Notes from the past…

Major changes on the way!

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In the past week I have been extremely busy! I made the move to self-hosting, and then had to download to my computer the WordPress.org version and then upload and install in on my hosted site, and then export/import my blog into it. A real hair-puller-outer, let me tell ya! (Need help? Read WordPress for Dummies) But I finally got that up and running pretty smoothly.

Next step was a online GEDCOM-type program that could be added to my new site. I was originally looking at PhpGedView, which is open-source and therefor FREE, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it installed. I have a basic working knowledge of code and can even write a bit, as long as I have my handy-dandy Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML in my lap! And I am quickly learning, through much trial-and-error, about MySQL and PHP and the mechanics of self-hosting. So I’m not totally over my head, but I’m not treading water, either. (You like the poorly-disguised reference to Hurricane Gustav? He’s headed for the Louisiana/Texas coast with a vengence!)

My next choice for my genealogy database was The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding, TNG for short. TNG is very similar to PhpGedView…with one major exception: my hosting company will install it and get it set up for free! Well, that was a no-brainer. TNG costs $29.99, a good investment for me, certainly cheaper than treating a new ulcer!

So now I have my WordPress.org blog and my genealogical database program both installed and functioning on my hosted site.

But what I really want is for TNG to be accessed through my blog, so how to make the connection?

Plugins, my Dear Watson!

Here the versatility of WordPress.org presents itself. I went to the WordPress plugin directory and found a plugin called Page Links To, which “allows you to make certain WordPress pages or posts link to a URL of your choosing, instead of their WordPress page or post URL.” Easy to install and activate (download zipped file, unzip, unload to plugins directory, go to plugins page from administration page, find plugin listed, click on activate button).

Now all I had to do was create a new page and add the URL of my database to the final configuration “question”, and now I have a direct link to my TNG database. Notice the Database tab at the top of the screen.

What’s left to do? Lots!

  • Rewrite my Welcome page to reflect the changes
  • Probably delete the Surname pages altogether, as this data can now be found through the TNG page
  • Eventually “personalize” the TNG look a bit. I have already managed to change the title on the home page and insert a different image. As I said, I know a little code (fast food vs home cooking!)
  • Reorganize and consolidate my blog’s categories listing. Through this process of changing to WordPress.org, I realized that I have way too many categories, too confusing. Need a little pruning there.
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