Webmaster Tools – ZamZar

ZamZarIt is getting harder and harder to be able to keep up with all of the file formats there are available. Recently various clients I have, have sent me Word Perfect files, Microsoft Works files, MPEG video files, and the list keeps getting longer. ZamZar is an online file conversion service that offers a solution for people that need to convert files from many different sources. The list of file types that they are able to convert is fairly extensive. It is quite likely that they will be able to convert most files to a format that you will be able to use.

In the last two weeks I have used it to convert many different formats of word processing documents, several image formats and I even tried it to download some videos off of YouTube and I am very impressed with the quality of the conversion. Some of the layout did get lost in the word processing documents that I converted, and that could be a concern for some people, but for my use because I simply needed to get the text out of the document, it was exactly what I needed.

As a webmaster I know I will find ZamZar a useful tool to help me handle all of the different file types that are sent to me. It has already saved me time and headaches and I am sure it will for others. Give it a try the next time you need to convert a file.

Webmaster Tools – Copyscape

Most people work hard on their websites and the last thing you want to find out is that someone has taken your hard work and reposted it somewhere else on the Internet without your permission. Unfortunately, this happens more than we would like.

One of the tools I often use to check and see if my sites have been copied is Copyscape. They offer a free service that returns ten results and a premium service that you can pay for that offers unlimited results.

I checked three sites with it today, and Copyscape found copies of content from two of the three in other places on the Internet. The first was this blog, and it accurately found that there is a copy of the latest blog post on my main company site www.lgr.ca. I checked a friends blog and it found several copies of some of the content on three other sites. The content was not actually copied from the site, but was a movie quote that several others have quoted exactly as well. The third site I checked is actually still in development, so it came back with no content being similar to other sites, which makes sense since it is original and never been on the Internet.

Copyscape, is also a very useful tool if you are looking at purchasing a website from one of the webmaster forums, like DigitalPoint Buy, Sell or Trade section. You can use it to check websites you might be interested in to see how unique the content actually is, if it is simply being scraped from other sites, or maybe just borrowed from Wikipedia. It is not 100% fool proof, but it will give you a good idea if the website and the content are worth purchasing.

Overall Copyscape can be a useful webmaster tool to check the Internet for copies of your content. I know I check my sites occasionally just to see if any of them have been copied and used without permission.

Webmaster Tools – PageRank Checker

Want to know what the PageRank of websites are as you surf? If you are using Firefox, take a look at the Search Status addon. It gives you quick access to Google’s PageRank, Alexa rank, and a great list of other features. The features I use most often are the “Show Indexed Pages” and “Show Backward Links” to quickly check how many pages from my site have been indexed by the search engines, and how many links there are at the site. The Search Status addon has my vote as an esential Firefox addon for webmasters.

If you don’t want to constantly be checking your PageRank give iWebTool’s PageRank Checker a look. It will check your websites PageRank on all of Google datacenters. A very quick and easy tool to use if you just need to check a site occasionally.

Search Status
Search Status Addon

Webmaster Tools – DNS Stuff

A week does not go by that I don’t need to test something on one of my websites or servers. One of the tools that always comes in handy in diagnosing problems and checking up on things is DNSstuff.com. If you are ever having problems reaching your website and you are not sure if your server is down or it is just your Internet connection head on over to DNSstuff.com and do some simple tests to see if your server is responding.

I recently had a day when I was able to connect to most of the Internet, but I was not able to get to the LGR Computer Enterprises website. I headed on over to DNSstuff.com and was able to verify that the server was responding to pings, a traceroute and the HTML validator was able to able to connect and check the html. The server was there and responding and the world could see it. Four hours later I was able to connect to the site again, and checking the logs traffic had continued through the whole time, even though I could not connect.