Other genealogy web site tools create a set of finished (“static”) HTML pages, sometimes one or more for each person in your file. You may end up with hundreds or thousands of web pages to upload and maintain! What if you have changes in your data? Sorry, you’ll need to recreate and reload all of those pages all over again. What if you don’t like how they look? If you can’t figure out how to manipulate the program then your only other choice is to make the changes to each of the thousands of pages yourself.
TNG uses a database to create your pages dynamically, as they’re requested. That means no huge load of pages to create and upload each time you have a change, and if you want to tweak the look and feel, you do it in one location and it’s done for the entire site.
Choose a design from one of TNG’s built-in templates or do everything yourself. You can also manipulate colors, layout and fonts with cascading style sheets (CSS) if you’re up to it. A settings page allows you to easily change the values of many system variables. In addition, you can edit your template’s header and footer to change what you see at the top and bottom of each page. A look at some of the many sites already running TNG will reveal a fraction of what’s possible.
All individual and family records are laid out in a simple user-friendly format, one person to a page. With each person you’ll also see links to photos, histories, headstones and other media, pedigree, descendancy, timeline and relationship charts, plus notes and sources, and family records for each marriage. If visitors see a problem, they can even use the Suggest tab to send you a message.
Advanced pedigree charts
TNG’s pedigree charts can display an indefinite number of generations (you decide the maximum you’ll allow) in several different formats for every person in your database. Attached photos and dropdown data boxes with additional information make it the centerpiece of the whole application. With a single click, jump to the individual page or a new pedigree for anyone on the chart. You can even switch parents! And if that’s not enough, the standard TNG pedigree charts also allow smooth browsing from one generation to the next. Climb up and down the entire tree without ever refreshing the page.
Start with any individual, then pick any other person in your tree and TNG will display a graphical chart of their relationship. If the individuals are not related within a designated number of generations, TNG will tell you that as well.
In a glance see an indefinite number of descendant generations for every person in your file (again, you decide the maximum), with links to each person’s individual page. In the text-only chart, collapse or expand each generation. For each descendant listed on the text-only chart, you can also click to view a graphical tree tracing the line. Plus, switch easily between Standard and Register formats.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Standard descendancy chart can instantly be toggled to display in text-only or Register format, which for some means a more readable alternative. More data in many cases as well.
Display a bar chart comparing the lifespans of an unlimited number of individuals from your database. Start from any individual and add any person you browse to, or others. Plus, the chart is saved until you close your browser window. Add your own events to the timeline too.
Track DNA tests taken by the people in your trees.
Upload and link several photos, documents, histories, videos or audio recordings to individuals, families and sources. Give each item a title and description as well. You can even apply an image map, allowing you to assign different links to various parts of the photo or people in the picture. For histories, you can even compose your text right in TNG, or simply cut and paste your text or HTML from another application. Browse all media at once, or search for a keyword to help you find the ones you want. Or, pick one person and cycle through their own private list. Provide (or have TNG generate) a small thumbnail to be used on the pedigree & descendancy charts, and at the top of each individual page.
You can also group your media into “albums”, which can then be linked to individuals or families as a whole.
Get your data into TNG in just minutes by having your desktop program write your data to a standard 5.5 or 5.5.1 GEDCOM file. TNG will then import your file and populate the database with all your information, saving you quite a bit of typing.
Allow visitors to your site to create their own GEDCOM from a subset of your data. If you’d rather not, it’s just as easy to disable this feature. As the administrator, you can also export your entire tree to a GEDCOM if you’d like.
Manual data entry
No GEDCOM? Plan on using TNG as your primary genealogy program? In that case, you may still enter all your data by hand through the user-friendly Admin screens. Even if you did import a GEDCOM, you may find this feature useful for making spot changes without doing another full import.
Allow visitors to register for their own login. No accounts will be activated until you, the administrator, approve of the action. When you do, you can also elect to have TNG send out an automatic notification to the requestor.
To guard against disaster or facilitate a move to a new host, TNG also provides the ability to back up and restore each table in the database. You’ll be informed of when your last backup was made and how much space it’s using. You can also “optimize” each table (remove deleted records, reconstruct indexes), which can sometimes increase speed and efficiency.
Create your own set of custom lists, like “Ancestors with Today’s Birthday” or “Relatives Born in England”. Make use of all TNG’s standard and custom event types in almost any combination, or build your own custom SQL query!
Security and Spam control
Create filters to block unwanted senders or subject material. Google’s reCaptcha utility gives prevents spam from bots. Form field names are also generated dynamically each time you view the page, making it impossible for anyone to automate spam through your site. User passwords are enrypted.
A link on each page now shows you the same page in a new window, without any headers, sidebars or page backgrounds, making it easier to create printouts of what you see without having it cluttered or pushed off the page.
Pedigree, descendancy and individual pages may now be exported in PDF format.
Can be used with WordPress and other content management systems.
Not only does TNG work great on its own, it can also function alongside WordPress and other such systems.
TNG also includes a utility that allows users to easily install or remove code modifications and add-ons written by other users. Wishing for other features? You can write them yourself…or check the TNG wiki to see if someone else has already posted it. Then use the Mod Manager to install it on your site.
Dynamic language switching
If you’ve translated TNG’s display messages into multiple languages, you can have TNG switch dynamically among them. Selecting a language from a dropdown box (visible on most public pages) instantly causes the page (and all subsequent pages until the next switch) to be displayed in the new language.
Custom Event Types
Help TNG handle all those obscure or proprietary GEDCOM tags you’re using by setting up “Custom Event Types.” You could even make up your own tags and still have them imported and displayed by TNG. No other package can match this flexibility!
‘Living’ and ‘Private’ data protected
Visitors to your site will be unable to see data for living or private individuals unless they log in with appropriate access. You can also indicate whether the names of living or private individuals should be displayed. TNG automatically determines who is alive, based on your preferences, and you may manually override that if an incorrect decision is made.
Even though TNG pages are not created until requested, they can still be indexed by external search engines like Google and others. That’s because the finished pages are still just HTML, and the engines have to request the pages the same way you or I would. Just remember that it sometimes takes a while for the crawlers to find your pages. Don’t want them to find you? TNG will let you do that too by requiring all your visitors to log in.