Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Tips for Family Tree Webpages 2

In my last blog we looked at measuring and analysing the number who visit your web pages. I now wish to turn to attracting people to your websites. After all, if we didn't wish for visitors we wouldn't have the site in the first place!

For my genealogy pages I use Legacy to generate the Pedigree Pages, in my Fergys Website and the Family Group pages for my north west England Fergusons. On their own these pages are not particularly attractive, so I wrap them in headers and footers to make them more appealing, and add pictures where possible. This is my first point, visitors need to like the site which they visit. I also consider the index page, for many their first impression of the site, should be a visually attractive page. Unfortunately I am not good on design, so I try to make them a little different to the norm (or use a template).

Another essential is the ease of navigation. There is nothing worse than going to a site and not being able to find the area within which wishes to look. If javascript is used then do ensure that there is a noscript option for those who do not have javascript enabled, otherwise your site could fail at the first page. Talking of javascript reminds me that not all search engines read it, so the noscript option is needed for them also. It goes without saying that the links must work on your server, and not just on your PC, and similarly that your pictures must be displayed; not the empty box with a red cross!

Finally we have the content. The names pages in genealogy sites will attract only those who are looking for John Smith so try adding other pages. I have a relative who was murdered and his story attracts quite a few visits, but for some reason the most popular page on my site is a biopic of all the British Prime Ministers. It is also very worthwhile to ensure that the title of each page emphases the content of that page.

In the next blog I will look at search engines and promoting the site.

© Ronald Ferguson 2009

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