Generates Dynamic Pages
Other genealogy web site creators create a set of finished ("static") HTML pages, sometimes one for each person in your file. You may end up with hundreds or thousands of web pages to upload and maintain! What if you have changes in your data? Sorry, you'll need to recreate and reload all of those pages all over again. What if you don't like how they look? If you can't figure out how to manipulate the program then your only other choice is to make the changes to each of the thousands of pages yourself. Good luck!
We use a database to create your pages dynamically, as they're requested. That means no huge load of pages to create and upload each time you have a change, and if you want to tweak the look and feel, you do it in one location and it's done for the entire site!
Use one of our pre-built templates to get off to a running start, or do everything yourself. A style sheet allows you to pick all colors, sizes and fonts - plus a whole lot more if you're up to it. A settings page allows you to easily change the values of many system variables. In addition, you can also put a custom header and footer on each page. Add a menu at the top or down the left side, or enclose the main content inside a table - whatever you want.
Still visible to search engines
Even though your pages are not created until requested, they can still be indexed by external search engines like Yahoo, Google, MSN, Ask, etc. - If you want them to! That's because the finished pages are still just HTML, and the engines have to request the pages the same way you or I would. Just remember that it sometimes takes a while for the robots & crawlers to find your pages. Don't want them to find you? Changing a setting will let you do that too.
Fast, free and friendly support!
No matter how good our service is (or anyone elses service), chances are you'll need a hand with something at some point. Whatever the concern, please feel free to contact us. There are no stupid questions, and we always reply promptly! Here's a letter from one of our users:
27 May 2010
"I cannot praise Related Families highly enough. The look of the website is great and, more importantly, the insight the website is giving me into my family history is shedding new light on my research. Branches of my family history that I thought I understood have taken on a new dimension which is helping me to understand my ancestors all the better. Added to that, your support service is excellent and I would recommend Related Families to anyone."
Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, Mambo, Zikula, PHPNuke, CPG Nuke, Lucid, Xoops, php_fusion and e107 compatible
Not only does our software work great on its own, it can also function seamlessly as a module under any of these systems (with single sign-on) when used with an approved freeware add-on program. Use whatever theme you want!
Easy-to-read Individual pages
All individual and family records are laid out in a simple user-friendly format, one person to a page. With each person you'll also see links to photos, histories, headstones and other media, pedigree, descendancy, timeline and relationship charts, plus notes and sources, and family records for each marriage. If you see a problem, you can even use the Suggest tab to send a note back to the webmaster.
Allow visitors to register for their own login. No accounts will be activated until you, the administrator, approve of the action. When you do, you can also elect to have your web site send out an automatic notification to the requestor.
Display messages translated into several languages
The public and administrative display messages have been translated into Afrikaans, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish, and the public messages have been translated into Icelandic and Serbian. The Help files & installation instructions have also been translated into French and Dutch. The display messages should be fairly easy to translate into any language, since they have been separated out into their own files. In other words, you don't have to hunt through any code to find the text.
Advanced pedigree charts
Your site's pedigree charts can display an indefinite number of generations (you decide the maximum you'll allow) in several different formats for every person in your database. Attached photos and dropdown data boxes with additional information make it the centerpiece of the whole application. With a single click, jump to the individual page or a new pedigree for anyone on the chart. You can even switch parents! And if that's not enough, the standard pedigree charts now use a technology called AJAX to allow smooth browsing from one generation to the next. Climb up and down the entire tree without ever refreshing the page!
Start with any individual, then pick any other person in your tree and your web site will display a graphical chart of their relationship. If the individuals are not related within a designated number of generations, your web site will tell you that as well.
Display a bar chart comparing the lifespans of an unlimited number of individuals from your database. Start from any individual and add any person you browse to, or others. Plus, the chart is saved until you close your browser window. Add your own events to the timeline as well!
In a glance see an indefinite number of descendant generations for every person in your file (again, you decide the maximum), with links to each person's individual page. In the text-only chart, collapse or expand each generation. For each descendant listed on the text-only chart, you can also click to view a graphical tree tracing the line. Plus, switch easily between Standard and Register formats.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Standard descendancy chart can instantly be toggled to display in text-only or Register format, which for some means a more readable alternative. More data in many cases as well.
Graphical descendancy tracing
An icon next to each descendant on the Standard descendancy chart links quickly to a boxes-and-connecting-lines display of parents, children and siblings, from the primary individual down to the person selected. Inset photos (like on the pedigree chart) and vital years make this a valuable visual tool.
A link on each page now shows you the same page in a new window, without any headers, sidebars or page backgrounds, making it easier to create printouts of what you see without having it cluttered or pushed off the page.
PDF Reports available
Pedigree, descendancy and individual pages may now be exported in PDF format.
Simple and advanced searching
Search just on first name/last name, or try the Advanced Search to limit or expand the number of matches found. Use the Advanced Search to query by just about any event in your database. Choose whether the data "starts with", "ends with", "equals" or "contains" your search terms, or match by Soundex or metaphones. Use date ranges, plus show names of spouses if desired! Even decide whether to join all criteria with "AND" or "OR".
Track down individuals by surname, but not from an endless unreadable paragraph. Instead, view names in neat columns, and limit your search only to those beginning with a certain letter or symbol. Also see a list of the top 25 surnames in your file, or choose to see all surnames on a single page.
