Today's Date



What's New
Favorite Links
In Memoriam
Site Map
Search Site



Tips Home
New Website Help
Add-ons for Websites
Lessons-Web Design
Researching Online




So, you want to create a website?  Don't know where to start? 

If you're like me, you panicked at the thought of starting with no knowledge of web publishing and putting your first pages up for others to criticize.  Don't worry - we've all been there and understand.  It's not as difficult as it seems at first thought.  Follow the few steps below and you should be ready to share your information with the world in a short period of time. 

NOTE:  These tips and directions are geared specifically for RootsWeb FreePages, but most of it will work for any web pages you want to create and publish.

  1. Choose a place to publish your pages.  FreePages works great for our genealogy information, but there are a lot of other places for websites you want to put together about other things.  If you have things you want to include that are not genealogy related, you also may want to create an additional website somewhere else and link to it from your FreePages.  See my Space page for more details and links to other places to publish your web sites. 

    Since we are dealing with FreePages, we will move on with details about publishing there.  You can request your FreePages space at  You will be asked to agree to the terms regarding what the site can be used for.  You will then be asked for an e-mail address and name for your site.  Whatever name you choose will become part of the address of your site, so choose carefully.  It's best not to use any spaces (some browsers don't like spaces) or to make it very long (as others may have to type it into a browser window).  For example, mine is just zuber, which is about as short as you can get. 

    You will receive your "welcome" e-mail telling you your FreePages space has been set up.  It will contain your UserID and password and where to find the FreePages File Manager. Save it in a couple places - like your e-mail and also print at least one copy.  You will need to know all that information as you move forward.  If you should lose it at some point, contact Password Central to request the information be sent to you again - .  Also remember that if you change your e-mail address in the future, you will need to notify RootsWeb of your new address so that they can contact you if there are problems or questions about your account.

    Also, when you are given FreePages space, you are automatically added to the Freepages-Help-D mailing list in Digest mode - this sends you several e-mails together which may show as attachments or a single listing, depending on what e-mail program you use.  Don't just ignore the list.  This is a group of people who help each other and newbies (what we call new web designers) on how to manage your website at FreePages. 

    • If your e-mail blocks the attachments and you can't get it to accept them - or you'd just prefer to have your messages one at a time - you can Unsubscribe from Freepages-Help-D digest mode and Subscribe to Freepages-Help-L list mode to get each e-mail separately.

    • You can also access the archives for the list, which include all past messages, at  where you can either search by words for specific information or browse month-by-month to see what questions have been on the list before.  You may be able to find your answers are already there.

    • You can just hang around and read the messages on the list for a little while as you're in the beginning stages of your web design - or plunge right in and ask questions.  (I signed up and just gathered information and ideas from the list for a few months before I really uploaded my first pages!)

  2. Take some time in the very beginning to figure out how you want to organize and set up your new site.  This will save you a lot of time and effort later in re-organizing your site when you decide to add to it.  See my Design page for suggestions and for links to other places with information on setting up and organizing your site.

  3. Choose a method for creating your pages.  There are so many different programs to use to create your pages - as well as coding by hand. See my Methods page for more details and links to other places with information on different programs and ways to create your pages.

  4. Develop your pages.  There are a lot of different designs for web pages and a lot of things you can choose to include or not. See my Development page for more details and links to other places with information on the specific ways to design your pages.  There are also a lot of tips that are specific to developing websites for FreePages!

  5. Upload/Publish your page(s) to FreePages.  There are several little tricks to remember when publishing different ways. See my Publishing page for more details and links to other places with information on publishing your pages.

  6. Test and validate it. Now that your site is uploaded, test that everything works exactly as you planned for it to. There are a lot of different sites that will check your webpages to verify that the coding meets web publishing standards. And there is a lot of testing you can do yourself.  See my Testing page for more details and links to other places with information on testing your website..

  7. You've done it!  Now all you need to do is publicize your site and set up a regular maintenance schedule so you can keep your website up-to-date and interesting.  And, if you want to add some of the more advanced items, check out my add-ons page.


Links to other sites and information on developing your website:



Contact Me

Sign my Guestbook                     View my Guestbook


This page was last updated on Saturday, May 29, 2010.

Thanks for stopping by!

Visit RootsWeb