Running a Website
Except for the casual hobbyist, running a modern website is not simply a matter of creating web pages then letting the Internet do the rest. A number of tools can be used to help a webmaster make sure the site is running properly and is performing its intended purpose. They are either free or inexpensive. Here are those I use myself:
Firefox web browser
Firefox is generally regarded as a better web browser than Microsoft Internet Explorer. Firefox tends to render web pages more correctly, and Add-ons can be installed to perform various useful functions when viewing a web page. The Firefox Add-ons I use regularly are:
Web Developer Toolbar. The toolbar features I use most often are the HTML Validator to check the source code each time I create or edit a page, and Outline to visually view the structure of new templates as I build them.
Firebug. The Net tab in Firebug tests the HTTP status code for all the individual requests when a web page is loaded and is extremely useful for checking errors or resources that are not working properly. It also measures the download times, in milliseconds, of all the resources in the page and presents the times in graphical form.
SearchStatus. This Add-on shows the green bar Google PageRank for each web page I visit (Microsoft's browser has a similar feature).
Live HTTP headers. Occasionally useful.
See a full list of Add-ons for Firefox »
Xenu's Link Sleuth
Link Sleuth finds broken links on a website. Link verification is done on 'normal' links, images, frames, plug-ins, backgrounds, local image maps, style sheets, scripts and java applets. It displays a continuously updated list of URLs which you can sort by different criteria. A report can be produced at any time.
It is very annoying when external websites to which one links from one's own pages change their page addresses (URLs) later, resulting in a "Page Not Found" error for one's own visitors. This also applies to web links posted in blog comments. Link Sleuth checks everything – all URLs, including the website's internal links, images, etc.
Mint is the only one of my website management tools that has cost me money: $30 very well spent.
*Of course no-one can be identified in person by any visitor tracking system: "who" means information like their IP address, country, which browser and operating system they are using, and so on.
The .htaccess file