We Most Certainly Have Our Work Cut Out For Us

 

33 Dimensions Newsletter, Labor Day edition
September 2, 2013

SisyphusHappy Labor Day everyone.

In the literal spirit of today’s holiday, I am writing this brief newsletter to reaffirm my comittment to work harder than anyone for the success of my customers and my company. In all honesty, this has been a rather sluggish summer for business expansion, as some of the expected (or hoped for) opportunities did not quite break our way. Growing and expanding a small business has been tough due to the continued uncertainty in the economy and lukewarm consumer confidence.

However, as a firm believer in the promise of the future, I resolve to double my efforts and press forward in the face of these challenges. Right now, we choose to focus upon the optimistic fact that this is an incredible time for web technology with a fantastic array of new tools and technologies to forge the future of our business. So for the next four months, through the end of this year, we will work our tails off building this business and providing the best and most up-to-date technology for our current and new customers. Consider this a “New Year’s resolution” four months in advance, as we expect to be moving at full speed when 2014 arrives.

Stay tuned, folks!

Ric Albano
Owner and Chief Web Designer
33 Dimensions LLC

Late Summer Spectacular

Our discount special continues through September 30th, as 33 Dimensions will be offering a 33% discount on all website design, development, and implementation as well as online marketing and multimedia services. If you’d like to get a project started in 2013, please act now and take advantage of this tremendous offer.

Client News

Big Blue BullfrogA full re-design of the entertainment site Big Blue Bullfrog is underway, making this long staple of 33 Dimensions the latest site to becoming fully responsive. Also, with the start of football this week, the site will resume its weekly features including the unique and original Tuesday Morning Tailback.

Yoga 4 Healthful LivingA very special series of classes called Yoga for Life begins this week facilitated by grief counselor Jennilu King and yoga instructor Elizabeth Terry. This is accompanied by a series of blogs entitled “Yoga and Grief” on the Yoga 4 Healthful Living website. For further information on registering for the class, please contact Elizabeth at eterryyoga@gmail.com.

Sinclair SoulThe latest additional to our family of musicians, a website for Sinclair Soul was launched this past month, providing a home for new original rock and roll compositions. The project One More Rock to Roll is ongoing for the artist.

There will be much more client news in our next newsletter!

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

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Summer Savings

 

33 Dimensions Newsletter
July 26, 2013

Summer Piggy BanksIt is hard to believe that July is almost gone and summer is about to enter into the home stretch. To help ease the transition of “summer days drifting away”, 33 Dimensions is running a special now through September 30th with a further offer for free consultation. If you are thinking about getting started online, check out this handy list of 10 steps you should take to establish a strong web presence. It can be an excellent orientation for anyone new at this or a great refresher for someone with more experience.

Enjoy the summer everyone!

Ric Albano
Owner and Chief Web Designer
33 Dimensions LLC


Late Summer Spectacular

Now through September 30th, 33 Dimensions will be offering a 33% discount on all website design, development, and implementation as well as online marketing and multimedia services. Further, we will be offering a free 30-minute consultation to all qualified prospective clients in order to help you determine which customized services best fit your needs.


Client News

The Cornerstone Culinary KitchenThe Cornerstone Culinary Kitchen has scheduled classes right through the end of the calendar year with their fantastic New Year’s Eve Dinner. Check out the full culinary schedule. The website was launched by 33 Dimensions on May 6th and is a companion site to the Cornerstone Coffeehouse.

 
Kids Theatre NewsThe Kids Theatre News, Central PA site, launched earlier in the spring, has gotten tremendous feedback as a resource for theatre performances, auditions, classes, camps, workshops, and more. Soon we will be building websites for other geographic areas, following the same basic pattern. Stay tuned.

 
Yoga 4 Healthful LivingYoga 4 Healthful Living has set their schedule for the rest of 2013, including classes, workshops, and special events. Check out the website for further information.

