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Ancestral Dreams Family Tree Template Design



■■■ 2004-07-12


You can print and save this checklist to work on

1.Preparing your genealogy (gedcom file)  
2.Preparing your photographs  
3.Sending us your gedcom and photographs  
4.Thinking about linking to other sites  
5.Thinking about copyright  
6.Thinking about search engines  
7.Editing and updating your site  
8.Would you like a domain name?  
9.Where would you like to host your site?  
10.Other Issues  

Technical Issues


1.Preparing Your genealogy (gedcom file)

Hopefully you will have been working on your family tree using a traditional family tree making software product and you will have your tree saved as .gedcom file.

If you do not know how to do this, your genealogy software documentation should tell you how to.

If you do not have any software to make your gedcom file,then you can either buy some or download some free software from the internet. Please check our links section for recommended Free and Paid Genealogy Software Products.

If you are really stuck, you may email me and I will help you, or we can arrange for you to send me your information as a simple email or Microsoft Word document.This is added work for me, and ofcourse, I am happy to help if I can,but please try to convert your family tree to gedcom if you possibly can, especially if it is a large tree with lots of information and names in it. But do not despair! If you have all your information typed up and laid out very clearly in an email format,we will still be able to proceed. To give you a quote I will at least need to know how many family names you ahve in your tree (at least approximately), as if you have a thousand names this will also take longer for me to make the site than if you ahve only 50 or a hundred, and will there for cost more


2.Preparing your photographs

You don't have to worry about this too much. The one most important thing is how big the file size is of your photos if you are planning to email them to me.By this I mean that a normal photograph scanned into your computer will probably be a very big file size such as 1 MegaByte.This is because when you scan it in on your scanner it is usually saved in its best quality,suitable for printing out copies on your printer. However, when photographs are put on the internet that are very large in file size,they will take along time to show up when someone clicks on your webpage. (They will also take a long time to send by email.)

So we need to compress them first,and save them as .jpgs or bitmaps. Compressing them takes alot of the quality of the image out, sometimes affecting the colors or the outlines of your photos, but if this is done rightthe photgraph will still look good on when viewed on the internet.The best way for you to learn more about this, is to check a website called The Digital Album.

What I need is for you to at least save them at below 1 megabyte in size for me. I am happy to do the rest, and compress them further and keep the quality of the image good at the same time. I will also edit them or retouch any damaged parts of your photos as you would in a photography store,if I see anything that can be improved or removed that affects the image. I will not charge for this unless there is significant work involved, and I will ofcourse let you know first, before changing it and trying to charge you without your consent!

Once again if you are really stuck on this ask a friend, email me to ask for help, or just mail copies your photos to me if its easier! Please remember to only send copies of your original photographs they may get lost in the mail, which would be terrible!

3.Sending me your gedcom and photographs

All you actually need to do is send me an email, and attach your gedcom file or photos.If you have alot of large images,you may need to send them seperately , in several emails.Try and describe in each email each photo you are sending to me ,so I can confirm that I have received everything you sent.

Finally,once again if you are stuck on how to send me your gedcom and images, simply email me and I can help, or we can even resort to tradition overland mail.


4.Thinking about linking to other sites

Think about how many other genealogy websites online have members of your family on their site, and give me a list of the website address to put on your Links page. It is also worth your having a General Links section on your website, with a list of websites you ahve come across which you found helpful, partly because this is useful to your visitors but also because having more links helps you get rated higher in the search engines! This is because the more websites that link to yours, the higher the rating of your website in many search engines.


5.Thinking about copyright

If you are putting images or photographs or copy passages of information or quotes from other websites, books etc on your website you will need to think about copyright. Fortunately there are very few copyright problems for private (non-commercial websites),so you have alot less to worry about than if your site was commercial. You can take images from other websites, and probably wont get into any trouble doing this as long as your site remains non-commercial, but it is really safest and best to write a polite letter to the website owner asking their permission first.

6. Thinking about search engines

If you want your site to appear in alot of search engines, so that more people can find you; do the following:

1. Title, Key Words and Introduction Page

What I will need from you is a list of about 20 keywords or key terms to go into the code on your first web page. These words will be terms that you hope people will use to find your family websitewhen they are searching on the internet; ie;your most important family names like "Jones,Harrison,White, Hammerberg" and important family locations like "London England " "North Wales""Craggy Islands""Swedish""Sweden"

On your homepage it is then advisable to write an introductory paragraph which contains all your important keywords and terms, repeating the important ones several times if you can, without making the description sound too dull. Repeating keywords on your first page of your wesbite helps put your wesbite higher upon the list of wesbites shown to people looking for those terms.

ie;"Welcome to the genealogy website of the Jones famly from North Wales, and Harrison,White families of Craggy Islands. We have over a hundred family names in thsi tree including the Hammerbergs and other Swedish families from areas of Sweden."

(All useful keywords above are highlighted in bold; and these are the terms that a search engine will pick up. Now if some one is looking for the Hammerberg family from Sweden, the search engine will notice your site, and people are more likely to find it.)

This description of what your website is about is often the first thing people see when they come to your website, so it is important to be clear as you can in this description about what you website contains, to avoid attracting people who are not really related to you or interested in your website by mistake! This description is also read by the search engines and picked up them and helps to get the right people finding your site first, instead of wading through endless sites before they get to yours.

If you want me do this for you I can,or I can give you more personalised advice.

2. Links and More Links!

As I said before, more links on your site make you more popular with search engines and easier to find. I can help you with finding good links if you wish.

3. Online Communities and Search Directories

Once your site is made it is worth emailing various online directories and message forums to let them know about you, like Rootsweb, so that they can link to you, mention you, and word gets around.

7. Editing and updating your site

When ordering a website from us, you will have a the choice whether to ask me to create a website that you can edit and update yourself, or have one that I will update for you). If you choose the former, I will send you detailed notes on how to update your site, and also be happy to answer emails from you at any time, if you have problems. You will not need high level website skills to edit your own wesbite, but you will need some knowledge of web design issues or technical knowledge, or a willingness to learn. Please note that some aspects of Flash animation websites may not be updatable by you, unless you have Flash animation skills, however all the important data such as names, dates,etc can be edited by you. Email me for more about this.


8. Would you like a domain name?

If you are interested in having your own domain name, please let me know. I am happy to help you choose a good name, and also to include buying one for you in the price of your website.(It will still be your own domain name and belong to you, not us). I can also recommend good quality domain name registration companies if you prefer to buy it yourself.

9.Where would you like to host your site?

I am happy to recommend options for hosting your website,either free space or paid professional webspace, and to explain the difference to you. I am also happy to put your website online for you, and this is included in the price quoted to you. I am also thinking of offering a professional hosting space for all my clients,which will be significantly cheaper than paying for your hosting yourselves, and if you think you might be interested in this, let me know.

10. Other Technical Issues

I am happy to help with any technical issues, and hope to soon have a list of useful links for you, as well as a Technical Message Board where you can exchange and share information and advice with others. However, I must recommend Cyndis List Home Construction Kit as the most useful website for all things concerning creating genealogy websites.