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Q&A with Leanne Mitton website designer and MainWP user

q&A with leanne mitton

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Leanne Mitton has been a web designer for 20 years. She began as a co-op student while in high school, working for Norlink.

Following college, she took a full-time job with Norlink. In the year 2004, she found herself with the opportunity to purchase Norlink. Since then, she has been synonymous with Norlink.

Leanne is a fan of MainWP, which allows her to use the tool she thinks will work best in each situation. She lives in the lovely town of Thunder Bay, Ontario, in Canada. She enjoys spending time with her family, knitting, and looking for places to explore in Northwestern Ontario.

MainWP testimonial

MainWP makes managing my client’s websites a breeze. I love that it connects with a variety of 3rd party tools/plugins, giving me the choice to use the tools that best serve my needs.

Leanne Mitton
Leanne Mitton

How did you get started in website development?

I got started in web development in 1997 when it was relatively new. I was drawn to it and the online world and ended up getting a high school co-op at a company that was doing web design along with dial-up Internet services.

What is your favorite part of being a website developer?

I love learning about other businesses and all the different fields that are out there and seeing what I can do to help them in their business through their online marketing.

When you aren’t whipping up websites, what do you like to do?

I knit, and I’m learning to sew. I like taking materials and making something out of it. I also like taking things apart and fixing them. Playing silly puzzle games that get the left side of my brain going helps me unwind at times. This summer, I started kayaking, which renewed my love of being on the water and has been amazing for my mental health. Northwestern Ontario has so many amazing lakes that I need to explore.

How does MainWP help you as a website developer?

It’s great being able to have a central area where I can see all the websites currently under my care plan. I don’t have to try and remember which sites are using certain plugins if I quickly need to update them due to a security update. It’s also nice being able to see a quick overview on how the website is doing in terms of uptime, web traffic, posts/pages, etc.

If you were going to convince another developer to use MainWP, what would you tell him or her?

My favourite thing about MainWP is that it connects up with a variety of 3rd party tools. I’m not limited to one specific backup tool, but I have several that integrate into, and I can find the ones that work best for my needs. I don’t like being boxed into what tools I’m allowed to use. I’m a huge fan of choice!

What is your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?

Trying to not compare myself to others. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and we need to learn to play to those strengths. Working out of a home office, way before COVID forced people to work remote, I had to learn to set specific work hours to give myself a work/life balance that I need. I also have a problem saying no. I want to help people with everything, and I have a habit of overcommitting.

What do you wish you knew before you started your business?

That it’s okay to say no.

What tools can you not live without?

Oh, that’s tough. I feel like I’m pretty adaptable, especially considering how much the web space has changed over the past 20+ years. I do use View Source Code in the browser fairly often to see how things are set up/what’s being used/how the site was built.

Not really a tool, but I recently put rollerblade wheels on my office chair, and it’s amazing.

Wrapping it up

I think Leanne is like many of us. We want the freedom to use the tools we like. We don’t want to be boxed into someone else’s stack.  This is one of the biggest reasons she likes MainWP (me too!). Leanne is someone who truly grew up in the industry and had the opportunity to purchase the company she loved. Like most of us, there is more to Leanne than website design. She enjoyed spending time with her family, knitting, and other adventures in the Thunder Bay area.

Leanne’s company, Norlink, is online at and Facebook. You can also follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneMitton.

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Donata Stroink-Skillrud
Donata Stroink-Skillrud
President of Agency Attorneys

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