Follow Friday: GED-GEN Review - GEDCOM to Web Pages

One of the advantages of having your own independent family tree website is that others will often discover it when inputting a simple name search into search engines such as Google – and we all know how rewarding it is when a distant cousin gets in touch or can offer some further information. Having a tree on a commercial site alone (such as Ancestry, Genes Reunited, etc.) will often limit your audience to other users of those particular websites.

This is where GED-GEN comes into its own. What’s GED-GEN I hear you say?

Well, GED-GEN is an extremely versatile piece of software, which turns GEDCOM files (a format which most family tree software programs can export) into customized html web pages (a standard format for web pages). These family tree pages are organized in family group sheet format and are easy to navigate by clicking on the name of a parent, spouse or child.

What I like best is the ability to integrate the generated family tree pages into the rest of my website and have them match the site design perfectly. Nevertheless, the program can easily be used to create a stand-alone family tree website if your web skills are limited.

The number of different options available in the program might seem daunting at first, but there’s a comprehensive Help section on the software creator’s website. It’s worth reading as the results are worth it. One such feature is the ability to choose which facts and notes you want to display and where you want them to appear on the web page. Colours and background images can easily be altered and further formatting is possible if you know how to amend css (cascading style sheets). The latest version also allows for the creation of gallery web pages for the multimedia items referenced in your GEDCOM file (applies to the registered version).

Once you’ve created your web pages using GED-GEN, the one thing left to do is to transfer them to your web space – this could be something your ISP already provides or you could purchase a hosting package from a separate company, together with your own domain name if you like, for a small fee. You’ll generally use a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program to transfer the files and there are many free FTP programs available for download on the Internet.

Trying out GED-GEN is risk free – as a shareware program you can download and use the unregistered version for 30 days. The registered version unlocks further features and costs $20.

To see GED-GEN in action, there’s a sample site at and you can view my own family tree pages at

Note: I have no affiliation to GED-GEN but I can testify to the excellent support offered by the program’s author.

[Why Follow Friday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

Category: General

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Thank you so much for this recommendation of GED-GEN, Annie - it was just what I was looking for. I've written about your website and GED-GEN in my own Follow Friday post here:
Interesting. My software is The Master Genealogist, and I use SecondSite to create Web pages. GED-GEN sounds rather similar to SecondSite (which I love).

Anyone who doesn't have their own Web hosting space should consider using <a href="http://freepages.genealogy....">Rootsweb's Freepages</a>. As the name suggests, this is free! :-)

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