In 2008 Jacob Gube decided to share his expertise in web design through Six Revisions. As web developer and web designer he just wanted to keep track of all the things learned while building sites. Now his site is a multi-author site very much and widely appreciated because of valuable content, emphasis on quality and comprehensiveness of its articles.
Browsing through his website you will learn many interesting things about web design, surprisingly even about how to undesign your website, how to go “back to basics”, that is. Make things easier to use and reduce maintenance requirements.
Jacob believes usability comes before aesthetics. “Designing for the web isn’t the same as painting a picture where you have more of a creative license to do whatever you want; usability is important”, he says.
High quality content and reference to the creative side that the development of a site requires, are the biggest reasons why I think you can find some inspiration for your website in Jacob Gube’s useful tips and tutorials. Even if you are not into the world of coding and programming.
Jacob, how and why did you start?
I started our first site, Six Revisions, almost (it seems like) on a whim. I’d been an avid reader of sites such as Lifehacker and Zen Habits, which inspired me to start my own. One day, I just had the sudden desire to start a website.
So I made a short list of site names, picked one and registered it. Then I got a hosting account, installed WordPress, wrote my first post, and published it even before the domain name fully resolved to the hosting server (it can take up to 72 hours for DNS records to propagate).
One of the reasons I started Six Revisions was I wanted to catalog the things I learned while working as a web developer and web designer. The other reason was out of a desire to share useful and practical information that would help professionals in their jobs.
How much time do you spend working on it and what are the usual tasks?
I spend quite a lot of time running both of our sites (our other site is Design Instruct). I’d say at least 10 hours a day, including weekends. Oftentimes, it’ll be 12-15-hour days.
Some of my usual day-to-day tasks are:
- working with our authors (we have over 250 people that have contributed to one of our sites)
- communicating with readers (through comments and via email)
- writing articles
- editing articles
- reading industry news
That’s on top of projects like our first set eBooks, web development work (such as site upgrades) and so forth.
What is the best lesson learned that you would like to share with our readers?
The best lesson I’ve learned is that you should focus on content quality over anything else. I’d much rather post infrequently rather than post articles that I feel do not meet the quality standards we’ve established.
What is your best advice on getting visitors?
Create great content. If you do this, Internet users will eventually find your site, share it on their social networks, and you’ll be more likely to build a strong community of supporters.
What is your biggest success and biggest mistake?
I’m humbled that we’ve been able to grow our sites consistently since we first started them, though I can’t take credit for this since it’s our hardworking, talented authors and our supportive readership that’s really helped our sites become what they are now.
My biggest mistake? Delaying the redesign of the site for this long! The design and structure of your site is important, and should support the content of your site. I have been working on the redesign and hopefully launch it soon.