Best tool to create a family photo site?
May 10, 2012 12:16 PM   Subscribe

What's the best tool/theme/software to create a family photo site?

I'm creating a web site for my family, a place where my relatives and I can share photos, create family trees, share family stories, and have conversations.

The main thing though I think will be photo albums, so I want something really slick and zippy and quick, beautiful and elegant, to display photos.

I was thinking of Wordpress, and letting every family member post their own blog posts to the family site... but I also need a way for people to create their own photo albums and upload lots of photos at a time.

Any thoughts? I'm open to buying a premium Wordpress theme or plugin, and I'm open to non-Wordpress options too. Thanks!
posted by incandescentman to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Gallery is a nice, well-designed, mature photo gallery application with lots of slick themes and plugins available as well as tools for batch uploading.

When I did something like this I actually set up a wiki. JAMWiki is another well-engineered piece of software. It aims to completely replicate the functionality of Mediawiki/Wikipedia and already has a great deal of the templating language working, so you can copy family tree templates and other stuff like that from Wikipedia with minimal touch-ups, plus refer people to Wikipedia tutorials to learn how to use it.
posted by XMLicious at 12:28 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Honestly, if you really want people to participate, go where they already are. Which is probably Facebook.
posted by k8t at 12:31 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Your guys' relatives can use Wordpress and wikis? Wow.

Personally, I'm more inclined to agree with k8t. There's no need to reinvent the wheel, and I'd rather not have to worry about if my Wordpress or Gallery installation is up-to-date and/or backed up.

If Facebook is a non-starter, I'd suggest a combination of Flickr and Ancestry.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:35 PM on May 10, 2012

Your guys' relatives can use Wordpress and wikis? Wow.

Definitely, and most of my relatives are in their sixties. PHP Christmas gift lists, Gallery, the wiki - everyone of every age pretty much has the "log in, press Edit, type some stuff, press Save" thing down at this point. If you think that Facebook, Flickr, and are significantly less complicated for the user than everything else I think you may have been misled by marketing on their part.

I, personally, am not so fond of the idea of putting all of the details of my family's history and genealogy and everything else in the hands of Facebook,, or other private companies who have demonstrated little respect for privacy and who make some or all of their money re-selling information like that. And, they can pull the rug out from under you at any time by some change to the TOS - especially when you're not paying for it, you still need your own backups of it: they have no real obligations to you. But, to each his/her own.

(P.S. a nice thing about JAMWiki is that it can use a flat file database, so all you have to do is copy the files to back up the site.)
posted by XMLicious at 12:56 PM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]

We use Smugmug for family photo galleries - they charge a yearly fee and they let you set privacy permissions in all the ways I want to. Their galleries let you annotate the whole gallery and each individual photo, and let other users comment on each photo without needing to sign up for an account. It's straightforward and we've been happy with it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:03 PM on May 10, 2012

Mod note: Take non-answers to email please folks, don't start fights here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:18 PM on May 10, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies. I should have mentioned, I have a domain name and people in the family are excited about having a real live web site of their own. So when I say creating a site, I mean a standalone site with our own URL.

I like the idea of Gallery and JAMWiki. Or Wordpress would be great if I could figure out a way to let other users create their own photo galleries.
posted by incandescentman at 1:27 PM on May 10, 2012

One little security note, since that is a genuine concern: I set a single, domain-wide HTTP user name and password that everyone knows at the web server level, so you have to enter it before any part of the site can even be viewed. This prevents bots and other malcontents that simply probe different domains at random from trying to guess which applications you have and attempt standard exploits for those apps.
posted by XMLicious at 1:49 PM on May 10, 2012

"excited about having a real live web site of their own"
To achieve this I think Wordpress multiblog approach is the best. Everyone would have their own blog under the sub domain.
posted by WizKid at 12:00 PM on May 11, 2012

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