On April 15, Radar Hill celebrated fourteen years in business. We have grown from the original three owners of Shawn, Roger, and Dan, with a small handful of clients, to eleven staff and a wide range of business and non-profit clients. We are now one of the largest and most stable website design and development companies on Vancouver Island. Thank you for your support! Here is an update on the past couple of months. In this issue:
- The Radar Hill Cup
- Victoria Church website hacked by ISIS
- Jennifer’s New Condo
- Andrea in Hawaii
- Twitter and Real Estate
- Dust Day
- Toastmasters Spring Conference
- Responsive Web Design for REALTORS®
- Social Media Camp
- Great Websites Launched for Great Clients
This year marked the 10th Anniversary of the Radar Hill Cup, a hotly contested championship between a group of hockey players who play together every Friday through the hockey season. Radar Hill co-owners Roger and Dan have been consistently playing for more than ten years, but in 2004 started the tradition of a wind-up game and festivities sponsored by Radar Hill. A skills contest, swag, and semi-serious awards are part of the fun, and Roger and Dan have a great time hosting this every year.
In the news, a Saanich church appears to have been targeted by ISIS. As stated in the CHEK news report: “The website for the North Douglas Pentecostal Church was hacked… corrupting all the content and all information lost.” As a website design, development and maintenance company we are always very interested in these security breaches in hopes of protecting our clients from similar attacks. As evidenced by recent attacks on large companies such as Target and Sony Pictures, since it may be impossible to prevent an attack from happening, no matter how many safeguards are in place, a proper response, or Plan B is crucial: Have procedures in place to recover from an attack and minimize damage. The church claimed that “…all the content and all information was lost.” This church is not a client of ours, and this terrible experience leads us to wonder why they did not have a Plan B. At Radar Hill we keep a series of backups of every website: incremental on our server, a local static copy, and an off-site version at a secure location. We also have notification systems in place. If anything happens to one of our websites, we work through a documented process of stopping the attack, and reinstating the website with the most recent uncorrupted backup. This church was set up with a do-it-yourself website platform, and appears to have neglected to do security and backups. With pre-planning and due diligence, this tragedy would have been avoided.
Our Client Care Coordinator Jennifer and her fiancé David have just bought their first property, using the services of a variety of Radar Hill clients. Thanks go to their REALTOR® Gary McInnis of Pemberton Holmes for doing an amazing job of helping them find the perfect home. In Jennifer’s words “Gary was great at educating us and his incite and wisdom provided us with an amazing home buying experience.” Thanks to Tony Joe and Mullin DeMeo Barristers and Solicitors for assisting in the purchase process. Jennifer and David are moving in this week are excited to be home owners working with Boorman’s Property Management at their new condo.
Recently, our esteemed office administrator Andrea took some well-deserved time off for rest and relaxation with a cruise to Hawaii. Sadly, she brought along her Mother-in-law and 3-year old daughter, so resting and relaxing were the two things that she didn’t get to experience on the trip. All joking aside, they had a great time and learned many things. Andrea learned that the hallways on a cruise ship are long enough to tire out even the most energetic 3-year old, and that 24/7 access to a hot tub is “a good thing”. Andrea also found out that she is a gifted gambler, more than tripling her investment every time she sat down in the casino. Unfortunately, she only sat down once and after $9 became $30 she was immediately spooked, counted herself lucky and quit.
Interestingly, Andrea also discovered that taking lava rocks from the state of Hawaii is illegal and punishable with hefty fines. Upon return to Canada she found a pebble in her shoe, technically making her a felon and a fugitive from the US legal system. She gave the rock to her nephew, earning her incredible street cred with the 12-year old while simultaneously making him an accomplice in her crime. Nice work Andrea. We are glad you had fun, and are happy to have you back.
At Radar Hill, we are always looking for ways to make life a little easier for our clients. Our latest development is a Twitter share button for VREB listing administration. Just click the Tweet button for a property and you will get the address, price, and link to the listing already filled out and ready to go — you can make any changes you want, then simply click Send. Staying on top of your social media accounts can be challenging, but this tool will make it a few seconds quicker. Let us know if you are using it or not, if you want a quick tutorial, or if you would like to see Share buttons for other social media sites such as Facebook or Pinterest.
