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Building Your Genealogy Website

Internet research is the latest tool in the hands of genealogists. Designing your own website is one way to advertise your particular interest in genealogy and connect with others. Here are a few design basics to consider.

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Type: Article
Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Melissa Slate
Word Count: 490 (approx.)
Labels: Beginner's Guide 
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Genealogy is a fascinating subject for ace as well as amateur genealogists. It has been around now thousands of years, and will fascinate people as long as the interest in learning more about the past exists. Internet research is the latest tool in the hands of genealogists. Here are a few basics on designing your own genealogy website.

1. Choose a descriptive title. Your web site title will the first thing to catch the interest of visitors browsing search results or casually come across your site. Be sure your title indicates your focus and the kind of services or information you offer. So instead of naming your site "Genealogy," go for something more specific such as "Family Tree for Smiths." It's important to have a good, specific title to accent the main page, one that reflects your primary focus.

2. Develop useful and interesting content. Your website should have impressive content to attract visitors to the site. It's good to have a clear purpose: what you hope to accomplish with your site. This will help you determine the content. If your site is about yours or any other family, accordingly describe the services you provide, in addition to writing seriously about your family for the home page. Apart from text content, the website could also include photographs of known family members, documents, or other information, depending upon your focus.

3. Provide easy access to information. Your website should have links providing easy access to the individual pages on your site. You may also wish to provide links to other popular websites related to genealogy and/or to your particular subject. Also, networking with other websites, allowing them to host a link to your site can help increase traffic to your site.

4. Have a simple and neat design for your web page. If you have conceived a site that is a challenging to design, consider hiring a professional designer. An attractive, easy to use layout is crucial if you desire to attract people to your genealogy website.

5. Consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO involves editing content and HTML coding in such a way as to increase the site's relevance to specific keywords. For example, if someone makes a search for such general keywords as "genealogy" or "family tree," SEO can help place your site at or near the top in results, to attract traffic. If you are serious about search engine optimization, it may be advisable to enlist the help of an SEO professional to get a higher rank in traffic. However, be expensive and only you can determine if the benefit warrants the cost.

Building a website can be difficult if you possess no previous experience, or are unfamiliar with HTML and web design, but many tools and services are available today, some at very little cost. A well thought out website can do wonders in the your quest for your ancestors and is a relatively inexpensive way to advertise your particular interest in genealogy.

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2009.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.

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