Ask the Expert is a weekly series here on Design Informer. Maintaining multiple websites is the theme for this week. Nick La is this week’s expert.
Nick La is a Toronto based freelance illustrator and web designer. His main focuses are designing stock icons, illustrations, and beautiful CSS websites. Nick’s work has been featured in many online portals and design publications such as: Computer Arts, Web Designer Magazine, Practical Web Design (.Net magazine), DIGIT, and Web Design Index.
Maintaining Multiple Websites
What are the different websites that you maintain?
I run the following sites:
- N.Design Studio
my portfolio site
my stock icon shop
- Best Web Gallery
I feature the best design sites
- Web Designer Wall
blog about design trends
- Jobs on the Wall
job board for designers
5 different websites. That sounds like a lot of work. How much time every week do you spend maintaining these websites?
About 50 to 60 hours per week.
Can you give us some insight on your typical work day?
My typical work day: check emails first after I get up, feed and walk my dogs, go to Starbucks or tea shops to work, come home at night, take a break for dinner and TV, then browse or read blogs at late night.. pretty much it. I don’t work at home nor the office. I like to hop around and work at different locations. I find it very refreshing and inspiring because I’m constantly in different environments and see different people.
Do you have a schedule that you follow, or do you just work on whatever you feel like?
No, I don’t have a fixed schedule. My schedule is very flexible, so I guess you can say I work on whatever I feel like. However, I do have deadlines and goals that I set for myself.
What are some of the main distractions that you have when working on these different websites?
The main distractions are: TV, Internet, my dogs, Twitter, and email notifications.
How do you eliminate or minimize these distractions?
To eliminate distractions, I get out the house and turn off my WiFi when I need to focus.
Are there any benefits to running all your sites separate vs. just combining them all into one really big website?
I can’t really combine my sites together because each one serves a different purpose (ie. IconDock is for icons, Web Designer Wall is for design related articles, and Jobs on the Wall is for design jobs). I find it is easier to manage and market because each site has its unique target.
Out of all your different websites, which do you spend the most time working on?
I spend the most time on Web Designer Wall.
What one advice would you give someone who wants to expand their business by building and maintaining multiple websites?
Before you build another site, make sure it will serve different purposes and you will have time to manage it. Otherwise, just focus on the existing one.
Are all your websites hosted on the same server?
Yes, all my sites are hosted on the same server.
I just want to thank Nick for doing this interview. If you plan on running multiple websites, then you definitely need to follow Nick’s advice.
The next topic will be about creating large scale sites with WordPress. We have a very talented developer that has worked on some really big projects. I don’t want to give out too much details yet, so please stay tuned. You can follow me on Twitter and subscribe to the RSS feed here.