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Create a Family Website—For Free!



By Sarah Klein

Staying in touch with relatives on the Internet is easy. So easy in fact, some members of my family have a harder time turning the computer on in the first place than sending an email! But new technology allows communication between distant family members beyond sending emails and sharing photos. Webcams allow video chatting, and social networking sites like Facebook promote applications specifically designed to link up relatives.

Another great way to stay in touch is by creating your own family website. One advantage is that it will allow you to control content, thereby making it safe and secure for all family members to visit. It can also be a fun activity to do together.

There are numerous choices for creating such a site. There are applications from the larger email providers, like Google Sites or Yahoo Geocities, but there are also a number of other great sites that cater more towards keeping a whole family in touch. And even better – they’re free!

Let’s take a look at some of the options:

  • Nexo.com – Essentially, this site provides you with a template to make your own social network. You set up a personalized homepage for your family, then share photos, videos, birthday wish-lists, vacation plans, and contact info. Members can also chat through the site and create polls.
  • MyFamily.com – This 2008 Webby award nominee has impressed TheOnlineMom before. Part blog, part social network and part family tree, this site offers space for sharing photos, videos, comments, and event calendars for an unlimited number of members. A modest yearly subscription fee will get you a whole bunch of extra features.
  • TribalPages.com – If you’re into genealogy, start with a family-tree building site like this one. You and your family can add photos, events, and stories about family members on any branch of the tree, as well as generate additional charts, like a map of where family members live or graphics that show how you are related to distant ancestors.
  • MyHeritage.com – This is another genealogy-based site, with tools to create family trees, plan events, and share photos and videos. It also has some fun, additional features, such as a tool for sharing recipes and creating polls. Plans are underway to create a medical history tool as well.

All these sites can be password protected for security and no programming or software expertise is required. From the youngest relative to the oldest, family web sites are a great way to keep the family together!



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