Understanding YOUR FreePages Account Structure

This tutorial is part of the Working With RootsWeb FreePages Accounts EBook, available in pdf format for free download.

RootsWeb Freepages Account Directory Structure.

Graphic depiction of Freepages account structure.
Click on the thumbnail for a larger version which will open in a new window.

Once you have applied for your freepages account and it has been granted, you might want to take a look at YOUR particular account structure and how you can use it.

The default directory for your account is misc_html. You also have a series of other communities/folders you can use for your site or sites that are part of the initial setup. While you can have only one freepages account, in actuality you have nine you can use. Each one is a separate subdirectory/folder as shown below. Each one can contain an entirely separate site with a completely separate look to it.

Screenshot FreePages Communities.

Since the misc_html folder is the default folder for your site, the shortest url for your site would be: http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~accountname/

This will redirect to http://sites.rootsweb.com/~accountname/

If you have published an index.html file to your misc_html subdirectory, you will see that page when someone goes to the short url for your site. Using the misc folder with an index.html page as a table of contents, you can link to each of the communities you have chosen to use. If you do NOT have an index.html page in your misc directory, then all you will see is something like the image shown below which is a listing of the contents of the misc  folder/directory.

Screenshot sib-directory contents.

A good example of an account holder who has chosen to set up her site using multiple directories with a table of contents in the misc folder is:

 http://sites.rootsweb.com/~florian/ Judy has chosen to publish an index.html page to her misc subdirectory as well as use that directory for a portion of her site. This way she has a short url she can give to folks. Clicking on any of her links will take you to each of the communities she has chosen to use.

When linking between the various communities available to you, you will need to use an absolute link (the full url of that community) NOT a relative link. Hyperlinks within one community can use relative links. If you don't know the difference, read Relative and absolute urls

Setting Up Your site on YOUR Computer

If you are going to use more than one of the communities/folders available to you, my advice would be to set each of them up as a separate website on your computer. Whether you choose to use the name of the community/folder as the folder name of that site OR the name of what the site is about is up to you. Just make sure YOU understand your setup.

So the setup on your computer might look like the graphic below with each folder containing an index.html page and folder for images plus any other folders and pages you might add.

Screenshot of Freepages Directory on YOUR Computer.

You are not required to use each community but they are included with your account setup and you may use as many or as few as you wish. Whether you choose to use one community or all of the communities, take the time to organize your site.

Publishing Your Sites

If you decide to use a setup something like the above, then each of the sites would be published to a different remote directory. Using the instructions publish with Filezilla, the destination that would change would be the remote directory and the location of the site on your hard drive.

The setting for Filezilla would look something like this


  • Host - users.freepages.rootsweb.com/ 
  • Servertype - leave the default FTP
  • Logontype: Normal
  • Username: from your RootsWeb welcome letter
  • Password: from your RootsWeb welcome letter. Since your password is case sensitive, you may want to use cut/copy and paste from your e-mail program to make sure that you don't mistype it.
  • Comments: Add details if you want


  • Default Local Directory: Your website on YOUR hard drive This would change for each of the communities you chose to use.
    Mine looks like this: C:\Users\Patricia Geary\Documents\My Web Sites\freepages
  • Default Remote Directory: genealogy_html or one of the communities which will look like /genealogy_html

Additional Resources


Pat Geary
Copyright © 2011 Pat Geary of Genealogy Web Creations, All Rights Reserved
Written February 2011