TNG software – The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding by Darrin Lythgoe – is the software I purchased for my new website: Chris Korte’s New Zealand Genealogy Project. This post is to outline my experience with the software since August 2018.
The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding© (“TNG”) is a powerful way to manage and display your family tree on your own website, all without generating any static HTML. Instead, your information is stored in a database and the pages are created on-demand. All you need is a website and TNG!
Following my experience with free websites on Rootsweb I was looking for the following:
- A website that was under my control, not on a free site that could be turned off unexpectedly as happened with Rootsweb.
- A website that displayed my genealogy research plus photos, documents and information about people in my family tree and places linked to people in the tree.
- One website, instead of two that I had maintained on Rootsweb – one to display my family tree information (Rootsweb WorldConnect) and one to display project information not easily displayed on Rootsweb WorldConnect.
- Reduced maintenance time ensuring that website menus, layouts, etc worked with the emerging device and web technologies.
- Easy transfer of genealogy information from desktop genealogy software on my PC to the website, a task I do about four times per year as additional information accumulates.
After some research I settled on TNG as it could meet all my requirements, but could do much more. I thought the TNG software was relatively cheap given what it is capable of, but I also had to purchase a domain name for the website and web hosting. These are all ongoing costs.
For testing, before establishing a public website, I installed TNG on my windows PC with WampServer. This is my test environment for checking before information is loaded onto the public Chris Korte’s New Zealand Genealogy Project website.
TNG has a choice of pre-designed templates. The templates ensure that the website has a professional look and feel, but they are customisable. Chris Korte’s New Zealand Genealogy Project website uses template 13.
In addition to the pages provided by the TNG software, additional webpages can be created. Chris Korte’s New Zealand Genealogy Project website has 40 additional web pages listed in HISTORIES and under the “More” tab of the menu.
My previous project website had over a hundred HTML page files, and displayed none of the family tree, that was on Rootsweb. TNG has all information about an individual on one webpage (not split between two websites), and required relatively few additional pages to cover longer articles about individuals and history.
More information can be shared than previously because this website allows registered users to have access to information that is not displayed to casual visitors.
Information not shared easily before is now made available on the website: headstone photos, photos of individuals and families, documents, notes, newspaper articles, sources.
I continue to maintain my genealogy database on a PC using Brother’s Keeper for Windows, and upload a new GEDCOM to TNG every 3-6 months, depending on the amount of new information that has been collected. Changes to the website are listed on the What’s New page.
There are other features of TNG that I have not mentioned in this review that add to its value. I will mention how I have used some of these in later posts.
In summary, as you can tell, I am very happy with TNG, and recommend anyone looking to set up a genealogy website to give TNG serious consideration.