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Slide 15 of 26
Many other tools are available to draw visitors to your site. Search engines can help your visitors find the information they need. Once you sign up, you are given some code to add to your search page. The site providing the service scans your site and makes a database of all the words on all the pages of your site. When your visitor does a search, he is given a list of pages that match his interest. All the "free" search services pay for their service through banner ads, which run on the search results page. If you want banner-free searching, you will have to pay for that service or install your own script. The best free script for site searching is Ksearch. A tutorial for installation and use is available below:
A much better site search engine (the one used on this site) is FM SiteSearch Pro. The cost is quite reasonable (less than $50) and it can be completely customized for your own site.
Discussion boards allow you and your visitors the ability to interact with each other. Visitors can post a discussion topic and add their comments. as the moderator, you can add your own comments and remove pages that are inappropriate. If your discussion group is successful, you could spend a lot of time making sure that it runs smoothly. Free discussion boards are paid for through banner ads that run on your page.
Newsletters are a great way to keep people coming back to your site and build a loyal readership. Mojo Mail is the best free script and easiest to install. The script allows users to sign up and receive your e-mail newsletter in plain text or HTML format. A simplified tutorial on getting this script on your site is found below:
Free polls allow your user to give their opinion about an issue and see what your other visitors think about that issue. As with other free services, there are banner ads on your poll result page.
Guest books allow your visitor to comment on your site and see what other visitors think. Visitors can leave their e-mail address so that you can contact them. An alternative to guest books is a comment form. visitors cannot see each others' comments, but the information is sent directly to your e-mail so that you can respond in a timely manner.
Counters help you to track what is of interest to your visitors by telling you how many visitors have gone to specific pages on your site.
Last updated March 31, 2008