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Seven Tips for publishing your genealogy at

Tip #1: Keep the same URL from one publication to another

This is by far the most important tip to remember.  The idea behind publishing your genealogy at is having people view your report.  If your publication is moved or renamed, then many visitors will land on a non-existing page and will never read your report and/or contact you.  The website is visited by major search engine such Google, Yahoo, and MSN each day.  It is important to keep your publication at the same location because search engines keep a history of each URL, giving more importance to established and steady web addresses.  Although your genealogy report is indexed on a daily basis, Google will take about 6 months before assigning a page rank to each HTML page in your report.

People may bookmark your genealogy report.  Those bookmarks will be broken if you change the URL of your report.

Tip #2: Do not use spaces or special characters in your URL

An URL containing a space is invalid.  Some friendly browsers will encode the space as %20 to make your URL valid, however many browsers will do nothing resulting in an error.  The solution to this problem is avoiding the space in the URL.  The ampersand (&) should be avoided in URLs because it has a special meaning in HTML.  (recommended) Potter Family/  (the space is not recommended) Potter&Family/  (the & is not recommended either)

Tip #3: Use the hyphen/dash (-) as a word separator

If you really need to split words in your URL, it is best to use the hyphen/dash (-) as a word separator.  The hyphen is recognized by all search engines as a word separator.  The underscore (_) is not a word separator; it is to bridge two words into a single token.

There are many discussions on website development on the topic of the use of the dash (-) or the underscore (_) to split words. Our recommendation is to use the dash/hyphen.

Reasons why using hyphen is better than using the underscore as a word separator:

  1. The hyphen (-) is easier to type than the underscore (_).  The hyphen/dash is widely used in regular sentences, as date field separators, phone number separators, subtractions and other numerical notations.  On the other hand, the underscore is used by software developers to create names for variables and function.  It is amazing how many individuals have no idea how to type the underscore.
  2. An URL with hyphens is easier to read than one with underscores.  Most browsers display their URLs using an underlined font.  The hyphen is always visible when the text is underlined, the underscore may not visible at all if the text is underlined.  (hyphen/dash)  (underscore, notice how difficult to distinguish) Potter/  (space, almost identical to the underscore).

    Depending on the font used, it is possible that the underscore is invisible in your URL.  If your report is printed and the user wants to type the URL, he/she will appreciate the use of hyphens instead of guessing the correct URL.
  3. The underscore is not considered a word separator by search engines or by spellcheckers.  For instance searching for "Harry_Potter" will return only the pages having the token "Harry_Potter" (with the underscore between Harry and Potter).  At first, this behavior may appear undesirable, however many software developers do search the web for sample source code.  For instance, searching for "MAX_PATH" is not the same as searching for "MAX PATH" or "MAX-PATH".  You are welcome to try searching and see the different results.  If you search for MAX_PATH, the search engine will return *only* pages containing the token MAX_PATH (with the underscore between MAX and PATH), which is exactly what the software developer wants to find.

Tip #4: Keep your URL short and easy to remember

Like any website, it is best to keep your URL as short as possible.  For instance, it is much preferable to use the following URL instead of   Having a shorter URL is easier to remember, faster to type and also less complicated to send by email.  The URL of your report should be less than 70 characters, so it will not get wrapped into two lines when you send it by email.

Tip #5: Avoid redundant keywords

Your URL should not repeat the same keyword.  Since the URL already includes the keyword "family" and "tree", you do need to repeat those keywords.  (best)  (the keyword family is redundant)

You are welcome to include your family name in the URL to give more emphasis for that name on the report.

Tip #6: Avoid all CAPITAL LETTERS and use CamelCase instead.

Writing a phrase or a URL in uppercase letters is much difficult to read than its lowercase equivalent.  The best solution is to use CamelCase where you capitalize the first letter of each words.  (best - using CamelCase)  (acceptable - all lowercase)  (to avoid!)


Tip #7: Do not delete your previous report before updating it

We have noticed many users delete their old report before uploading a new report.  Deleting a report deletes the whole history of the report, including the visitor statistics.  If you have a brand new family report to upload at the same URL as a previous report, just upload it there.  Our online publisher is optimized to handle such scenario and will overwrite the necessary files from the previous report.

You are welcome to rename your old report before publishing a different report at the same location.  Renaming a report will preserve the full log and visitor statistics history for that report.


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