Ask the Expert – Maintaining Multiple Websites with Nick La

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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:

Web Designer Wall

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?

IconDock

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.

Best Web Gallery

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?

N.Design Studio

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.

Jobs on the 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.

Conclusion

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.

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Former editor in chief of Designinformer.

  1. 1

    Really great and inspiring interview. Especially the hands on feedback for managing a few sites at a time.

    Thanks for the article.

    Jacques
    .-= Jacques//An1ken´s latest Blog Entry – Win a 1000 Free Business Cards courtesy of All Business Cards =-.

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  2. 2

    I found this to be surprisingly inspiring… the dream living is possible :) .. by the way, huge fan of Web Designer Wall

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  3. 3

    50-60 hours a week! wow :)
    .-= twe4ked´s latest Blog Entry – Subscribe in Two Clicks from any Browser =-.

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  4. 4

    Nick is da man! his work is just amazing
    .-= Kawsar Ali´s latest Blog Entry – Ultimate CSS List Creation Methods and Examples =-.

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  5. 5

    very nice post. Great jobs Nick La. Thanks!
    .-= texturezine´s latest Blog Entry – High-Res Rust Textures =-.

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  6. 6

    @Jacques – You’re welcome! Keep up the great work on Creative Overflow!

    @Jason – I’m also a huge fan. His illustrations are great.

    @twe4ked – Yes, that just shows you how dedicated Nick La is to his work.

    @Kawsar Ali – Agreed :)

    @texturezine – Yes, it was very kind of Nick to do the interview. BTW, you got some pretty nice textures on your blog. Just keep pumping out more great textures!

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  8. 8

    I’m huge fan of Nick La and I’ve been visiting most of those sites for ages. Interesting to get a glimpse into his work week. I’ve recently turned off the alert for incoming email and I’ve found it helps me concentrate better! I wonder if Nick does that.
    .-= Rob Cubbon´s latest Blog Entry – First thoughts on the 4 Hour Workweek =-.

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  9. 9

    thank you for this advice. i am currently struggling because i have a normal music site where i release songs and podcasts, but i am working on another concept where i talk directly to other artists and DJs with tutorial videos. one instinct is to combine them into one, but another is to keep them separated cause the tutorials aren’t for the average person.

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  10. 10

    really great & simple the way he is, the work he does i like him… u ROK…

    Thanks & Regards,
    Designing Studios

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  11. 11

    Awesome interview :-)
    .-= Soh Tanaka´s latest Blog Entry – Guest Post – 5 Useful Coding Solutions Part 2 =-.

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  12. 12

    @Rob Cubbon – I tried doing that before, but it just doesn’t work for me, but I have heard a lot of people who only check email once a day, some, like Tim Ferriss (4 Hour Workweek) check it even less than that.

    @mr. tunes – I’m glad that you found the advice useful.

    @Soh – Get ready, cause you’re interview is coming soon!

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  13. 13

    Short, sweet, and to the point. If anything though, I would have liked a bit of information about where you should be in the development of one site before moving on. This can be definitely be seen as a personal choice, just based on your capacity to sustain a new site, but hearing his thoughts on it would have been nice.
    Good article though, nice insight.
    .-= Andrew Brinker´s latest Blog Entry – About Us =-.

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  14. 14

    @Andrew – Good point! I would like to know that as well. I should have asked that question. Like you said, it’s all a personal choice, but for me, I think that you shouldn’t start a new site until your current one is already developed and to the point where you don’t have to spend too much time on it.

    On the other hand, I have read elsewhere that you should start a site to see if it works right away, and if it doesn’t, then just kill it and move on to another website project.

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  15. 15

    Great interview! I was quite surprised to learn that you work in public places. That must be interesting.

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  16. 16

    @Em – Yeah, I was surprised as well. I don’t think I can do it, but I guess it works for Nick!

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  17. 17

    Awesome!
    Big fan of Nick’s work

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  18. 18

    @Min – Yes, he does have a lot of fans and you’re one of them. BTW, nice site!

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  19. 19

    To eliminate distractions, I get out the house and turn off my WiFi when I need to focus.

    Great advice! I will try doing his more often. I also like your idea of floating around coffee shops. Every try a library or something like that?
    .-= Ted Goas´s latest Blog Entry – If you register your site for free at =-.

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  20. 20

    Wow never realized he spent that much time managing all those sites. Hes got amazing talent, hes one of my favorite designers to follow on Twitter. Thanks for writing this article it was very informative :)

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  21. 21

    @Ted – Thanks for reading the article. I myself have tried to work at coffee shops, but I just couldn’t seem to do it. Plus my laptop broke. :(

    @Dani – You’re welcome! Make sure you check back often for more of the “Ask the Expert” series.

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  22. 22

    I love Nicks work & personally check up regularly, on the daily to be honest, on his sites. Great feature post!

    - MexiChriS

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  23. 24

    Thanks for the concise and short interview guys. Nick is a real genius, but I do not see how he gets any work done, or wait for Nick, maybe nothing is work!

    John

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