I have a father who is very passionate about genealogy, and, since I work as a web developer, I often try to develop tools for him, to present his reseach to our family. But, then I thought, why not make a tool/website, where a person could upload their gedcom file (or other format), choose between a couple of different layouts, and, voila, the family history would be online. The idea could off course also be expanded into different areas, like being able to use the online tool instead of your local genealogy software like ex. Brothers Keeper.
Sounds like you are trying to re-create the wheel. The tools are already out there on one genealogy site or another. Free webspace is also out there. Most ISPs also give you webpage space. Personally, I write my own web page using notepad–lots of pictures included. You say that the online data bases’ “main purpose of bringing people together” and this is absolute true–why else would we want to post our info (in whatever form) if not to connect with others. It really doesn’t have to be pretty it just needs enough info to help others identify a relationship with you.
My web page is not elaborate yet I am always being contacted by people who found a connection–which is why I wrote it in the first place. It is true that reports created by FTM, PAF, Legacy Deluxe, or what-have-you, together with the HTML that came to be based on them, are all so much lifeless prose — sentences that were programmed in, and it shows. It does not follow, however, that adding graphics will answer the charge. And that is, indeed, not the recommendation of the most noted critics of those reports.
What they do recommend is better, more explanatory writing — from scratch if necessary. (See e.g. Elizabeth Shown Mills and Gary B. Mills, “Editors’ Corner: Wizardry with Words,” _National Genealogical Society Quarterly_ 88 : 3.) In other words, if Mads and Dad insist on Web publication (or merely if Mads insists on it and Dad goes along), the least they should do is treat it first as a *writing* project. In my opinion good prose writing is a more desirable ability than attractive page designing, for the simple reason that the former stands to make a greater permanent contribution to genealogy.
With proper data organization, the result can be made very personal without the addition of graphics. And with an appropriate, flexible design, the graphics may perhaps be integrated in a manner coherent with the underlying schematic, rather than just dumped onto the page as others might dump a pile of facts. The odds of overall success are greater if the pages are handmade. A Web developer really ought to know how difficult it is to develop a utility that can integrate images with HTML as *intelligently* as he or she does on a regular basis in a variety of circumstances.