Techie Tools

Frankly, I hate all this technology.  All the tweaks and fixes that are necessary in this technology driven subject.  Nonetheless it is a necessary evil – until that day you can afford to pay someone else to do it for you. 

Google Webmaster Tools


Google Analyticsdespite my antipathy to all things technical I have to say this is the most user friendly and marketing useful tool.  You have to get over the initial distaste for that awful phrase; ‘Just paste this piece of code into your website’, which is the knell of doom for all non-techies.  But once you are over that then the benefits are endless and very well presented.  Even I can understand them.

robots.txt files

You will hear about being able to control where the Search Engine spiders/robots go using a robots.txt file.  If you want to get into this stuff then there is useful information on and even more on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog Free script to help you track, evaluate and improve your site.  Doesn’t really belong in the Getting Started section as you will be far too busy building your walls to begin with without worrying about whether they are straight or not – but it is free.

Control your computer from anywhere.

There are a number of solutions to accessing your PC from remote locations.

Converting Word documents into .pdf format for eBooks. will convert your documents into pdf files for free – as long as you tolerate the sponsors ads every time you use it.  Very easy actually.  You can buy the pro version to get rid of the ads.

Sending Large Files

From time to time you may need to send large files either between JV partners as you prepare your project or to fulfillment house or design studio.  Large files, maybe video or high resolution photos, can often fail to get through the email system for a variety of reasons.

There are a number of large file transfer services of which is one I have used successfully.  It also has a free trial period.

Checking Your Website Is Functional

Sometimes all your mental alarm bells are going off as you become certain that your web site is not responding and you are convinced your hosting service has let you down.  One way to check is to use the free test service at

This pings (no, you don’t need to know what that means!) your website server from various locations around the world and reports to you instantly.  When the hosting service help desk is insisting to you that your website is fine it is a great pleasure to cut and paste the Alertra report into your message just to prove the point that you are not a complete idiot.

Of course, when you have made your first million and your website(s) have become fundamentally important to your income and lifestyle then you may well want to monitor them constantly with the paid service.

You can also do this using tracert.

Goto start menu–>Run–>type cmd.  A black box will appear, at the end of the line type in: tracert, enter.  This will do the same thing of pinging to check your connection and even trace the path of how you reach the host server where your domain resides.  A frightening illustration of how complex the internet is and both how easy it is for things to go wrong but also the resilience to keep going when individual parts fail.


Making long links small – and hiding your affiliate id

Sometimes you will want to send people to a particular page or link and the hyperlink grows to a great length for all sorts of reasons.  You can make it short – and therefore much easier both for you to manage and your user to copy and paste into their browser by using TinyURL at

This becomes particularly important when it is an affiliate link.  Regrettably, there are people in this business who will locate an affiliate link and have the technical skills to replace your affiliate link with theirs – and therefore steal your sales.  Converting it to a Tiny URL will avoid this and protect your hard won traffic.


There are various teleconference and webinar software tools and services available which are very useful especially if you want to relate personally with your customers, for example if you are a coach or mentor, or want to deliver products in this way.

If you are certain that this is the way you want to go then investing in the best is a good idea. is a product fronted by Rick Raddatz which, at the time of writing (May 09), is claiming solutions to all the major problems that arise in teleconfences.  Having just listened to the introductory call myself the Nconnect team certainly seem to have covered all the bases in terms of making sure that things do not go wrong on your calls. looks like a very useful looking webinar service with the advantage that you can start off with day rates of just $9.95 per day.

At the other end of the spectrum you can run teleconferences for free with or

Interent technology is constantly developing and the latest and newest tool I found allows anyone to host there own webinar meetings without any costs.

You can also try Yugma.

Afraid I have not had the chance to check these out yet – just another indication that technology is advancing faster than we can keep up.  Perhaps a reminder of, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.  Otherwise put that if you find something that works for you then stick with it.  It will be far more cost effective to get value from what you are using than waste yet more time researching something which may be no better.  And don’t forget that unless you really are pushing the limits of the tool you are using at the moment – and have found some limitation that is really frustrating you, then you probably don’t need anything else, even if it will extend your capabilities by another 3%!

Forum Software

The PHBB forum software is just about the most common forum application being used but I came across this comment recently on a forum that you might find interesting.
For a forum, I recommend Simple Machines Forums from It is really easy to install. You just upload one file to your server, I would suggest in a forum sub-directory and run that file and it calls and installs all the other files from the SMF site. I’ve found SMF much more user friendly than phpBB or others.

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