Online Resources For Webmasters

There are literally thousands, if not millions, of free online resources for webmasters available on the internet. I would like to share some of the most useful of these with you today. All of these resources are available at no cost, although some may require registration.

The first, and possibly most useful resource, is Site Meter available through sitemeter.com. Site Meter is essentially an extremely advanced website counter and statistics tracker which allows you as a webmaster to not only see how many visitors you are receiving, but in depth details about each visitor. For example, you can see:

* Where the visitor came from and what page the your link was on that they clicked
* The visitor’s country and region
* The visitor’s browser version and operating system
* The page on your website they entered at, as well as the page they exited on when they left
* How long they stayed on your website and which web pages they viewed
* IP address as well as their ISP
* And much more!

Simply add the Sitemeter code to your page and you are ready to go!

The second resource is My Contact Form, available through MyContactForm.com. If adding forms to your site confuses you, or even if you just want a much more advanced form system, this is a great service to use. Every webmaster should at least try this one! My Contact Form allows you to easily create online forms, polls, surveys, contact forms, feedback forms, questionnaires, and more using their online form creation wizard that does the work for you. Just answer the questions it prompts you for and then paste the html it gives you onto your site. Completely customizable and fun to use!

Next we have an almost must-have resource for any webmaster, which is a terrific newsletter and ezine program, Constant Contact, from ConstantContact.com. Free for up to 50 subscribers, this easy to use program allows you to easily create and manage mailing lists, with customizable pre-made templates, tons of features, and great support.

Many webmasters have wondered how to get a Favicon, those little icons next to a website address in their address bar or bookmarks list. Favicons help you to brand your website and encourage visitors to remember your site in the future. You can find a wonderful favicon maker at html-kit.com/favicon. Simply create the favicon from the creator there and upload it to your website directory.

Another wonderful resource for webmasters, which allows you to give visitors a reason to keep coming back to your website is a plug board. Plug boards are a small script that you place on your website which allows visitors to add their button or banner to a page on your site. There are a certain amount of spaces to place these buttons and when the spaces are all full, the next person to post a “plug” bumps the oldest plug off the board. This allows your website visitors to advertise easily on your website, as well as creating a reason for them to visit again to re-plug their site when it has been bumped off the plug board. You can get a free plug-board at plug-board.com.

One thing which is extremely important to any website, are meta tags. Meta tags are “read” by search engines, and can help your search engine listings and positions if done correctly. You can find one of the most advanced meta tag generators at submitcorner.com/Tools/Meta.

Many webmasters are fond of domain names, but sometimes you can’t seem to find the right domain name for you because more and more domain names are being taken by others. Use Name Boy at nameboy.com to find the absolutely perfect domain name for your website using a combination of one or two words. Just enter two keywords into the search form and Name Boy will find all domains with those words in them, as well as showing which are available.

Finally, find hundreds of free places to get traffic for your website at hostingwahms.com/Free-Website-Traffic-For-Your-Site%21.php. With many different programs, exchanges, and other tools to submit your websites to, you will get an exponential increase in traffic using the resources available on that page.

I hope that these tools are useful to you as a webmaster and that they increase the overall performance and usability of your website. Remember that there are literally thousands of resources available for you as a webmaster on the internet, and use these as much as possible to you – and your website’s – advantage!

Network Convergence Explained

In the world of communications technology, the wave of the future is here. Network convergence, also called media convergence, is a system that integrates data, telephone, and video over the Internet. Instead of having multiple devices that manage internet and phone separately, amenities are merged into a single IP network.

Traditional Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has become very popular due to the significant cost savings over traditional telephone service. VoIP technology converts voice into data and then sends it out over the network. The VoIP system and the data system are separate entities. The user is still managing two separate technologies.

With convergence, everything is managed through a single system. It integrates voice, video, mobile, and other digital services into one data network. As a comparison, cell phones work in a similar fashion. Mobile calling is merged with the ability to take pictures, video, play MP3s, and surf the Internet. It is able to offer multiple applications in a single device.

Benefits of Convergence

The benefit of convergence technology is multifold for businesses. Not only does it speed up productivity, but it also integrates with existing databases and applications. This is especially important for call centers that need to be able to manage a high volume of callers without anyone being sent to voicemail. Employees are able to share files and videos, as well as manage communications.

Businesses realize a significant savings from network convergence. Since the traditional telephone company is jettisoned, tolls and long distance charges are virtually eliminated. With only one system being supported, it is less expensive to maintain and manage. Previously, separate IT technicians were needed for VoIP and network support. Now, a single technician can be retrained to handle the entire system.

Issues of Concern..
Extremely large networks will benefit by the reduced requirement for equipment space. As wonderful as this new technology is, there are drawbacks. It does require a lot of bandwidth and it may not be as secure as a traditional network. This could leave the system more vulnerable to viruses. Vendors are working hard to incorporate added security features as a part of the package.

This industry is one that changes rapidly, as new advances occur on a regular basis. For this reason, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not regulate this technology. This is certain to change in the future as growth begins to slow. A chief concern is the potential of these systems damaging the economy, as it is projected to overtake the older telephone services eventually.

In sum..

Implementing network convergence begins with selecting a reliable and reputable vendor. Service providers like Allstream network convergence will evaluate the individual needs of each site. Wiring remains a prominent factor, as fiber optic cabling is required. Even if the cabling is present, it must be evaluated for wear and tear.

Also, existing local area networks (LANs) and other electronics must be accessed. Depending on the size of the network, extra equipment may be needed. IP phones replace analog and digital phones, and add to the expense. When considering system reliability, it may be good to add back up battery power to keep the network going in the event of electrical failure. Overall, the implementation process isn’t difficult, but can be enhanced considerably by choosing a quality vendor.

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