Baby's First Website

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Websites and blogs are a great way to keep long-distance family members up-to-date on the new addition to the family.

Taking pictures and making movies are great ways to record how your baby has been growing and developing his first year. That way you can always look back and have a clear reminder of this rapidly changing time. As you collect all of these photos and videos, you will soon be wondering how you will share them with all of your friends and family members.

Will you send out printed pictures or just e-mail your photos to everyone? Those are simple options, but they don't offer an easy way to keep those pictures organized. An e-mailed photo also doesn't provide a good way to insert comments about each picture or event.

E Fact

A weblog, also called a blog, is a type of Web page that you regularly update, like an online diary or journal. Blogs have become a popular way for families to share what is going on in their lives and it is a great way to post information about your baby. A blog is a good alternative to a more traditional Web site if you plan on making very frequent changes and additions.

A much better option is to create a Web site for your baby. This can be as simple as a single page with a few pictures and a few lines of text that describe the picture, or a larger site with pages for each stage of your baby's development. As you get more advanced, you can add movies, stories, and even a guest book for family members to add their own comments.

But isn't it hard to create a Web site? It can be if you are trying to learn everything on your own and you aren't very Internet savvy. If you don't know what HTML (hypertext markup language) and FTP (file transfer protocol) are, then you might have some learning to do if you want to start a Web site from scratch. Fortunately, there are many easy and free ways to create a Web site, even if you have no experience and don't know where to start. You may be able to set up such a site through your Internet service provider, such as EarthLink or America Online. Or you can use a free online service—for example, www.babiesonline.com—to get a site up in just a few minutes.

If you want more control over the look and feel of your baby's site, you might consider learning HTML and creating your own Web site from scratch. For a little extra help, pick up some software that will automate many of the steps for you. Adobe GoLive, Macromedia Dreamweaver, and Microsoft FrontPage all are good choices. You also could read a book or take a class that will teach you how to create your own Web site. Any of these methods will help you get set up in no time at all.