 
Classic Rock ReviewOn June 30th, Classic Rock Review reached the halfway point of its “five year mission”. With this threshold crossed, the site is expanding beyond just the regular album reviews with many new features including a new user group on LinkedIn and the introduction of select video album reviews.

We strive for the growth and success of all our customers!

 
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

 


Getting Started Online

Green Traffic LightOnce you make the decision to establish a strong Web presence for your business, there are several steps that should be taken in order to build this online foundation. The process may seem a bit cumbersome or even overwhelming at first, and getting used to new technologies and fully realizing their benefits takes a little discipline and patience. However, while each business may vary on their specific requirements, the following ten items are general enough to be utilized by most business start-ups.

The first three steps should be done in this order.

1. Create and Register Your Domain Name
Establishing a domain is where your online life begins. The trick is finding one which isn’t already being utilized. If you’re lucky (like we were) you can use the dot-com of the exact name of your business. In all likelihood, you may have to be a little creative. There are many online tools for checking if a domain name is available and registering a domain is still pretty inexpensive at about $15 per year.

2. Find the Right Hosting Plan
“Hosting” is the physical location where your website will reside. While it is certainly possible to host a site on your own computer, it is not optimal in most situations because your computer would have to available to international traffic 24/7 and, without advanced security, may be vulnerable to cyber attacks. For these reasons, most small business owners will enlist a professional hosting company to host their website(s) with costs that can range widely, depending on the type of hosting. When choosing the right hosting plan, you want to get enough storage, bandwidth, adaptability, security, and performance without going overboard and incurring unnecessary costs.

3. Building Your Website
This is, by far, the most important, complex, yes stress-inducing step in establishing your online presence. There are literally a million ways to go, from companies with big names which will offer you “free” business websites (of course, they’re not really “free”) to an assortment of web design firms and freelancers. Here are some of the vast subjects which may need to be considered and/or included with your website:

  • The Message – the most important information that you want conveyed about your business, from its location and hours of operation to what service it provides and need it fulfills.
  • Branding – the logo, colors, styles, and appropriate look/feel along with any trademarks or catch phrases.
  • User Experience (UX) – a simple, concise, and consistent design throughout the website which gives the user the ability to logically navigate and find vital information.
  • Content Management – a system which allows for easy updates and additions without “breaking” the original design or UX.
  • Responsive Design – designing your website to “respond” to any screen size on any Internet-ready device by presenting the most optimal display.
  • Website Maintenance – keeping your site fresh, relevant, and secure.

Steps 4-10 can be done in any order (or all at the same time), after the first three steps have been completed.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is an ongoing process of keeping your page relevant to search engines and achieving the best search results. Each year, this process gets more and more complex as major search engines like Google constantly change their algorithms in order to produce the most valid and natural results for any searched word or phrase. Optimizing a website involves several diligent practices:

  • Solid HTML Design – the foundation of good SEO is clean and professional design. Avoid “website builder” tools if at all possible.
  • Page Title and Descriptions – succinctly describing the page’s content.
  • Use of Relevant Keywords – when posting articles to align with the page’s title and description.
  • Non-duplicated Copy – the latest search engine algorithms penalize sites for duplicated articles and page titles.
  • A Constant Stream of Fresh Content – with a site map which is updated regularly.
  • Analytics – the art of monitoring a website’s performance and making adjustments accordingly.

5. Social Networking
In today’s world, it is important for businesses to establish a presence on social media. While some dismiss social media as a fad which will soon run it’s course, there is little doubt of the advertising and awareness value of a social media presence. While Facebook and Twitter are the most popular and have the most users (so they are usually the first social media channels utilized), there are a few other technologies and techniques businesses should consider.

