We are still receiving feedback about the Geneanet model which combines a free website with a Premium subscription
As this new year begins, it’s an opportunity to recall the basics of the Geneanet model and to answer some frequently asked questions.
How Geneanet works?
Geneanet is based on three cornerstones: contributive, collaborative and Freemium.
Geneanet is the largest community of genealogists involved in mutual aid and sharing in Continental Europe. It’s a website with almost 7 billion of data provided by members, collaborative projects and partners.
The contributive side is about family trees and attached documents (family pictures, archival records, etc.). These are 1.1 million family trees and almost 1.3 billion individuals.
The collaborative side is about projects supported by Geneanet like pictures of graves and cemeteries all around the world (“Save our Graves”), indexes and registers (parish, notarial, military and other archives). It’s also original projects like “Now and Then”.
As of today, there are 2.5 million pictures of graves, 22 million images of archival registers, and more than 96 million individuals in the collaborative indexes.
Behind the site, there is an important technical infrastructure with more than 60 high capacity servers, 260 terabytes of redundant storage, 100 million requests per day.
This infrastructure also needs a team of 30 people to ensure the development and the maintenance of the site.
Geneanet is a Freemium website
Geneanet is based on a Freemium model which combines a free website and a Premium subscription.
Every member has access to a free comprehensive offer. This offer allows to create a family tree with an unlimited number of individuals, with an unrestricted use, without any ads, and with a number of customization, printing and alert tools. This offer includes a search engine by last name, first name and place. Unlike some other websites, you don’t have to pay to view the family tree of other members and to contact them.
The free offer also provides access to the contents shared by our members. All the contributive data is available for free for all Geneanet members.
Geneanet also proposes a Premium subscription which includes, among other options and services, the advanced search with additional criteria: spouse, parents, name variants, nearby places, the automatic matching of your entire family tree with the Geneanet database, the email alerts wich allow you to receive a weekly email summary of the latest entries, the access to the Genealogy Library with millions of books and newspapers, and more than 3 billion indexed individuals, the access to genealogy society indexes provided by Geneanet partners, and a personalised assistance.
Geneanet, a free website with a Premium subscription
Sharing, mutual help and free access are the basics of Geneanet. This makes it very attractive.
You don’t subscribe to Geneanet Premium only for the additional options and services but also to help the development of the free section of the website.
It is indeed a paradox: Premium members are paying so that Geneanet can be an open and free website.
Subscribing to Geneanet Premium is not only a way to access additional options and services, but also to allow the original model, as described above, to exist.
Some years ago, the Premium subscription was called “Club Privilege”. First members had little benefit and subscribed to preserve the free options and services.
We feel that it is important to recall this basics. For more than 23 years, we are proud that we succeeded in preserving this balance, in a strong spirit of collaboration.
In conclusion, you are part of a community of mutual help and sharing. You are welcome whatever your level of experience in the use of Geneanet! If you subscribe to Geneanet Premium or if you renew your subscription, keep in mind that it’s not only purchasing a product but sharing a certain idea of genealogy.