3
Apr

How to Make Your Family Tree Into a Website

Do you want to know how to make your family tree into a website? In this post, learn how to export your tree into HTML or other web formats in order to share your research with others.

Turning your family tree into an interactive website is a great way to share your tree with your family and friends. In addition, it’s a helpful way to share the hard work that you have done with other people who are researching your common ancestors.

There are a few different ways that you can go about turning your family tree work into a website, and I will discuss the easiest ways in this post:

  • Creating a family tree site using WordPress
  • Family tree website generating software
  • Exporting HTML reports from Genogram Software

Each of the methods I mentioned above has advantages, as well as disadvantages. The method that you choose to use will depend on your technical skill level, as well as how you would like your website to be used.

Even though the technical details of each method vary, a beginner with little-to-no experience making web pages should be able to do any of the three.

Note: Please remember it is important to protect the privacy of our living relatives. This means that we should be careful to never publish information about living individuals online.

buy the Family Tree Building Basics E-book

How much does it cost to turn a family tree into a website?

You can turn your family tree into a website for free using various software solutions, or even hand-coded HTML pages. The primary expense associated with owning a family tree website is the domain registration (annually) and website hosting (monthly or annually).

If you haven’t yet started building a family tree, definitely check out my book which is a guide to family tree building basics.

Even though it isn’t free to own and maintain a family tree website, it isn’t very expensive. Domain registration can be as low as $5-20 per year, and monthly hosting will cost about $12.

You can save some money on these costs by paying for domain registration for more than one year at a time and paying for hosting annually.

Creating a family tree site using WordPress

This is my favorite method of creating a family tree site. I love WordPress, of course, and it is an easy way to create a nice-looking website that can be customized.

WordPress allows for lots of flexibility when it comes to projects like these. I would recommend using WordPress along with a Family Tree Generator plugin, which can be installed in just a few clicks from within your WordPress site.

(When I refer to WordPress, I mean WordPress.org software that can be installed on your own web server – NOT WordPress.com)

No knowledge of coding is required for using WordPress!

An additional benefit of using WordPress is that you can also use it for creating blog posts for stories about your ancestors, which is a nice addition to the more generic pedigree or relationship charts we usually see.

I recommend starting off your site with Host Gator. It’s inexpensive and easy to use, and WordPress (a CMS platform) can be installed with only a few clicks.

Basically, you can have your family tree online in a matter of hours.

You can follow the step-by-step instructions in the following post in order to learn how to use Host Gator for this purpose:

Once you have your basic site set up, you will need to install one of the following plugins to publish your tree online:

  • TreePress – Easy Family Trees & Ancestor Profiles
  • Genealogical Tree – WordPress Family Tree
  • GedShow

Be sure to read the details of each plugin on the installation page (read below for more information about how to do this) in order to make sure you choose the plugin that is best for what you envision for your website.

Additionally, WordPress plugins are often free with limited functionality. For access to more functions, you might have to pay a small fee to upgrade your plugin to get it to do what you would like it to do.

You can read the following post to learn exactly how to install a WordPress plugin on your new family tree site:

How to build a family tree website with software

The easiest way to build a family tree website with software is to use a family tree building program like RootsMagic. You can easily export your family tree into an interactive website format which can be uploaded to your web server.

Find out more about RootsMagic here:

The advantage of using RootsMagic for this purpose is that you will also get access to a complete family tree building software, which you can use to make changes and updates to your tree.

Lots of people build their family trees online, including myself. It’s always good to have a backup copy of your tree and a way to work on it on your computer, too.

Exporting HTML reports from Genogram Software to upload to website

Genogram is a very powerful family tree building software. This particular software focuses on bringing family tree stories to life, including the ability to add additional information about our ancestors and relatives.

You can access the Genogram software here:

Read about how to use it here:

In order to use the reports generated by Genogram, you will need to save them in an HTML format. These HTML files can then be uploaded to your website’s server via FTP, File Manager, or Cpanel.

One reason for choosing Genogram is that you can pick and choose the type of reports you would like to include online, as well as select only the ancestors that you would like to publish on your website.

The disadvantage is that you will have to link between HTML pages yourself, which does mean that you will have to plan out how you would like users to interact with your website.

Conclusion

I hope that you have gotten some good ideas about how to share your family tree research with the greater internet, and that this post has been helpful to you.

If you have any questions about something that you read in this post, or would like to share your own idea about publishing your tree online, please feel free to join me in the discussion below.

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