An Antebellum era (pre-civil war) family Bible...
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You’ve finally done it! You’ve completed your family history as far back as possible and would like to publish the information for family members to see. You’ve thought about putting it all in a book, but book publishing can be expensive. Here are easy steps to publish your family website online and save yourself the expense of a bound volume.

Why do you want to publish your family website online? Some want to share the information with family spread around the world. Others do it in an attempt to find other family members they haven’t met. Whatever your reason, know that you can do it with some time and effort.

Your first step is to decide what and where you want to publish it. Do you want family around the world to add what they have? Or do you want to publish what you have with photos of family members and any pertinent source documents? Knowing exactly why you want to publish the information will help you decide which type of website you’ll need.

You can create a searchable database by submitting GEDCOM files to other websites which already offer this service. Websites such as Ancestry World Tree, RootsWeb World Connect, and GenCircles are a few to consider. This is the simplest way to publish your family data, but it may not be enough.

Creating your own website requires you to get a domain name and web hosting service. There are some websites which are designed for genealogists; some which will do so for free. If you have to pay to host the website, you will probably get extra features to make the price worth paying.

****Parenting Zoo recommends MomWebs for hosting and publishing your website!******

Some genealogists have chosen a blog format for publishing family history. You can do this as a type of journal detailing the information you’ve found or you can modify most blogs to include photographs, links to documents, or other content other than mere text. Depending upon the information you want to include, you may be able to do this yourself. If you don’t have the ability, it’s generally easy to find people who will design a website for you for a price.

Create a sitemap which is a list of the pages your site contains. What categories or sections will there be? You may want to plan on leaving room on your sitemap to add more pages in the future. If you do this step it will allow you to organize your thoughts and help you decide what content needs to go on which page.

Write the content for the website – whether it is a narrative of the family history, stories told to you by various family members, or descriptions of what you’ve done to find the information you’re presenting. Then you can link to copies of actual documents showing birth, marriage, or death certificates or others you may have.

Try to add photographs if possible. While most people will be glad to have documentation about their family, they’d probably enjoy looking at pictures, too. It is also important to proof-read everything to ensure the information is correct and names are not misspelled.

Once you have everything ready, publish the website. This may be the easiest step, but it may have taken you a while to get there. Remember, these steps to publish your family website online may be easy, but the effort and time to get to this point may have been more difficult. When your website is up and family members are visiting, you will be glad you spent the time.

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