Free Stuff: Email

Written by Richard Lowe

Free email services are in abundance all overrepparttar web. There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of different services to help you with your messages. Why do companies provide these services? Because they can sell advertising space, and they have several ways to do it.

- They can append a small ad to each email message which is sent or received

- They can display banners

- Their sites can issue popup windows with advertisements

Why would you want to use a free email service? Probablyrepparttar 113285 most important reason is simply to help you with spam. You can use a web based free email account to receive messages from signups to various services. Then, you can accessrepparttar 113286 account only when necessary forrepparttar 113287 service. This way, any spam messages will be directed torepparttar 113288 free mailbox, which you do not use very often if at all.

Another great reason to use these services is to be able to pick up your email from your browser. This is great for when you are traveling or on those occasions when you want to read your home email when at work (see "Is surfingrepparttar 113289 internet safe at work?")

Each ofrepparttar 113290 four basic types of email services are described below, along with some examples of some ofrepparttar 113291 free services that are available.

Web Based Email - These services allow you to retrieve, send and manage your email from your browser. In general,repparttar 113292 services are advertising (banner) supported, although most offer an ad free paid version of some kind.

Hotmail.Com The first and oldest web-based email system. Good interface, reliable and reasonably fast.

Mail.Com Probablyrepparttar 113293 best free web-based email service available. Choose from dozens of different email domains. Very easy to use and flexible. Premium service is available at a low cost.

Startrekmail Create your own Star Trek email address. Choose from many domains, including:

Yahoo Mail Another popular, nice email system. Lots of features, very reliable and fast.

POP Email Services - POP email is virtually always supplied as part ofrepparttar 113294 services you receive from your web host and ISP. Your messages are stored on a server, and you use your email client (Outlook, Outlook Express or Eudora, for example) to send, receive and manage your messages.

E-OmniNet E-Omninet provides online services of all kinds with a single account. It includesrepparttar 113295 file manager, address book, bookmarks, solar and lunar calendars plus event reminder, free POP3 email and web hosting.

Mail Options Provides mail and news access in a web based browser. Mail is stored on a POP server.

Free Stuff: Guestbooks

Written by Richard Lowe

Visitors to non-commercial websites expect to find guestbooks. In fact, they often get quite annoyed when they cannot find one, especially if they want to complimentrepparttar webmaster. Many visitors are disappointed if they cannot find one even on commercial websites.

Imagine how it feels to really want to tell a webmaster that he's done a great job, and you cannot find an easy way to do so. It's enough to make anyone annoyed ... upset enough not to come back? Perhaps not, but after working so hard to get a visitor to your site why anger someone who only wants to tell you that you've done a good job?

On our site we have gone through many different guestbooks. Like many sites, we began withrepparttar 113284 standard remotely hosted versions. In general, these didrepparttar 113285 job but as our site matured we jumped from service to service, attempting to find one that suited our needs. After much searching, we decided to maintain our guestbook by hand (what a pain that was), until stumbling onrepparttar 113286 best guestbook script we have ever seen. Once we installed vizbook we realized we were in guestbook heaven.

Anyway, virtually all ofrepparttar 113287 remotely hosted guestbook services will dorepparttar 113288 job. If your site is based on a web host that allows for user installed CGI routines, then vizbook comes highly recommended.

User Installed Scripts

User installed guestbook scripts are most definitely preferable torepparttar 113289 remotely hosted versions. If you are allowed to install your own scripts, then by all means do so - you will get a much better guestbook.

Vizbook I personally tested virtually every guestbook script that was available on cgi-resources ( Once we stumbled uponrepparttar 113290 script called vizbook, we realized we had foundrepparttar 113291 perfect guestbook. Let me emphasize that point - this guestbook is absolutely incredible. It has everything, and was even completely customizable to match our site perfectly. If you can install CGI scripts on your server, then there is no other choice as far as I am concerned.

Remotely Hosted

Many sites take advantage ofrepparttar 113292 many remotely hosted guestbook services that are available. The advantages of using a remote service include:

- The maintenance required to upkeeprepparttar 113293 guestbook is minimal and generally consists of reviewingrepparttar 113294 entries.

- Your bandwidth and disk quotas are not affected byrepparttar 113295 guestboook.

The disadvantages include:

- Remotely hosted guestbooks are supported by advertising, which means banners. These cause visitors to be drawn away from your site.

- Configuration of remote guestbooks is usually very limited, sorepparttar 113296 guestbook will not match your site.

- You are stuck withrepparttar 113297 features provided byrepparttar 113298 guestbook provider.

- Most importantly, these services have proven to be highly vulnerable torepparttar 113299 slowdown of internet advertising. As a result, quite a few have disappeared or become fee driven in recent months. This can be disastrous for a site when a guestbook with hundreds (or even thousands) of entries is lost without notice.

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