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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree March 2018 > Discover how to create a website (& the rewards in store for you)

Discover how to create a website (& the rewards in store for you)

The World Wide Web offers a treasure trove of genealogy information and opportunities to make contact with relatives. Create your own website and add your family’s story to the mix. Professional website developer Paul Carter shows you the achievable steps you need to take to make this dream a reality


Over the past 20 years, the Internet and World Wide Web have increasingly become part of daily life, to the point where we think nothing of communicating via email, shopping for products, sharing stories on social media or watching a television programme online. The process of researching family history has been transformed over this period as new records are digitised and our favourite pastime becomes more accessible to us in our homes.

But have you considered publishing your own website describing your family history? If you’re unsure what content you’d include or are daunted by how to go about constructing such a site, this article offers some guidance and practical steps to help you produce a successful family history website.

Why have a website for your family history?

Finding and connecting with distant relatives is a big part of what we seek to do as family historians. Those connections, sharing common ancestry, may well have more information or heirlooms to help us expand our own knowledge of the family. This is a key reason why online family trees have proven so popular.

The Internet, with its vast global audience, serves as the vehicle to tell your family story and enable those connections to find you. If you’re researching a specific surname or village, a website becomes even more important, as you’ll wish to locate potential non-relatives with a name in common or former residents of that place.

Conversely, its purpose may simply be to share information with your more immediate family, if they live in different parts of the country or world.

Whatever your reasons, before you proceed further, it’s sensible to think about the purpose of your website and therefore consider the type of audience you wish to attract.

Planning your website structure

Before starting to build a website, take some time to plan it, making the task easier and ensuring a better, more structured, result. Well-designed websites have a clear hierarchy of content, which may be represented in a similar way to a genealogical pedigree chart.

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About Family Tree

Where would today's family historian be without the wonders of the web? This issue we give you bespoke clues to help you mine that nugget of ancestral gold from among the billions of records available the major family history websites. But family history isn't just about researching facts. It's about recording and treasuring that family story. So to help you do just this, we also have a guide to building your own website for your genealogical discoveries - an online home for your family archive. Step up, and see where you can take your research next!