Once you’ve started your research process, you’ll find that you want a way to keep everything together and nicely organized. You may even find that your family members are curious – even excited! – and want to see all the hard work you’ve been doing.
Here are some beginners tips for creating a website or online family tree that all of your family members can enjoy.
Use a dedicated genealogy website
Before plunging into scripting out your own website, consider the huge marketplace of online genealogy – there are hundreds of different web services to chose from, each offering different price packages and services to match any genealogists needs. Ancestry.com provides a service for this, even allowing you to make prints of your tree. Gini is comparable to Ancestry, providing searching as well as saving power. Finally, tools like FamilyEcho are a much more visually simplistic creator, and doesn’t have the searching power of Ancestry.com.
Make it secure
However you decide to host your online family tree, make it secure. It should be password protected, and only accessible by those in your family. Be sure that only yourself and a few select people have administrative or editing capabilities. Because family trees often contain so much personal information – dates of birth, locations of birth, full names – that are today used in digital security questions, this information should be kept under lock and key.
Add a blog feature
If you’re interested in letting your family know how your searches are going and what kinds of interesting information you’re coming across (as well as what kinds of roadblocks you’re hitting) consider adding a blog. You can always set up a separate blog through a service like WordPress or Blogger, both of which are powerful blogging groups that allow for easy insertion of photos and scanned documents, allowing for a nicely fleshed out view of your family history search.
Back up your digital source
Nothing stings quite so much in the digital age like loosing all your hard work to a power surge or misplaced flash drive. Services like Dropbox or Google Drive offer quick methods of accessing your files from any desktop you want, meaning you can do your genealogical searching at home or in a library and still have access to your saved work. You can also look into hardware resources like external hard drives, many of which are quite slim and easy to carry in a briefcase or messenger bag.