3 Important Fundamentals of a Business Website

BIG World Wide Web 
Lately I’ve come across a lot of situations with new clients where they are having trouble getting access to their existing source files or getting their current providers to cooperate in many ways. So today I’m going to talk about three business fundamentals that should be established when starting a website.

1. Establish Ownership. The first and most important one of these principals is to own everything – your domain name and all of your content (words, pictures, logos, graphics, videos, etc.). There are many, many companies who will offer you great deals up front (such as a “free” website for a year) but then retain ownership of your site, so you are left with little options or flexibility. Although the initial cost may be higher, establishing ownership will pay dividends throughout the lifespan of your website by assuring that certain barriers to progress will not be imposed.

2. Have Complete Access to Your Content. In many (if not most) cases, there is one major exception to the “establish ownership” rule and that is in regards to hosting. Most small businesses just do not have the time, resources, or know-how to manage their own hosting servers so it makes sense find an established hosting company to handle these tasks. However, when you employ a hosting company, it is important that you have direct access to all your files via FTP. Many small business owners don’t understand the process or the importance of this ability, but by having full access a professional developer can instantly add, modify, or delete any website item on your behalf.

3. Adaptability and/or Agility. This is the only one of the three which actually deals with website design (my specialty). The basic point here is that the online universe is rapidly evolving and it is important that your website’s design has the ability to integrate newer features, technologies, and design features. Of course, this is much more of an art than a science because none of us know which innovations are on the horizon. But by keeping your site agile and not “painting yourself into a corner” with too many static features and dependencies, you and your developer will maximize the possibilities for the future.

 
~ Ric Albano
 

Central PA Happenings for October

Ag Recycling Image

The Bagman Goes Green

These days you’ll hear all kinds of people and companies say that are “going green” to help save the environment. No doubt, many of these pledges are sincere. But there is no one we know who has actually done more along these lines then Ron Davis of R. Davis Enterprises.

Based in Lancaster County, PA, Davis (a long time client of 33 Dimensions) is commonly known as “Ron the Bagman” because of his longtime business of wholesaling plastic bags and other supplies for markets and auctions. About two years ago, Ron started recycling as a secondary service, but this aspect of his business has rapidly grown to be his primary focus. Ron picks up all forms of clear plastic (LDPE, ABS, PET, PP, twine, drip tape, and filed mulch from the farm) from agricultural and industrial locations and then brings the material back to his warehouse where it is baled and loaded on his trucks for delivery to a recycling/manufacturing center which provides R Davis with the plastic bags and trash can liners that he wholesales. This entire process is done in the USA and removes approximately 200,000 lbs of plastic waste from landfills or incinerators each month. The only current problem with this whole process is that demand for recycling has outgrown Ron’s current capacity to meet it.

R Davis is looking to make necessary upgrades to their infrastructure by installing a new horizontal baler as well as new loading docks and other improvements which will ultimately triple their current capacity so they can handle about 600,000 lbs of material per month. In order to help make this happen, Ron has launched an IndieGoGo campaign where he will give cases of his high quality plastic bags and/or trash can liners in exchange for donations towards his eco-friendly, efficient and environmentally sustainable operation in Central Pennsylvania and neighboring locales.

Please check out his Indiegogo campaign here or RonTheBagMan.com. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Ric Albano
Owner and Chief Web Designer
33 Dimensions LLC

Other Happenings

Life After Russian Roulette coverAuthor Mike Kaminski will be doing a book signing for his intriguing novel Life After Russian Roulette: Game Over. on Saturday, October 24th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Cornerstone Coffeehouse, 2133 Market Street, Camp Hill, PA.

Mike Kaminski website
Cornerstone Coffeehouse website

Bridal Baby ShowersSpeaking of Cornerstone, they are offering fantastic catering and private event services, providing the perfect atmosphere and cuisine for bridal and baby showers. Be sure to book your event now because dates are filling up fast!

More on Cornerstone private events

 
Join me for my first gig in a few years as we celebrate John Lennon’s 75th birthday with plenty of songs from the Beatles and Lennon’s solo career. Special guests will also be performing some songs. Free admission / all ages.


John Lennon birthday tribute show


33 Dimensions on LinkedIn   33 Dimensions on Twitter   33 Dimensions on Facebook   33 Dimensions on Google Plus   33 Dimensions on YouTube

Shop Small This Weekend

Do Small Biz

This Saturday, November 29th, is what has become known as “Small Business Saturday”. However, we encourage you to support small businesses all year round. These businesses are the lifeblood of our customer base and do more for the economy than any other. Please support these great 33 Dimensions small business customers.

Brick n’ Mortar Locations

Cornerstone Coffeehouse, Camp Hill, PA
Amore Artisan Gelato, Harrisburg, PA
Biagio’s Subs n’ Suds, Hazleton, PA
Greco Chiropractic, Hazleton, PA
Cumberland Masonry, Lemoyne, PA
Moffitt-Smith Furniture Restoration, Mechanicsburg, PA

Small Business Services

Kids Theatre News, Central PA
Yoga 4 Healthful Living, Mechanicsburg, PA
R. Davis Enterprises, Mount Joy, PA
Certified Home Inspections, Jacksonville, FL
Greco Brokerage, Florida & Pennsylvania

Springtime

Newsletter for April 30, 2014

Springtime sceneThese Are Great Days for Web Design

As sure as these crazy April showers will soon bring the May flowers, there is good reason to be optimistic about the near future in the web design business. This may be the best time ever to be a web designer. Just consider this fact, in just a little over a decade, we’ve gone from 216 “web safe” colors to the over 16 million in the hexadecimal spectrum.