  • LinkedIn – many experts say LinkedIn is critical for businesses, as it connects you with other businesses. Along with your personal page on LinkedIn page, you should also establish a LinkedIn company page.
  • Google + – Google has been increasingly tying some of its SEO with its own social media channel (more on this in step #10).
  • YouTube – a free and easy way to promote your business with short (often homemade) videos. YouTube also allows most videos to easily be embedded in your website and many other social channels.
  • Local Citations – claim your physical address by registering with Yelp, Google Places, and other local search sites. Be sure to be consistent and use the same format, spelling, and syntax for your physical address (without abbreviations) wherever it is listed.

6. Email and Marketing
Recent studies have shown that, despite the meteoric rise of social media, Email marketing far surpasses any social media medium when it comes to return on investment. While this is one of the more highly regulated areas of the online experience, there are several fine services which help you manage and gather contacts and construct professional Email newsletters while keeping your company compliant with spam laws.

7. Cloud Storage
This is a relatively new but fast growing requirement for an online presence. It is important to be able to quickly and effectively share files, documents, and media using a business-oriented storage service. This is also often used as a safeguard for disaster recovery. Being so new, there are many (relatively untested) options to choose from, but some of the emerging leaders in this market include; Dropbox, Google Cloud Storage, and Carbonite.

8. Ecommerce
We’re all in business to get paid and it has become increasingly easier to accept payments online. With Ecommerce, there is a wide range of possibilities, from simple PayPal transactions to complex online shopping carts which require huge databases to function. Further, recent years have brought us great online invoicing services like Fresh Books and cool mobile credit card scanners like Square.

9. Security
This is probably the most gut-wrenching subject to think about, but also the most important. Truth is, there are less than honorable people out there who think it is good sport to prey on honest services, businesses, and consumers. While the dynamic nature of technology makes it hard to pinpoint exact measures (books have been written and will be re-written), a balanced, common sense approach should prevail.

10. Your Toolbox
This is an ever-expanding, catch-all of “other” online tools which may be beneficial to your business:

  • Surveys – attractive ways to spark interest, there are several free and low-cost services available.
  • Virtual Phone Numbers – it is getting hard to justify a traditional land line and many of us do not want to use our cell phones as official business lines. An emerging service is “virtual” phone numbers, which route customers domestically and internationally and can provide a 1-800 number.
  • CRM – A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is like an electronic “Rolodex” which not only stores your contacts, but is also interactive with many other of the online tools and channels mentioned above.

Google
One more thing. While I tried to stay as general as possible with these ten items, the truth in mid-2013 is that you’ll find Google involved in most of these steps (probably all seven of the bottom steps). If you have a Gmail account, that account is now your login for Google +, Google Places, Google Maps, Google Drive, AdWords, Analytics, Webmaster Tools, YouTube, and scores of other related services (including the good ole search engine itself). While there is no doubt that this can be a great convenience (not to mention virtually free), we can only hope that competition will spread these services out in the future while maintaining the incredible technical advances of recent years.

 
~ Ric Albano

Moving Day

 

33 Dimensions Newsletter
June 9, 2013

Moving BoxesJune 9th

This date has become known around my house as “Moving Day” due to the amazing coincidences of big events on this date through the years. Starting in 1996, when my wife Karyn and I moved into our first home on June 9th of that year. Two years to the day, on June 9, 1998, we bought our first home together in Drums, Pa, where we stayed for six years. On June 9, 2004 we signed a lease on a townhouse in Silver Spring Township as we migrated to the Harrisburg area due to my employment at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which began a year earlier on (you guessed it) June 9, 2003. Seven years ago today, on June 9, 2006, we closed on the sale of our current home in the Middletown area (where we plan on staying for a while). Finally, it was on June 9, 2011 when 33 Dimensions began to officially operate as an LLC.

So what’s in store for today? Well, while we’re not physically “moving” anywhere, we are vastly traversing new frontiers as an expanding small business, especially with respect to the new services we now offer our clients.

