My TNG experience
For many years, I maintained and expanded two separate versions of a family history web site by coding every line in html. Before that, I had a family history environment on my computer, written in BASIC. That still has some unique features, but Qbasic has all but disappeared, and I have not tried to convert my program to Visual Basic. My web environment allowed me to share my information, and I could create exactly the look I wanted. I have now got to the stage where I have lots of information still to be added, but am acutely aware that it was not portable in any way. I was well advanced in the planning towards writing my own PHP/SQL suite of programs, but when I found Darrin's software, I knew I had found my solution.
Decision to Purchase
My main concern was whether I wanted a web only environment for all my data. I have lots of photos and other info, and I thought I would fill my hosted space before I load everything. I also wanted the option to add and amend data on my laptop even if I was not connected to the web. I installed a web server on an earlier laptop for this purpose, even though I discovered the process was not for the faint-hearted. I have found TNG on the web does everything I need, and do not currently have a version on my laptop. You should have a laptop I decided TNG was for me, so with a purchase price around US$30, I decided to proceed.
Just a few words about web hosting and Domain names. You need to spend a few dollars to host your copy of TNG. Normally, your ISP (the Company you pay for your home or work internet connection and Email account) will not include the ability to run PHP/SQL programs of your choosing. You need the features that paid hosting provides. There are many good providers out there, but I use and recommend
www.namecheap.com. I pay about US$60 pa for all the services I want. This includes Cpanel, which is a suite of tools to manage all aspects of your web environment. Namecheap provide the web server, PHP and MySQL, all ready to run.
The next thing you need is a Domain name (like www.jansquire.com). This is more professional looking, and you will need one if you buy web hosting. I use and recommend
www.namecheap.com. Any dotcom name you like, if it is available, for about US$10pa. It does take a bit of time to understand how everything goes together, but it is knowledge which will put you in the top 10% of web users, and you will be on your way to managing all aspects of your web environment.
If you are saying to yourself that this is looking too hard, I can say I felt like that once. The steps you need to take are easy to learn, and are explained on the web sites. If you have a problem, someone else has been there before and written about it - Google will find the discussion. It really is easy, but if you have a few hundred dollars to spare and want to pay someone to get everything set up, then it is hard and I can help (Email me).
Purchase, Installation and Set-up
This part is quite easy. Buy the TNG software, and download the zipped file to your laptop. Create a folder somewhere, because most updates are free, and they need to be downloaded each time. Unzip the download and open the 'readme' file. Read carefully and follow instructions.
to be finished . . .