and Web Site Standards/Guidelines
Are you a new volunteer Coordinator? Welcome to the USGenWeb Project!
Are you a new State or Assistant State Coordinator? Congratulations!
If you are new to the Project, you might want to check out the New Member
Survival Guide at http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/newvolunteer.shtml for
general information about the Project.
Whether you are new to the Project or a new State Coordinator, you will find answers to many of your questions in this guide. New CCs/LCs can contact their SC for answers to any questions not found here. Should there be any changes made to these Guidelines/Standards, you will be notified by your State Coordinator and this web page will be updated.
Items listed as *Required* are the essentials -- minimum requirements for Coordinators and Project sites. Beyond the essentials, you can be as creative as you wish with the design and format of your site.
The *Strongly Recommended* and *Recommended* items will help you as a webmaster and will assist visitors to your site, so we ask that you implement all that are appropriate to your site.
First, here are the acronyms and terms you will frequently see in this document
and elsewhere within the USGenWeb and your State GenWeb Project:
CC = County Coordinator
SC = State Coordinator
LC = Local Coordinator
(Used for coordinators of townships, city/town and special state
projects i.e. Military, Marriages, Mystery Photos, etc.).
TOC = Table of
The terms “Coordinator” and “Local Coordinator” are
used throughout the Bylaws, Standard Rules and Sustaining Rules. Within
these Guidelines “Coordinator” is used to refer to all members
of The USGenWeb Project. A full title is used (e.g. State Coordinator)
County Web site = Applies equally to borough, parish, town/city, township
and special state projects and Special Projects web sites.
Index [index.htm or index.html] Home, or Main page = All of the terms reference
the first page a visitor sees when going to your web site. Within these
Guidelines the term "Index" page is used.
XXGenWeb = Where XX represents a State Project, i.e., ALGenWeb
Project = The USGenWeb Project.
Your web site - As
the owner of your web site, you have the option of establishing your web
site on any server. Project web sites are hosted by a variety of servers,
many of them free of charge. Your SC is available to help. Check with
your SC for any particular state requirements for county web sites. If you
are changing an existing web site, check with your SC about any state guidelines
regarding removing any currently posted information.
Some of the state coordinators
have prepared sample pages to help you get started. If your state does not
have a sample file, you can check out other well-established websites for
ideas. Some coordinators have had the opportunity to fine-tune their web
sites over time, so you should be able to find some excellent ideas.
If you need help creating/editing or uploading your pages, help is available
at http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/tutorials/ .
If you have problems not addressed by the tutorials, additional
information is available by subscribing to the USGW-HELPPAGES E-mail list. To
subscribe to the list version, send a message to USGW-HELPPAGESfirstname.lastname@example.org or
for the digest version USGW-HELPPAGES-Demail@example.com with
the word "subscribe" (without quotes) in the subject line and the
text body and nothing else in the body of the message.
Below you will find listed
required and recommended items for Project members and Project web sites.
Please read through all of the information as there are sections for "ALL" project
members web sites and specific information for other sections of the membership
and web sites.
for the coordinator must be on their USGenWeb Project site. The coordinator's
name and contact information (email address and/or Email
Registry ID) must either be on the main/index page of the site,
or there must be a link to a "Contact Info" page. If using
a "Contact Info" page, the coordinator's name must still
be on the main/index page of the site. (See AB: motion 2008/09-11;
Approved 4 Mar 2009.)
are expected to respond to public and/or county coordinator inquiries
within a reasonable timeframe.
members are responsible for adhering to the Project's Copyright Policy
Section X for more information). Check with your SC for any particular
state requirements for county web sites. Although the Project Policy
specifically addresses genealogy information, it pertains also to
all facets of the web site, i.e., graphics, html coding, backgrounds,
audios, videos, etc. A copyright notice can be as simple as © “your
name” and "current year". For more information see http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/copyright.shtml.
of funds for personal gain is inappropriate except as provided for
in the Project's bylaws (see http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/bylaws.shtml,
section IX, subsection B) .
All web sites shall include prominent
display of The USGenWeb Project logo on
the index page (see http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/bylaws.shtml,
Section IX, Subsection A. "Prominent" is defined as standing
out; readily noticeable; conspicuous, per Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
The USGenWeb Project
logo that you use on your web site must be one of the official logos
chosen by the membership. These logos can be found at http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/logos.shtml (see http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/bylaws.shtml,
Section IX, Subsection A).
