Virtual Mechanics Newsletter
-- Helping You Get The Most Out of Your Website --
November SiteSpinner® WebTips


The old saying goes that with change, comes opportunity. When times look troubling, opportunity can't be far behind. And so with that, we have much to look forward to in these changing times.
On that note, in this issue we explore some of the things you can do to get your website out to a larger audience. In Design we'll look at some quick tricks you can employ to get a higher Google ranking. In How To, we'll look at how SiteSpinner and SiteSpinner Pro create backups of you Projects. In Community Tips; Embedding Video Players in your website. Chicago has made the news quite a bit lately, so for our Site of the Month we take a visit to Hot Dog Chicago Style. And lastly, we're excited that SiteSpinner Pro - our tool for professional website and mobile-web design - was officially released recently, see the Special Offers and Announcements section to find out more.

In this issue:
Design  - Quick Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tricks
Words of Wisdom from Google

That's right, Google has stepped up to the plate and published a 22 page PDF document that outlines how to go about optimizing your site for better ranking on their search engine. There is nothing in the document that was not already known by professional search engine optimizers. However, Google did list a few things that are easy to implement quickly in your site that will no doubt lead to a better ranking, over time. In no special order, they are:

Hyphenate URLs When Possible
This probably won't help you if you already have a domain name. However, if your domain name consists of more than a single word, you might want to find out if the hyphenated version is still available for purchase. For example, if you have, you might want to also register Don't ever make a copy of your website (Google will penalize you for that), but do create a page at the new domain, and make sure it links to your main page

The Title Tag Rules
That is, make sure your keywords or phrases are included in your page Title, as Google assumes that what is in the Title, is what the page is about. To change your page Title in SiteSpinner and SiteSpinner Pro, go to the Page Editor > Title tab.

Meta Tags - The Description Still Lives
Though the Meta Tag 'Keyword' has fallen out of favor with Google, the Description tag is still used. Google often uses your description along with the link to your site in search results. So make sure it is short, sweet, and to the point (again, in the Page Editor, under the Title tab).

Avoid Misspellings on your Page
You would think this would go without saying. However, if you know that people often misspell a word that has something to do with your site, or if there are different spellings of the same word (theater/theatre), you might want to use this to your advantage (see the tips above).

Avoid Image-Based Navigation
If your main menu is image based, at the very least make sure that your images have a Title associated with them. You can do this with SiteSpinner and SiteSpinner Pro by selecting the image, open the Quick Editor > Links tab, and enter a descriptive 'Title'. In fact, you should do this for all images on your site, even if they do not have a link.

You Are Known by Who You Associate With
If you link to sites that Google finds questionable, such as link farms, spammer sites, etc, your ranking will take a hit. The same holds in reverse. Google calls this 'lending your reputation' - they to you, and you to them...

Link Buying
For the purposes of increasing your Google PageRank, buying links - or even asking others to link to you - is frowned upon by Google...

Want more? The full Google PDF article is available online here. And lastly, the SiteSpinner Community Forums discussion on Search Engine Optimization is still going strong here if you have any thoughts on Google's recommendations, or SEO in general.

How To - Backup Your Website Project
Is there a backup of your website Project?

If you use a Virtual Mechanics product there is. By default Virtual Mechanics products create a backup of your Project's .ims Project file when you Publish your site to your computer and to your webhost (you can turn this function off in the Publisher under the Profile tab. For obvious reasons this is not recommended).

When you Publish, a backup of your Project's .ims file is copied to the same folder that your Project's HTML files are saved to. In the Publisher, look under the 'Pages' tab for the 'Local Publish Directory'.

If you use the built-in FTP function to Publish your site to your webhost, then a copy of your Project's .ims file is also uploaded to your web server. In the Publisher > FTP tab, the Remote Publish Directory shows the path to your Project file. If you loose your project, you can usually download your .ims Project file from your webhost by simply typing it into your browser. For example, if you Published to, then try entering and then download the file into the same directory that you had it before.

NOTE: The .ims project file does not contain any of the image files used in your project. See here for details on the files needed for a full backup.
Community Tips - "Embedding a video-player in website (a little tutorial)"
These Tips are created by readers and SiteSpinner users and posted to the Virtual Mechanics Community Forums

radiotechscan writes "There were some embedding-video questions.
I have a lot of experience with that..."
> continue reading...

Site of the Month - Hot Dog Chicago Style
Site Title: Hot Dog Chicago Style

Site Author: Mitch Kite

Site Link:

Site Description: 
Do you love Hot Dogs? If you answered "Yes", then Hot Dog Chicago Style - The Search for the Perfect Dog is for you.

Built With: SiteSpinner

SiteSpinner was the perfect solution for my web development needs. SiteSpinner is feature-rich, easy to use and helps me develop professional quality web sites in record time. Their community approach to help and support has been invaluable. SiteSpinner lets me spend my time developing content instead of fighting HTML. I get professional results without the effort.
Offers and Promotions - SiteSpinner Pro is Now Available

SiteSpinner® Pro (formerly WebEngine) is now available. SiteSpinner Pro is the only tool that enables you to create a professional website designed for the desktop, and a separate layout for Mobile Devices (such as the iPhone®, SmartPhone, PDA, Cell Phones, etc) and publish it as a single page.

Registered SiteSpinner and Print Shop Web Designer Customers
: For a limited time you can upgrade to SiteSpinner Pro for $49.00 US (50% off the regular price). Simply reply to this email with your Serial Number (available under Help > About).
Registered WebEngine Customers: For Registered users of Virtual Mechanics WebEngine this is a Free Upgrade - see the information on upgrading here.

: Download the free trial of SiteSpinner Pro.

Don't Forget to Forward This Newsletter To Your Friends!

As always, we welcome your feedback.

J. Peter White
Virtual Mechanics Inc.
< Celebrating 10 years in business - 1998 - 2008! >

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