Genealogy Web Creations and Web Design - Website Design for the Genealogist

North America's Fastest Growing Hobby - For a hobby that revolves around dead people, genealogy is remarkably popular. It is considered by most to be the fastest-growing hobby in North America, with many surveys and media sources proclaiming that it has surpassed quilting, stamp collecting and even gardening in popularity. ~ from About.com ~

In February 1996, Rootsweb.com was registered as a domain name. In the Fall, Winter, and Spring of 1996-97 RootsWeb began support for the USGenWeb Archives and for many USGenWeb counties. At present (1998), RootsWeb hosts more than 2,700 Websites and 3,600 mailing lists. ~ from Volume 1 Number 2, 24 June 1998. ~

RootsWeb houses tens of thousands of websites for the genealogy community. It provides the space free of charge but ad banners  will be displayed on your site. To me that seems a small price for free web hosting. Genealogy Web Creations is a direct result of my two favorite hobbies - genealogy research and creating websites. Although I have to say that website design is now taking first place.

Genealogy Web Creations:

  • Gives YOU the tools to create and/or update your own genealogy website
  • Offer personal assistance working with you in creating or updating your genealogy site

If you don't know your family history, you are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ~ Michael Crichton ~

Developing and Designing a Genealogy Website

If you are like me, you have a huge amount of census records, certificates, and other data you have collected over the years, along with many file cabinets of documentation and lots of pictures. Now you have decided it is time to share what what you've found with family members or others researching the same family line. Perhaps you are new to genealogy and have just started researching your family, BUT, where to start? How can you go about finding those distant cousins who just might have the answer to some question you have. Or perhaps, you are just looking for those long lost distant cousins.  Where in the world should you start? Before you start working on building a website, ask yourself some questions:

  • What is the purpose of my site?
  • Who is my audience? Family? Friends? Other Researchers?
  • What information will I include?
  • How will I present the information?
  • Where will I host my website?
  • What tools do I need?

A step-by-step guide for planning, designing, publishing, hosting and maintaining your genealogy website.

Planning a Genealogy Website 2nd Edition is available as a 42 page EBook in pdf format for you to download. It has been totally revised and updated with new content. The EBook is zipped for faster download. Save it to your desktop, extract the file and it is ready to use.

The purpose of this site is twofold -

Website Design Tutorials

This is the fastest growing part of the site. Some of the tutorials presented here are specific to a genealogy website hosted on one of the RootsWeb servers. Many of the tutorials can be used in working with any website whether it is related to genealogy or not. Some of the tutorials cover:

Resources for Website Design

The Resources section will point you to the additional tutorials and tips you can use in designing and building your website. The cover the full range and include:

  • Website Design in General
  • HTML and XHTML Coding
  • Cascading Style Sheets
  • Color
  • Graphics
  • Layouts and FREE CSS Based Templates
  • Search Engine Optimization Techniques
  • Tools that include programs for website design or addons for browsers and programs.

E-Books

This section includes various e-books or electronic books that I have found helpful in developing and maintaining my websites. They range from books that will teach you how to write basic html code and set up your site to learning how to optimize your site for the search engines. Also included are books that are specific to FrontPage and Expression Web. Some of the EBooks are FREE!

Templates

You can visit this section of the site to download various CSS based layout templates that are available for you to use the designing and building your websites. You will find both fixed width layouts as well as fluid width layouts. These templates do not require any particular web editor and are zipped for faster download. If you use FrontPage 2003 or Expression Web as your web editor, you will find an additional selection of templates available on our sister sites Expression Web Tutorials and Templates and Migrating from FrontPage to Expression Web.