-like layout.
  • Search Engine Optimized.
  • Valid, Cross browser Compatible.
  • Easy Customization.
  • Impressive video presentation.
  • Facebook login feature.
  • Impressive price-point.

Cons

  • There is no admin username/password to work with in the demo.
  • No indication of mobile app versions

Price: $69 to start.

Demo: http://demo.pinpress.net/

Rating: 2.5/5

Okay, Which One Do I  Choose?

When there are several different Pinterest clone scripts to choose from, it’s difficult to choose the right one. We recommend trying out a few demos to see how the different Pinterest scripts work and which one you feel most comfortable with.

The majority of the features in these clone scripts are mostly the same, with a few unique features in several. So depending if you want to focus on social media or mobile apps, you may already know where to start looking!

Caveat Emptor With Off-Shore

When purchasing off-the-shelf scripts, just remember the Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) mantra. For most of these scripts, once you purchase them there are no refunds, for the simple reason that you can in theory use the providers’ script elsewhere. Each script is an  intangible good that is digitally delivered, and therefore cannot be physically sent back to the provider.

Also, remember scripts from India. Technical support is traditionally weak as their English is very different from ours.

Beat the Off-Shore Experience By Hiring iRISEmedia.com

iRISEmedia is available for hire in building Pinterest clone scripts for whatever your niche market is. Let us know and we can provide a quote.

This post originally was seen on the iRISEmedia.com website.

Daily Deal Groupon Clone Scripts – Reminiscing

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Well, the Groupon Daily Deal Industry has been dying down as of late. A lot of online businesses opened and closed their doors when they realized that with various pitfalls, as a business in and of itself it’s hard to make a nice profit when targeting a niche of a niche in only 1-2 cities.

I also noticed that, with my blog post reviews, different people tried different things. A number of you wrote comments congratulating me for my unbiased reviews. A number noticed my SEO rankings and tried to out-SEO me with creating one-page sites with SEO-friendly URLs. I also found out that a number tried to build Contus Groupclone sites themselves after reading my reviews and not bothering to thank me afterwards! Some were successful and some not. In my defense, I never said that their software was perfect, but that because it was build on Magento it always stuck to the “bottom line” which was in processing sales successfully.

Many tried to contact me to independently build their clones, in some cases even offering me salaried work. With my full-time job this admittedly was difficult as my personal time was severely diminished between work, school, and family time, which sadly included tending to my son that was to be born with a rare heart defect that unfortunately led to his demise at 7.5 weeks on February 29th, and mourning for a full month afterwards. Much of the time that I didn’t spend at work was spent in the hospital during the time he was alive.

To those that I flat-out rejected work, now you know why. To those eagerly anticipating my e-Book but not getting it until a year later, now you know why. Sorry.

However, regarding the reviews, keep in mind that I wrote my reviews when there was nothing else out there. I wanted to help service the internet community at large by writing a non-nonsense, say-it-as-I-sees-it post and make a few bucks on the side. Hence the Paypal button on the right as well as the e-Book I wrote (I know, I couldn’t have dreamt up a more original title, right?).

What can I say, for me it was an interesting journey to assist many to succeed in the Groupon Clone/Daily Deal industry as well as to fail. I merely provided my script recommendations to give people that “push” towards whatever their destination led them. I know, the last sentence sounds very Zen-like, doesn’t it?

You all have been amazing and I hope to hear feedback on other things I’ve done, as well as recommendations on what I should write about!

Groupon Clones for Morons e-Book Launch

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Well, it’s live. After a year of waiting the e-Book “Groupon Clones for Morons” has been launched.

Firstly, I feel I should finally open up and explain why I delayed in the launching of this e-Book. I initially was working on this a year ago and was sidetracked from writing this due to personal family-related circumstances, which among other things involved in the treatment, birth and passing of my son, all within the same year. Aside from the emotional stress, in terms of time, there was a point where any moment that I was not at work practically spent at the hospital. Anyways, I am certain that my son is in a much better place now, though his moving on has left a void in the hearts and minds of those that knew him for before and during his 7.5 week lifespan.

Personal matters aside, though, I intended to write this e-Book in the format of a technical paper as I felt that this was the best “no nonsense” approach. This is one of the reasons why it’s only 20 pages long – it’s 20 pages, but chock full of content, much of which is not found on my blog posts.

