Building a series of articles addressing a variety of Internet marketing tools, resources, and strategies for Web site owners would not be complete without an examination of what are simply known in industry jargon as Web site add-ons or add-ons.

Put simply, an add-on is a device that is applied to a Web site for the purpose of enhancing the site’s overall content and features, hence keeping visitors returning to the site. An add-on can be fun, such as a game of sorts, or it can have a more serious purpose, such as allowing visitors to instantly receive stock quotes or currency conversion rates. An add-on can be fun and educational at the same time as well, such as through an “on this day in history” feature or an encyclopedia entry or biography of a famous person that automatically changes daily.

Many add-ons are free and involve nothing more than placing a generated copy-paste code into the Web site’s editing tool. Usually, for nominal fees, free add-ons can be upgraded with additional features and enhanced design. Furthermore, add-ons, free or otherwise, can in most cases be customized to fit the color schemes of the Web site where they will be placed.

A vastly popular Web site that offers free add-ons, one that also is referenced in a previous article for its Web site traffic campaign offerings, is Bravenet. Bravenet offers a wide array of add-ons for Web sites, ranging from chatrooms to message boards, headline news feeds to daily cartoons, and guestbooks to “on this day in history” segments, among many others. All that is required to be able to access these add-ons is the setting up of a free account with Bravenet.

Another popular site for obtaining free add-ons is WebsiteFreebies. This site, in many ways, serves as a clearinghouse for add-ons, pulling together into one convenient location many add-ons from a number of different providers, including some from Bravenet. Some of the offerings available through WebsiteFreebies include the widely used translator tool from AltaVista Babel Fish, a calculator, games, crossword puzzles, a currency converter, updating stock quotes, daily inspirational quotes, widgets, and the weather, among others.

In closing, add-ons are a terrific way to add to the content and features of a Web site and can, therefore, go a long way in helping a site build and maintain a steady stream of traffic. They are free to use, are usually customizable to account for the Web site’s color schemes, and in most cases only take a few minutes to set up. For affordable prices, many add-ons can also be upgraded to include more offerings than their free counterparts.