The lowdown on Web management tools

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Dynamic content

What is it? Web management tools help you do everything from keeping content current and synchronized to tracking usage and making certain the site hasn't been defaced.

When do I need them? If high availability of your site is a priority'and that is likely considering the growing importance of e-government services'you need Web management tools to ensure functionality and uptime.

When don't I need one? If you have a relatively small, static site and no need to improve it, you probably don't have to give a lot of thought to Web management.

What are the basic choices? Any site worth managing probably has dynamic content, so the most basic choice you need to consider is how to deal with it. You can use the site as the front end to a database, upload completely preprocessed pages to the server, or insert plug-ins and scripting within the page itself to update content dynamically.

Must-know info? The fundamental question for a Web manager has to be: 'Is my Web site up?' If the answer is no, all else fades into insignificance. Uptime becomes increasingly important as agency users, citizens and vendors come to rely more and more on the Internet. And uptime becomes absolutely critical during a crisis. Unless you have a staff able to watch the site around the clock, you'll need monitoring and notification tools along with a thorough plan for fixing problems as they occur.

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