I published it only as an e-Book as it’s the most accessible format around. Also, I wanted to cut costs low and pass these savings to everyone else. Someone I know personally who has had his books published by a top-notch publisher explained to me that when he has a book published, and the asking price is, say, $30, he would be LUCKY if he received $3-something per purchase as the other 90% which everyone has to pay for goes straight to the following costs: advertising, illustration, editing, and the best part, PRINTING! Paper and book covers cost money! This is what the regular person gets.

I will be upfront and say it as it is. I am only charging $4.99 for the e-Book as none of those costs are being incurred, therefore, why should you the buyer suffer? Out of that price I get $3.62 of that depending if it’s sold on Lulu. From there the money gets transferred to my Paypal account where an additional 3% is taken off. Bottom line, all I am asking is to make what the regular author makes, and in return you the consumer get tons of valuable information at a fraction of the cost. Sounds good? Thought so.

As for the title, I chose “Groupon Clones for Morons.” “Morons, as “Dummies” and “Idiots” are trademarked titles and I didn’t feel like dealing with a lawsuit. I used the title “Groupon Clones” as that is what I have been using to express Daily Deal clones, and for me, Groupon is to Daily Deal sites as Coke is to soft drinks. Other than that, I thought it sounded better than “Groupon clones for the utterly helpless” and so on and so forth.

Anyways, enjoy the e-Book and use the information contained within wisely!

Contus Magento – Database Tables to Migrate

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Moving over to a new Contus website and need to transfer all data to one of their new installations? Here are a few table groups:

Admins: admin_role, admin_rule, admin_user

Catalog Products, entities and more: catalog_ – all tables

Sales: sales_ – all tables

Order Coupon Codes: ordercustomer

Newsletter subscribers: newsletter_ – all tables

Referral/Affiliate System: advert_ – all tables

Customer Information: customer_ – all tables

Caching options: core_cache_option

CMS Pages: cms_page and cms_page_store

CMS Page Blocks: cms_block and cms_block_store

 

I think that’s all, as far as I know.

Ebay has a Groupon Clone Site with Shareaholic

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Ebay recently changed their user interface to include a Groupon-ish section where special deals are made. On the right side of the screen one can see a dollar tab that expands to show special deals that Ebay is featuring from time to time, based on the consumer’s preferences.

 

 

Ebay is using a model where “daily deals” are integrated into an already-functioning shopping cart website.

Pretty cool!

Groupon Clone Software Reviews – I Am Accepting Guest Posts

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A number of people have reviewed my past Groupon Clone posts and have for the most part given me lots of positive feedback. Most of the reviews written were based on softwares I’ve personally tested out from January through March, 2011. Since then, many other Groupon software clones have come out and, as a result, others have requested that I write on those.

Among those requested which I have not written about were:

Simply put, lately I have not had much time lately to look into additional Groupon clones, as they are so many out there right now. What I am doing now, however, is accepting guest posts. If you feel that a piece of software was not reviewed, please email me a Groupon clone software review, along with the following information:
  1. An intelligent analysis of the software
  2. An intelligent analysis of the support
  3. Pricing options, and
  4. A brief description of who you are and/or your website portfolio
Once that’s done I will be more than happy to post your comments, as I am a firm believer in the spreading of free information to all.

Contus Magento GroupClone – Installing it on a (Virtual) Dedicated Host – Some pointers

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Note: Due to the age of this post as well as the evolution of the Groupon clone/aggregator system, RJH Solutions will no longer offer support for these systems. The “writing on the wall” was seen when Groupon’s CEO was fired early 2013. In the meantime, please continue browsing the rest of the site. -Rafi

In the past, people have asked me about what I personally recommend for Groupon Clone sites. I have recommended Contus’ script with a Virtual Dedicated host. With regards to the Groupon Clone software, I have explained my reasoning in earlier posts. With a virtual dedicated host, my reasoning is simple: with any Magento installation (this is not Contus, rather Magento), the size and complexity of the database/files make it so that on a shared host it will run as slow as molasses. This is even more so when one hopes that tons of people will visit the site and buy from it. With Godaddy shared hosting, for example, their hosting will only allow up to 200 concurrent connections before the “page cannot be displayed.”

