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ModernCastle Helps You Find Reviews, Guides, And Information On All Things Home

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ModernCastle is a platform dedicated to testing, reviewing, and recommending the best home-related products to consumers. The mission of Modern Castle is to help its readers discover, research, and select great products for the home. To achieve its mission, ModernCastle performs in-depth tests on the most popular products. These tests provide data to help them analyze and score products. They compile their testing, assessment, and scoring data into thoughtfully crafted guides and reviews. Below is our interview with Derek Hales, Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Modern Castle:


Q: What’s Modern Castle’s story? How did Modern Castle start?

A: Modern Castle’s story starts when I was 12 years old, while building my first custom computer. I had saved allowances and worked a variety of odd jobs for my parents to earn enough money to purchase the parts. This was in 1999, and the internet was still quite young, so the idea of researching or purchasing these parts online wasn’t yet a mainstream option. Instead, I read through tech magazines, talked to the staff at the local Micro Center, and discussed options with my dad to help assemble an affordable parts list that could meet my performance goals.

As I grew, so did the internet. Researching and purchasing products online became more commonplace.

I have always had a passion for creating websites that help people, as well as an almost obsessive level of research I put into products before making a purchase.

Modern Castle is the third major web platform I’ve built. Each platform has been the culmination of my passions for research and creating incredible websites. I launched in September 2017 to help consumers find exceptional reviews, guides, and information on all things home.

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Q: What’s your professional background?

A: My career started with odd jobs and working at the local grocery store as a high school student. After my time as a cashier had ended, I launched my first website in 2007, a simple blog about the popular video game, World of Warcraft. While in college, I continued to write for my website—and what was once a small blog became one of the most popular World of Warcraft resources online. In addition to the website, I wrote a book on how to earn gold in the game, which I promoted through the blog. I maintained my book and blog while attending college, but after graduation I decided to let these projects gradually come to an end.

Shortly after graduating from college, I started working for iCrossing, a digital marketing agency. I had the pleasure of working with truly some of the greatest marketers in the country and the privilege of helping to direct the digital strategy of some of the world’s largest brands. It was a great company to work for and I learned a tremendous amount. Toward the end of my tenure at iCrossing, I increasingly felt a desire to work on smaller, more nimble projects.

In September 2014, I started a project on my own, On the Sleepopolis platform, I began testing and reviewing mattresses. Sleepopolis launched as a hobby project for me, but it grew quickly, and I knew it had the potential to be much more. In February 2015, I left iCrossing to pursue Sleepopolis full time. My mission was simply to build the best reviews I could and help people find better sleep. After building Sleepopolis for nearly 3 years, I made the decision in July 2017 to sell Sleepopolis and move on to my next project.

After a couple months of research on a variety of ideas, I had finally settled on my newest project, Modern Castle is the culmination of my experience and knowledge in building fast and user-friendly websites; exceptional product tests and reviews; and interesting visuals, graphics, and videos.

Q: What can we expect from in the future?

A: You can except the absolute most in-depth, informative, and easy-to-understand reviews on all things for the home. In many industries, product reviews have gained something of a bad reputation over the years, and not without good reason. I launched to help create an environment of exceptional tests and reviews that our readers can trust.

Currently, our focus is on testing all popular vacuum cleaners in the United States. Over time, we will expand beyond vacuum cleaner reviews into other home-related products.

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Q: How would you convince the readers to visit

A: I’ve never been much of a salesman, so when it comes to convincing people why my projects are worthwhile, I simply let the projects speak for themselves.

It is my hope and objective that the guides, reviews, comparisons, and videos on Modern Castle will be the absolute best on the internet. Simply take 30 seconds to look at just one review (here’s a link to my Roomba 690 review) and if it doesn’t blow you away, please email me here and tell me where it needs work.

Modern Castle strives to create the best content, but we recognize “best” is always changing. As a result, we’re always changing. I’m happy with what we’ve built so far, but you can be assured it will continually improve, and we’ll continually find ways to deliver a better experience and better content.

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