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How many websites can you can realistically develop at the same time - a guide

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“How many websites can I handle at once?” is a great question. Firstly, no matter how wonderful you become at developing domains, it’s true that ultimately there will be a maximum number that any one person can keep up with.

Of course, if you’re part of a company, partnership, or team, you’ll in theory have more people to help and therefore more domains you can keep up with.

Even if all you want to do development-wise is to put up a landing page and a few other brief pages for each site, you’ll still run into limitations of what you can do time-wise.

The short answer is this: the absolute maximum number of domains you can safely keep up with is the number you feel comfortable with logging into and checking on on a periodic basis. For example, once every two weeks or so. It’s even better security-wise to check in more frequently, like once a week or even more often. The more frequently you check the better, but the more of your time that will take and therefore the less total number of domains you’ll be able to handle.

I highly recommend you check in on a regular rotating schedule in addition to responding to any update notifications you have received. Sometimes update notifications wind up going to spam or being ignored once they work their way down your inbox. You do need to log into each site on a regular ongoing basis to update cores, plugins and extensions for that site. To omit this will not only eventually compromise the security of that site, but potentially of all the sites on your shared hosting plan.

No matter how fast you work, you still have to physically log into the admin panel of your site to update, and even if it’s less than a minute per site, that does take time when multiplied by lots of sites - and that’s time taken away from other projects you may wish to do.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but I would say that I, personally, would want to log into each site once every two weeks – or more frequently. I personally would not want to be doing this for more than 10 sites a week. So, suppose I am prepared to do a cycle of 10 sites each week and want to be returning back again to site 1 in the second week, that would mean I’m only really able to keep up with a maximum of 20 sites, logging into 10 of my sites per week to update the very basics.

You can plug your own numbers into the above equation to see what would work for you as your maximum – and this may very well be different to mine.

In reality the maximum we calculated is really a “ceiling” and what you will actually be accomplish will be less. Why? Because of the need to add content to sites. Not all of your sites will need you to add content on a regular basis – but those that get it will do better SEO-wise. Some of your sites will simply be a landing page to show potential domain name buyers how the site could look; for those you won’t need much if any content updates. But if earning money from the website itself (not merely from the domain name) is a big part of the reason you’re developing, you will certainly need to make sure you have content, such as blog posts for a blog, or user-written status updates for a social entwork.

The more you are able to drive engaged traffic to your site, the more money you will earn from it.

Any site you pour your heart and soul into (time-wise and content-wise) will be time taken away from developing more sites in lesser ways. Then again, you can expect to earn a lot more from a well-developed site than from several brief sites.

So ultimately you’ll have to decide which domains to develop, why, to what extent, and how you expect to monetize each site. These answers will almost certainly be different for different domains.

All of this should add up to you saying something along the lines of: “From the calculation above, my ceiling limit is 20 websites, but because of the time taken to add content I choose to develop only 12; of these, 4 domains will become well-developed and the other 8 I will spend very little time on.” Again, plug in your own numbers to come up with something that works for you.

Remember, the numbers you came up with are just a starting plan – a guide, not a hard-and-fast rule. You can adapt your plan as you go, adding or removing websites once you get more of a feel for things. But in the planning stages, it helps to have some sort of starting guidelines. The type of analysis we did above should help you get started.

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