littlebeasts boston terriers

Web Cam Tutorial

Learn how to set up your own puppycam

A webcam is a digital camera that connects to your computer. The images taken by the camera can be transmitted and displayed on a web site with the use of software.

You will need the following:

  • a computer
  • a connection to the internet
  • a web camera
  • webcam software
  • a webpage and web host

The Camera

A webcam is a digital camera designed to take digital photographs and transmit them over the internet. The camera connects to your computer and takes a snapshot image that gets saved to your computer's hard drive. Webcam software allows you to control how often the camera takes a photo and updates(sends) that photo on your web server. It uploads a photo (.jpg) to your web host. A web host is a company that provides you with server space to host your web site files. The web hosts and serves (displays) your web pages to visitors who request your web page by accessing your Domain Name (

A Snapshot or a Streaming Webcam?

Snapshot webcams take a snapshot image and refreshes that images (uploads) at set intervals. Image quality is very sharp and they are very easy to set up.

Streaming webcams: the nice part of the streaming webcams is that they stream (or at least try to). Streaming means you see the images of the webcam in a continuous motion (like in a TV) but the reality is that the image quality tends to be poor and the motion is not as smooth as the TV. This method consumes a lot of resources and it's not as easy to set up as the snapshot webcam... uses a Logitec Quickcam Pro 4000 and SpyCam webcam software by Bill Oatman.

The Software

Now that you have your webcam, the next step is to publish your images on the web. You need to tranfer the image saved to your computer to your web host. This is done with webcam software (Spycam, Chillcam) Some cameras include trial versions or full versions of their own webcam software.

How does the software work?

The software uses your Internet connection (dial up, DSL, cable, satelite) to upload via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) a single snapshot captured from the camera set up on your computer. You can set the file transfer to occur at set intervals (every 30 or 60 seconds). You will connect to your webhost using your username and password issued by your web hosting company.

The Web Page

How will your viewers see your webcam?

They will visit your webpage. You create a webpage (webcam.html) that has your webcam image inserted into it.

Once you have created the HTML page that displays the webcam image in it, you need to know how to make the HTML page refresh the image. The webcam will be uploading a new image and anyone already viewing your HTML page will want to see the new images as they are updated.

Refreshing the Image

To get the latest shot captured by the webcam, users connected to your page will have to reload it or hit the refresh button to see the new image. If you add some extra HTML, Javascript code or Java applets to your webcam HTML page you can make it auto-reload the picture after a user-definable period.

META tag command: The simplest and oldest method (still in use though) of refreshing a webcam image on a webpage is made via a set of HTML commands set in the <HEAD> tag of your page.
There is a META tag than can make a web page to auto reload after a period of time (in seconds) is reached. The syntax for this tag is as follows:


Set the "seconds" to equal the number of seconds it will take the browser to Reload the current page.
An Example:
would refresh the page every 60 seconds.

The disadvantage of this method is that the whole page is reloaded, If you are using this method it is recommended that you keep the HTML page simple and with limited graphics so the page will reload quickly.

If you're new to HTML you may want a template to start your webcam site as soon as possible. Here are two resource sites that offer free templates.

LittleBeasts webcam page template
webcam page templates
Webcamworld webcam page templates


web host is hosted by Dreamhost. We have been on Dreamhost for more than six years - we highly recommend them for stability, uptime, value and generosity.
Plus they have the funniest newletters ever!
If you sign up with Dreamhost, use LittleBeasts as your promo code to save $10 and no setup fee on a yearly plan.
web host

SpyCam webcam software by Bill Oatman.


boston terriers

Copyright © 2002
This site designed and maintained by Emrys Design
Emrys Design Web Site Design