The Web’s wide reach has its downside — especially if you don’t want the whole world to see pictures of you doing the Electric Slide at cousin Mabel’s wedding. Several hosting sites offer password-protected online gathering places for your family. That means you can still share your family stories and photos, but with a more limited audience.
Some hosts give your family a pre-designed site with built-in features such as a calendar, photo album, address book and chat room. When you register, your family gets a login and password, which you share with everyone you want to participate. While all the services have the same basic features, each has different extras and, in some cases, caters to different levels of Web savvy. Your best bet is to visit a few and decide which suits your family’s needs. Here are four to get you started:
•iVillage <www.ivillage.com>: This cute, fun site — a women’s network — also has links to shopping, classifieds and horoscopes. iVillage members receive free Web hosting.