There are different types of webmaster software that can handle nearly every aspect of managing, creating and monitoring a website. One popular type of software is used for website design, providing easy visual tools to create a website without the need to known HyperText Markup Language (HTML). Some programs are designed to assist in creating content or graphics for websites, such as custom buttons, banners or animations. For established sites and commercial sites, there are programs that can track the metrics of where visitors come from, search among terms used to find the website, and assist in the creation of content designed for search engine optimization (SEO). There also is webmaster software that is written to handle the low-level aspects of website management, such as transferring files using the file transfer protocol (FTP), changing file permissions, and handling the installation of scripts and other active online content.
Web design programs are a common type of webmaster software. These generally operate like a combination of a paint program and a word processor, allowing page layouts to be drawn or composed from existing HTML elements. The software can be simple, just creating a basic HTML-compliant document, or large and complex, allowing the webmaster to create directory structures and publish the website on a live server with just a few button clicks.
Web content creation software is designed to help accelerate the process of creating common items such as graphical image file (GIF) animations, rollovers for buttons, or even nested menus. These programs can be fully featured image editors or they can be menu-driven, mainly using templates that can be mixed and matched to create unique elements. Some of these applications are actually plug-ins or can be integrated into a larger web design suite.
There also is webmaster software for sites that need to monitor the traffic that is arriving. These programs can show information, usually provided by a monitoring service or search engine online, and break down the metrics into easy-to-understand charts and reports. This information can be used to choose the type of advertising utilized or to bulk up on content based on the search terms that are used to arrive at the site. Other uses for monitoring software for webmasters is to keep track of what advertising is working for customers and the flow of navigation through the site itself.
E-commerce websites have entire software bundles that can be used in an office setting. This type of webmaster software can help to organized disparate elements of a website — such as visitor emails, mailing lists and forums — or it can be used to delegate the tasks to other members of a company. Some higher-end programs allow webmasters to edit websites directly on the web server in real time, providing a mechanism for the back-end maintenance of message boards, product descriptions or entire web copy. Depending on the implementation of the e-commerce gateway, some webmaster software can be used to monitor and manage security within a site.
A large amount of webmaster software deals with SEO. These programs show information about what keywords and phrases are important or sought out by visitors and sometimes generate content based on these words. A certain type of program known as a spinner is used to take a document written in a special format and alter some of the words to create a technically unique page to allow the website to attract more visitors based on the phrases being sought.