Web Creation Instructions

December 9, 2007

Web Creation Instructions


My website Descendants of Richard Wright, Sr. of Rowan County, North Carolina http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~herbarkin/ encompasses 92,208 out of a total database of 115,250 relatives.  Direct descendants of Richard Wright, Sr. include 41,996.  A number of people have asked about the method I use to create the website from my database.


I use Family Tree Maker (FTM), not because it is the best, but it is the one I started with and I have learned over the years that trying to convert the database into another program always leaves out some data.  That is because I have used certain facts, multiple names and dates which are not supported by GEDCOM, the standard used by the computer genealogy community.  While it is possible to use FTM to create a webage, I am not a fan of the format. 


Following is the procedure I use.


  1. I have kept up a list of ancestors of families directly related to Richard Wright, Sr. in an Excel file Ancestors of Richard Wright. I use the ancestors in this file to create a custom report in FTM.  I then export to another FTM file these people in the report.  After privatizing that FTM file, I export the file to GEDCOM.  This is very important since it eliminates all information on people over 100 years old who have not died.  Just about all programs have a privatizing feature. If not there are such programs available.
  2. Since there are certain elements of FTM which are not exported correctly, I run a program called FTWGEDfx.  This is a freeware program which is available at http://west-penwith.org.uk/misc/FTWGEDfx.htm which corrects such items.
  3. Finally, I use GED2HTML to convert the program to the website format. It automatically creates indexing, source and notes links. GED2HTML can be found at http://www.starkeffect.com/ged2html/3.6a/Welcome.html. It is shareware, available for $20US and very easy to use.
  4. I use Microsoft FrontPage to create my home page and links to data other than the GED2HTML data.  You can also use Microsoft Word or other available programs.  FrontPage is very easy for me to use and you can usually find an old version at greatly reduced prices.
  5. You will find that, if you have a high speed internet connection, most ISPs offer up to 1gb of webspace free.  They usually also offer tools to upload your data. Rootsweb has kindly offered free webspace to Genealogists. Go to http://accounts.rootsweb.com/index.cgi?op=show&page=freagree.htm for information.
  6. As to uploading the data I use BulletProof FTP Client.  It is very robust and will automatically  reconnect to the website during uploads to continue after interruptions. It is available from http://www.bpftp.com/ costs $35. Since my website is over 320mb, itís important that what I use works well.  Even with my high speed connection it takes over 6 hours to upload.  One comment.  I found that when my file approached 100mb, I had to delete the file on the web before I could upload a new version.  I also created a version number and listing. After updating, I send information on the latest update to my email list.  This is getting harder to do. Since the advent of SPAM, ISPs limit emails to 10 people at a time and you cant sent announcements to more than one list at a time.