k. i. s. s.
I try to keep it

Goals How we do it Attaboy! / Attagirl!
Wanna k.i.s.s.? What is k.i.s.s.? What users can do
Example links Candy -Not! Whatcha think?



On the page where the "k.i.s.s. / I Try!" appears, the webpage owner has committed to make every possible effort to emphasize:

  1. content
  2. quick-loading
  3. accessibility

We do not dislike "pretty" pages, nor graphics, nor music. But on a page where we display the k.i.s.s. graphic, we always try to use them in a way that they support our primary goals and never get in the way.




The things we do include most of the following, most of the time (being neither perfect nor perfectionists!):

  1. We try to have our pages come up quickly without long delays loading graphics.

  2. We either do not use a background image, or there is a minimal delay when it loads.
    • Any background images file used will be small and on the same server with the webpage.
    • If white or light-colored text depends upon the background to be visible, a similar color will be specified in the "body bgcolor" tag so that the text will be visible before the background image is loaded.

  3. If we use either frames or java, we provide an alternative version with neither, where the "K.I.S.S" symbol may appear. Example: RFotW Searches.

  4. All our auto-loading graphics are (1)small, (2)dimensioned, and (3)whenever possible, located on the same server as the webpage.

  5. Wherever practical, we resize graphics to smaller sizes rather depending on the dimension statements (always present) to reduce the size of the display. Example: RFotW Searches.

  6. Wherever possible (i.e., when the graphics are large enough), auto-loading graphics will have a meaningful alt statement.

  7. Minimal use of animated graphics is made, usually as a requirement for using a free counter or the like. We acknowledge that animated graphics may be used in a manner which supports our goals. Examples: Formation of the 48 contiguous states by Ed Stephan, and ROBERTSON % of population by state from 1850 to 1990, by Ed Hamrick of Hamrick Software.

  8. We try to make our pages usable by those who find it necessary to turn off auto-loading of graphics.

  9. Links to large files will display a "warning" showing the size of the file. (example: Genealogical Atlas How-to.

  10. We try to provide links that allow easy movement among our various pages.

  11. If music is provided, it only operates if requested by the viewer.

  12. We welcome email from users who have comments on how we can better meet the "k.i.s.s." objectives.

What have I left out?




If you see a site displaying the k.i.s.s. symbol, and if you appreciate the extra effort they must exert to make the site easier for you to use, reward the webpage owner by sending an email expressing your approval. The owner's email address will appear somewhere on the page. Out of some 15,000 accesses to my various pages, I recall one person making an unsolicited comment in a guestbook expressing appreciation for a lean, fast, content-oriented site. A consultant became well known by saying "Find somebody doing something right!"

If you find somebody doing it right and they do not display the k.i.s.s. symbol, thank them for it, then tell them about this webpage.



WANNA k.i.s.s.?

If you commit to the above, you may display the "k.i.s.s. / I Try!" symbol on your page.

  1. You should be the judge of whether or not your page (1)places emphasis on content, (2) uses decorative effects in a supplementary role only, (3) avoids those things known to cause a page to load slowly and (4)shows some consideration for those with older equipment.

  2. A minimum requirement should be that all your "img src" statements contain "width=" and "height=" statements. Nothing slows a page down more than not having these. This is easy to check. With any graphic(s) in view, click on "reload"("refresh") and watch the location of the graphic(s). A rectangle outline should appear before the graphic appears if the graphic is "dimensioned".

  3. Download the "k.i.s.s." graphic to your site by right-clicking on the appropriate "kiss" graphic below.

  4. Copy the HTML code that goes with your choice and paste it into your webpage. If you do not use the Arial font face, you will need to edit (in the last 3 choices) <font face="Arial"> to read <font face=>.

    • Choice #1:
      I Try!

      <center> <h5> <a href="http://jrshelby.com/kiss/"><img src="kiss.gif" border=0 width=53 height=53 align=center><i>I Try!</i></a> </h5> </center>

    • Choice #2:
      k. i. s. s.
      I try to keep it

      <center> <table border=10 cellspacing=10 cellpadding=10 bgcolor="FFFFFF"> <tr> <td align=center><i> <font size=+2> <b>k. i. s. s.</b><br> <font size=+0> I try to <a href="http://jrshelby.com/kiss/"> <img src="kiss.gif" border=0 align=center height=53 width=53></a> keep it<br> simple!</i> </td> </tr> <font face="Arial"> </table> </center>

    • Choice #3: [This requires the smaller "kiss" graphic]

      k. i. s. s.
      I try to keep it

      <center> <table border=5 cellspacing=5 cellpadding=5 bgcolor="FFFFFF"> <tr> <td align=center><i> <font size=-1> <b>k. i. s. s.</b><br> <font size=-2> I try to <a href="http://jrshelby.com/kiss/"> <img src="lilkiss.gif" border=0 align=center height=25 width=25></a> keep it<br> simple!</i> <font size=+0 face="Arial"> </td> </tr> </font> </table> </center>

    • Choice #4:
      I Try!
      ... to keep it simple!

