O'Dochartaigh Logo (created by...?)


a clan site
for an
(replace [at] with @)

    1. information
    2. design
    3. service

What Makes a Genealogy Website Great!

Criteria for designing a website that merits praise among genealogists and general visitors alike.

Every page element either enhances or distracts from the intended message. How does your website measure up?

Nominate a site for an award of excellence or special recognition.

The following criteria should be applied to clan related websites, within the context of the mission of the O'Dochartaigh Association.


  • Quality of info
    • The information is well written, clear and direct
    • Info is available for a casual visitor or serious genealogist
  • Quantity of Info
    • There is a rich blend of words and images to convey meaning
    • There is a wealth of general or specific information
  • Research Value
    • Links to external sites are annotated
    • Geneology sources are identified
    • Sources are identified for all info that you did not create yourself. Links are provided where appropriate.
    • Attention is given to how info can be printed easily


  • Visual design
    • The layout is attractive, coordinated and consistent
    • The viewer can identify info that is new since their last visit
    • Font and colour choice enhances readability
    • Images are descriptive and relevant
    • Features enhance the value, and are not distracting
    • sounds, animated graphics and videos enhance value and do not distract
    • Commercial elements, or sponsored links, banners etc, are discrete and ehance, or do not distract from, the value of the site.
    • Point form and headings organize info for on-screen reading. Pages are not overloaded.
    • An overview is provided in brief format on web pages. Detailed info is provided separately, such as in a PDF (Adobe portable document format)
    • Special effort has been put into design to provide an exceptional viewing experience
  • Ease of Navigation
    • The navigation metaphor is appropriate, logical and clear
    • Viewers can get to any page in the site in three clicks
    • There are clearly labeled links to external sites
    • Viewers can identify their location in the site, and know when  they are leaving the site
  • Technical Quality
    • Pages work on different browsers (IE, Mozilla, Opera)
    • All internal page links work
    • External links are current (they work)
    • Audio and video clips works
    • The pages are accessible for special needs viewers, for example: colour blindness, hearing or sight impairment and limited manual dexterity.
    • The site protects the viewers' freedom of choice and privacy...no malicious software or deceptive features.

3. SERVICE to the CLAN

  • Breadth
    • The site exposes the viewer to a broad range of topics, or connects a range of topics together
  • Depth
    • The site provides specific and detailed resource that is relevant
  • Value or Uniqueness 
    • The site provides a special service of value to genealogists, Dohertys specifically or a general service that is of specific value to our site visitors .


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Copyright 1996-2006 by Dochartaigh Association. All rights reserved.
Updated 2006-Jul-24 by Dan