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I used to host a webpage for my family history / genealogy efforts and it is still there but in very basic form and I am debating about resurrecting it but am torn on the format of what is 'effective' today for communicating, collecting, collaborating, and managing family history information.

Note: This was originally posted in Genealogy, I actually use a different software package for Genealogy and am good with it and am not asking for a genealogy specific software recommendation.

I have looked at a couple different formats I have used for other purposes such as a Blog, Wiki, or hosted site. I am, at least at this time, philosophically opposed to hosting it on a paid membership required, random ad supported, or a format that I do not have more control over the information, format, and who can view what information.

There are numerous discussions about software to the desktop and I have looked at GenSoftReviews (search for wiki), but I am looking for something specifically for use myself to host on the web/internet.

Formats I am considering:

  • Blog:
    • Wordpress
  • Wiki:
  • Education
    • Moodle
  • Classic Website
    • Drupal
    • Classic Semi-Static Pages (i.e. Straight HTML, PHP) managed through desktop interface.
    • Livesite
    • TNG

I am NOT considering a Git-GED site or anyone only available via GitHub at this time.

My question Is anyone aware of any specific package available that meets most of my general requirements below that people have had personal success? And secondarily IF you answer the first question can you include thoughts on challenges you have encountered in the Blog vs. Wiki format to back-up your answer as well as any supporting information.

Being this is software, I expect some opinion based answers but also looking specifically for something that meets the following requirements.

  • Easy and Friendly to use for End Users
  • Must have a current look and feel. (As I find many do not)
  • Regular Updates from vendor; including security.
  • Supports Pages, informational.
  • Easy to Update for Me to enter information.
  • Freely or Commercially Available
  • Plug-ins specific to Genealogy; preferably with some DNA management as well.
  • Supports embedded images or video from 3rd party sites
  • Must be Mobile Device Compatible
  • It cannot be a resource hog that will require me to upgrade my hosting package.
  • Must use current technology (HTML5, not require Internet Explorer, supports Linux hosting, & mySQL)
  • Can protect some information except for approved users (i.e. Can't see unless logged in, not necessarily encrypted).

My hosting providers provide one click installs of many of the above mentioned as well as others like (PhpGedView) but I am also interested in other options.

Examples of what I have seen people doing, most of which I do not like mostly because they are not easy to use. (Note all were randomly chosen by looking for examples via Google).

I am heavily leaning towards Wordpress with a plug-in like TNG,but wondering if there is something that may better meet my requirements.

Some examples of good and not so friendly for your consideration: Good: #1, #2 (other than some formatting issues), #3, #4 Not So Friendly: #1, #2, #3

migrated from genealogy.stackexchange.com Dec 27 '14 at 0:57

This question came from our site for expert genealogists and people interested in genealogy or family history.

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    It's good that you ask for a specific package - that cannot be stressed enough: use genealogy software first and do not try to cobble together a genealogy site from generic tools if that can be avoided. Mentioning lots of generic software in your question may steer people into recommending general tools, which is the same mistake as in the early days of computing where people started maintaining databases in word processors and spreadsheets: using the wrong tool for the job. Your solution could be in using a specific genealogy package with the addition of generic tools for e.g. discussions. – Jan Doggen Dec 27 '14 at 10:48
  • @JanDoggen Yes, I updated to clarify I am good with my general Genealogy tool and more looking at an information sharing tool. – CRSouser Dec 27 '14 at 18:08
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I've just gone through a similar analysis myself. I don't have my site(s) live yet to show you, but I settled on Wordpress and TNG. Wordpress because I've already loaded and customized self-hosted Wordpress sites before. And I have been happy with the stability, updates, plugins and user community.

The same for TNG. The user community is fantastic. There are mods you can load or you can get help with customizing an existing one.

So far though, I decided not to fully integrate the two sites but to link to one another. One concern I have about using the full plugin option is long term stability. A user wrote a newer plugin due to some less than optimal 'official' plugin. But that makes me weary about long term stability or usability with the plugin, but I could be mistaken about that.

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I use self hosted Wordpress for one of my Genealogy sites. There is only really one useful genealogy plugins that I have found for it and that is RootsPersona but unfortunately this has not been updated for a while, it does still work with Wordpress 4.1 though.

It can be a little complicated to get TNG working correctly with Wordpress but once you have the two connected it produces a good coherent site.

WikiTree is the best of the Wiki type of applications that I have looked at and is well worth a look.

It depends on how you want to display your data. I just use Tablepress to display a subset of the information that I have and rely on people contacting me for more information. If you want to display trees then you will need something like TNG.

The other thing to consider is not actually integrating the two. A lot of modern desktop applications produce pretty good stand alone websites. You could consider using the website creation of your desktop software and have that as a subset within a Wordpress site that deals with the other aspects that you want. This is what TNG does and makes its site look like your Wordpress one.

The thing that Wordpress lacks is a decent Genealogy plugin, if there was a decent one then Wordpress would tick all of your boxes in relation to your requirements.

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