Therefore, a virtual dedicated host with a control panel like Plesk or CPanel is my personal recommendation, no matter what Groupon clone software you purchase. However, with Contus Magento, there are a few things that I feel you need to be keen about when installing it on a virtual dedicated host:

  1. Make sure that 3 things are upgraded/installed: PHP 5.2+, MySQL 5.1, and ionCube.
  2. Make sure that the “php.ini” file is either renamed to something else like “php.ini.bak” or deleted completely.
  3. When installing ionCube specifically, depending on the version, make sure that the ionCube library is recompiled for backwards compatibility with the server it’s installed on. I personally have seen instances where Paypal checkout, for example, would not load because ionCube would not be set for backwards-compatibility, and this would cause heartache when trying to launch a site.
  4. For those of us that aren’t Linux server gurus, I would strongly recommend hiring a private “Linux guy” to do the installations over the server guys the hosting supports. With GoDaddy “expert hands,” for example, their support for virtual dedicated servers is incredibly limited and would draw the line where it would be “not my problem.” For example, I noticed that they would install PHP 5.2 and ionCube, but not make ionCube backwards compatible for Magento’s Paypal processor to work. When asking them to fix this, their excuse would be that it’s a software issue, not my problem. Hiring a private “Linux guy” whom you can explain your objectives to and have him/her get the “overall job” done would take care of this.

Groupon Clone Script Software Reviews – Part 3

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Note: Due to the age of this post as well as the evolution of the Groupon clone/aggregator system, RJH Solutions will no longer offer support for these systems. The “writing on the wall” was seen when Groupon’s CEO was fired early 2013. In the meantime, please continue browsing the rest of the site. -Rafi

This post is the final in my series of Groupon Clone Software reviews. With Groupon sites still maintaining popularity, many off-shore companies have raced to build their own solutions and it’s practically impossible to follow each one. However I feel like these posts have covered the most commonly used ones.

This post is a followup to the first one, which covered Contus, Alstrasoft, Agriya, Couponic, GetSocio, and GroupScript.net, as well as the second one, which covered Wroupon, Daily Deal Builder, EponWare, Groupon Clone Pro, Groupon.comClone.com, and BuildaCouponSite.com.

So without further ado, here are my reviews on Groupon Clone Pro, Groupon.comClone.com (yeah, that’s how it’s spelled), Build a Coupon Site, and FatBit.

Groupon Clone Pro

When I visited the main website, I saw that it was in Joomla based on the tab icon.

In any case, their demo site from the front-end looks promising, but there’s no explicit access to the demo site’s back-end. A Google search showed me that in the demo site, in logging in, the username/password is admin/admin123. Once in, the back-end system looks EXACTLY LIKE Agriya’s platform. Yet another clunky back-end with many bugs.

Payment gateways are Paypal and Authorize.net.

Price: N/A as they took off the Pricing page.

Groupon.comClone.com

On the home page there are buttons to guide you to the front and back-ends of the site. From a design perspective the back-end leaves much to be desired. However, everything is organized from the left side and is fairly easy to quick to pick up. The biggest problem though is that there’s no place to send out coupons, manage transactions, or manage user info!

Payment gateways are Paypal Standard and Paypal Pro, nothing else.

Price:

Default template: $250
Unique design: $400
Multi-language: $350
Customizations: $250

Build a Coupon Site

http://www.buildacouponsite.com – Account was recently suspended.

Fatbit

Fatbit.com is an Indian company that offers all sorts of software coding and design solutions, as well as SEO. They have a demo of their software on redincity.com, and all the login information on the Fatbit website,

The pros is that they seem to be available on Live Chat 24 hours a day, which is a boon for many people in the US and Canada who don’t want to be up at 1 in the morning when it’s business hours in India. They also offer custom coding packages ranging from $8 to $20 per hour, depending on the number of hours per package chosen.

The cons here I find lie with the Groupon clone software. They have an interesting system where there are 2 admin logins – one for the admin and one for the specific merchant. My biggest critique is that, while it doesn’t look like there are bugs, they made it way too complicated for someone visiting it for the first time to use it. There are too many options all over the place and is far from intuitive.

Their only payment gateways are Paypal (payments standard) and Authorize.net.

The front-end looks nothing spectacular.

