I have built and managed websites for many years, starting with my first one created to manage a hockey fantasy league in mid-to-late 1990s (can you believe I tried to use the name “Hotleague”? ugh). I have had a website under the domain WilliamKaiser since about 2010, though my available time to manage content is somewhat limited. This is mostly to support genealogy, family photos, stories etc. I encourage other family members collaborate and contribute…. especially stories. Names and dates are easy to collect but stories make it come alive.
This site is built on a VPS virtual server hosted through OVH, with WordPress as the main content management system and TNG (The Next Generation) software to handle the family tree portion. My domain is hosted through Netfirms, whom I have used for domains since year 2000. I made the switch to VPS when web hosting was rather expensive. 50GB on a dedicated physical server was very expensive. Nowadays, it seems places like GoDaddy offer unlimited space fairly cheap. I assume that is also virtual, but have not checked into it much.
The WordPress theme used is Colormag by ThemeGrill. The customization is fairly extensive, and it’s available in the WP store so it updates automatically. I have recently changed from Atahualpa, which had more options but displayed poorly in mobile devices and tablets.
TNG is a php-base software that uses SQL database and dynamically displays the genealogy information. It is written by Darrin Lythgoe, who is continuously updating it with new features. It has completely changed the way I manage my family history and highly recommend it. No, seriously… there’s nothing else like it. I started back in the days when you would purchase genealogy software at retail store, and this blows that away. Nowadays a lot of people use Ancestry.com or Rootsweb or similar, and those are perfect for some applications, but if you really catch the bug and want to add photos, sound recordings, citations, charts, stories, track your “to do list” etc then you will need something more powerful.
I chose not to use the TNG plugin for WordPress, and instead used the Kloosterman method for integration. It was seamless and easy.
I am currently using WP Photo Album Plus for the image galleries (outside of TNG), mostly for its advanced options and search ability. It took a long time to find a media management system with enough flexibility and with the search capability I was looking for. It seems like a small thing, since there are hundreds of WP gallery plugins, but the WP ecosystem is set up for webzines and artists selling their photos. This was a great find!