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With the new SpaceCraft website building platform now fully launched, it’s even easier to manage and design your responsive mobile-friendly website. We have incorporated years of research and feedback from SpaceCraft website owners to make the platform better in every way.

There are hundreds of new features and enhancements in the platform, all designed to make your website management easier than ever. We’ve put this guide together to highlight and walk through a few of the most user-requested updates.

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Google has announced that a "significant" change is coming to their search algorithm. According to Google Webmaster Central, this change is starting on April 21, and will expand on Google's use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.

A Googler even noted that this algorithm change will impact more than 40% of websites on the internet. This means that it will be the most significant mobile algorithm change to date.

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The holidays are quickly approaching, and with them come more and more customers starting to search for Christmas gifts. While these searches do occur year-round (albeit in minimal numbers), according to data from Google Trends, searches including the term “Christmas gift” tend to rise exponentially starting in late October and early November.

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Today’s Search Engine Optimization efforts have grown to include much more than entering a website’s keywords and meta-data. Providing fresh, interesting content has become the key to great SEO. Every website owner should be creating new content and analyzing it over time to ensure a truly optimized user experience. But, if you aren’t skilled at SEO, the data can be difficult to find, understand, and act upon. The good news is that if you’re lucky enough to have a SpaceCraft website, many of your SEO concerns have already been addressed!

Our platform auto-generates rich, clean micro-data vital for search engine crawlers, is completely responsive across all devices (and browsers), and easily integrates with data analysis tools including Google Analytics. Taking a holistic approach to SEO can seem overwhelming, but even if you aren’t an experienced SEO (Search Engine Optimizer), there are still simple steps you can take to improve your current search rankings and create buzz around your website and brand.

Creating a conversation with customers through your social media...

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Our designers have put together a list of their favorite places out there to find stock photography. These sites make it easy to grab fresh images to take your website to the next level, and we use them every day to find awesome shots, including the ones you see in our new templates. Whether you're looking for a specific photo to complete your design or in need of a new look and feel, these sites will help you find what you're looking for.

Unsplash: We like Unsplash for their landscape and cityscape photography. If you need a photo of a far-off mountain path, a quaint corner bakery, or a sprawling skyline, Unsplash has you covered - plus they mix it up with some awesome abstract shots.

Picography: This feed is filled with interesting outdoor shots and city scenes, all downloadable and hi-res.

Foter: This collection is huge, and entirely searchable, making it a...

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Let's dig into a hot topic for businesses with multiple locations. Franchises and multi-unit businesses have struggled to choose between having one website with a page for each location and having separate websites for each location. It’s tough to say if there is a right or wrong answer that will work for everyone. However, at SpaceCraft, we agree with Matt Cutts (Head of Webspam at Google) that having location specific websites is best in most scenarios.

"Make a web page for each store location. If you want your store pages to be found, it’s best to have a unique, easily crawlable url for each store” - Matt Cutts

Cutts even goes so far to say that neglecting to give your franchisee or local dealer their own website positions your business at a severe disadvantage against the competition.

Giving each location its own website provides the opportunity for each location to tell their own story. With SpaceCraft, each location can have their own blog and integrate their unique social feeds. They can add events and promote specials. And they’ll be set up to work...

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In the world of building websites, to say that forms are important would be an understatement. A majority of people assume that forms are used exclusively to capture potential clients' contact information, but they can also be useful in a variety of digital marketing strategies.

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As mobile phone and tablet usage continue to surge, so does the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. At the onset of our platform's development, we had two directions that we could have gone in to provide our customers with websites that worked across all devices.

The first option was to create a separate mobile website, in addition to the desktop version, for each customer website. This approach required having separate URLs and managing unique content for the mobile specific website.

The second option was to leverage responsive design. Responsive design is an approach aimed at building sites that provide optimal viewing experiences across all types of devices. There is only one URL and one set of content to manage. A site designed with responsive design adapts the content to the screen size available by using fluid grids and images. Here’s a SpaceCraft customer website showing responsive design in action:

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Window shopping on Main Street is something that we’ve all probably experienced. It’s also something we take part in hundreds of times a day, but more on that in a minute. A store’s or parlor’s front window displays were some of the first examples of marketing and advertising. For a business owner, a display was an invitation for customers to come on in. If the glass was not smudged with handprints of onlookers, the display was probably not tantalizing enough.

A display needed to be inviting and pleasing and clearly communicate the shop’s purpose. Customers wouldn't dare enter an establishment if a front window display was overwhelming and confusing. A front window display was a business owner’s first interaction with a potential customer, occurring even before the handshake.

Sadly, fewer people shop on small-town Main Street in 2014, but the idea remains the same. Main Street has expanded into every one of our offices, living rooms and phones. Even if they are unaware of it, all small business owners still have a front window display. In 2014, websites must...

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Schema.org provides a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to mark up their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, Yandex and Yahoo! Webmasters can use the schema.org vocabulary, along with the microdata format, to add information to their HTML content. While the long term goal is to support a wider range of formats, the initial focus is on Microdata.

At SpaceCraft, we’ve done all the work for our customers on the backend of our platform to be ready to take advantage of this movement. Our software is built with structured data so we can serve up our customer's content the way search engines prefer. Take a look at this example for ASTI, one of our favorite restaurants in Austin, Texas. When you search for "ASTI menu” the search results display the actual menu data from the ASTI website. Too cool!

Here's to smarter search results!

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