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Rootsweb Help

You just got your website account on Rootsweb -- NOW WHAT DO YOU DO? This information is available on Rootsweb, but it's hard to find. Here are some basic hints and tips you will need to know, all in one spot for easy reference.

RootsWeb Help List is a mail list to help those with pages on the RootsWeb server.
Subscribe by sending a message to:
Whether you have your pages at RootsWeb, Skyways, or another server, it is highly recommended that everyone sub to this list. Lots of helpful information is given, not just concerning the RootsWeb server, but help of any kind.


(An account name shows after the tilda character (~xxxxx)
If you are taking over as County Coordinator (CC) of a GenWeb hosted on Rootsweb space, the former CC will advise you of the Account Name and Password.

No, you cannot change the password, no matter how difficult the assigned one is to type, or whether you promised your Great Dane you'd use his name as a password. Rootsweb assigns all passwords. Once the account name is established, no it cannot be changed. Plus why would you want to-- and have to re-do all that work!

If you are setting up your account for the first time:

DO pick a short acccount name, one that is easy to type and to remember.
Many webmakers choose to use a short form for the county and state. Example: pawash is Washington County, PA

NO, you won't be allowed to choose your own password. Rootsweb has an auto-generator that creates passwords that are difficult to guess.

Rootsweb will create your account information (usually takes 1 to 3 weeks) and send it to the email you provided. Make sure to save it somewhere safe! Many people save the email to a back-up drive, plus they keep a written copy (such as in a notebook for all the sites / passwords you use online).


Ah, your cat spit up on your "password notebook" (see above), or your lovely toddler scribbed all over it so you can't read it? Or, you simply cannot think of your password, no matter how many times you've banged your head against your monitor? Never fear, PASSWORD CENTRAL will rescue you! No one will know so don't feel embarrassed when you've got brain freeze at 3 o'clock in the morning (hehe). Password Central is available 24 hours a day (although you may wait some hours to get the email reply - sorry).

Here is the address:

At Password Central you'll find a checklist for Mailing Lists, Web Sites, Post-ems, and OTHER (like Guestbook Titles and Passwords) that are
associated with your account.

Remember your account at Rootsweb is associated with the mailing address you gave when you first started this insanity--er-- webpages-- or other activities on Rootsweb.

I like to check off every area I've used on Rootsweb just so I get all my "stuff" back in 1 or 2 emails.

You might want to make a Password Central request once every 6 mos or yearly, too, just to have an updated email of things you've created (or
things you've subscribed to, such as Lists.)

* It is important to update your Rootsweb Account if you ever change your email address!

Later, you may need to ask for your password, and if the email you had originally given is defunct, you will not be able to use Password Central to get a reminder. In that case, you'd write to the Help Desk for further assistance.

TIP: When creating your Guestbook (and creating each Webpage with your Guestbook link), consider creating a Guestbook Name that you can use AS a LINK. For example: "Sign Nostalic Thoughts" as a Guestbook Name that is also made into a LINK.

When you go to edit your Guestbook at (what's the edit address? I couldn't find it) and by gosh you can't remember WHAT name you gave it, well, instead of staring at the monitor wondering what to do, visit your webpage and look at the link you used for the guestbook. (Remember, this is dependent on you naming your link AS the name of your guestbook).

If you only used "Sign Guestbook" or an icon saying that, remember, you can always search the code Rootsweb gave you to create the guestbook. The name you used is inside the code. (I think so--right??)

HELP (General)

This link will save you headaches-- from minor headaches to migraines, all without medication!

Help Central is where you will find Help/FAQs for your Rootsweb Website (bottom of page under "Web Sites at RootsWeb & Web Authoring Tools."

It is also where you can access "My Account" (middle section) and make "Address Changes" for updating your email address (top of page).


For Web Authoring (web making) on Rootsweb, there is a separate list (List: RootsWeb-Help Mailing List). You can subscribe (or unsubscribe) at

The RootsWeb-Help Mailing List is a olace to ask other webmasters questions about code to use, get help with problems on your website, advice and tips for common issues, and you can even ask for a critique of a web page (offering a slice of warm apple pie is guaranteed to get you replies.) You'll find honest but kind critiques and suggestions from both new and experienced webmakers. The beauty of this List is that everyone has at one time or another been new to making webpages, so, no one need fear asking questions and seeking help.


Once you've gotten this far, there's no turning back! It's time to create that first webpage and upload it! If you are new to web making, click here for important tips.

If you already know how to create webpages and how to upload, click here for tips about how to expand your learning and webmaking.

Your home page should be named "index.htm or html" and NOT "homepage.htm" or "granny-smith-photos.htm"

Include the ftp address to use

Make SURE you are "in" or "under" their account directory-- not sure HOW to explain that.

See the File Manager at: (is that address right?
I've got mine set to my account so I forget how much of the URL is generic & what part is specific to my account).

With File Manager, explain that new users can go there and "play" (create a new folder, open it, practice uploading a photo or page)... and delete their "play" items-- or delete their mistakes. Also, for advice on how to organize a web site, you could send them to (Cheri J Zuber's pages). They have pictures and good ideas.

NEED to put in URL where to go to edit out GUESTBOOK SPAM

NEED to put a TIP to create a guest book file name OTHER THAN "guestbook.htm" or "guestbook.html" Renaming it to "gb.html" or "guestbk.htm" might help thwart the spammers.

Maybe you could cross-link from your own help pages for scripts etc?

Quick Links
Contact Us

The USGenWeb Project, Free Genealogy OnlineComments and administrative-type problems should be emailed to the National Coordinator. For suggestions, concerns or complaints regarding a specific web site within the USGenWeb Project, please email the National Coordinator.

Direct comments, technical difficulties or suggestions about this web site to the Webmaster.