Do a Test

Since choosing the right site is a very personal matter, we recommend creating a small album before you commit to a site. With the free sites, all you have to do is sign up and you'll have access to their services. Many fee-based photo-sharing sites also offertrial memberships, too.

Here are some suggestions for your test:

■ Don't spend too much time on the test album—only enough to check out what it's like to upload your photos, how the software works, how much customization it allows, and if you are comfortable using it.

■ After you've created an album, send an invitation to yourself, so you can see what the experience would be like for your invited guests. Then, when you receive the invitation, log in under another name to see what they will see and what they'll have to do to interact with your site.

■ Most free photos sites (and some fee-based ones, too) will give you free prints just for signing up. Take advantage of those offers to find out which sites provide the best prints, options, and service according to your own personal criteria.

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