With stamp prices on the rise, a Christmas website may be a great alternative to a Christmas newsletter this year. Many families spend the time making and mailing out fun Christmas newsletters.
Creating a Christmas website is a fun, free way for you and your family to stay in touch this holiday season. You don’t even have to be a computer whiz in order to create your site. Here’s a guide of 10 things you should know about creating a Christmas website.
Sites such as Blogger.com and WordPress.com allow you to create what is known as a “blog” for free. A “blog” is the perfect format for a Christmas Web site for you and your family. This will allow you to post entries about your Christmas developments, and give space for family members to leave comments.
You can also upload pictures and design your blog the way you see fit.
You can visit www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com to set up your free account.
I’m not a photographer – and I don’t pretend to be. If you need professional looking photos on your Christmas website, there are free resources online. My favorites are Morgue File and Wikimedia Commons. You don’t need an account and all you have to do is download your photos and give credit to the photographer.
Give your family something useful on your Christmas website. Include links to fun Christmas sites such as NORAD. NORAD has an annual Santa tracker which starts on December 1 of each year.
If you feel like making a few cents instead of spending a few cents you can add Google Adwords to your Christmas newsletter. This will place Google ads on your Christmas website, but you will be paid each time someone clicks an ad.
Don’t expect to make a bankroll. You have to have heavy traffic before your profits will be hefty. However, a few cents here and there can always add up.
Okay, you set up your site on Blogger or WordPress and you need an attractive display. Don’t worry! You don’t need to know computer programming to make your own site. There are thousands of sites offering free Christmas website templates. One of the best is Designbliss.com.
The holiday season is usually full of important dates. It’s hard for families to keep track of who’s where and when – especially because adult siblings have different in-laws and different traditions.
Set up a Google calendar on your Christmas website to allow your family to track who’s doing what and when so that it’s easier to make plans to be together.
Include email addresses of family and friends that live out of town. This will help your family get in touch with each other this holiday season.
If you have friends and family that lives far away that won’t be able to enjoy one of your signature dishes this Christmas, leave a recipe on your Christmas website. This will help your family make their favorite dishes even if they can’t make the flight home.
Include your local weather information on your Christmas website. You can download a free widget from Weather.com that will automatically update weather conditions in your area. This will help family members from far off know what to expect when they head to your house this Christmas.
Record your kids singing a Christmas Carol or record yourself reading a Christmas story. You can also record each family member giving an annual update on what they are up to. All these are personalized information to put on your Christmas website that a newsletter just can’t provide.
Blogger.com has a wonderful tutorial on how to add your own audio to your Christmas website.
Creating a Christmas website is a lot of fun, and can be a lot more informative than a Christmas newsletter. Each year you can go in and update your newsletter without starting from scratch.