Robert Frost & The Webmaster (Updated)June 17th, 2020

UPDATED – I had originally published this post back in 2014. The post discusses my favorite poem and how it relates to one of my main functions as a webmaster/website manager. I had been thinking a lot about this lately and the famous line, I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep. During Covid-19, we have seen an uptick in business and support requests due to companies needing to keep their clients/customers informed. Other companies are trying to add e-commerce functionality as well as abilities they don’t currently have such as accepting online payments. During this historically tough time, there are no days off and there is always something to do to help our clients. When someone’s business is on the line, it is our job to help them in anyway we can.

Anyway, enjoy the post and let me know your thoughts.


Blog Post Robert Frost & The Webmaster My favorite poem is Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening By Robert Frost. I absolute love this poem. For those of you unfamiliar, I will share the poem and then explain the wacky title of this post.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Now for the explanation: That last part gets me every time I read the poem, and it is what reminds me of my role as a webmaster. You see, as a webmaster or website manager, there are always things to do, and as Frost repeats: And miles to go before I sleep. This line is repeated in my opinion as a way to bring emphasis to the point. That point is not lost on me or my role as a webmaster. Take today, a Saturday for instance. For most a day off, for me a work day. I had a client with a website problem in need of a fix. I have a team of developers at work in need of a couple of answers from me. Now, I could certainly take the day off and wait until Monday to work on these issues. But, that is what separates us from everyone else. My goal has always been to be the most responsive company in the world for website maintenance. A lofty goal, no doubt. But I honestly think we have achieved this and work everyday to improve. We don’t rest on our laurels.

In conclusion: While this job isn’t always easy, and certainly not for everyone, we have chosen the road less traveled. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist) Our clients are glad we did!

Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1923, © 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, Inc., renewed 1951, by Robert Frost. Reprinted with the permission of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Source: Collected Poems, Prose, & Plays (Library of America, 1995)

Supporting a Departing Client on New Year’s EveJanuary 2nd, 2015

NYEVEOne of my proudest metrics is our client retention rate. Since I have been in business dating back to the mid 90s, I have retained 98% of my clients year to year.  Typically, if the client leaves it is because they are going out of business, have a family member who wants to try their hand at web development and design, or have received a deal too to be true elsewhere. We all see these free websites, and packages that sound too good to be true. In the long-run companies grow to resent these companies, as their service is slow or is non-existent. (Funny, people go for bait and switch and deals that sound too good to be true and are disappointed when these fly by night companies don’t deliver quality service or products…)

I believe that you support a client until the last second of the last day they are paying you.
This was evident on New Year’s Eve. (Yes, we work on New Year’s Eve) A client I had for about 15 years or more decided to go with a new company to build a new e-commerce site. My estimate (which was tiny) was too high for her. (she forgot that I had grandfathered her in at our late 90s rates, and never raised her fees and charged her next to nothing for hosting and maintaining her site…)  But, it of course is her prerogative and we wish her well. But, wait, it gets better……..Late in the day on the 31st, she sent a request to do some things to her website. Now I think I should tell you the new website was supposed to be ready by now and she had given me notice. But of course the developer had excuses and it was not done and probably won’t be done for months. (Red Flag anyone? Bueller Bueller Bueller) So she decided to pay me and continue with my service for a few months longer. Now 99.9% of the people out there would’ve made her wait till after the new year and probably a few days to a few weeks just for spite. But I made these changes after 5 o’clock on New Year’s Eve, because of that is how we do business. We support clients until the last second of the last day they have paid us for service. That is what customer service is all about, that is what RooSites is all about.

In conclusion: Looking back at 2014, it was our best year ever with great new clients coming on board, and 98% coming with us into the new year.  We will always strive to keep our clients happy, and want to retain all our customers (well, maybe not all ;-). Now we know this is not a realistic goal, but by offering the best support in the world, we will continue to stay in the high 90s for client retention.

Happy New Year to you all, may 2015 be the best year ever for you, your families and your companies!