September 2011
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Greetings from Karelia Software!

Sandvox 2.1.9 Improves SFTP

Sandvox 2 icon

A few days ago we released Sandvox 2.1.9. One of 2.1.9’s highlights is a brand new SFTP publishing system that we believe is much more reliable than the approach used in all previous versions of Sandvox. We always want to encourage Sandvoxers to publish via SFTP, which encrypts both your password and your content, rather than relying on FTP, which transmits insecurely. If your webhost supports uploading your site to them via SFTP, this update may be a great time to make the transition from FTP to SFTP.

Download the new Sandvox 2.1.9 now!

Meanwhile, we are hard at work on version 2.2, which will improve our WebDAV publishing engine, used for MobileMe and other similar services. If you are still publishing to MobileMe, or you are otherwise using WebDAV, you may want to download the latest 2.2 beta and verify that publishing works for you. (We would appreciate the feedback!) Version 2.2 also includes a number of nice new features that you can preview today, including a new Text Inspector and a Google Maps object.

“Panda” Update from Google

For website owners, Google is arguably the most influential company in the world. How Google chooses to list and rank pages within its search results can have a profound impact on whether and how your website can even be found on the Internet. For this reason alone, it is critically important to keep on top of whatever changes Google makes to its search methodology.

In March of this year, the company released what has come to be known as the Panda update, named after a Google software engineer. Without question, this modification of its search criteria, or algorithm used to match keywords to websites, has been the single most influential change the company has ever initiated.

In the past, improving your ability to be seen within search results had much to do with the underlying code used to create your website. If the structure of the underlying HTML complied with Google’s specifications, a site’s ranking in search results pages generally would improve. More recently, Google has been rewarding sites that have a greater number of high quality “backlinks” — i.e., links on other sites that link back to the original source page. Rightfully, Google perceives those mentions to be votes of confidence from third parties.

This one is different.

The Panda update’s intention (if not always the result) is to reward websites that provide a higher quality user experience on the site, including interesting and useful content, attractive designs, clear navigation, etc. Conversely, it will negatively affect those that are overloaded with ads, are of poor design quality, or do not engage the site visitor effectively.

You may be asking yourself, how Google will know if a website is ugly or boring? Many of those answers will only be known to Google, of course. The speculation among those who study such behaviors is that the time spent on a particular site and whether or not more than one page has been accessed will now weigh more heavily in the website’s ranking.

Ultimately this is very good news for Sandvox-built websites. As you probably know by now, Sandvox automatically structures a high degree of search engine “friendliness” into your page layout. We often hear from companies that previously had been unable to rank in the past and are now getting great results just by switching to the Sandvox platform.

However, since you are ultimately responsible for your content, both written as well as with any images used, please keep in mind that now, more than ever, the time you put into crafting your written copy and the overall “feel” of your website is likely to improve your rankings to an even greater degree. If you have been considering making some changes in these areas, consider this our encouragement to do so!

In This Issue

  • Sandvox 2 Updates
  • Google Panda
  • Websites of the Month

Application Downloads

Download iconSandvox 2.1.9

MacAppStore iconiMedia Browser 2.0.1

Other Downloads

(Only for our newsletter subscribers)

Download bonus book “77 Ways to Get Traffic” eBook

Sandvox Sites Directory

Examples of Sandvox-Built Websites contributed by people like you

On Social Networks

Twitter: Follow @karelia

Useful tidbits posted frequently!

Become a fan of Karelia and join our Sandvox group

Facebook-exclusive Sandvox discount!

Sandvox Websites of the Month

This is our monthly feature that spotlights a few websites created with Sandvox 2 that we think show off the application’s features well. If you are hoping your site will be featured in our newsletter, make sure that your website is built with the latest version of Sandvox, and that you have submitted it to!

If you would like to have your website considered for our Websites of the Month spotlight, just choose “Submit to Site Directory…” from the Publish menu in Sandvox, and fill out the details about your site (or sites). Doing so will get your website listed on, and we may choose to feature your site in a future mailing of our newsletter.

An often-ignored website feature is the creation of internal links throughout the website. They enable site visitors to jump immediately to a specific page of interest on the site without having to navigate the menu buttons and pull-downs. Embry Hussin utilizes them with great success on her husband’s dentistry website for Dr. Christopher Hussin.

Embry notes that while she previously had been a fan of iWeb and other competitors to Sandvox, she prefers the options Karelia affords for small businesses and how easy it is “…to integrate it with Google.” She has also provides the requisite health history and HIPAA forms for easy downloading and offers an impressive list of 5-star reviews. The site is well-maintained and undoubtedly provides a steady stream of new patients.

Elena Yugai is a graduate student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada. As such, she has taken a keen interest in the unique culture of the Koryo Saram, a displaced population of Koreans living in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

Since it is a Karelia design, the website is naturally attractive, clear, and easily navigated. What is of particular interest is that fact that her site enables Ms. Yugai to quickly and inexpensively present her area of study and interest to the world, literally. It was easy. In Elena’s words, “…Karelia did a good job replicating the essential Mac-feel, and Mac-based intuitive interface.”

In case you doubt the fanaticism of college alumni, check out Bruce Mitchell’s work at The Villages MSU Alumni Club. While it comes as no shock to anyone familiar with American universities that many graduates maintain an unshakable loyalty to their alma mater, the surprise here is the size of this Michigan State University group, considering all 240 plus live in and around a retirement village in…Central Florida!

What drew Mr. Mitchell to Sandvox was how quickly he was able to get the site up and running and, “the ease of CSS and being able to change designs on the fly.” Since the club has only been active for three years, it appears the website is a useful tool for disseminating event information and keeping those rivalries healthy.

Congratulations to this month’s featured websites!

See you in the Sandvox!