Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Using Dropbox to Host a Personal Website
The quickest and easiest way I have found to put a family history database online is this:

Since I use the free Personal Ancestral File software, I ask PAF to generate a "webpage", then I move the website folder that PAF creates to my Dropbox's "Public" folder. I open the website folder and right-click on the index file, then from the Dropbox menu I copy the ULR. Dropbox automatically copies the website to their servers.

For example, here is a website that I created in about 10 miutes (I subsequently tweaked the index file to add a photo and change the layout sightly, but the original version generated by PAF was perfectly OK.)

This approach avoids the need to find a webhost, install and learn FTP software, and worry about rules that govern the size and number of files you can host, worry about the possible contents of advertizing banners, etc. My largest website is about 50MB, so a free 2GB Dropbox account might hold hundreds of large websites.  I use PAF, but other genealogy software can usually generate websites too. These instructions would apply equally well to them.


For information on using a free Dropbox account to automatically synch your genealogy data across multiple computers, see my other Dropbox article.


Blogger said...

Dear Bill , I have been reluctant to move out of PAF 5 because I have used it for so long and after test others , it has all I need. After seeing your PAF display hosted by your dropbox account , I am encouraged to stay with it . One question : in your PAF files , where did you key in in all the additional information( like the stories,poem ,ect) on the person , in the NOTES that ended up displayed so well on your dropbox site ?? How much can PAF "Notes" hold ( So far , I have not run out of space !).

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 9:44:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Bill Buchanan said...

My own feelings towards PAF are similar. Newer programs may have additional features, but PAF is still an amazing program.

I use PAF's notes extensively. Instead of a brief reference to where information was found, I like to quote the entire obituary, biography, census entry, marriage certificate, etc. It is my understanding that there is no limit to the size of PAF's notes. And, as you say, they show up beautifully in web pages generated by PAF. Just one word of caution ... avoid publishing your notes on living people.

Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 6:50:00 PM MDT  
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