|Now it's time to begin developing
First of all, several tips applicable
to everyone who puts a website on FreePages, no matter what method you use to develop your website:
- Rules were NOT made to be broken.
Do not include any files in your web that are not allowed
on Freepages. If so, the server may not allow you to upload,
and if they find that you have done so your account could be
disabled. When you signed up for Freepages web space, you had to
read and accept the items in the original agreement at
lists some of the items, but you should also read the
Acceptable Use Policy. Some
of the basics of what is not allowed are
- files that are used
storage (such as MP3, zip files, video files, etc.);
GEDCOMs - these are
storage, too - see the link for suggestions on what to do if you
want to get your entire GEDCOM online;
- files that cannot display the ad
banners (examples include files of Adobe PDF, MS Publisher, etc);
- pages that are password-protected - if you don't want everyone to see it, don't
put it on the web;
- content that is illegal, obscene, indecent, defamatory, incites
racial or ethnic hatred or violates the rights of others (examples
copyright violation or
as well as the obvious ones);
- pages for the purpose of commercial use, advertising or fee for
service (selling something).
You can link to other websites which may contain some of these
things, but you are not allowed to load these items or sell anything from your FreePages space or
your account will be closed.
- One for all. FreePages supports .htm, .html, and .shtml pages.
The .shtml are secure pages,
primarily used by retail sites, so you probably won't need those
since selling things on Freepages is forbidden.
Either .htm or .html will work well. It's best to use only
one page name extension, just so you can easily remember what they
- A Capital Idea. Capitalization is important - in your ID and password as
well as your page names, pictures, and links. The Unix server at
RootsWeb treats items with the same name as different if they have
different capitalization - index.htm and Index.htm and index.HTM
and INDEX.htm are seen as different pages by the server. When you're linking to a
file, the link must be EXACTLY the same name as the item you're
linking to or the server won't be able to find it and you'll have
a bad link.
May I STRONGLY suggest that you put everything in lower case
(small letters)? I found out myself (and heard later from a lot of
other people) that if I forgot, and some had capitals and some were in
small letters, the links didn't work correctly when I put the
wrong version on the link. This applies to page names,
pictures, and anything else you put on your webpages.
- Don't space out. Your file names (webpages and pictures on your
site) should never have a space in them.
often cause a problem with uploads. And some browsers will
not load items (web pages or pictures) which have a space in the name. So it's
best to not have spaces in the names at all. If you don't
want names that run together, use a dash - or underscore _ where a
space would be .
For instance - zuber_cheri-page.htm
- Don't get framed! Search engines don't understand
frames. When the search engine
visits the website to spider it for indexing on the search engine,
then the spider will either leave or
only look at the pages on the site that aren't in frames, so your
page may not show up in search engines like Yahoo, Google, Alta
frames don't work well on FreePages.
RootsWeb ads are added to your site every time there is a
beginning and ending body tag, which on a normal page is at the
top and bottom. However, on a frame page each frame has its
own body tags, so an ad appears at the top and bottom of each and
every frame which can get messy and unappealing. So think
twice before using frames. Try using
Include (SSI), or
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to
achieve the affect you're going for.
- Make mine a double. If you're publishing to more
than one community/directory of Freepages, it can get confusing
and sometimes difficult to keep them in line and remember what
goes where. I've found it best to set up the pages for each
community as a
separate web on your computer to make it easier to publish when
you're ready to do so.
- What's your name? There are three different
"names" for any webpage:
- The header is the major heading on your page that everyone
sees when they open a webpage. (on this page it is the big blue
words "Genealogy Computer Tips")
- The title tag or title element (officially it's element, but
many people call it a tag) Title and Meta tags are important.
(On this page it is "Computer Tips - Page Development").
This is the "official" name of your page. It shows in the
bar at the top of the browser when a page is opened. It is
also the name that RootsWeb uses to index your page.
Usually the title tag will match the header on your page, but
it's not absolutely essential. As you move on in developing your pages, be sure to check out the
information for adding the
Title tag and
to your site to enable viewers to find your site better..
- The file name (i.e. index.htm) Your home page / entry page at the first level of your website should be
named index.htm or index.html (or any capitalization version of
that) for two reasons:
- The Unix server, when someone goes to your web folder, will
automatically pull up the index page if nothing else is
specified (assuming one exists!). If there is no
index page, individuals will see your directory when they don't specify a page in the URL. Also, having
an index page allows you to be able to give out a shorter URL to
(http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~zuber/ rather than
having to add the actual page name to it and making the URL
longer - http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~zuber/index.htm).
- An index page must also be present at the first level of
your website for the FreePages server to index your page and add
it to the
FreePages directory. You must also have a
on your page for it to be indexed properly.
- Besides the "required" index page in your main folder, you
could have an index page in every folder of your site. It is entirely a matter of preference, but having an
index page in every folder would avoid having
someone able to view a directory of your pages rather than the
Now remember these items as we move on to
actually begin developing your