The KISS Principal 2021March 18th, 2021

Blog Post: The KISS Principal 2021

The KISS Principal (keep it simple stupid) is a principal which relates to simplifying systems. We are applying it to websites and discussing the 5 Things which need to be a priority for every website built in 2021 & beyond. While there are many things you do when developing websites, we are sticking to the KISS acronym and keeping it simple, focusing on just 5 main must-haves.

KISS, an acronym for keep it simple, stupid, is a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore, simplicity should be a key goal in design, and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

 

Without further ado, here are the 5 things all websites need to have in 2021 and beyond:

1: MOBILE FRIENDLY

You would think every site in the world is mobile friendly in 2021. But somehow that still is not the case. There are still thousands and thousands of websites across the globe which don’t look good on mobile devices.  As over half the people viewing your website are on mobile devices, such as cell phones, iPads and other small devices, if your site is not responsively designed the people are getting a bad experience and probably will go elsewhere.

2: CLEAR, SIMPLE NAVIGATION

When we build a site for companies, one of the main things we focus on is the navigational flow of the website. Most small business sites, should have all their content reachable within a couple of clicks.  I have reviewed sites where you have to get down five or six clicks to get to the content you’re looking for. People don’t have the time to go hunting for what they need. So make sure all your content is reachable within two or three clicks at the most. Read more about navigation menus in our post Drive Through Menus & Navigation Bars. Keeping your navigation menus simple and clear is a perfect way to comply with the Kiss Principle as the affects all your visitors.

3: CONSISTENT QUALITY CONTENT

One of the main reasons people come to RooSites is because they want to optimize their website or improve their search engine rankings. We always preach consistent quality content.  If you want to do well with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and improve your rankings you need to be adding good content which is also an answer to people’s search queries.

4:  CLEAR CALL TO ACTION

OK, so you’ve gotten someone to come to your website. That’s great, and certainly the first thing you need in order to succeed. But, what do they do when they get to your site? You want them to act, and to do so you need a clear call to action. Whether you want them to make an appointment, buy a product, you have to make it easy. That may be something as simple as a well-placed button. Don’t make people search for a way to act.  If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they will go to your competition. That’s a fact.  I always make sure that one of the first things people see is a button which will take them where I want them to go. For me I want people to read about my company and I send them from my homepage to view my about page.  I also have a call to action at the bottom of almost all my pages which takes them to a form. I know this works as I receive many clients this way.

5:  https, NOT http

This is a relatively simple one, but somethings so many companies overlook. They build a nice website but then they don’t have a secure certificate (Indicated by the padlock in your browser 🔒 ). This is a security feature which indicates that a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate is present on your website’s hosting server. This encrypts data sent from your website.  This used to be for just shopping sites but now usage is expected on EVERY website.  Google introduced penalties in 2018 for insecure sites, marking them in searches as ‘Not Secure’ – this will scare away potential customers/clients!

Bottom Line

The Kiss Principal is meant to simplify things, so start with the must haves we discussed above. All these things are relatively simple to employ. If you are having trouble with any or all of these items, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can get you squared away quickly and effectively.


If you need help with designing or managing your website, please contact us today!


 

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The Door’s Open But The Ride It Ain’t FreeFebruary 23rd, 2021

Blog Post The door's open but the ride it ain't free webThis was a line from the Bruce Springsteen song “Thunder Road” many years ago. I thought of it this week in terms of my business and how it relates. The song talks about change and points out that although the door may be open there is a cost, nothing in this world is free and you need to think about it before making a big business decision.  In my business that decision is whether or not to leave a service provider for a different company.

I am super fortunate in that I have one of the best client retention rates in the industry, well into the 90% range. I very rarely lose a client, unless someone goes out a business or a new executive takes over in a company and wants to bring in their own vendors.

But like other businesses I do on occasion have a client go elsewhere. Fortunately, most of the time they return (when I will accept them). Usually, people find out that the grass is not in fact greener on the other side of the fence!  Every company has its strengths and weaknesses. For RooSites our strength has always been our responsiveness to our clients. We answer every request the same day. This is unheard of in our industry, with some companies taking as much as two weeks just to make small text changes to your website.  The funny thing about offering such world-class support is that people come to expect it. Then when they move onto a new provider, they are dumbfounded as to how their service level has gone down such a great deal!

As a professional web development firm, we do not work on anything without a service contract. This spells out all terms of a client’s relationship with us. This protects both us and our clients and they typically appreciate it!  Now most of my clients are quite professional and review the contract and have their legal counsel review as well. So there are no surprises if we break up. Sadly you do once in a while run into someone who doesn’t read contracts and then act surprised at the end. It is utterly amazing to me that in 2021 that you have people who sign documents without reading or having a professional review. But after 20+ years in this business, nothing shocks me.

Here are some suggestions how you can avoid troublesome ends to your business relationships.

  • Make sure the company you are working with outlines all terms in a contract. Have the contract reviewed by your attorney, just to make sure you are protected. The biggest thing is spelling out what happens at the end of the relationship.
  • Think about why you are leaving. Is it just because someone else is less expensive, if so is the new provider giving you the same level of service? If you like the company you’ve been working with, have you tried to see if you could cut down on your service level and that save you money. Companies change over time and you don’t need as much support after a while as you did when a project first was begun.
  • If your provider has done a good job and you’ve had a good relationship, before moving on first have a candid conversation of what you’re looking for and why you’re even considering changing. I recently had a long-term client leave because they had new Executive Director who wanted something different done and brought in her own people rather than communicate to us.
  • Be sure you get all your files if and when you move on to a new provider. Companies will typically keep your files for a while, but then they will delete them. You don’t want to be in a position where you lose files that you deem necessary. Usually companies will give you all your files, once your final invoice is paid up.

Bottom line:

Breaking up isn’t easy, especially when you’ve had a good relationship with a company. So think about it from your provider’s standpoint. If they done a good job they’re usually going to be surprised when you leave. So handle things in a classy manner, pay your final invoice and fulfill all the terms of your contract. If you can’t afford to make that final payment, then negotiate in good faith. Most companies will be willing to settle with you as no one wants conflict.


If you need help with designing or managing your website, please contact us today!


 

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