A few weeks ago we had a Dust Day at Radar Hill. It is very similar to a Snow Dayexcept that it lacks a certain magical appeal. With the exodus of Fitness World, the floors below us are being gutted and prepared to be converted into office space. We had noise, we had dust, we had the water turned off and we even had the elevator go on the fritz. “Enough!” we cried, and sent everybody out into the sunshine. Shawn was thrilled to put into action his Business Interruption Contingency Plan and things went off without a hitch:
- Staff worked comfortably from home remotely or at their favorite coffee shop
- Dan conducted two scheduled appointments off-site over a coffee at Starbucks
- The phones were forwarded to another location and answered as usual
It was a great way to practice Disaster Planning in response to something less dire than a tsunami or a zombie attack. Staying operational and accessible is an obligation to our clients and we were happy to continue with business as usual even under adverse circumstances.
Last weekend Radar Hill co-owner had a great time as co-Master of Ceremonies, with Linda Quesnel, of the Victoria – A Cultural Mosaic Toastmasters District 21 Spring Conference. This annual event, attended by 250 people from across British Columbia, is held in Victoria every five years. This was one of the rare occasions when Shawn wore his tuxedo, for the evening gala. With input from Radar Hill staff Jennifer and Julie, Shawn created the 28-page program book, receiving heaps of praise for its high quality and professionalism. Julie also designed a beautiful souvenir lapel pin for the event.
Statistics show that Tourism, Restaurants and Real Estate websites have the highest rates of browsing by mobile device. We have seen tablet and smartphone usage grow to account for more than 50% of web traffic to some of our Real Estate websites over the last few years. Radar Hill has been at the forefront of Responsive Web Design for several years and we are proud of the work we have done for the Victoria Real Estate Board and several of the prominent Victoria agencies: Holmes Realty, Pemberton Holmes, Boorman’s, Brown Bros, Equitex, DFH and Royal LePage by the Sea. Additionally, many individual REALTORS® have embraced the new mobile reality and have either had us update their older websites or employed us to build new:
- Andy Stephenson
- Blair Robertson
- Cheryl Bejcar
- Cheryl Laidlaw
- Dave Thibauld
- Dorothee Friese and Terry Moore
- Frank Chan
- Ingrid Jarisz
- Karen Dinnie-Smyth
- Karol Power
- Keith Ferguson
- Kelly Regen
- Kevin Wensley
- Marc Owen-Flood
- Marsha Crawford
- Mike Boorman
- Paul Greenwood
- Peter Gray
- Randi Masters and Stephanie Pink
- Sandy Berry
- Scott and Mike Garman
- Sharen Warde and Larry Sims
As always, feel free to contact Radar Hill to discuss upgrades and improvements to your web display.
This week, Shawn and Jennifer will be attending Social Media Camp, Canada’s largest Social Media Conference held in Victoria each year. If you are attending, let’s meet up IRL (In Real Life). Contact us through Twitter: @RadarHill or @SunOnHerbs.
- Community Futures Cowichan – Financing, training, and advisory services for small businesses and entrepreneurs: Optimized redesign with Pyramid CMS, Document repository, News item management, Hosted in BC, as mandated |Read more…
- CAPAX Contracting – Contracting and roofing company providing hauling, construction, bin rentals, roof construction and repair: New website design, Document hosting and management, SEO site content tailoring | Read more…
- L.I.F.E Wealth Management – Financial planning team with Dundee Goodman Private Wealth: New optimized website with Pyramid CMS, Document hosting and management, Case study management, SEO site content tailoring, Google+ Local Listing | Read more…
- KC Natural Homes – Building new natural homes focusing on sustainability, health and comfort with homes that are virtually free of artificial toxic materials, incorporating materials such as light clay, rammed earth, locally harvested timber, clay and lime plasters and stone: New website design, Custom blog design, Logo design | Read more…
- Vertical Organic Garden – A new product which allows users to grow food hydroponically in about as much space as a TV or bookcase: New website design with Pyramid CMS, Document hosting and management, Custom blog design, SEO site content tailoring, News item management, Social network integration, Logo design | Read more…
- Law Office Of Sarah L. Klinger – Focusing on personal and practical solutions for personal injury, employment law, and estate litigation: New website design |Read more…
- Mike Boorman – Victoria REALTOR® and long-time client: Optimized redesign with Pyramid CMS, REALTOR® package with VREB listings admin, Document hosting and management, Custom blog design, SEO site content tailoring | Read more…
- Karol Power – Victoria REALTOR® that has consistently been in the top 100 for RE/MAX Western Canada: New optimized website with Pyramid CMS, REALTOR® package with VREB listings admin | Read more…
- Frank Chan – Victoria REALTOR® and long-time client: Optimized redesign with Pyramid CMS, REALTOR® package with VREB listings admin, Document hosting and management, SEO site content tailoring | Read more…
That is it for another edition of our newsletter. If there is a special event or celebration you would like mentioned, tell us about it. Thank you for your ongoing support,
The Team at Radar Hill