Webmaster Resources

Tips, tricks, and resources for devloping and maintaining your website.

Free Image Sources

5 Free awesome sources for quality photos

Every blogger or website owner can relate to the phrase: A picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures draw attention. They can make an article or post more appealing and help get visitors to actually read what you have to say. If nothing else they do make a plain old boring page look much better.

Finding the perfect picture for your new post can be just as time-consuming as writing it. You search and search some more, eventually just giving up and forcing yourself to pick whatever is on your computer screen at the moment. Sometimes it’s not what you were hoping for, but after spending 30 minutes to 1 hour looking you tell yourself I’ll have to make that one work.

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Website Ads

Website ads on the rise

I am old enough to know life before the internet, and no I am not an old geezer either. I am also old enough to remember the early days as the internet gained popularity and the dot com boom. There were very few advertisements per page, which was probably a good thing considering most of us had very slow dial up modems. It was fairly common for websites not to have any advertisements at all back in the early internet days. Of course it didn’t take long for that to change.

Advertising during TV programing when I was growing up was kind of similar. The number of ads on TV were much shorter and fewer than what they are today. Now you are lucky to watch 10 to 15 minutes of your favorite TV program and then there are 5 to 10 minutes of commercial advertisements. Which can be very annoying at times as well.

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Updating a Website or Blog

Starting a website or blog cost concerns

Every day more and more people start a new blog or some form of website. Sometimes I wonder just how many are out there in cyber world. Probably more than most people could possibly imagine myself included.

Regardless of the software script you decide to use to power your website you will likely seek out tips and other resources to help get the ball rolling. If you are totally new to running a website you might be doing quite a bit of reading and research.

You will find a lot of people and websites tell you to get this thing or that thing for fifty, one hundred dollars, or more. Join this program or that one for guess what? More money of course. Many of these people and sites are affiliate marketers that push some product because they get a commission for every sale. I don’t blame these folks for trying to market a product or program. Everyone wants to make money online. Some of these things might be worth it, while others are a total waste of your time and money. I am not complaining or attempting to discredit any of them. Just be careful because not all of them are worth it. I’m sure there are plenty of decent ones out there though.

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Managing Your Time

Timestamping articles and posts

If you are like me you probably visit a number of websites in your daily activities. Whether it’s for business or just to kill some time and entertain yourself, but have you ever noticed that some websites use a timestamp or date in their post and others do not?

Why is it that so many websites remove the date from a post? Is it because the software the website in question uses just doesn’t have the ability to add a simple date? Do they not post very often and not want visitors to see or know this? Do they publish so often that they don’t want visitors to see that they post so darn often. Or, are they trying to sort of hide this from Google and other search engines for some other SEO purpose? I can understand this to some extent, and I could see people arguing for and against dated posts.

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Warning if it ain't broke don't fix it

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

You have probably heard the saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This simple piece of advice is often difficult to follow and abide by. It can apply to anything from layout and design, to page titles, seo, your database, etc. And, it also applies to most things in your everyday life.

Why do some websites seem to change frequently? From a minor addition of something in a side column/bar, to a complete layout and design change. Sometimes it’s something small or subtle. Other times so much has changed I am not even sure if I am on the right website.

Is it a technology/upgrade thing? Are new features and programing being added? Or did the site owner just get a wild idea and thought change would be good?

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Web Hosting Backup Time

Backups what is the ideal time

Backups are one of the important tasks that should be performed on a regular basis. If you use shared hosting this task is usually done by your host. Backup times and frequency will vary from one host to another. Some perform daily backups, others might do it every other day, or maybe just once per week. At the very least they should be done at least weekly by your host.

My host is currently doing daily backups. This sounds like a good idea, but the actual backup process is quite cpu and server resource intense. Whenever a backup runs it uses a lot of the servers cpu power, which can slow websites and page load times down substantially.

If there are a lot of files and accounts on the server the overall backup process can take hours to complete. It just depends on the number of other accounts and what kind of backup they might be doing.

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Google Analytics vs. Awstats

How often do you check your website stats

At some point you will likely enable or check some form of statistics for your website. Whether it’s in your hosting control panel with analog stats, webalizer, or awstats. Maybe Google analytics or webmaster tools. Possibly adsense and affiliate programs. Or some other statistic program out there.

Stats can be fun and interesting, and they can be very helpful too. But, just how much time do you spend checking and analyzing all of them?

Spending just 10 minutes per day checking various stats adds up to 70 minutes per week. Spend 20 minutes per day and you are just shy of 2 1/2 hours per week.

I am not saying forget about stats altogether. They are indeed helpful. I just wonder if sometimes we don’t realize how much time we spend on something that seems small and trivial, but can add up to a fairly substantial amount over the course of a week or even a month.

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