Ruth's Genealogy

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”

I have been using WordPress for both my research blog and my genealogy database for about a month now. What are my impressions of WordPress as a genealogical application?

There are certainly advantages and disadvantages.

The pros:

  • ease of importing my old blog from Blogger into WordPress- extremely simple, all posts and images
  • variety of themes- almost 60 to choose from, filtered according to color, number of columns (1-4), fixed or flexible width, widgets, customizable header, page navigation
  • 3 GB upload space- I have uploaded approx 150 images to my two cemetery pages, plus all the images added to my posts, and have used less than 1% of that 3GB. More space can be bought if necessary
  • multiple pages- can be arranged in hierarchies, with no limits to how deeply nested the pages can be
  • media library- convenient centralized location of all images
  • images are posted with drop shadows and thumbnail size is available
  • tabbed navigation- this feature has allowed me combine my blog and database at one site
  • paid upgrades available – purchased through Paypal, 1 credit equals $1 (ex: 5 GB space upgrade costs 20 credits per year), options include custom domain name, custom css, gifts, space upgrades
  • widgets available
  • stats- extensive charts & tables
  • help- simple and straight-forward (unlike the “attitude” that can be found in Blogger’s help files!), user forum very active, quick response from Support if needed
  • option to login through OpenID
  • the usual amenities available to other free blog sites including comment moderation, privacy options, multiple users

The negatives:

  • the media library is a bit confusing- can be difficult to add an image that is already in the library to a post
  • when posting, the options such as align center and font color do not always work as expected
  • limited variety of widgets
  • flash and javascript not allowed- security reasons (I am unable to place my footnote member card as a widget)
  • css customization as paid upgrade

WordPress has many options that I have not yet explored. But overall, I am still very pleased with it. I can now concentrate much more on research and much less on site management.


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