USGenWeb Project logo must not be altered in any way (size, colors,
etc.) Inclusion of the logo in a banner is not considered to be an
There must be
a link to the USGenWeb National site at
If used as a
link, the logo or the name of the USGenWeb Project must link directly
back to the USGenWeb Project index page at
http://www.usgenweb.org (see http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/bylaws.shtml,
section IX, subsection A).
Recommended for ALL:
run URL/Link checker
A Disclaimer about
outside links, for example: "Links to web sites that are not
part of the USGenWeb Project are provided for your convenience and
do not imply any endorsement of the web sites or their contents by
The USGenWeb Project."
SCs & ASCs and/or State Project sites:
Each state shall
have a State Coordinator and either an Assistant State Coordinator
or other support person/team in place in the event that the State
Coordinator is unavailable for a period of 30 days or more .
Section XII, Subsection A.)
The National Coordinator
shall subscribe all State and Assistant State Coordinators or designated
State Support person(s) to the State Coordinator's mail list. All
official matters to do with the project and announcements from the
national level are posted on this list (see
Section XII, Subsection D). Subscription to this list is mandatory.
and Assistant State Coordinators or designated support person(s)
must provide their name, postal address, and phone number to the
National Coordinator to be held in strictest confidence and to be
used only in the case of an emergency. The email address of all support
person(s) must also be provided. (See
Section XII, Subsection D.).
The state coordinator
is required to maintain a state mail list with all local coordinators
subscribed. (See http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/bylaws.shtml,
Section XII, Subsection D.)
and/or Assistant State Coordinators are required to forward all Project-wide
announcements to the state mail list. They shall also forward other
messages of interest regarding the state and/or region as appropriate.
or a designated person/committee are required to periodically check
to make sure that all the county web sites are adhering to the few
USGenWeb Project requirements (logo, queries, etc.) and that they
are updated within a reasonable amount of time (see http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/bylaws.shtml,
Section XII, Subsection F).
The state has the responsibility to remove links to local-level project websites not meeting the USGenWeb Project standards/requirements (see http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/bylaws.shtm, Section XII, Subsection G).
links are required for State web sites: (See http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/bylaws.shtml,
Section XII, Subsection B):
1. A direct link
to all county sites.
2. A direct link to the National USGenWeb Project site at http://www.usgenweb.org
3. A direct link to the USGenWeb Archives Project at http://usgwarchives.net,
as well as one to the State level Archives at http://usgwarchives.net/xx/xxfiles.htm
4. A direct link to the member-approved official USGenWeb Project logos
5. A direct link to the USGenWeb Project Copyright Policy at
6. A direct link to the WorldGenWeb Project at http://www.worldgenweb.org/
Recommended for SCs & ASCs and/or State Project sites:
Provide for queries about unknown counties
Provide a surname
registry for unknown counties
A link to the
Archives search option at http://usgwarchives.net/search/searcharchives.html.
Require that County and/or Local Coordinators provide complete contact information, i.e. name, postal address and phone number.
for SCs & ASCs and/or State Project sites:
Required for County/Local Coordinators and
County/Local Project sites:
Your State Coordinator
will subscribe you to the state's email list. All official matters
to do with the Project and announcements from the National level
will be posted on your state's mail list. See http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/bylaws.shtml,
Section XI, Subsection B.)
Each county site
must provide an easily accessible area for queries. See http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/bylaws.shtml,
Section XI, Subsection C.) If your state doesn't have other requirements,
there are several options available. Three are:
1. You may provide
a link to an existing message board related to your county. - or
2. Coordinators may generate their own query systems, such as mail
merge on their web sites. - or -
3. You can use an established system such as rootsweb.com
or ancestry.com http://www.ancestry.com/,
sites must have a direct link to the state's project. (See http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/bylaws.shtml,
Section XI, Subsection C.)
Strongly Recommended for County/Local Coordinators
and County/Local Project sites:
research information for your county: names, addresses & phone
numbers for the county court clerk, library and genealogical and/or
page showing the reference books available for your county.
Recommended for County/Local Coordinators and County/Local
Coordinator, join the county mail list(s) for the county/counties
that you coordinate.
Include a link
to or instructions for subscribing to county mail list(s) that are
related to the site(s) you coordinate..
Link to the WorldGenWeb
Project at http://www.worldgenweb.org
Once again, we welcome you
to The USGenWeb Project.