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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Hi all,

    I want to set up a family web site that family members can access to keep up to date on all that is going on. I want to be able to upload pics, have a calendar of family events, upload videos, etc. and I would like to password protect it so only family members can access. Can anyone suggest a site that has FREE simple web site design tools and how to do it information. Would it be better to buy a domain name and then use a free web site template to design the site and then post to domain. Any help suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
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    The cheapest option may be to buy a domain and have it hosted. GoDaddy are about the cheapest I have found, as long as you remember to ignore all their long winded "extras" and go for the basic package. You will have to do most of the work yourself but it's good practise and you may find a family member is keen to do it.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    I think someone has invented this and it's called Facebook. However, keeping materials to a small circle and not having them become visible to "friends of friends" can be a challenge.

    I'm not aware of any software or services specifically designed to do what you want, for free, but you could experiment with Ning, which lets you create your own social network and keep its membership as small as you want. You will see ads on every page, though; that is the price of free-ness.

    == Edit ==

    As of 4/15/2010, Ning is discontinuing free sites.
    See http://creators.ning.com/forum/topics/ning-update for more information.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Still shopping? I just noticed today that Google offers free web sites and has a family template. You can invite only the people who you want to have access to the site, but they each need to create a Google login. I haven't tried it myself.

    More info:

    Learn more about Google Sites
    Controlling access to your site - Google Sites Help

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    All kidding aside... I think jscher's suggestion re: Facebook might indeed be the easiest way to accomplish your goals. No cost involved, no additional emal accounts need to be created and (with a little patience) you CAN restrict information flow by setting 'Friends' and privacy settings.Not to mention that it will be extremely easy to access and upload photos, current status, etc.. (eg: via phone apps) for family members. Just a thought.... Jeff

  6. #6
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    If you want your own domain you can host it for about $/10 per year, plus domain registration of about $10 per year.

    cheers, Paul

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Tribal Pages http://tribalpages.com/ or Geni http://www.geni.com/ seem to give you all you need.

  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger
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  9. #9
    Lounger
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    Shame about Ning as I tried a couple of sites there in the past - it was a good idea.

    Try Yuku/ - it does the same as Ning - free communities - but you will have to put up with ads.

    Facebook is an interesting idea - has anyone achieved a separate community site within FB?

  10. #10
    3 Star Lounger
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    Hi Mike

    For the last 9 years now our family have been using MyFamily.com. Although it's not free (we pay approximately $US29.95 per year but share this amongst our 145 members, first year cost is only $US9.95) it has everything you need, calendar for family events, up load photos and various files, discussion boards, family tree, blog etc. There are a range of themes you can use for the website to make it more attractive. Also email notifications are available for when any activity or events occurs.

    I don't have any connection with this company apart from having our own family site. I have family all over the world who have been using it for the past 9 years and it works well. There is also a community MyFamily site where other members help each other with issues or ideas.


    On the other hand if you prefer some thing for free then I would recommend Google sites, it has heaps of templates including one for exactly what you are seeking.
    Hope this has been of some help
    Cheers
    Dax
    Dax


  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    There can really only be one, and that's Geni, Geni that who! ( old song...)
    Geni starts easy, and as it grows you invite members to participate, and as with all these family systems, some are not interested but, in every brance of the tree, there will always be somebody who is.

    So our family website is also our family tree and we are finally more aware of who's who and making contact of releatives we only dreamed to have existed. Photo's of new babies, family functions, birthdays, and even historic photos and videos find their way onto GENI.
    StatisticsYou are connected to 1,655 people on Geni. About privacy.
    My Stats:
    You wife: Elsa
    600 Family Members 600
    265 Blood Relatives 51
    31 Ancestors 10
    4 Descendants 4
    123 Profiles Added 0
    11 Profiles Invited 0
    109 Profiles Managed 0

    Activity: (it is now 7:45)
    Recently OnlineLetricia van Niekerk today
    Hildegarde Rich today
    Arend Shaun Broek yesterday
    Ilonja Rabe yesterday
    Iva Fraser 5/3
    Francois Boonzaier Sr. 5/1
    Arenda Staples 4/28
    Jan Baars 4/28
    Ingrid Fraser 4/27
    Bruno 4/26
    Trevor Fraser 4/26
    Brian Blyth 4/25
    Inge Boonzaier 4/22
    Neil Van Niekerk 4/18
    Danie du Plessis 4/18
    Arthur Boynton-Lee 4/18
    Lea van der Walt 4/16
    Gavin Melville 4/15
    Merle Bauermeister 4/15
    Carlen Voigt 4/15

    Anyway - works for us!