      <center> <a href="http://jrshelby.com/kiss/"> <img src="kiss.gif" border=0 width=53 height=53 align=center> <i>I Try!</i></a><br> <font size=-2> <i>... to keep it simple!</i> <font size=+0 face="Arial"> </center>

  5. Please inform the owner of this page if you are displaying the "k.i.s.s. by email, giving the URL of the page on which it is displayed.

  6. If your page is changed and no longer complies, please be considerate and remove the "k.i.s.s." graphic.

  7. Please retain the link back to this page.




Probably the original meaning goes back to the old story of the public speaker whose wife threw him kisses during his speech. Someone commented to the speaker about the unusual display of affection and he laughingly told them that was his wife's way of reminding him to "keep it short, stupid!" It came to signify "Keep it short and simple". This has been shortened to merely "Keep it simple!" and that is the meaning we imply.




  1. When you can afford it, (from cheaper to more-expensive)

    • If you have a 14.4 modem, get a 28.8 or 33.6. Depending on your phone lines and the modem on the other end, you may not always get the full-rating of your faster modem.

    • If your graphics card and monitor support less than 256 colors and a display less than 640x480, you will be missing a lot of what most webpages are designed to show you. You also want to make sure that your computer is set up to use the above settings even if it is known to support them. Many webpages are set up expecting to use 800x600, but with a little side-scrolling, will work on smaller displays.

    • If your computer has less than 16 meg of memory, you should consider increasing it. In general, more memory makes a computer of any speed act more responsive.

    • If you have a 33mhz or 66mhz computer, you will have noticeably slower loading times than the faster computers. If you can't afford to upgrade, you should realize that contributes to slower loading.

  2. Everything on the Internet
    • doesn't work sometimes,
    • works better sometimes than it does at other times.

    This includes

    • your server
    • competition for available communication resources
    • the server you are trying to access.

    Anything that doesn't work as you think it should may well do so if you simply come back another time. I find that most things work better between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. EDT (this may well differ for other persons and locations).

  3. When I had

    • a slower computer,
    • a slower modem,
    • an older browser version,
    • less memory
    • a more limited video card, and
    • a more limited monitor,

    I selected the option on my browser that told it not to automatically load graphics. When I found some graphics I wanted to see, I changed that option.

    I also exited my browser from time to time and reloaded it. Not having enough memory caused the browser to try to make up for it with disk access. The longer I used the browser, the slower it got. Bailing out and coming back in seemed to speed things up.

  4. Newer browsers have a different option. E.g., on Netscape 3.0, you may choose the option to load the graphics last. This appears to have the same effect "as if" the webpage authors "dimensioned" their images in order to make the page load without waiting for the graphics.

  5. See to it that your browser is not out-of-date. These can be downloaded from free-to-shareware from download.com. My advice is to stick with the "plain" version.

  6. If you are an AOL user, be sure you have the latest version of any software they provide, including browser.

  7. The color "options" on your browser can make things either a lot better or a lot worse!
    • If you have an older video card, you can frequently make webpages more readable by selecting a different background color and making the selection that tells the browser to use your choices rather than the default.
    • If you find that webpages have garish colors or are unreadable, and if someone else uses your computer (and especially if that other user is young!), you probably should check the color options on your brower. It is not uncommon to find some "creative" selections there!

  8. Send email to a webpage owner telling them of any problem you have, but please keep in mind that the problem may be
    • you,
    • your computer,
    • your browser,
    • your server, or
    • Internet communication.

  9. Webpage owners receive little praise and frequent criticism for their unpaid effort. Complement the owner for what works well and you will find them very responsive in providing what you need. Tell them about this webpage.

    MOST webpage owners are led to believe
    that the more pizzazz and the more new
    features they add to their page, the better
    their efforts will be appreciated.

    Note the "awards" that appear on their pages and click on them to see what is esteemed in each award.

What have I left out?




There is not a glimmer of a connection of this site with the Hershey Chocolate Co. which makes a candy similar to the k.i.s.s. symbol (except our fondness for said candy!).




  • Historical County Lines. A fast-loading page (considering its size and contents) containing 39 auto-loading graphics (all dimensioned) and a hundred or so clickable large graphics. It also has a background image. Larger clickable graphics have size warnings on them.

Do you have a suggested sample page?





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