Nothing better than giving homage to your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, ancestors, and extended family by making a website exclusive for your family tree. You may have complete information already or you are still looking to connect with your extended family. This in-depth tutorial will help you know how to build a family tree website in an easy to follow guide.
Starting your own family tree website and connecting it with websites like Ancestory.com can help others find more detailed information about your ancestors. There is limited information available for individual persons on Ancestory.com. If people have more knowledge and pictures about their ancestry you can share it more properly with the rest of the world.
A gallery section, where you can share portrait and group photos. Identify the persons and then create their own biography pages. For the love of your relatives, it can be a great tribute posthumously.
In this post, I will guide you on how to build and manage your own family tree website.
Benefits of Personal Family Tree Website
More Control: Platforms like Ancestory are a good way to get connected with other family trees through hints but they lack in giving you complete control over details. Moreover, often there is incorrect information about correctly identified family persons. The correction process is long and often not viable.
Separate Pages: Giving everyone in your family their own separate page. You can write about authentic details about their life. A page with great in-depth details about their life. Pictures and achievement. Important events in life that had an indirect influence on the way other family members lived their life.
Gallery: If you have an old collection of pictures, you can save them digitally forever. All you need to do is to get them scanned and then upload it on your website. A separate gallery page can be created with categories, dates, events, names, etc. With minimal hosting fees annually all the old data can be saved digitally.
Moreover, with the progress in artificial intelligence, it is possible to create the print the pictures again with better resolution. So not only you get to preserve your family tree but also keep the information safe digitally.
Own Your Family: Your family information does not deserve to be public property. It has to be sacred and your family should have exclusive rights on how to manage all the information. With your own website, you can take complete ownership of who your ancestors were.
Talk About History: All the big events in history such as world wars, pandemics, etc had direct on indirect influence on the way our ancestors’ life was changed. You can talk about the impacts and relate how it has shaped your personal life as well.
Some of the relatives who lost their lives in the battle or died of early age due to some illness of the time. By having a separate page on such events can help raise more awareness and create historical evidence for researchers.
Stop Incorrect Information: There are many cases on Ancestory where people have been linked to incorrect lineages due to the same names or other reasons. It can hurt if someone is associated with the wrong person. You can correct the incorrection information by sharing as much proof as possible on your own personal website.
Better Design: Ancestory offers the same boring lineages, you can not do custom design. If it were more flexible to allow people to upload their own custom design family tree design than it would give some sort of satisfaction. Developers at Ancestory focus more on finding linkages rather than the aesthetics.
Distinction: Give your family name a distinction by having their own website. You can make our lineage stand out and more prominent. With the help of the website, you can share the details and take the due pride for your ancestor’s hard work.
Satisfaction: The sense of satisfaction that you have stored everything digitally. Future generations can take on your hard work and continue the lineage website as an ongoing family project.
Medical Research: You can actually let other family members discover any genetic disease if they were present in your lineage. For future generations, with predictions in advancements in genetic research, bad genes can be identified and timely medical treatment can begin.
Preserve Family Tradition: With a family tree website you can create a separate website page where you can talk about special events that have been taking place in your family for decades. Pictorial or written evidence or stories can help save the traditions for future generations to carry on to their life.
How to Make a Family Tree Website
In order to have the benefits of family tree website ownership, you need to follow these steps. I will explain the simplest way where you can ensure that your website is up and live in the quickest time.
Buy Family Domain Name
Begin by buying your domain name preferably in the name of your family. Because it has become a lot popular and easy to make your own family website it is very much possible that you will not be able to buy the domain name in the name of your family.
For example, if your family name is Jefferson. It is very much possible that Jeffersonfamily.com is not available. You can, however, check with another TLD such as Jefferson.info or some other TLD. If you have the dot com version available then try to park that name ASAP.
You can check the domain name availability at SiteGround.com and claim the domain name there as well. Websites like GoDaddy have lower initial registration but they quickly hike it up in the subsequent years.
Buy Hosting for Family Web
So after getting the hosting space, you need to deploy your family tree information at some storage space. This storage space should have the capability to compile up all the data in one place and show it in the form of the website.
I recommend SiteGround hosting again as the place where you should buy your hosting as well. They have a good reputation and support. The StartUp plan for managed WordPress hosting is very economical and offers most of the perks other hosting service providers do not provide at the same price. You should build your family tree website on good hosting company, SiteGround can be recommended any day.
After buying the hosting you need to install WordPress as content management system. Although, it will be preinstalled but still if you feel like you need a fresher copy then go for a new installation.
You will have a default theme installed already on WordPress. That theme is already optimized by WordPress so it won’t need any fixing, however, if you are not satisfied with the design angles then head over to themeforest.com and get your self a premium family tree theme.
There are plenty of options available there already and can help you get the design that caters mostly to the style your family tree will look good with.
Take Help From WordPress Plugins
WordPress has the biggest repository of the plugins. You can think of any functionality and it is already built by the developer. Like you install software onto your computer in the same way you can download the plugin within your WordPress and install it there.
Below are some of the plugins that I feel will help you in achieving the functionality goal of your family tree website.
TreePress: This plugin will help you create the family tree in the form of a flow chart. You can paste the resultant family tree chart on any page of your website. There is no point in having no family tree website when you have trying to build a family tree website.
Revolution Slider: You can have a good family picture right on the home page. It can be realized with this free slider plugin. You can add multiple that will flow with animation on the homepage. A better idea would be to use the best family pictures on the homepage.
Another thing that you can do is increase the quality of the old picture by using the free upsampling website available on the internet. Some of them can even color your old black and white family pictures.
Do not use Smush or image optimizers. These plugins are usually pre-installed and usually downsample the pictures. It is better that you do not do the downsampling. Older pictures are already compromised and can lead to further degradation in case you have a pre-installed image file reducer installed on the server.
Contact Form 7: With the help of this plugin you can create a form. Visitors can get in touch with you through a private email. This is also a necessary plugin for all kinds of family tree website. Anyone with distant relationships can get in touch with you through private email.
Contact form is the way for an administrator to have feedback for their family tree. Who knows someone who is looking for his relatives end up finding the family through your future family tree website and gets in touch with the help of the contact form.
Wordfence: Those who envy your family may try to hack your website. Your website can be even under attack from hackers who have no reason to hack your website. Wordfence will help stop all kinds of brute hacking attempts on your website. It has a free version available and can be set up with minimum configuration settings. This plugin is essential in this tutorial for how to build a family tree website.
Events Manager: Your website will allow you to have one hub where all of your family members can get latest information about the family. This place is also an opportunity to inform everyone about upcoming events and get-togethers. Use this plugin to announce any plan or mark the important events in the past.
The above tutorial should be helpful in creating a website for anyone who has no knowledge of how to create a website. WordPress has pre-built functionalities that can be quickly deployed and manipulated to any kind of website.
A family tree website is a good sign to preserve your heritage. It can be a guide for your children and the upcoming generation to remember where they come from. If you feel that you need any kind of assistance in making this website drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I will be very happy to help you out through out.