10 Quick Questions for Parking.com.my in the process of creating the #1 Malaysia Parking Rate Directory.
We have the opportunity to have a quick interview with Kevin, the Founder of Parking.com.my to share his story on how he had the idea and started to develop a Parking Rate Directory for location or building in Malaysia.
1. Hi Kevin! It’s good to have you here. Can you tell us more about yourself about your background?
Thanks! My profession is an engineer. Upon graduating from an Australian university with a degree in Mechatronics Engineering in 2006, I came back to Malaysia and joined an American based semi-conductor manufacturing company as process engineer.
2 years later, I joined my family’s company to oversee their production line of automotive parts. At the same time, I also helped out in the factory’s trading company. Few years later, in 2010, I began to have the interest with website building and started to do self learning on building websites.
2. How was the learning process?
The learning was relatively simple thanks to the basic programming knowledge that I got while pursuing my Engineering degree. On top of that, I was also able to find a lot of information related to this on the internet. The process was fairly fun. With the new knowledge gained, I was able to build various websites including blogs, e-commerce site and information websites.
3. So have you mastered the art of website building?
Definitely not. There is a big gap between building a website and building a great website. Knowing the basic allows us to build a website, but in order to build a great website, there is another pandora box to open and it contains the knowledge of SEO, content creation, digital marketing and more. And these are very big fields on their own and there’s no “secret sauce” to master them as the algorithm for them keep evolving, in a good way.
3. So why did you come out the idea of creating a Parking Rate Directory?
The idea struck me back in 2014. After created a blog and a few e-commerce website, I was just searching the internet to search for some inspiration on what should I start to work on next. As mentioned above, content creation is an important part of website building, so I started to look into a information directory website where people can search for the information that they want.
But coming out with what kind of information was the difficult thing. I put myself in the shoes and started thinking what kind of information was I always trying to look for in the internet but couldn’t find a reliable source. Then it hit me – it was the parking rate of shopping malls.
Imagine those days when we were shocked by the parking fee when we exit the parking of a shopping mall. During then, we had no idea how much parking fee that we had to pay before planning for a trip to the mall because the information was not readily available to us. So I said, why not I just consolidate the parking rates into a website and let it be a reference to others like me. Without much thinking I started working on it.
4. How did you start?
During then I was already very comfortable with building websites using WordPress. All my sites are built using this platform.
To begin with, I had to find the right plugin or theme that was able to fulfil my need. Once found and set up the infrastructure the site, then comes the data collection part. I treated this as a fun project so I did everything by myself. I would search the internet for blogs or website that mention parking rate of certain locations in Malaysia and “copy” them into my site. I would also snap photos of the parking rates the the places that I were at and later update to my site.
End of the day, the data collection was the crucial part.
5. How was the public response towards the site?
Since the beginning of the launch of Parking.com.my, we had a steady increase of users visiting the site over the year. As of December 2019, we get almost 90,000 unique visitors in a month. 95% of these visitors are from organic source, meaning that they came to our site while they’re doing a search on search engine. We have not paid a single cents for advertising.
We currently has the parking rate for close to 400 locations in Malaysia. Not surprisingly, the most visited pages are some of the most popular shopping malls in the city center such as KLCC Pavilion, Mid Valley Megamall, Avenue K, Lot 10, Nu Sentral and Sunway Pyramid.
Other popular pages are related to long term parking at KLIA, KLIA2 and Salak Tinggi Park & Ride (Salak Tinggi KLIA Transit).
6. Are you getting any income from the site?
Since the site is free for everyone to use, we don’t generate any income from them. We rely on the income from the Google advertisements that are being displayed on our site for revenue. It’s not a lot but it’s more than enough to cover the maintenance of the site.
7. What is your future plans towards the site?
We are still constantly improving the layout of the website for better user experience. Of course, we are still constantly adding in new locations to our site as well as updating the existing locations should there be any changes to the parking rate.
We are also planning to work together with shopping malls to help them with publicity.