Why make a family website?
You don’t have to be an internet whiz, professional genealogist or dedicated blogger to start a website. Not only is it easier than ever, but you can do it all for free. And it may be more useful than you think. Here are a few good reasons for making a family website that you probably haven’t even considered:
1. Building a family site is a quick and easy way to network with people researching your surnames.
The internet lets people across the globe connect more easily than ever. Years ago, it would’ve been sheer luck for a genealogist to discover a same-family researcher even a mile down the road. Today, thanks to Google, you have a better chance than ever of finding someone else climbing the same family tree.
For many family historians, having a website is an easy way to let other same-surname researchers know you exist and want to share information. By networking with others who find your website, you could uncover:
- the burial place of a great-grandparent
- family research to break down a brick wall
- long-lost relatives
- a book written about your family
- images of an ancestral homestead
2. A family website can serve as a repository for all the genealogy-related items you find online.
When researching online, you might set a bookmark or add a favorite to your browser every time you find something interesting. But why stop there? A useful tip is to copy the first paragraph or so of the information (including the URL—the site’s address) and paste it onto your site. Because this “reminder” is sitting on your family site, you don’t have to worry about finding your way back to the original site again or losing the information if your computer crashes. It’s note taking for the 21st century.
3. A site lets the whole family share, edit and add research, images and stories.
Some families build sites to use specifically for shared research. Some do this loosely, with a catch-as-catch-can approach; others systematically split up research tasks among interested family members. Whether you live a few blocks or a few thousand miles from your cousins, organizing everything online is a safe and convenient way to preserve your heritage.
Whatever route you choose, involving family in the site can get research done faster, result in a broader collection of stories and increase the amount of images, documents and previous research placed onto the site. And of course, the information is available to everyone.
Making a family website is free and easy.
Building a website isn’t for everyone, but don’t let technophobia be your deterrent. Thanks to platforms such as Blogger and MyHeritage, making your own website is fast and simple. I’ve made three websites with WordPress in the past two years, and find it gets easier every time. When I started I was no cyberspace savant, but quickly adapted and continue to learn something new every day. You could have this same experience!
Learn the essentials in this new four-week course from Family Tree University: How to Make a Free Family Website.
- Step-by-step guides for building a website on free platforms such as MyFamily, MyHeritage.com, Google Sites, Weebly, Posterous, Blogger and WordPress
- How to speak the language of the web
- Best practices for a good website
- Theme ideas for a family website
- How to protect your privacy online
Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to get your family wired and running!
Sign up today.