  12. #12
    Lounger
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    Famundo seems to be basically a calendar and although I use Geni extensively it's basically a family tree system. Very good though.
    If I read you correctly you prefer a web page (or pages). Geocities used to have a brilliant website making system until Yahoo stuck their claws in and wiped it out. The next nearest program I have found is http://www.yola.com which is simple to use and allows for many pages. The next best is, I think, Google Sites. All free. Good hunting.


  13. #13
    New Lounger
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    This is a big question and much of what is above is true, but there are other options and it would be worth knowing your web skill level, and what you want to get out of it ultimately.

    If you skill level is very limited you may well consider facebook, but not everyone is a fan. Facebook could divert your followers but as a social resource and contact medium it is great.
    If you want to use the experience to develop a family tree knowledgebase, facebook does not help as far as I am aware.
    If your skill level is high you may wish to consider installing phpgedview - Which allows others to login and manipulate the tree and at the end of the day others can help your research.
    You may want to add other forms of community software such as a cms like phpBB or install a wiki.
    You could have a community bulletin board to maintain your chat whilst updating a tree program on your computer. This program can then generate a website for others to see and comment on. I use GRAMPs in both Windows and Linux to produce sites like this which means you can have a lot more control. There are a great many genealogy programs you can choose from.
    You may wish to utilise a genealogy site to help with proper research ancestry.com will give you hard evidence and a tree builder. You can then export your tree as a GEDcom file to other programs or relatives.
    I have not used werelate.com, but I heard it is good, though I am not sure if you classify who can see restricted info.

    There are so many options that only you can decide what is best for you but if you give more about what you want and what you are prepared to do, then perhaps we can help the idea prosper


    Good luck in your quest.

    Adrian

  14. #14
    Star Lounger
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    I have used a site for about a couple years called MyHeritage.com and found it to be very good. It is free for 'families' up to 250 (I think) people and quite reasonable after that. Most people (including myself) use the site for building and maintaining a family tree but it works equally well as a family site that can be used to keep in touch and to share photos etc. (there is some limit on the photo space that is free). They also provide a free service that utilizes face recognition software to tag family members in group photos and thus help identify them. An interesting byproduct of this service is a fun feature that will match your face to that of famous people to find the famous person you most resemble. There is a calendar service for the family and it can be used to organize family events etc. Any family access is by invitation only so privacy is good.

    For those interested in also building a 'family tree', they offer a good (and free) stand alone software package called Family Tree Builder. A family tree can be built up on your PC and uploaded (published) to your family site. The 'family tree' function and 'family communication' function are not mutually exclusive.

    The invited family members receive regular notices of significant events like birthdays and anniversaries and there is a facility to send greetings or gifts. While privacy is maintained, the site attempts to 'match' branches of your family tree to branches of all other members and, when a match is found, the respective owners are informed and given an opportunity to contact each other through the site without revealing any private data about each person. There are currently over 50 million members and the entire operation can operate in 34 languages.

  15. #15
    New Lounger
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    I'd have to agree with dax about https://www.myfamily.com/ which is affiliated with ancestry.com and you can import GEDCOM into the group . Mine is still free until I believe next month where they will start charging the 1st year at 9.95 just like dax stated . Even the second year is a bargin if you want an ad free place for people/family to hang out without the endless ads . I run a couple of Yuku sites and they are pretty good , they have a decent support board/staff which stay on top of things . Yuku is free but......... you'll likely have an ad in every post such as this one unless you pay to have your site ad-free . A creator of a site will always be ad free in the site that they created , not so for the rest of the members , there will be bothersome ads unless it become a paid ad free site , it can be paid by multiple members per year , month , 3 months etc . So lets say you belong to a Yuku site(the creator will always be ad free in that Yuku site only ) and member #1 pays around $60 for a year to keep the Yuku site ad free , everyone will enjoy the site ad free for 1 year . The creator of the Yuku site lets say he belongs to another Yuku site that is not ad free , he will see ads all over the place like everyone else . But because member #1 paid for a Yuku site to be ad free for a year , any other Yuku site he belongs to (including sites that are not ad free) member #1 will not see the ads . So they seem to attach ads to your personal Yuku I.D. as well as a Yuku websites I.D. In other words try and squeeze ad revenue by putting ads everywhere they can to make people pay . It seems more and more websites are going this way . Suddenly that 9.95 1st year and 29.95 a year after that doesn't sound half bad if you want a peaceful website without ads

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