It’s been five months since the conversion to WordPress and overall I am very happy with the result. We’re seeing between 100 and 150 page hits per day, about 22,000 altogether over the five month period. Although I’d like to make a few modifications, the overall “look and feel” of the site is simpler and cleaner, and it works better on mobile devices and with different screen sizes.
WordPress is much superior to the previous DreamWeaver-developed site as far as authoring is concerned. Editing existing webpages is tremendously simpler than it was on the old site. Adding new pages is also a faster and simpler process. The most time-consuming elements are converting footnotes and end notes into in-line text (as required by the WP plugin) and inserting HTML to properly format list items and boxes.
But nothing is perfect, and one of my complaints is that WordPress has some annoying limitations when it comes to formatting text. Adjusting line spacing is a major pain that requires adding HTML to virtually every page.
The conversion to WordPress did not apply to much of the information on the website that continues to be presented in the form of pdf files. A number of text documents, perhaps 2,000 printed pages overall, cannot be converted into webpages for two reasons. About half are dated lists of records formatted in two columns similar to HTML definition lists, a format not supported by WordPress. (Yes I could manually and laboriously convert a Word document into HTML, but it would still remain outside the WordPress structure.) The remaining documents utilize outline numbering, which is not possible in WordPress (though I suppose it’s really an HTML issue rather than a WordPress issue). At any rate, a good deal of the website will remain as linked files outside the WordPress structure.
The transfer of all the files from Bob’s Genealogy Filing Cabinet II is now complete. Plus, I have now transferred the files from the original Bob’s Genealogy Filing Cabinet that were never converted for the “Cabinet II”. I’ve also added a dozen or so new webpages and a number of personal ancestral photos. Most of the 300 or so webpages on the site were rewritten and so probably have some typos that I haven’t caught — let me know if you find some typos or awkward phrasings that annoy you.
Today I also added a bare-bones pedigree chart to the “About Bob” page. I’ll add some detail to it later. Maybe.
As of today, genfiles.com is running on a new host under WordPress. The development website (genfiles.org) is no more; it has been renamed as genfiles.com and the “old” genfiles.com has been replaced. This “new” website is essentially identical to the old one in terms of content, but the look and feel have changed.
The names of some webpages have changed as a result of this move. All the webpages have been transferred to this site, but some of them may have different names. If you have saved links to “old” genfiles.com webpages, those links may not work here. Since all the pages were transferred intact, it should be easy for you to locate the pages you’re looking for. If not, do a search or contact me for help.
The website has a lot of pdf documents. The links are visually identified with an Adobe Reader icon and the documents will open in a new browser tab. There are three reasons why I use so many pdf documents:
- Length: Any document in my files that is more than 15 or so pages has been converted to a pdf document. Some of the smaller files may eventually be replaced by multiple webpages as I find time to convert them.
- Numbering: Most of my genealogies use the d’Aboville numbering system because Microsoft Word produces the numbers automatically with its “outline numbering” feature. There is no counterpart in html, meaning that duplicating the numbering on a webpage covering more than one or two generations is very difficult. So for the time being, every document in my files that addresses more than two generations is converted to a pdf.
- Formatting: A number of my Word documents use other sorts of formatting that is awkward or time-consuming to reproduce on a webpage. Some of these may be converted eventually but initially they are presented here as pdf documents.
If you happened to reach this website (www.genfiles.org) through some search engine, you should know that it is a website in process. I am using it to convert www.genfiles.com to WordPress on a different host. And, incidentally, to rewrite a number of its pages. When I’m happy with the conversion I will change the domain from genfiles.org to genfiles.com. So you might want to avoid saving or publishing any links to genfiles.org.
Why am I doing this? WordPress offers me the opportunity to modernize the website in several ways — improve its readability, make it usable on tablets and smartphones, and make it much easier to maintain. WordPress will make it loads easier for me to add new pages and edit old ones, which means I can handle more frequent and timlier updates. I am using WordPress as a CMS (content management system) rather than as a blog manager, but I may implement the ability of readers to add their comments to pages.