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The internet is a rich information source, used by people every day for casual browsing and for serious research. Today, genealogical research is fast becoming a major web category.

Genealogy is the study of family relationships through time. It’s most well-know product is the family tree. Undertaking genealogical research involves extensive research, careful documentation and verification, and presentation of findings. It is a time-consuming, sometimes frustrating, project with invaluable rewards.

If you’re interested or involved in your own genealogical research, you may want to consider creating your own family genealogy website. There are some important reasons for doing this. It helps you document what you’ve learned. It also gives easy access to family members and may stimulate their contribution to or participation in your research. The most important reason: it’s fun!

You can also find tools and advice on family genealogy research on the internet. There are many websites devoted to the topic, and they offer not only help and advice but raw information in the form of searchable databases.

You can find software programs designed for genealogy research as well. These programs make it easier to gather information, organize and interpret your data, and create documents (like family trees and narratives) to record your family’s history. Genealogy software can automate processes like submitting your GEDCOM file to several sites at once, allowing you to make more effective use of your time and reach more information sources.

You don’t have to wait until your research is finished to start your family genealogy website. As mentioned, it may help you gather more information, filling in missing pieces of the puzzle, to make it freely available to the public. And you don’t have to pay a lot of money to own your own website. Services like Yahoo GeoCities offer free services and hosting at a nominal price. However, if you’re a newbie to the internet, you may want to use a more comprehensive service like Site Build It! to make the web authorship tasks easier and focus on your research.

Once you decide where and how to manage your family genealogy website, you’ll need to decide on some details: site design, content writing, copyrights, and access rights. You’ll have to purchase your own domain name, and you can find out what names are and are not available by querying a whois service. You can own a domain name for a small fee: the costs comes in finding a host server. In developing pages, you can use your own HTML editor like the popular Macromedia Dreamweaver or Microsoft’s FrontPage. If HTML and coding aren’t your thing, you can buy those services at a reasonable price by visiting some of the “freelance” websites. Be careful, though, to assure your provider is experienced, dependable, and honest.

When you decide to build your website, you should consider these elements:

  • You may want to use an easy-to-remember, catchy website name. Since it’s your family’s name and information, you should ask them about their preferences and opinions.
  • For a better chance of being included on search engine results, your heading, URL, and first paragraph must contain the surnames of family branches you’ve identified. Use these names several times in your content. Try also to use words and forms of words related to family genealogy like “family tree,” “family history,” “ancestors,” or “genealogy.”
  • The quality of your content is important for several reasons. First, you’ll want to offer interesting easy-to-read information. You’ll also want to be sure visitors to your website can find what they need easily. Your home page should contain several short paragraphs on your family’s history and links to your second-level or detail pages, family photographs, and copies of records. We recommend that you limit the amount of graphics on your home page because they make the page take longer to open, and you’ll lose visitors who don’t have the patience for the page to download.
  • Develop a good navigation system with plenty of text links and navigation buttons. Your links should make it very clear what the user will find when he clicks on them. Simple, clear titles are best.
  • Using proper meta tags in your HTML code is important for search engines. If you want your website and home page to come up early in the list of searches, be sure to use your family name and keywords that are relevant to the story you’re telling.
  • In addition to including links to other genealogy websites, try to get them to link to you as well. You may be able to work out agreements with other sites for trading links, or you might consider joining a webring focused on your family or genealogy in general.
  • Be sure to provide contact information on your website that is easy to see. Because you’re doing research, you’ll want to make it easy for your visitors to get additional family information to you. You’ll also want to give them an easy way to contact you with questions or feedback on your website.

These are some basic tips on how to go about creating a family genealogy website that will both publicize your findings and bring in additional information. Your content can range from the specific and personal, concentrating on your family and its branches, to the general and educational, sharing your broader experiences with family genealogy.

Your family genealogy website will be a satisfying project that makes what you’ve learned about your family available to everyone. It will be a source of information, entertainment, and education that your whole family will appreciate. It will also be a wonderful tool for expanding and enhancing your family genealogy research effort.

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Source by Abhishek Agarwal