This is the first post in our new “Charest Family on the Web” website. We have a new look, and lots of new functionality, while eliminating the bugs and chunkiness of the old site. Also, hopefully, eliminate most of the security holes in the old site that seemingly encouraged hackers to engage about every six months with spammers constantly hitting.
This new website runs on “WordPress,” an Internet publishing system that seems to be one of the most popular open source website packages available. It’s optimized for writing and related content, appears to have a solid community of users and forum support, and a large set of plugins for expanded functionality. One of the more important functions for me is the ability to quickly add new users and support moderated comment threads on open posts, features that with the former website were sorely lacking.
This new website is a long way from being fully operational. I’ve just finished importing and cleaning up all legacy stories. I still have the photo gallery and genealogy files to bring in. One thing that has surprised me is the scope of content that has accumulated over the past seven years of operation. I discovered that I had 195 stories and news posts, 638 different photo images, plus genealogy files that I have yet to quantify. Because the old software package is largely unsupported there are no ready-made utilities available to automatically convert data formats. I’ve had to work through the conversions while also learning how to use WordPress. Not impossible, but I won’t be spending much time playing on Face Book for a while!
I hope you’all enjoy the new look and (hopefully) user-friendly functions. Please feel free to request a user account and add your thoughts in the comments threads of future posts. I will be writing again, after a couple of dry years. All-in-all, this looks to be a great year ahead!