Pricing: $100 for the script with default template
$1500 for the script for a custom template
$2500 if the solution is custom

Final Thoughts

Once again, when dealing with off-shore companies, you will encounter software with many basic bugs. Out of all of the softwares out there, I have found Contus to be the best for the following reasons. One is that the system is built on top of Magento Community shopping cart, a stable, robust platform especially when it comes the the bottom line: transacting money. The second reason is that their support is excellent despite the time difference. Three, they are constantly adding new features to make it “feel” different than the rest of the clone websites out there.

Until you’re ready to code your own solution, Contus is the one I personally recommend. Also, it’s strongly advised to purchase a virtual dedicated server in order to process huge amounts of bandwidth from the visitors and database use.

That concludes my review of the Groupon Clone software series. I hope these reviews have guided you in the right direction in terms of which software to use.

 

***UPDATE***

We now build PInterest clones! Click Here for my PInterest Script Clone Reviews.

Groupon Clone Script Software Reviews – Part 2

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Note: Due to the age of this post as well as the evolution of the Groupon clone/aggregator system, RJH Solutions will no longer offer support for these systems. The “writing on the wall” was seen when Groupon’s CEO was fired early 2013. In the meantime, please continue browsing the rest of the site. -Rafi
After receiving an overwhelming response to my initial review of some Groupon Clones out there, I have decided to write a follow-up on some more as per requests for some other Groupon clone softwares out there.

Just so everyone knows, I am not a reseller and therefore am posting my personal experiences and opinions of each script.

This post covers Wroupon, Daily Deal Builder, EponWare, Groupon Clone Pro, Groupon.comClone.com, and BuildaCouponSite.com.

Wroupon

Wroupon, a Chinese-based Singapore company, looks, feels and functions EXACTLY the same way that Alstrasoft does. Cheap, buggy, and limited in terms of payment processors. The more I look at it the more I’m convinced that one copied the software off the other. Perhaps some modifications were made, but that’s about it. Bugs like adding cities and limited payment processors are still present, and when other demo users point out clear bugs, very little is done to troubleshoot or at least respond to user comments.

Bottom line, nothing original, and substandard support.

Price: $89 for the Lite version, $350 for the full. A complete breakdown can be found here.

Daily Deal Builder

Daily Deal Builder looks from the outset like another stable Groupon clone, but at a relatively steep price. The starting price is $400 for the script PLUS a monthly fee for subscribers, starting at $25 a month, going as high as $5,000 a month for over 1 million subscribers. And, who’s to say that a significant percentage will make purchases to justify this cost? It can become a costly choice.

As far as functionality goes, I don’t see how it’s functionality differs from other Groupon clone sites I’ve encountered, save for the optional YouTube video upload instead of an image. Payment gateways are limited to Paypal standard and a generic credit card processor. Not only that, but it seems that you’re limited in choices of design and cities/countries, and they’re essentially hosting/owning the code for you. I personally wouldn’t recommend that in case various scenarios occur, such as code base change, or even the minute chance that the company goes out of business.

Also, there’s a base currency setting per site. What if you intend to expand your business globally and use different currencies and time zones?

Again, my personal take is to have control of the code you own at a decent cost. $400 plus a monthly fee starting at $25 for code you don’t even have control over is in my opinion a bit steep, even though support is within the United States time zones.

Price: $400 plus a monthly fee starting at $25, can go as high as $5,000/month.

EponWare’s EponGroup

Some pointers:

  • The main website is amateurishly run on Joomla! CMS.
  • There is no free demo, rather the demo must be per request.
  • The email address for contacting them is an “@gmail.com” one.
  • “Ships in 3-5 days.” I don’t understand why downloadable software needs to take that long.
  • In all honesty, I have not tested the software to come to an adequate conclusion. I filled out the sign-up form earlier but no attempt to contact me back was made, which gives credence to the company’s non-professionalism.

It has recently come to my attention that their support is not , the code is encrypted so that it cannot be modified, is limited in functionality, and that any little change is also expensive.

Pricing:
Software: $500
Skin Design: $250
Language Mod: $150
Training: $99
Customization: $50/hour

 

My next post in the Groupon Clone series covers reviews on the following: Groupon Clone Pro, Groupon.comClone.com, buildacouponsite, and FatBit’s Groupon Clone. Stay tuned!

***UPDATE***

We now build PInterest clones! Click Here for my PInterest Script Clone Reviews.