HomePro Success: A really simple blog with really useful content

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simple blog design framework
This post from the homeprosuccess.com blog about simplicity in blog design truly offers some simply sensible advice.

Recently, I adapted a post from the homeprosuccess.com blog about differentiation for an article here, not connecting the dots that the site would be next on the list for a 2018 Best Construction Blog competition review. But the fact this blog is getting two mentions in less than a week is a sign of its quality: There’s useful, actionable, and easy-to-digest information here, of special value to residential service contractors but with general marketing insights to anyone concerned with architectural, engineering and construction marketing.

This post: Why Simpler is Better When it Comes to Your Website, caught my attention for personal reasons — as I’m spending much more time these days building and managing websites and helping others with the process. Corey Philip is right: Simpler is better — and the WordPress.org templates and systems model gives you all the flexibility and  capacity to develop truly effective and inexpensive websites.

He writes:

Your website is one of the most important aspects of your marketing plan. So, what do people see and experience when they land on it? Is it confusing, cumbersome, and slow? Or is it straightforward, beautiful, and fast? For the sake of your business, you want it to be the latter.

While you might fall in love with some fancy, complex design, just keep in mind that none of that matters if people have a difficult time navigating and using the site. If you have anything other than what’s necessary, just drop it.

There is another layer to the story — one that combines simplicity with a degree of sophistication and creativity (and requires a bit more design and coding expertise than most of us have.)

It is possible to add some nifty “extras” to a site that could enhance the user experience/relevance without giving up the “keep it simple, stupid” argument. The key to this type of thinking is recognizing that good, simple sites are built on components and building blocks. A developer could add a customized feature (perhaps requiring php or JavaScript coding) to create an effect — but you could still retain the simple, foundational, and basic content and structure for routine updates, maintenance and site operation.

I should say, however, that in a recent project (still, alas uncompleted, and thus an argument for simplicity) we are struggling with the 20 per cent “nice to have” extra feature content, and it is delaying the job’s overall completion. (However we have gotten far enough that the site is ready for public release — it is a refining rather than fundamental operational problem.)

Here’s another important point about simplicity. Probably you can build a solid template-based site for a few hundred dollars (or free if you are ready for a real do-it-yourself experience.) Expect an exponential cost increase when you go beyond the basics. This isn’t a killer — spending $5,000 instead of $500 on a website, amortized over two or three years, won’t make much of a difference in your business viability, and the extra 20 per cent in quality/effectiveness could still be worth the money. But indeed you’ll get most of the way to where you want to go with a whole lot less money and effort. Simplicity, indeed, is simply good.

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