Betsy's REALLY Basic Help for Freepages Accounts

Betsy's REALLY Basic Help

You may have already created your pages, if you have, great! If not, you will need to download an editor from one of the sites listed below. You'll find some specific software suggestions here. Or you may use a simple text editor such as NotePad.

To learn more about basic html and creating Web pages, please visit

For help with basic html web site creation applicable to RootsWeb, try the html help group

Another good beginning HTML site is

You may want to try out RootsWeb's Online Editor and File Manager for FreePages users. For more information on the Freepages Online Editor and File Manager, you can view the documentation. WebTV users must use File Manager or a similar program to create and transload pages to their Freepages account.

There are a few things you need to know before you upload your pages...

  1. Your first (home) page should be called index.htm(l)
    That is the first page visitors will see when they go to your URL (
    where xxxxx=community name

  2. Your Freepages pages can not include business advertisements for your business or company, and RootsWeb asks they be respectable, i.e. suitable for family viewing.

  3. If you have any questions concerning Freepages policy,  HTML, or FTP (uploading), please post your questions on the FreePages-Help mailing list You were automatically subscribed when your Freepages account was created. If you have unsubbed, follow the instructions here to resubscribe.

  4. You can use programs like Netscape Gold or Microsoft FrontPage to build your pages, but you will not be able to use any of the FrontPage extensions.

  5. You must upload your pages via FTP (Explained Below).

Uploading your pages to your directory on the Freepages Web Server: 

The example below uses WS_FTP, but you can use any FTP program such as CuteFTP. See RootsWeb Wizards - FTP - How to Upload Files to RootsWeb for more examples. Please note! You will need to substitute the hostname "" in the examples you find at Wizards. You may download a copy of WS_FTP from Ipswitch

  1. Connect to the Internet.
  2. Start your WS_FTP Program.
  3. Create a New Session Profile Called: My FreePages
  4. In the Host Field, enter:
  5. Host Type should be set to "Automatic detect"
  6. In the UserId Field, enter the userid that was provided in your account info that was emailed to you
  7. In the Password Field, enter the password that was provided (copy and paste assures an exact match)
  8. Click OK

Now that you're connected to the server, double-click on the folder named "xxxxx_html" where "xxxxx" is replaced with the community that you want your pages in. For example, if you have genealogy pages, you will double-click on "genealogy_html" and upload your pages into that directory. If you have local history pages, you will upload your pages into the "history_html" directory and so on. You upload by highlighting the file that you want copied on the left side of your screen (local files on your computer) and then click the arrow that points to the right (the Freepages server).

Other problems that may come up:

  1. If you use CAPITAL letters in your names, you must be consistent. Pages named "index.html", "Index.html", "INDEX.html", and "INDEX.HTML" are all different pages on the web.
  2. Long file names may also cause a problem, especially for GIFs and JPGs. You may NOT use spaces or special characters in your file names. If you are getting a "Permission denied" message when you try to upload, it is most likely because the file name contains spaces or some other forbidden character or is too long.
  3. If your program tells you that access is denied, please do not assume that the password is wrong. It can also mean that you have made a typographical error in the hostname OR the password. We have tried to eliminate the small letter "l" and the capital letter "I" because of the confusion it causes. We find 99.9% of time that the problem is NOT the password.

To learn more about using WS_FTP, please visit

Your Web address will be:****/

**** is your userid ( account name ) and xxxxx is the community that you selected for uploading your pages.

Based on the original 1998-2002, Betsy Mills
Modified to update URLs by Pat Asher, Jul 2008
Published here with permission.

Contact Pat Asher