The Moral of the Story. . .

Since my last post, I’ve decided to completely redo both the genealogy site and the blog and now I’m left with a mess that includes not only a partially functioning database and loss of all my media links, but also a renewed determination to make this thing work like I want it to.

The Backstory

From the beginning, I’ve wanted a website that included a blog as the home page and the genealogy database (referred to hereafter as TNG) as a subfolder, with the two linked together, so that blog posts could be accessed from TNG and the TNG menus could be accessed from the blog. This is not easily accomplished with TNG, because of the way the style sheets are set up (however, it is still the best genealogy website software available; I certainly don’t want to switch). At the time (December 2007), I couldn’t find any examples of TNG websites that worked like I wanted; several people in the TNG forums were working on solutions, but none had achieved the kind of integration that I wanted.

My first priority was the genealogy database, so I decided to focus on that and set up the blog at Blogger, with simple links back to each on their respective homepages. This worked fine for a while, but I soon tired of editing the static html home page on the TNG site and of logging into a separate application to make blog posts (hence the lack of blog activity over the past few months).

The Past Week

I stumbled across a website that integrates WordPress and TNG exactly the way I want (and also includes some cool TNG mods). What’s more, the owner includes instructions on her site for accomplishing the mashup. I can’t really code on my own, but I can certainly follow directions. Oh, if it were only that easy.

So far, I’ve installed and reinstalled WordPress four times. I’ve edited all the files as directed, but I can’t get the theme to work; it’s just a gray screen. On the TNG side, I’ve tried moving the files into a subfolder, deleting, reinstalling, restoring, repeat, repeat, repeat. Each time, I discovered one thing I wish I had done differently.

However, I made one–almost–fatal flaw. The last time I did a reinstall, I uploaded a gedcom backup. I had exported said gedcom last weekend, before I started the TNG upgrade mentioned in the previous post, so I didn’t think I needed to do another export, as I had made no content changes during the week. In the midst of the upload, I realized that I hadn’t included media links when I exported the gedcom. I’ve tried and tried, but I can’t get them back. I’ve decided I can live with it; I’ll have to manually link all my photos and other media.

The moral of the story? Do a fresh backup of everything, absolutely everything, whether you think you’ll need it or not.

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  1. Bridget says

    Hi Tonia,

    I’m sorry the mashup didn’t work for you. Although it’s a relatively simple mod—if you are very familiar with CSS—I found it rather difficult to explain.

    I would be happy to help you set up a WP-TNG site. I’m hardly an expert, so no guarantees, but if all goes well, you’ll have your blog/genealogy site and I’ll have improved instructions for the mashup. (You aren’t limited to that WP theme–I’d be willing to try another.)

    I took a quick look at your database–I didn’t recognize any names, but if we aren’t distant cousins, I bet our ancestors knew each other. So far, I’ve traced two branches of the family back to Rowan County, NC, beginning ~1775.



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