A few years ago my family wanted a family website. I volunteered to help them find an online solution. They wanted a place to chat with one another and post photos. My concern was making sure that my family was safe from hackers and spammers. And as always, everyone was concerned about the budget.
I quickly found an excellent provider – Yahoo Groups. Go to the Yahoo Groups page and look for the “Start Your Group” link. Follow the instructions. Once you’ve created the group you’re given the options to “Customize Your Group”. Click on that to set some important safety feature for your family group.
- Make the group unlisted. This means that it won’t be displayed anywhere.
- Specify that people can only join with your approval. This is ideal for a family website.
That’s it. With those two changes you’ve made a safe environment for a family site. The only way people will get into the group is through your invitation.
There are some very nice features too. In addition to chatting with one another, people can create polls, post photos and and a database of family addresses. And the price is pretty good too. It’s totally free. Yahoo makes its money by placing ads on the site and in the group emails. I think that’s a small price to pay for a great service.