When is a website too simple?

I was at a conference earlier this week, and someone said to me

Neil, decoded.legal’s website is really simple.

“Thank you”, I said happily, even though I’m not sure they meant it in an entirely positive way. (They might have said “basic” rather than “simple”; I can’t remember exactly which word it was.)

And so I’ve been pondering at what point a website is - these days, anyway - too simple.

The truth is that our website is simple.

It is simple by design.

What I wanted

I wanted a website which was fast to load, which made the core information - who we are, what we do, how to contact us - readily available, and which doesn’t have annoying flashing graphics or unnecessary JavaScript.

I built the site with those principles in mind, and I think I’ve achieved them.

There’s still a bit too much overhead for my like - 470ish kB, including the font file and css - but the pages themselves are about 5kB each. But I contrast that with pages from other law firms, where just loading the homepage is 4MB: 10 times more for, IMHO, no useful purpose.

I could strip out the JavaScript used to show/hide the menu but, for now, I’m happy with it there.

I don’t get metrics/stats about the site. I don’t use cookies, so no need for a cookie banner.

I don’t offer a newsletter, since you can get our blogposts via RSS, so no need for a pop-up to encourage you to hand over your email address.

All the things I think that someone would want are visible on the home page, or else there’s a prominent link to the relevant section.

I don’t have a webchat tool, so no pop-up for that either.

Even over Tor, it loads pretty much instantly.

Is it “too” simple?

Are these things that our clients, or potential clients, care about?

I don’t know.

Then again, I haven’t asked…

(And, yes, there’s an irony in posting about basic websites on an incredibly basic blog…)