Managing and maintaining focus as technologies, services, and internal and external expectations evolve is a challenge for any business. As a system becomes more complex, it requires either more resources to manage or a re-evaluation and streamlining of the system.
Having the simplest effective processes and infrastructure in place allows a business to focus its time and resources on its core products and services.
The Highland Consulting Group, led by Roxi Behar Hewertson, had multiple web sites, multiple domain registrars, and a variety of hosting services, applications, and service providers. If you've ever worked with Roxi (and you should!) you'll know that she likes to reduce clutter and focus on clarity for herself and her clients.
This is where I can help.
I'm happy to say Roxi and I have worked together for many years on a variety of projects, including building a dynamic communication tool for couples (Ci2i) and maintaining and enhancing the Highland Consulting Group (HCG) and AskRoxi web sites.
The HCG and AskRoxi sites were designed and developed by other vendors. The HCG site was a basic static HTML site, the AskRoxi site was a complex, dated Wordpress site which used a variety of technologies and services that were difficult to maintain and impossible to keep up-to-date.
This situation had become too complex and undocumented, with costly redundancies. It was time to simplify.
Roxi asked me to evaluate Kartra, an online business hosting site with a suite of integrated services that would allow her to expand her business offerings as needed in one easy-to-manage platform.
Kartra bills itself as "everything you need, all in one place!" And they do a lot of things really well – not everything, but a lot. Still, it is a service worth considering if your business involves selling products or services, generating leads, creating newsletter campaigns, offering memberships, and marketing your services in general.
Kartra has put a lot of work into providing an easy-to-use, simplified user interface the non-technical business professional can use to build and maintain their site. Maintaining content is relatively easy and straightforward, using a variety of page templates grouped by feature: product launches, video sales, live event pages, and so forth.
Kartra also offers a great collection of stock photography and icon libraries, as well as a large collection of pre-designed content elements that can be dragged and dropped onto a page. It also includes video hosting and file storage.
From Complexity to Simplicity...
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”
― Henry David Thoreau
My challenge was to:
- Structure the new site to support the merged content from Roxi's two sites;
- Design and build the new site;
- Port the content;
- Show Roxi how to use Kartra's tools to maintain her content; and
- Evaluate, consolidate and simplify the technical and service infrastructure.
Strictly speaking this was not a development project, with one exception – hosting a public page of audio files. While Kartra makes video embedding extremely easy, embedding audio files required writing custom HTML code.
Following extensive page and link testing, the final step was to simplify the services that supported the old sites: consolidating the domain and email services, discontinuing applications and site integrations that were no longer required, and cancelling the old hosting services.
Using Kartra's tools, Roxi can now add and update her own content and change colors and styles without programming assistance. She is enjoying the control she has over her site and the possibilities for extending its services.
Not only is Highland Consulting Group's technical environment greatly simplified, but Roxi is freer to focus on her executive leadership coaching and on helping her clients with their leadership challenges. And it's saving Roxi money!
See the new Highland Consulting Group site.