Password Protect part of a website

I have PHP hosting.

I do the website for our quilt guild. I want to upload member lists and such, but want to password protect a "members area" of the website.

Yes, I know they can just give out the password, but they can also just forward member lists to other people. It gives them warm fuzzies to password protect. Yes, I know I can use Google docs, but that's forcing everyone to get a gmail account. (Many are prolly still using aol.)

So, what's the best way? At the moment, I installed a ubb forum, but hate to use that just to password protect an area.

A friend of mine said "use the password protect in cpanel". That has never worked for me. I can go right into that portion of the site, so I don't get what that is supposed to do.

I want to be able to put files into the folder and anyone who tries to access the file will be asked for a password.

I'm incredibly grateful for any help.
LVL 22
Anne TroyEast Coast ManagerAsked:
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Scott Fell, EE MVEConnect With a Mentor Developer & EE ModeratorCommented:
Are you looking for a plug in?  What cms?

Are you wanting to code this on your own? What is your skill  level?

You might want to look at some networks that are already set up
http://www.ning.com/
SharePoint
You can use google docs without forcing people to use a gmail. You can place items in your drive and make one folder open to anybody you give access to. You can do this with files or folders.  Just add their email address.
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Anne TroyEast Coast ManagerAuthor Commented:
No. We're not going to pay for anything, and I don't want to learn some new technology. So you're saying Googledocs doesn't require gmail? (I swore it did.) Alrightee, then. That would do it. Gonna go check.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
View the list of docs or folders.  If you want to share one doc, right click on the it from the list of your docs and choose share.  Then choose email collaborators. Add the email addresses of the people that can have access.  Done.

Free and easy.
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cristiantmCommented:
Is it an Apache hosting? And can you open a shell connection to it

Using .htaccess files is an easy way (except if your hosting does not allow you to use it, but maybe give it a try).

http://www.rdwarf.com/lerickson/htpassword.html
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Ray PaseurCommented:
Couple of thoughts.  

If you know a little PHP, this article can lead you in the right direction.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Web_Languages-Standards/PHP/A_2391-PHP-login-logout-and-easy-access-control.html

And you might consider using DropBox.
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Anne TroyEast Coast ManagerAuthor Commented:
Christian: Yes Apache. I have no idea what a shell connection is. I'll check out the directions. Thanks!

Ray: The directory of members is a convenience for members, and DropBox is WAY above their heads. But I'mma check out that ee article! Thanks1
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Ray PaseurCommented:
If DropBox is over their heads (it's basically just dragging a file from one folder to another) I would make a plain text document that listed all the information they needed and email it to them.  If they're older, you might want to make it a large-print version.  As recently as a few years ago when our church did a communications survey we got some responses among the results that said, "I do not have email and I never will" (this despite email becoming a popular medium in the 1970's) so we kept those folks on the snail-mail list and they were just fine with the process.
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Anne TroyEast Coast ManagerAuthor Commented:
Googledocs. I was just plain stupid not knowing they don't have to have a gmail account.
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