Friday, April 14, 2006

Icing on your electronic cake

Pumpup your website or blog with a few add-ons that will help you get under its bonnet, add functionality or just provide a bit of fun. You won’t need a degree in HTML coding to install any of these little helpers: cutting and pasting is as technical as it gets.


Statistics counters not only track the number of site hits, unique visitors and returnees your site receives, but they tell you whether your readers are from Leytonstone or Lima, how long they browse your site, what browser and operating system they use, and whether they take one lump or two.

StatCounter ( Sitemeter ( and eXTReMe Tracker ( are three options. All offer basic free versions as well as paid-for upgrades.

More interaction

A tagboard is a message box that sits one side of your blog. Readers leave notes, which encourage conversation. They differ from a comments box as they are not post specific. Tagboards run throughout your whole blog. Tag-Board ( and Chatterbox ( are popular and free. You can also add a poll in your blog. Go to or for the free tools you need.

Skype me

If you use Skype (, the free internet telephony software, add a Skype Me button. Readers, friends and colleagues can call you straight from your site to tell you what a great post you just made, so long as they also have Skype installed. See /skypemebuttons.html.

Live Message Alerts!

Let your readers know in real time when you update your blog. Live Message Alerts ( is free. Add the icon to your site and readers can opt to receive alerts by email, desktop alert, mobile phone or PDA. Readers receive a headline and can click through to read your new post.

License your work

Adding a Creative Commons licence ( lets everybody know what they can and cannot beg, borrow or steal from your blog. RSS feeds A blog isn’t a blog without an RSS feed. Adding a Bloglines ( or a Newsgator ( feed to your site allows readers to sign up quickly by hitting the icon you install and adding your feed to their RSS reader or online Bloglines account.


The Truth Laid Bear Ecosytem ( will let you know where you stand, crawl or sliver in Blogdom. Let the narcissist in you take over and add the “Who links to me” code ( and it tells you what it says it’ll tell you. Technorati ( offers a similar, more sophisticated service. Add a clock with Do you use the Flickr ( photosharing service? Add their zeitgeist — It displays an attractive patchwork of pictures recently uploaded to Flickr, in your sidebar.

Stop Spam

Foil the spam robots crawling your blog for email addresses with SpamPoison:

Source: Guardian


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