This is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Many genealogy societies and other organizations would like to create web sites that have some pages visible to the general public and other pages that are visible only to members or to paid subscribers. In fact, such a web site can be a very attractive money-maker for individuals or societies that have published books or lists of extracted records.
You or your society can now sell access to records in electronic format to potentially millions of customers on the World Wide Web. Thanks to the high security features available in today's web servers, your records will not be available to "hackers" or others who have not paid for access. The cost of making records available online probably will be much cheaper than printing, packaging, and shipping traditional books that contain the same information. Best of all, your buyers will obtain the information within seconds after making the purchase instead of waiting days or weeks for a printed book to arrive in the mail.
Using the techniques described in this article and its follow-on next week, an individual or a local genealogy society can also sell memberships online and give the new members instant access to its electronic resources. If you wish, this online access can be time-limited. You can provide access to online material for one year or one month or one day or forever. When the time period has expired, access is removed automatically with no human intervention.
All you need for granting and restricting access as you wish is one software package installed on a suitable web server. You do not need to leave a computer running in your home. A web server in some remote data center controls everything.
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