Tuesday, July 31, 2012

FREE Website for Group Leaders - Suggestion & Opinion

Recently some Group Leaders have asked for suggestions on where to place (host) a website for their PRA Family Group. I made some suggestions earlier but I wanted to add more specific information about a FREE website service that I personally believe to be an excellent choice.
NOTE: These FREE websites are NOT limited to just Group Leaders. ANY person can create their own website.
What follows is my personal opinion and suggestion, NOT that of the PRA.
If you're looking for a good place to build a website, take a look at what Google offers. They offer their websites for FREE and they have some pretty good tools to help you create and manage a website. They offer FREE website templates that include FREE web page templates that you can add or delete as you want.
There are some limitations but all in all I like their websites and tools. I use them for some other groups I belong to (not genealogy ones) and I can recommend them.
One of the big attractions for me is that you can make the website, and group discussions, open to the public or closed so only Members can read/write discussions and access the website.
You can add a file section for uploading and downloading files, a photo album section, a news section and many other sections. All of these sections are easy to build as Google offers FREE web page templates.
You will have to get a g-mail account (which is also free) which will give you a g-mail e-mail address. I have used the g-mail account and e-mail for several years and I like it. Google provides the PRA with our FREE Post Office for our e-mail addresses as well as FREE Google Apps.
If you decide to try it, please share your experience with the other Group Leaders and researchers.

Here is the link to Google Sites:  http://www.google.com/sites/help/intl/en_GB/overview.html