Interview with Aaron Wall from

Aaron WallToday we’re delighted a have the chance to talk with Aaron Wall from Aaron’s SEO Book has been around since 2003 and he writes probably the best one-person SEO blog in the industry.

As we did here at Alledia, Aaron recently shifted his business model from pay-to-download-my-book towards a more community-based training system. His new site is built with Drupal, so we asked him about SEO and Content Management Systems:

1) You chose Drupal for your new site. Why did you feel this was a better choice than alternatives such as WordPress and Joomla?

I wanted to create a membership site where I could keep adding lots of features – doing things like making some content fully available and other content partially available or not available to the general public, requiring a subscription to access the training modules ( Drupal is much more enterprise class than WordPress is. I never really compared Drupal to Joomla because the main programmer doing the job had done extensive work with Drupal and stood by it strongly enough to convince me it was the right call.

2) What modules did you find useful for getting your site to work the you way wanted?

I think FlashVideo, Drupal vB, pathauto, page title, nodewords, jRating, user review, custom error, autoresponder, books, and premium are all used on my site.

3) Now the site has been live for a while, do you think you’ve made the right choice? Are there things that Drupal could still do better out-of-the-box?

The site has lots of changes made beyond being out-of-the-box. So many of them were made before I saw it that I can’t say how many issues it has out of the box, but I installed Drupal on and it was quite easy to get clean URLs there. I have a decent server for SEO Book, so the page load times are good in spite of a fairly high traffic load, but I think my programmer had to set up some php caching levels and install a boost module to get that set properly.

4) If a customer or training member, who values SEO highly, asked you whether they should use a Content Management System, what advice would you give them?

In general if you want to stay competitive on the current web you need a way to interact with your customers. If you sell online customer reviews of product are important, and so is the ability to push out news that people can subscribe to and comment on. If you are not using a CMS to power your website you are at distinct marketing and efficiency disadvantages to the increasing number of websites that are.

If you use a top open source CMS you are essentially getting thousands of hours of programming, real world testing, and bug fixes for free. And you can tap the strong development communities to extend out leading CMSs to fit your needs much more affordably than you can build something from scratch.

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