Free Site Features

circuit boardI’ve added quite a few free things to my web sites over the years, including some new ones quite recently. As such, I decided to take the time to plug each of them for you. After all, you might want to use some if them on your own web pages.Thingamablog: This is a nice open-source blogging program. It’s written in java, so practically any OS can use it. There are some good points and bad points to it, but it creates RSS feeds and it’s customizable so I like it.

Haloscan: One of Thingamablog’s bad points is that it doesn’t support comment or trackback codes, so I signed up with Haloscan to add them.

eXTReMe Tracking: Of course everyone needs their ego inflated now and then, so I use eXTReMe Tracking to tell me from where my visitors are coming. I’ve been using this free service for years and I’m very happy with it.

TrueFresco: Another thing you can do is return the favor to people who link to you. TrueFresco allows you to do that instantly, but I only recommend it if you already have a lot of incoming traffic. If you don’t, it might be a little embarrassing.

Furl: There are a few services out there that allow you to bookmark sites for future reference – like a web browser does it, but better because you can check them out at any computer. Some people like more, but I like how Furl has extra features.

Flickr: A lot of the bloggers I’m reading nowadays have Flickr accounts to show off their pictures, so since I’m an Art teacher I said “Why not?” I haven’t fully integrated it into my site yet, but right now I have 22 pictures uploaded onto my account. (Sorry, no pictures of students. I refuse to do that without parental permission.)

Feedburner: This service is only useful to you if your site generates an RSS feed, but if your site doesn’t then you should really think about adding it. It allows you to maintain the same RSS address in spite of a change of web URL, track to see how many subscribers you have, and even incorporate your Furl, Flickr, and Bloglines Clip Blogs into the same RSS feed.

WebAlias: Sometimes, having an incredibly long and hard to remember web address can be a bit of a problem. I use WebAlias to create a new, more memorable URL and forward visitors to my site through that. It causes some slight but acceptable problems, such as a small pop-up, but you’re already using a web browser with built in pop-up blocking, right?

Bravenet: I use Bravenet for it’s free web counter service, but they’ve got all kinds of site tutorials, services, and add-ons. If you’re creating a web site on a small or nonexistant budget, then you should really check this one out.