Hi @PH67 - like most CMS, WordPress uses a database to store most content, other than media files. You don't need to do any programming or build tables in a database, just use a plugin that will add the functionality you need.
Thanks so much Site Doctor. As you can tell I'm a complete novice at this. I'm not attempting to build the site myself but I need to know what questions to ask. And because this is a high school reunion site we have no money to pay a professional so a friend has agreed to help us. He's never build a site before but the price is right!
So if I have this right, I need a plug-in. Can you recommend a (Word Press?) plug-in that allows classmates to enter personal information; email address (hidden but activated by clicking), what they've seen doing for 50 years, before and now photos. In general, to be interactive and engaging.
@PH67 - all of us were beginners at some point 😉
If you're using WordPress, I'd recommend using a membership plugin. It will allow you to have people register, and control who can see what content on your site.
I've used s2member for a couple of projects so I'm familiar with it. I found an article about setting up an alumni site using one called eMember that might be helpful: https://www.tipsandtricks-hq.com/wordpress-membership/building-an-alumni-website-on-wordpress-platfo...
For the definitive info on membership plugins, read Chris Lema's detailed comparison article on his site: http://chrislema.com/best-wordpress-membership-plugin-2015/
If you just need a good simple "members" plugin the free version of the S2Member plugin will work quite well. I've used it for quite a while! http://s2member.com.
The free version of ninja forms will provide any form data collection. You can also use the S2Member registration to gather much of the information you need then display it in the registrant's profile page.
Hope this helps,
Thanks so much James. I forwarded your information to my friend. Hopefully he'll be able to add the plug-in you recommended.