Set up various users and give them each their own set of rights (see living data, see LDS data, add/edit/delete, etc.). Anyone can still visit your site, but logged-in users will see even more (as much as you want them to), and can even help you add to or maintain your data.
Tentative Edit rights
You can grant users "tentative edit" rights, meaning that they will be able to edit existing events and submit proposed changes, but these changes will not become permanent unless you (the administrator) decide to accept them. Whenever you're ready to review these tentative edits, a list of them will be waiting for you in the Admin area.
Multiple family trees
If you have multiple GEDCOM files that need to be kept separate, you can do it by putting each one in its own Tree. Visitors can still search across all trees, but maintenance can be done on a particular Tree without affecting any others. Most users will only need one Tree.
Label different sections of your family tree and grant different users different permissions to those sections, or "branches". Now your family can have edit rights to their side only, and your spouse's family can have the same for theirs. New: Now each person can belong to multiple branches.
Dynamic language switching
If you've translated your web site's display messages into multiple languages, you can have your web site switch dynamically among them. Selecting a language from a dropdown box (visible on most public pages) instantly causes the page (and all subsequent pages until the next switch) to be displayed in the new language.
Upload and link several photos, documents, histories, videos or audio recordings to individuals, families and sources. Give each item a title and description as well. You can even apply an image map, allowing you to assign different links to various parts of the photo or people in the picture. For histories, you can even compose your text right in your web site, or simply cut and paste your text or HTML from another application. Browse all media at once, or search for a keyword to help you find the ones you want. Or, pick one person and cycle through their own private list. Provide (or have your web site generate) a small thumbnail to be used on the pedigree & descendancy charts, and at the top of each individual page.
You can also group your media into "albums", which can then be linked to individuals or families as a whole.
Dynamically manage a list of the people and photos you're most interested in.
Cemeteries & Headstones
Set up a record for each cemetery represented in your data (maps too), then >create headstone records with photos (photo optional for those not yet located) to attach to individuals and the corresponding cemeteries. Then find headstones by browsing the list of cemeteries (organized by locality), or by linking directly from an individual record.
Photos & Histories (now "Media") Ancestor Listing
Show a listing, by generation, of all ancestors with photos and/or histories for any given individual.
Track lines of descent
Click a single button and traverse all the lines of descent in your database, resulting in the ">" character being placed next to links for children who have children themselves. This proves very helpful when traversing an unfamiliar tree, as it easilly indicates which child to follow to find the next generation.
Custom Event Types
Help your web site handle all those obscure or proprietary GEDCOM tags you're using by setting up "Custom Event Types." You could even make up your own tags and still have them imported and displayed by your web site. No other package can match this flexibility!
Dates & Anniversaries
This new feature allows you to quickly find all individuals associated with any date in history, Or, search for just a month, just a year, or even day (e.g., "Show me everyone born on the 7th of any month").
View a hierarchy of all places listed in your database, and easily drill down through all "lesser" localities. A powerful tool in the Admin section lets you merge similar place names that refer to the same location.
'Living' data protected
Visitors to your site will be unable to see data for living individuals unless they log in with appropriate access. You can also indicate whether the names of living individuals should be displayed. Your web site automatically determines who is alive, based on your preferences, and you may manually override that if an incorrect decision is made.
LDS tags supported, data protectable
Tags or events specific to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are supported by your web site, and this data can be restricted to certain users if desired. LDS fields are not displayed if not used, and administrators wishing to hide all LDS fields on manual input screens may do so.
Get your data into your web site in just minutes by having your desktop program write your data to a standard 4.0 or 5.5 GEDCOM file. Your web site will then import your file and populate the database with all your information, saving you quite a bit of typing.
Allow visitors to your site to create their own GEDCOM from a subset of your data. If you'd rather not, it's just as easy to disable this feature. As the administrator, you can also export your entire tree to a GEDCOM if you'd like.
Manual data entry
No GEDCOM? Plan on using your web site as your primary genealogy program? In that case, you may still enter all your data by hand through the user-friendly Admin screens. Even if you did import a GEDCOM, you may find this feature useful for making spot changes without doing another full import.
To guard against disaster or facilitate a move to a new host, your web site also provides the ability to back up and restore each table in the database. You'll be informed of when your last backup was made and how much space it's using. You can also "optimize" each table (remove deleted records, reconstruct indexes), which can sometimes increase speed and efficiency.
"What's New" page
The "What's New" page shows the most recently added and updated components of your site, including photos, histories, headstones, and individual and family records. The best part is that it's always up to date without any maintenance from you. You control how many days back are considered "new" and how many items (max) to display in each category.
Your web site can generate an XML page for use with your favorite RSS newsreader, enabling your relatives to see what's new at your site without even being there!
Create your own set of custom lists, like "Ancestors with Today's Birthday" or "Relatives Born in England". Make use of all your web site's standard and custom event types in almost any combination, or build your own custom SQL query!
Security and Spam control
Create filters to block unwanted senders or subject material. Form field names are also generated dynamically each time you view the page, making it impossible for anyone to automate spam through your site. User passwords are enrypted.
Easily change any text message
All display messages have been separated into their own dedicated files, which means you won't have to go hunting through the code to find what you want to change. It also means that translation into other languages doesn't have to be a headache.