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My own family tree web site

Discussion in 'Digital records' started by Carla, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Carla

    Carla LostCousins Star

    It's been some time since I have used this forum and I forgot what a great source of help and information is within it! Time flies when other personal stuff gets in the way of your research, so hello again to everyone :)

    Anyway, over the last month I have been trying to get back in to the swing of checking and rechecking my research before I start an ambitious project for 2020, (and I must say what a fabulous help FT Analyzer is!). I have always dreamt of creating my own web site with all my family information on it. I want to be able to show digital records I've amassed, photos, stories and my family tree, plus more details I can't even think of now.o_O
    My question is where do I start? I would like something user friendly, easy for visitors to orientate, stand alone, secure of course, and somewhere I can maybe blog my research as it happens. Most important is to show my records and research. Has anyone done this already and if so did you pay or use a free site? I keep my private tree on Ancestry and one on Genes Reunited, and as yet dont have any other programs installed to keep my tree information.

    Any advice gratefully received. :D
  2. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    I'll be very interested to read what advice you get because I've had the same idea for some time.
  3. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    If you go for free web space you will almost certainly get advertising so you may want to check out first how intrusive that is. I am currently using Rootsweb Freepages, and the advertising there is fairly unobtrusive and added at the bottom of each page. I also have a duplicate site in web space included in my domain hosting package, and since I'm paying for the package, there are no ads.

    If you are hoping to include lots of photos etc, you will need to check how much space you need, as different packages offer different amounts of space, as well as charging different amounts. (Be aware of copyright issues if you plan to include things like digital records.)

    You can also get software, some of which may be included in a web hosting package, that will help to create a site for you. I opted to create mine from scratch but that isn't for everyone, and having initially done it in HTML 4, I now need to update it all to HTML 5.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  4. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    Thank you very much, Pauline. I took a quick look at Rootsweb Freepages. It may well be just the job. I must read their introduction carefully.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I recently answered a similar question when replying to LankyLady, my opening paragraph read:

    One of the reasons I took to Tribal Pages - (a subscription web site, but the annual fees are quite modest) was not only because I enjoy its user-friendly format, but also because it allows ample Photo storage and a place for STORIES, both of which attracts family, sometimes even more than bare facts. I provide them with a pass code so -when they've a mind - they can check out whatever interests them.

    You will get an insight into how the web page works if you follow the link above.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
  6. Carla

    Carla LostCousins Star

    Thanks for the advice and information. I think it will take a while and a lot of looking at this to decide what I want to use. I wasn't sure if i needed to purchase a 'domain name' or anything like that.........now I really haven't got a clue what I am talking about o_O as you can probably tell!! I'm off to have a peruse. :eek:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    It mostly depends on whether you are looking to add web content and know how to program web pages or you are looking to focus on content and avoid messing with all the "technical stuff". If you know how to program websites then yes you can use almost any hosting site and write your own web pages. If instead HTML is a foreign language then you'd be better off with a content management site that focuses on content and leaves the technical stuff to others.

    For the latter option then WordPress is without doubt the market leader and there are literally thousands of providers that will host a WordPress site for you. Assuming you are looking for a site that is viewable by the public. One of WordPress' strengths is that it has "plugins" these allow you to add features to the website. So you can for instance add a "family tree" plugin that will display a tree for you. I've not used such things myself but this may suit your needs if your focus is on Blogging and being able to display parts of your tree you are writing about in the articles.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  8. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    Thank you, Alexander. I (and, I suspect, Carla) most definitely want to avoid messing with all "the technical stuff". HTML is just about the most foreign language I can think of. To prove to you the depths to which my ignorance sinks, could you, please, explain what you mean by the 'thousands of providers' who will host a WordPress site? Who or what is a provider?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Carla

    Carla LostCousins Star

    I can honestly say that I definitely dont want to mess with all "the technical stuff" although I wish I could! I have this bright idea in my head of what I'd like my web site to look like ( a bit fancy probably) when in fact I know perfectly well I need to keep it simple, not just for me adding content but for viewers too. It's getting my imagination to match my capability that's difficult.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  10. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    Companies like GoDaddy.com and similar provide hosted websites. These are websites run on their computers so they deal with updates and making sure it's correctly running etc. As such this makes these companies "Providers" of websites. GoDaddy.com provide dedicated server plans so are more expensive than shared hosting plans (several websites share the same server as you so your site might run slowly if they are busy).

    Basically you pay them a small monthly fee typically £2-£10 a month depending on how busy you think the website will be - a very busy website with thousands of visitors needs more "oomph" (to avoid technical terms) to run smoothly and more cash means you purchase a bigger and better performance. Most blog websites can run very happily for a few hundred users on the lowest pricing plan which is usually known as a shared hosting plan. You can look at this article for some cheap hosting companies.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
  11. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    The latest newsletter of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies had the following. It may be of interest to people able to get to London:
    Creating a Website for Your Family History- Saturday 6th June 2020
    We all enjoy sharing stories of our discoveries and ancestors, so a website dedicated to your family history provides a perfect outlet to the widest possible audience. This one-day workshop, which is aimed at beginners to web design, will cover the basic concepts of setting up a website, planning the content to publish, the benefits of blogging and how your website may be found through Google search. Using WordPress as a platform, you will have the opportunity to start building your own website in a guided workshop session.

    The workshop is led by genealogist and professional web designer Paul Carter, who has produced websites for a number of family history organisations and writes a regular tech tips column for Family Tree magazine.​
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  12. KirstenB

    KirstenB LostCousins Star

    I run a small family history site on google "my google sites" their old classic version. I haven't dared to upgrade to "new sites" as I haven't got the time (or probably skill) to sort it out if it goes wrong. There are two aims. One is to attract people to get in touch if they are related to a particular name. Over the years (it's been running for about 8) I have had a few contacts. The other purpose is to give a place for the 40 odd cousins I have collected through research, related to this name, to access info. We have some private pages which include all the annual newsletters and DNA info and a spread sheet of how we connect. It isn't by any means fancy but it is free and (fingers crossed) seems to work. For the private pages, but not otherwise, people need to log in with a google email account but most of the cousins either had one or are happy to get a free one to get access. I have spoken to one or two others who ended up stopping their sites as they got either more complicated or expensive so this at least serves the purpose of, so far, being free and pretty simple and old fashioned. This is the link if you want to look Douse Family History
  13. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    I really like your Douse Family History site, Kirsten. Thank you for sharing. It's brilliant for just one branch of the family but what I want to do though - perhaps - one day - is set up a site that would include, and provide links between, numerous branches.

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