Major revamp of Wanless Web

Wanless Web has been completely redone (still working on it). The site now uses WordPress instead of static pages, to make it easier to update. I’ve integrated – to some extent – WordPress and TNG (the software that displays the family trees).

What you may notice:

  • New header images full of headshots of various Wan(d)lesses – there are 4 or 5 of these image strips and they will change every page or two depending on how much time has passed.
  • All TNG functions are now available from a single menu bar beneath the header image, and all Research Data pages are accessible from the same bar. It should be easier to move from a WordPress page (such as the English civil birth index) to any other page, including a TNG search page or photos page, by using the drop-down menus in the menu bar.
  • Many new newspaper articles have been added and many articles that used to be categorized as “Histories” have been re-categorized as Newspapers.
  • Many multi-page documents have been rebuilt as “folios” and linked to their relevant people, so it is much easier now to page through these multi-page documents. I will be doing this to several more multi-page documents that are currently linked to their relevant people as single pages.
  • Fixed the problem where many of the photos were displayed only as tiny thumbnails of themselves – if you see any of these left, send me the URL from the address bar of your browser and I will fix it. I may have missed some.
  • Home page now also displays randomly chosen documents and newspaper articles in addition to random photos, to showcase some of the cool stuff we have on the site, and includes links to “see more like these”.
  • Rewritten “Help” page combines the old FAQ and Site Navigation pages into one page.

Here’s what I’ll be working on for the next few days or weeks, depending on how it goes:

  • replacing WordPress’s built-in search (which only searches the WP pages) with a Google custom site search that will search both WordPress and TNG pages. Currently the search box is visible but it’s not functional yet.
  • appearance of the home page – I will probably get rid of the outlined boxes and swap that look for borderless different-colored backgrounds for each box. Also I will be making sure all the links work from this page. Also adjusting the code that displays random documents and newspapers so that it skips PDF files and TIF files, as it apparently can’t display those and shows just a caption with no image currently, which looks weird.
  • adjusting the sizes of header fonts and table styling so that is consistent throughout the site

This process has taken me 2 years, in 2 or 3 month-long bursts of activity. It’s been sometimes hard and sometimes tedious, but I’ve learned a lot and am mostly pleased with the results – and some of the process was fun! My hope is that now it will be so much easier to add new info, I will do it more often. After all, that’s really why we’re here!

 

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