Ric Albano
Owner and Chief Web Designer
33 Dimensions LLC


News from 33 Dimensions

It is estimated that about 4-6 weeks ago (sometime in late April or Early May), the threshold was crossed where more people access the internet via a mobile device than those who access using traditional desktops or laptops. Further, it is highly unlikely that this trend will ever reverse. With this in mind, 33 Dimensions is now developing websites using Responsive Design, which adapts and optimizes the site for any screen size, whether desktop, tablet, or mobile. We have also recently re-designed our own website using responsive design.

Some other new services which we are now offering include Video Editing and productions of montage style promotional videos, Graphic Design, and a full range of Social Media services.


Client News

The Cornerstone Culinary KitchenThe Cornerstone Culinary Kitchen has scheduled classes right through the end of the calendar year with their fantastic New Year’s Eve Dinner. Check out the full culinary schedule. The website was launched by 33 Dimensions on May 6th and is a companion site to the Cornerstone Coffeehouse.

 
Kids Theatre NewsThe Kids Theatre News, Central PA site, launched earlier in the spring, has gotten tremendous feedback as a resource for theatre performances, auditions, classes, camps, workshops, and more. Soon we will be building websites for other geographic areas, following the same basic pattern. Stay tuned.

 
Big Blue BullfrogOver the past week, Big Blue Bullfrog has covered a large range of subjects from the latest movie and television reviews to NBA Finals to an Exposé on the legitimacy of other major reviewers. Much more interesting things to come!

 
Yoga 4 Healthful LivingYoga 4 Healthful Living has set their schedule for the rest of 2013, including classes, workshops, and special events. Check out the website for further information.

We strive for the growth and success of all our customers!

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

 


Spring Is Coming

 

33 Dimensions Newsletter
April 3, 2013

Spring LandscapeSpring Is Coming!

Anyone who is a fan of Game of Thrones (which, by the way, returns this Sunday night) would know the term “winter is coming” has been oft-repeated over the past two seasons. Well, we’re in a better place here as the weather is about to break, the days are getting longer, and soon we will be awash in green. It is a great time to be optimistic and here at 33 Dimensions we have plenty of things cooking which are very exciting.

First, we are now developing websites using responsive design, which adapts and optimizes for any screen size – desktop, tablet, or mobile. We’ve also partnered with some great companies to provide more convenient transactions for our customers, including Fresh Books for invoicing and expense reports and Stripe for accepting all major credit cards.

Best of all, we have some great new websites launching in the coming weeks (see client info below) as well as some interesting new initiatives in the works. Stay tuned for more great stuff!

Ric Albano
Owner and Creative Director
33 Dimensions LLC


Turnkey Restaurant for Sale

Biagio's Subs n SudsWe have the unique priviledge to help our client, Biagio’s Subs and Suds sell a 26-year-old, family owned, fully-operational restaurant and deli at a prime location in Downtown Hazleton, PA. Open seven days a week, with a fine reputation for providing Hazleton’s best subs and other fine delicacies and comes with a PLCB liquor license and literally tons of amenities, all at an incredibly low price. Please click here for much more details.


Client News

Kids Theatre NewsThe official launch of Kids Theatre News, Central PA will be next Tuesday, April 6th. We have been providing a “sneak peak” of the Kids Theatre News, Central PA site for the past few months and have gotten tremendous feedback, so we’re excited to finally make this official.

 
The Cornerstone Culinary KitchenA brand new site dedicated to the Cornerstone Culinary Kitchen is set to launch in mid April. They provide regularly scheduled and private party cooking classes, which are becoming ever more popular, so this new site will focus exclusively on the Culinary Kitchen and “back room” events at the Camp Hill establishment, while the current Cornerstone Coffeehouse will continue to provide lunch, music, art, and specialty beverage information.

 
Key Rock ReviewOn the music and entertainment front, there is a bunch going on. The Badlees website will be redesigned in anticipation of their double album release this October, while Cygnus Wave Records has a brand new release in pre-production entitled One More Rock to Roll by Sinclair Soul. We’ll also be once again providing a website for the Sound Off for Vets benefit concert this year.

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

 


  • 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.