Managing multiple websites can go from a minor portion of your day-to-day tasks to a nightmarish chore that eats up all of your time. Thankfully there are a multitude of ways that you can cut down on the amount of time dedicated to managing your many sites.
1. Eliminate Redundancy
One of the first things to consider when trying to manage multiple sites is to eliminate redundancy. If you have three different sites doing the same thing it’s not a bad idea to consider consolidating them into one site that covers all of the same information. While this step isn’t always possible, it’s a good place to start looking.
2. Dump Your Obsolete Sites
Another thing to consider is obsolete sites. The time comes in the life of every site when it has fulfilled its purpose or simply isn’t getting much traffic any more, and you’re dedicating large amounts of time to managing a site that no longer is giving you the king of return on investment it used to. Your time is valuable, so don’t spend it maintaining a website that is no longer in use.
3. Bring in a Third Party
One of the best ways to save time and effort while managing multiple sites is to consider third party hosting. Most third party hosting companies that specialize in specific systems will provide basic day-to-day support and maintenance at no cost, or a very low cost to you. By offsetting the time you are putting into your websites through hosting you can massively reduce the amount of time you spend doing things like backups and server maintenance.
This advantage becomes most apparent when you consider hosted exchange servers. Exchange is the mail server produced by Microsoft that is commonly used with Microsoft Outlook, and handles things such as mail, calendars, contacts, and scheduling. Unfortunately, managing an exchange server requires quite a bit of not only skill, but time invested in ensuring that backups are run frequently, mailboxes aren’t over limit, and things of that nature.
Use Multiple-Site Update Tools
There are also other tools to make running multiple websites easier. One thing to consider is tools that are designed to allow you to post or update content to multiple sites at the same time. There are times when you will want to post the same thing, for example an announcement of a new site, to all of your sites at the same time. By leveraging a multiple-site update program that interfaces with your content management system, you can post that update in a matter of seconds instead of spending 3-5 minutes on every site you run.
Time is Precious
Just remember, don’t spend so much time trying to save time that you end up wasting time. By investing your time wisely, either attempting to streamline your process of managing multiple websites, or actually managing those websites, you can ensure that you are getting the best return on your time investment that you possibly can. While some people are running a website for the sheer enjoyment, it is important to remember to cover your expenses too.