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suggestions for personal/family website

by dprocket / January 23, 2008 12:43 AM PST

I am hoping someone can give me a recommendation for my personal/family website. I built my site a few years ago primarly as a tool for friends/family to be able to see pictures of the kids as they grow. As these sites frequently go, I?ve lagged on keeping it updated. I think the primary reason for this is because I just don?t have time to update the site as it is a hand-built HTML/CSS based site.

I?m considering using a site like Facebook/Myspace/Flikr or something along these lines. These sites seem to be built for what I am wanting to do, but I have a few concerns:

- ideally, I?d keep my own domain name. I guess I could simply forward all traffic to my domain to the hosted site.
- I would like to keep family and friends from accidently coming across a bunch of garbage when exploring my site (porn, music sites, etc).
- Ideally, it would be very easy to load lots of pictures and be able to archive them and be easy to surf. Anyone have any suggestions?

Sorry if I seem to be a bit oblivious on this. I have not spent much time with myspace or anything like this except for seeing some musicians fan sites. Thanks.

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by dleavell1966 / January 23, 2008 1:26 AM PST

Myspace does not allow any form of porn or frontal nudity at all so you are safe with that aspect. Myspace also allows privacy as you can make your profile private so only people in your friends list can access it, hince this can create a small problem. Your family and friends wishing to view your photos and such must also have a myspace profile in which you must add them as friends for them to be able to view a private profile otherwise your profile is wide open for anyone to view and comment to. The one good thing about myspace is you can make your photos private so they cannot be downloaded or copied off your profile which is good when it comes to hackers and photo retouch artist that might take your photos and crop them and repost them elsewhere in a manner that you would not like. You may want to experiment with some of the free web design options out there that will make updating your website easier than using the old HTML codes. These sites do that for you and creating a website is as simple as designing things in a publisher type format. Try checking out freewebs.com where you can use your own domain name and its very user friendly on building websites.

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My choice for hosts
by samename / January 23, 2008 2:22 AM PST

It depends if you want a free family or paid site. The one I really like for a Free site is http://www.myfreepage.net These guys let you host your own domain for free and the support and features are great. They also offer paid sites with more features.

For a business/personal paid site I like http://www.hostcms.net this is one of the best hosts on the net as far as I'm concerned with tons of free features and service second to none.

Just my two cents...

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Try this
by gloria / January 23, 2008 2:26 AM PST

I use JAlbum http://jalbum.net/ . It is a free program with tons of options for layout, color, font & size, etc. I post up to my own website / domain thus keeping control of what is posted AND who gets the web address. I upload lots of photos and take them down if needed or out of date. I've uploaded over 300 photos at a time without any issues. There are options for size and quality of thumbnail and photo, layout photos by date, camera date, etc or drag and drop to change layout of photos. The latter is great when you are trying to integrate photos from two or more cameras and the time set on the cameras is different. Even 2 minutes makes a major difference when photographing someone blowing out candles on a birthday cake, for example.

There are options to update a prior website also.

The only downside is if you are shooting camera RAW, as I am, you have to convert everything to JPG or PNG first.

If you previously wrote your own program this should be a snap to use. I'm not a computer expert and I found this really easy. Sure beat learning HTML!

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The easiest and most efficient way
by Sovereign Forum moderator / January 23, 2008 6:03 AM PST
In reply to: Try this

1. Get a domain (you already have one I believe)
2. Get a host for $4 a month (totalchoicehosting will do)
3. Install Wordpress (either from Fantastico or manually from wordpress.com)
4. Install plugin called "nggallery" for managing pictures. It will either (a) allow you to upload pictures one by one (b) scan for newly added pictures in a folder or (c) upload a ZIP file with multiple pictures.

What's the best part about all of this? If you want more features... it's just a snap away: guestbook, contact forms, polls, password protected areas, etc etc

You can make the website look anyway you want (as apposed to MySpace and Facebook... you are limited there), you can install functions you want with almost no advertising, and best of all: you are in control!

To take Wordpress for a test run, check out opensourcecms.com ... they will let you login to wordpress so you can see how easy it is to manage and update.


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question about wordpress.
by dprocket / January 23, 2008 6:57 AM PST

my host is 1-and-1. Is it possible this is freely available with them? Thanks for the feedback!!! this sounds promising.

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To see if its possible
by Sovereign Forum moderator / January 23, 2008 12:58 PM PST

To see if its possible you need two things:

1. You need to be able to create a database (sounds complicated perhaps, but it takes literally 3 minutes to create) or if you can't create any, maybe 1-and-1 can for you.

2. You need FTP access so you can upload the wordpress system (if it isn't already available in their control panel).


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Im interested in this, too
by lanegs1 / January 26, 2008 1:09 AM PST

I aldo use 1&1 and would like to incorporate a customizable Wordpress blog. Currently 1&1 offers a built-in Wordpress blog with limited themes/banner images. It would be great if i could upload Wordpress using Fantastico and bypass this limited option.

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Addendum to my post
by lanegs1 / January 26, 2008 1:34 AM PST

1&1 does offer a MySQL database. Would that work according to what you say we need?
PS - tried to link to a screenshot, but wouldn't create the ink. Can I assume that this blog doesn't support html?

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by Sovereign Forum moderator / January 28, 2008 7:33 AM PST
In reply to: Addendum to my post

Yes, unfortunately HTML is disabled here... only a few codes work which you can find here http://forums.cnet.com/4520-6035-6656507.html?tag=dir.forum#html

If you can create MySQL databases, then all you have to do is go to wordpress.org to download (http://wordpress.org/download/) the latest Wordpress. After you downloaded it, I suggest you extract it to a folder on your PC, connect to your website via FTP (using a client such as FileZilla) and place all files either in the subdirectory or root of your host. Once you did that, follow the instruction on your website and it will ask you to enter the MySQL information.


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Take a look at www.familyupdates.co.uk
by u94acb / July 10, 2009 2:01 AM PDT

FamilyUpdates.co.uk looks to do everything you need. By having it at your own private domain it isnt open to many of the security issues of using facebook/myspace etc. There is a bulk uploader for photos that is as easy to use as flickr/kodak gallery, and there dont seem to be any restrictions on file space. Plus you get personalised email addresses at your domain.

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Some Suggestions
by angelarogers / July 11, 2009 10:54 AM PDT

Whether sites like Facebook and Myspace run independently from your domain, they are easy to use to help you keep in touch with your friends and family members, running your own domain is a totally separate matter.

You may create your own html templates and create your perfect site if you have the skill, and if you don?t, then there are platforms like Wordpress with so many plugins freely available, which is an option worth looking at. You can install it on your own domain, multiple users or editors can log in and comment, and yes there are galleries, video streams and so much more. See http://wordpress.org/ for details.

Usually you don?t need much more than a standard shared hosting pack costing a few dollars a year.

I hope it helps

Richard Kacerek

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