WikiTree vs FamilySearch vs WeRelate vs Ancestry vs MyHeritage

+10 votes

I am new to WikiTree and my interest is preservation and publication of the genealogy, family photos, and personal stories provided by older relatives who are now gone.  I coached them to use Family Tree Maker and have published most of that tree on WeRelate and Ancestry (except photos which were only recently digitized).

Two Questions:

1. What is the WikiTree community's opinion about posting their geneology (and photos) to other websites?  And to which websites?

2. Since GEDCOMs do not transfer photos, only text, is there any way to put photos/images on different websites other than manually, 1-by-1?

in The Tree House by Lucius Donkle G2G Crew (590 points)

For personal genealogy webpages, among the best I have seen are those powered by “The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding.” See

How permanent the sites are, like any webpage, is anybody’s guess. There is a cost for the software and ongoing costs for hosting your webpage.

I have not personally used this software. My opinion is based on what others have done.

I like to maintain trees on as many websites as possible (and reasonable) to broaden the reach of my information. For example, I regularly receive inquiries from distant relatives who saw information I added to FamilySearch.

Webtrees is running big websites is and open source and free. But as with all self-hosting, as George states, you will need to put time into the maintenance. I prefer WikiTree for the longer term.

I have used “The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding” and confirm that it is excellent. Especially as it is relatively easy to tweak the functionality to meet one's specific needs.

However, it does depend on regular payments to a WebHost supplier - so when I cease to be, the website will probably cease soon after!

So for the sake of "Legacy" I am transferring everything to WikiTree. This is a time consuming process, not least because re-visiting old work throws up new information and exposes old errors!

I have also looked at WeRelate and concluded that it is more formally structured than WikiTree, but that makes it more difficult to enter data and therefore less likely to attract users. Comparing the numbers on WeRelate and WikiTree seems to confirms this.
Well, I really don't know the answer to the second question, but I don't protest anything I share being spread about.

4 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
I don't really know too much about WeRelate, but it looks very nice and professional. I could not find any of my ancestors on there, so to use it would be a lot of work. When I joined WikiTree I considered both sites.

I don't think Ancestry or My Heritage are ideal as a repository for your information and photos. My Heritage limits the number of people you can have in your tree to, I think, 250 unless you purchase a subscription. Both of them are best for searching for records and not storing them. I find the process of adding sources to Ancestry fairly laborious.

WikiTree also allows you a lot of freedom as far as presentation. The site uses a simple Wiki markup. There are also numerous tools to aid in your research (I stopped counting at 20). We also have quite a few members who write apps that they let us use for free to help; it is really quite amazing. Although it is a collaborative site, meaning other people can make changes to your ancestor's profiles, there are still safeguards to ensure the changes are improvements. We are also able to make what they call free spaces. These can be used for anything you want, such as posting your photos or other information. Each photo would only be posted once to WikiTree and then it can be linked to multiple profiles. It is really very easy.

If I were you, I would test drive a couple of sites and see what works for you. I pay for Ancestry so that I have access to their records and use My Heritage's free option for the DNA matches. My most complete work is at WikiTree.
by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (876k points)
selected by April Stacy
Doing a “test drive” is excellent advice.
+11 votes

Speaking only for myself, I see three advantages to WikiTree as your primary repository.

1/ Free to everyone 

2/ There is only one tree and genealogical differences are theoretically worked out.

3/ When members do proper research, what is found in WikiTree is properly documented. 

So, you wouldn’t be posting your genealogy to WikiTree. You’d be working with others on your common ancestry. I see no advantage to posting to multiple platforms. 

by T Stanton G2G6 Pilot (436k points)
4/ preservation: there is an actual plan for obscelesence and that makes a huge difference.

Dallan has tried to have discussions about possibly combining werelate with wikitree, but i dont think it went anywhere because it would still be a huge effort, and who would do it?

The other sites may have disaster recovery plans, but i dont think they have any (or any published anyway) plans for when they run out of funds.
Excellent point, Jonathan, and that is one of the reasons I place my research in WikiTree.
The fact that I can direct family members to a free, accessible site, to share my research, is a major factor in my choosing to use WikiTree.  I love the collaborative nature of the site.  Finally, the presence of projects and the profound abilities of many of the researchers who devote endless energy to their maintenance, is unique to WikiTree.
The other feature of WikiTree that is wonderful is the courtesy and good will that its members display towards one another.  It is a refuge, for me.
+7 votes
I have yet to see a compelling answer to post data / photos to other genealogy websites. I'm here at WikiTree for many reasons.
by Eric Weddington G2G6 Pilot (531k points)
+9 votes
I've been with since nearly the beginning, maybe '97 or '98, so I do have quite a bit there already.  But now my main goal is to put my info/research on WikiTree.  I feel it will be preserved best on WT.  I use Ancestry to search for and view documents to help me add to my branch of the family tree.  I also like the focus on sources and accuracy on WT.  It's reminded me to look closely at documents to make sure they make sense regarding the person I'm researching, not just that they share the same name.  I'm finding more newbies on Ancestry who accepting every hint given to them, not knowing how to look critically at sources.

And I've discovered that making connections here on WT has become an addictive pastime for me.  I get a rush of dopamine when I am able to connect two families.  lol
by Lynnette Hettrick G2G6 Mach 5 (59.4k points)

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