Using LightCMS, KR15 Focuses on What it Does Best – Design
Kris Hull, the creative director for KR15, a Vista, Calif.-based web design firm, acknowledges he makes money when clients bring him back to make updates or modifications to previous work. But he’d rather spend that time expanding his client base and building new websites.
“I don’t mind helping my clients update their sites, but I am more excited to work on the next new project,” Hull said. “And to be honest, it is hard on my smaller clients’ budgets to pay me to keep their site fresh for them.”
That’s one reason Hull uses LightCMS as the platform of choice for his web design work. Its ease of use and intuitive management tools let his clients update and manage their sites themselves, leaving Hull the freedom to do what he loves – create.
“My clients still come back to me for large updates and for help with new campaigns, but it has taken away all of the tiny updates that steal my focus, and don't really make me any money,” he said. “My clients are happier too, because they don’t like paying full-rate for what they perceive as small updates, and they want them fast. It is really best if they are given the power to do that sort of update themselves”
The fact that most of the small businesses and organizations Hull counts as clients can manage their websites on their own has also helped to win him business with clients who might otherwise have chosen someone else.
“They usually come out of the training very impressed,” Hull said. “They don’t expect to be able to do that much on their own. A lot of people are still intimidated by editing a website. It seems daunting.”
The keys to this client-friendly usability are LightCMS’s array of powerful, yet easy-to-use content elements. With these tools, Hull’s clients can easily create image sliders, photo galleries, forms and much more while seeing their changes in place as they’re made.
Of course, it’s not just Hull’s clients who appreciate the usability of LightCMS. Before he turned to LightCMS he had run through a number of different content management systems, none of which he liked.
“All the other things I have used are like bad dreams,” he said. “I used Wordpress begrudgingly and other ecommerce platforms that are just a nightmare.”
In fact, the ecommerce functionality within LightCMS was one of the things that sold Hull on the product. Of the 30 websites Hull has built, only a couple have not included the ecommerce module.
The flexibility has also been an important part of the LightCMS offering. One website, YouthSphere, an online youth ministry certificate program, looked to be a massive undertaking, requiring private pages for parents and teachers needing to post private notes at different user access levels. Hull explored using custom development resources, but that would have pushed the project north of $100,000. After building a proof of concept for YouthSphere on LightCMS, KR15 discovered it could build the whole site on the platform for significantly less money.
In fact, that ability to quickly mock up proof of concept sites has also been a boon to KR15. After designing a prototype site in less than an hour to show key decision makers, Hull won a deal he otherwise would have lost because the clients were so impressed with the prototype.
Meanwhile, LightCMS continues to improve and add functionality, all without designers and their clients having to manage upgrades because LightCMS hosts and maintains the software in the cloud.
When he does need help, Hull gets plenty of it from the LightCMS community.
“I love the message boards and how responsive LightCMS has been,” he said.
LightCMS has helped Hull build websites for the Bible Miniseries on the History Channel, the Polar Express movie and Outlaw Aerials, an aerial real estate photography firm, and many others.