Help:New Member Process

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This walk-through is intended to help Greeters but it may be of interest to anyone who wants to know how a new member of our community first experiences WikiTree.

This describes the process for someone who creates their own account. If a Wiki Genealogist creates a profile for a family member their experience is very different.


Summary of Changes in June 2020

There were significant changes on 1 June 2020.

In prior years, new members who wanted to have a full account were asked to read our mission, "volunteer" to help grow our tree, and enter tags that they would like to follow along with comments describing their interests. They would then wait for confirmation by a Greeter. After confirmation they would have limited editing rights as a Family Member and could proceed to sign the Honor Code.

The new system is designed to be:

  1. more user-friendly, and
  2. more welcoming to everyone with an interest in family history or genealogy, even if they aren't sure they're interested or able to contribute to our collaborative tree.

With the new system, a Guest can immediately confirm themselves if they say (via Special:Genealogist) that they are interested in communicating with cousins or others about genealogy.

Connected to this, at the same time, we introduced what we call Genealogist Sections. These are on all member account profiles, including our own. They feature our "Communication Preferences" and include the other elements that set member profiles apart from other profiles on our tree: DNA tests taken, followed tags, surname activity, and badges.

The key help pages:

For more about the rationale for the changes, see the G2G discussions that started with this one in November 2019.

First Step: Registration

Login directs you to the page for creating an account if you don't already have one.

The new registrant is considered a Guest member but at this stage their email address still needs to be confirmed.

Email Address Confirmation

After submitting the registration form the new member sees a page telling them that they need to confirm their email address and that they should see the confirmation message in their inbox.

This page, and the confirmation message in their inbox, focus entirely on confirming the email address. (In prior years, they both had a lot of other text and links.)

This page does have the pull-down menus and it's possible for a member to click around before confirming their email address. If they do this, they see large messages at the top of most pages telling them that they need to confirm their address.

After Confirmation

After clicking the email address confirmation link the new member sees their Navigation Home Page.

It is headlined "My WikiTree: Navigation Home Page" as it is for all members, but the body of the page is completely different. Here is how it appears for Guest members:

This text may be further simplified. We are trying not to overwhelm new registrants with text and options.

Links to Upgrade to Family Member Level

Some Guests will click the "add your communication preferences" link described above on their Navigation Home Page to upgrade their account. Others will want to explore WikiTree first.

At the top right of every WikiTree page, as the last link in the pull-down menu line, Guests see an Upgrade Account link.

Also, on their profile page, where it says "Guest Member" beneath their name, they see an upgrade link.

Here is an example of how those links appear:

Upgrading to Family Member Level

The upgrade links go to Special:Genealogist.

This is the same page we see, however, it is headlined differently. Here is how it appears for Guest members:

After Upgrading to Family Member Level

After submitting the Special:Genealogist form, the new Family Member sees the same thing we see if we submit or edit the form. It says, "Thank you. Your answers have been saved. See them on your profile."

We assume that new Family Members will want to look at things on their profile. They may want to start adding nuclear family members.

As it says on Help:Membership, Family Members can do most of the things that Wiki Genealogists can do. As they make edits they will see more and more messages suggesting that they sign the Honor Code.

Links to Upgrade to Wiki Genealogist Level

The Navigation Home Page for a Family Member is the same as it is for Wiki Genealogists, but Family Members will see other prominent upgrade links in the same places they saw them as Guests:

  1. At the top right of every WikiTree page, as the last link in the pull-down menu line, they will see an Upgrade Account link.
  2. On their profile page, where it says "Family Member" beneath their name, they will see an upgrade link.

These links go to Special:Honor_Code.

The Honor Code page looks the same as it does for us except that Family Members see an orange box that says "Signing will upgrade a Family Member account to the Wiki Genealogist level."

This page was last modified 14:45, 30 March 2022. This page has been accessed 2,989 times.