Beyond this, we also now have web-based fonts, transparency, blending, and mainstream animations along with ever-evolving tools and frameworks based on HTML5 and CSS3, which has just come of age within the past few years. What this all means is richer, more attractive, and better functioning websites at lower development and maintenance costs.

Thank you all for your support and we look forward to the future!

Ric Albano
Owner and Chief Web Designer
33 Dimensions LLC

2020 Vision

2020 Vision

In our last newsletter celebrating our 5th Anniversary, we reflected on our first five years in business and how much web design has changed in these past 5 years, including our own development practices. Now we are looking forward to the next half decade or so and how will we use social media, user generated content, eCommerce, smart phones, smart homes, smart appliances, etc… as we enter into the 2020’s.

33 Dimensions is committed to providing our customers with the best tools to effectively operate and promote their business or organization, both today and tomorrow.

Client News

4th Annual Plein Air Camp Hill Festival

It is nearly time for Plein Air Camp Hill, which will hold its 4th annual festival in mid-May, starting with a new Scavenger Hunt during the week of May 12th, with many more events during the weekend of May 16th to 18th. The annual festival focuses on artists and photographers, with juried competitions, “Quick Draw” and “Quick Shoot” contests, and painting “in the open air” for participants of any age group. There will be plenty of family-friendly activities, workshops, music and food happening throughout the borough of Camp Hill, PA during this wonderful Spring festival. Check out the ,a href=”http://www.pleinaircamphill.org/2014Festival.php#2014Schedule” target=”_blank”>full schedule of events.

33 Dimensions is proud to have re-designed the website for 2014, adding responsive features, online forms and payment options.

The Bagman Goes Green

We’ve also updated the website for R. Davis Enterprises at RonTheBagman.com. Ron has expanded his business to recycling plastic and cardboard with the entire process done in the U.S.A.

Many New Websites in the Works

May is going to be an extremely busy month for us, with many new and remodeled websites under development. We’ll have more details on these in our next newsletter.


Whether starting from scratch or adding features to an existing website, 33 Dimensions will provide you with a professional and effective design that is highly functional, informative, and accessible. We also offer many related services to help promote your website and your business and will customize an affordable solution for you.

Check out our Online Portfolio and you will see that there is no job too complex or too small for us to handle for you. Feel free to give me a call at (717) 829-4221 or email me ric@33dimensions.com and I will personally negotiate a great deal to fulfill your online needs.

33 Dimensions
P.O. Box 126
Highspire, PA 17034
info@33dimensions.com

33 Dimensions on LinkedIn   33 Dimensions on Twitter   33 Dimensions on Facebook   33 Dimensions on Google Plus   33 Dimensions on YouTube

Two Website Lessons from 2013

Free Website - not!If there are two lessons that everyone should come away from 2013 learning about websites, I would say it would have to be these:

  • 1. There is absolutely no such thing as a “free” website!
  • 2. A website should not cost over $600 million!

I will tackle the second point first because that is much easier to grasp. Of course, what I’m referring to is the “Obamacare” website Healthcare.gov, which amazingly did not work when it was launched on October 1st (it is now about 75 days later and the jury is still out on whether it actually works).

To be exact, it was reported by Digital Trends that the contractor CGI Federal received $634,320,919 to construct Healthcare.gov. Now to appreciate this amount, it is more money than Facebook spent in its first six years of existence (you know, the years went it went completely viral) and it is also more than the amount spent building two more recent services – Linkedin and Spotify – combined. All that money spent and it didn’t work for at the least its first two months of existence.

As a small business web developer, I’m sure I could have figured out a way to get competent developers to complete the site on time and working for, I don’t know, about 1/1000th of that cost! But they never asked me.

Now for the first point, the opposite end of the money spectrum. There is absolutely no such thing as a “free” website! Whenever you hear such a claim to “build a website for free”, what you are actually getting is a new example of an old trick that big companies do to try and squash small competitors (in this case, small business web developers like myself) by cleverly masking a false offer. You’ve surely seen or heard of these free website offers, many from three-letter companies that start with the letter ‘w’ and only disclose the fact that you have to pay a monthly fee in order to keep your “free” website in the cluttered disclaimer at the end.

For companies who are serious about starting and staying in business, such offers do not stand up in the long run for two primary reasons. First, you lose the ability to expand unless you pay the fixed price arbitrarily set by the company. This ties in well with the second reason, you ultimately do not own anything – neither content nor domain name. It is almost akin to those fake houses on a Hollywood set, nice enough to look at but totally impractical to live in.

So, if you’d like a website which is neither free nor $600 million, check out a quality website developer like 33 Dimensions and you will actually get what you pay for (if not more!)

  • Multimedia Production

    In competition for content relevance, companies and organizations are using images, graphics, and short videos as an extremely effective way to get their message out. 33 Dimensions produces original graphics and video montages which are attractive and interesting.
  • Marketing & Analytics

    For some time now, smart marketers have been using a new set of tools to monitor their markets, with the real potential being the ability to dynamically respond to analytics. Businesses can now instantly meet customer needs and explore new market opportunities.