Q. If I wanted to set up my own website where I can upload pictures and videos for my family and friends to see, where would I start? Obviously, I am not talking about a YouTube account, but something like a site with my own name. Is there an easy way to do this?
A. Creating your own website is a fairly streamlined process and you do not need a lot of technical prowess to get it up and running. You do need to get an available domain name for your future site, but registration companies like register.com and namecheap.com will set up the domain name of your choice for a small fee.
Many of these same companies will also sell you package deals, so along with the domain name, you get server space to host your site, tools to create your own webpages and tech support. For example, register.com has such a Do-It-Myself Web Design package that starts at $12.95 a month and includes a few other perks like an email account for the site.
Running your own website for family and friends to visit gives you a lot of control, but it can also be a lot of work. If you mainly want to share family news, videos and photos, options like Shutterfly Share, Zalongo or Family Crossings provide the server space and tools you need, and they are geared more for smaller groups of viewers.
If most of your participants are on Facebook, you can also create a secret Facebook group to share photos and videos privately among members. Depending on the software and services your family members use, sharing content through sites like iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and similar sites may also work.
Keep one thing in mind for whichever method you select. Because you are sharing private family photos and details, consider using a site or service that lets you easily password-protect your content from people outside the group.