It is easy to build a family website nowadays. You do not need to learn any programming language; you can easily create a family website with the help of templates or other user-friendly building tools. Free templates abound online while point-and-click site building tools are provided by most web hosting companies. Yet in spite of the ease of building one, many still have not realized the value of having a family website. If they did, every family would have one for themselves.
So why should you build a family website at all? There are many reasons, but here are the top five:
1. A Family Website Can Draw Your Family Together
Ask families who have their own family website and in all likelihood, they will tell you that having a family website helps keep their family together (and draws them closer), even if it's in cyberspace. A family website with interactive features like chat rooms and message boards or forums can help your family stay connected and receive updates about each other regardless of where every member currently lives.
Through a family website, you and your family can share pictures and learn about family events and other happenings. A chat room, too, can serve as a convenient and cheap way your family can communicate with one another -- from discussing the more grave concerns to exchanging funny little jokes that endear you to one another.
2. A Family Website Can Keep You Informed
Through a family website, every family member can post the latest news and pictures. This makes it possible for everyone to be updated of the things happening in each other's lives. Grandparents can get to see the children grow and change; aunts and uncles can stay in touch with the nieces and nephews; the cousins can stay connected with each other. If your family usually holds big events like family reunions, a family website can come handy. Instead of phoning everyone while making the arrangements, all the “need to know” items can be posted for all to read at the family website.
Even menu planning is made easier with the use of the family website. You can readily ask everyone to post on the message board what they intend to bring to the party; this way, double-ups can be avoided. Similarly, those with special dietary requirements like diabetics and even vegans can make their requests. You can also use your family website's chat room to facilitate matching of dishes, just to make sure that they complement each other. In the same manner, some can ask for recipes or seek help online from the other relatives.
3. A Family Website Can Get Children Involved with the Family
Children are known to be difficult to get involved with family activities; perhaps it is because they are too occupied with their own particular interests. Computers and technology are very much the world of the children today. In which case, creating a family website would provide a medium that can draw the younger ones to meet and communicate with the other members of the family. Children are more likely to have more fun this way as you are letting them meet in their own turf, so to speak.
You cannot expect your children to be instant friends with their cousins, particularly if the cousins live far away and your children rarely see them. They hardly have anything to say to each other during the rare times that they get together because they practically do not know each other. With a family website, the children can easily bond as they will have more opportunities to chat with their relatives and get to know them. When they find common points of interests, they might await eagerly for the next family gathering, never mind if an older relation is expected to do something annoying like pinch their cheeks!
4. A Family Website Can Help in Genealogy Research
Some people put up family websites primarily to aid them in their genealogy research. You, too, can use your family website as a repository for all the information you uncover about your ancestors. Similarly, you can post any questions you might have about your genealogy. Visitors to the site could have the answers you need or they could provide you with helpful leads. And surprise! You might even hear from distant relations you never knew existed or those with whom you had lost touch.
A family website is an ideal means to obtain information about relatives who are still alive. Request each relative to post a short (or even long) narrative about himself or herself. This can provide you with a complete reference about your current relatives. With the message boards and chat rooms, you create a living history that future generations can appreciate and learn from when they begin their own search.
5. A Family Website Can Be An Inexpensive Way to Keep in Touch
Building and maintaining a family website is not free; there are costs involved. However, the benefits of building a family website far outweigh the costs and you get to realize sizable savings money wise. If you have family members and relatives who live out of state or in other countries, a family website can help you keep the long distance phone bills substantially. You can write letters, but you have to contend with time delay. This makes it impractical to write on petty and frivolous matters. With a family website, you can chat with family members for a few minutes and get immediate response without incurring additional costs.
A family website is also a cheaper way to share pictures and videos with other relatives. The cost of printing photos and making multiple copies of videotapes and CDs can be time consuming, not to mention expensive. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of mailing these items. A better option is to upload photos and videos to your family website; all your relatives can easily access them for free. Plus, they get to see the photos and watch the videos immediately. You can talk and giggle together while you chat!
There you have it...five really good reasons you should build your own family website. So why not try building one right now? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You won’t regret building a family website.
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