Webmaster Freebies Guide to Guestbooks
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One of the most popular webmaster freebies out there is the guestbook. A guestbook is a form that lets your visitors leave messages, comments and questions for you without using e-mail. Having a guestbook can be a great way to interact with your visitors so it is a good idea for webmasters to have them. Here are some valuable tips for choosing the right guestbook.
- PRIVACY. Is there an option for private messaging? Lots of people are paranoid nowadays. As a good webmaster, your visitor the freedom to choose to keep their comment or question private.
- CUSTOMIZATION. Does the guestbook utility let you customize the guestbook to make it look like the rest or your pages? Consistency is a key to good web design, so don't forget this when hunting for a guestbook (or any other webmaster freebie like e-mail forms and polls).
- COUNTER / IP TRACKING. Does the guestbook let you copy-paste a counter code to it? Or does it track IPs for you? This is important for hunting down that pesky stalker of your web site. Knowing the visitor's IP address lets you ban them when they're offensive.
- ICONS AND FORMATTING. Does the guestbook allow HTML coding? Are there emoticons? These are not necessary. But webmasters may want to give their visitors freedom to be colorful and stylish.
- SCREENING AND PREVIEW. This may be the most important of all. Do your messages appear instantly or do you, the webmaster and guestbook owner, get to review and edit the messages first? This is indispensable for anti-guestbook spamming. You'll also want it to censor rude posts.
- REPLY OPTION. Do you get to answer the messages in the guestbook itself? Very helpful for answering feedback and questions without the need for either the webmaster or the visitor to disclose their e-mail address.
These tips should help you in choosing a quality free guestbook for your web site. Guestbooks are among the top webmaster freebies you should have, so make sure you get the right one. Choose wisely. Remember: Webmaster freebies may be free, but they don't have to be worthless.
Other webmaster freebies you should look at are: counters, e-mail forms and search tools. Pick those freebies that you yourself know you'd want to use. But above all, don't be a pig. Get only the webmaster freebies that you really need and don't clutter your site with unnecessary add ons. With so many webmaster freebies and freeware sites out there, it can be overwhelming at first. But knowing what you want really helps.
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