I wish “blogs” would have been around back when my twins were riding the NICU roller coaster in 1994. It would have been nice to keep our friends and families updated of the girls’ progress, as well as give me a place to scribble out my feelings, frustrations and aggravations.
In 1998, I started experimenting with HTML and created a page for my “preemie twins” on Tripod.com (now merged with Lycos). I shared stories with others that used Angelfire, Geocities and AOL to host their “stories”. I don’t know anyone that uses Tripod anymore. AOL no longer offers member sites for free, Geocites (acquired by Yahoo) has closed, and Angelfire fills the pages with more ads than content.
So, what would I recommend for new parents wanting to journal their babies’ progress? Google offers Blogger.com which is totally free and very easy to use. And it’s a great place to play around and experiment. But keep in mind that Google owns your content and can delete your pages at any given time, or even go out of business. I doubt Google will go out of business, but they could close out Blogger, like Yahoo closed out Geocities.
I highly recommend registering your own domain name* (I suggest a registering a “.com” instead of a “.net”, “.biz”, etc.), and domain names are typically around $10/year. Next set up a web site hosting account. The most inexpensive plan (BlueHost is only $3.95 per month and the cheapest I’ve seen) is usually all you will need unless you get asked to appear on Oprah. Then install your blog platform. Many domain hosting accounts offer “1-click” WordPress installs with a click of a mouse. *BlueHost even offers a free domain name when you sign up for their web hosting.