My Ode To Writing and Photography and Stuff
This website is my personal on-going self-publishing project. I started this site using the “charest.net” domain in early 2004 as my outlet to post writings, photographs, and family histories.
This is the third technology iteration of “Charest Family on the Web.” I cobbled my first Content Management System (CMS) iteration together with a variety of open-source and custom-written software, and it lasted less than two years. I built my second CMS website iteration on a software package called “PHP-Nuke” with a lot of customization and third-party add-on software that supported blogging, extended-length stories and photographs, and included a genealogy section. Limitations with that software included a lack of security which meant that it got hacked about every six months, and it could not support comments threads or open user registration due to constant spamming.
In January 2014 I rebuilt my website on a popular CMS package called “WordPress,” enhanced with many third-party plug-in software modules which also brought a whole new look. This software seems to offer all the security that the previous website lacked, along with providing a cleaner format and better administration tools. With better security comes options for user registration and comments on blog and articles postings. I also have the option of changing the website appearance relatively easy, without having to create an entirely new site.
Along with the rebuild, I migrated over all existing blog posts and photos from my old site.
But Wait! There’s More
As this one website wasn’t enough, I’ve also expanded my cyber footprint with a companion website for collecting and publishing family genealogy. I built my genealogy site on a proprietary software package called “The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG),” which is one of the most robust genealogy website packages available. It does not integrate with WordPress however, so I elected to run it separately. You can find my genealogy site here.
More recently, I’ve added yet another companion website, this one for my complex webpage projects. I developed a format a couple of years back, during my first graduate class, for building webpages that offer “pull” content – the reader can pull as much or as little as desired. The format includes “pop-up” windows, normally used for annoying advertisements that block your view of a webpage until you close it. My pop-ups contain sidebar information the visitor can view if desired. While I like the format, I also learned that these pop-ups add a LOT of resource demands to a webserver. When my page loads slowed down to an average 20 seconds, I knew I had to do something.
My “something” was to move these complex pages off to a mirror site, cross-linked to the parent website. You can view my mirror site at “Charest Family Portfolios.”
A Work in Progress
As with all good websites, this one is very much a work in progress. I continue to work this piece of cyberspace, learning about WordPress and coding as I go along. I’ve attempted to get my well-educated brothers and sister, and even some nieces and nephews, to write for this humble blog.
I have posted some of my late father’s writings (Armand Charest) over the past several years. More recently, I’ve been able to convince my youngest brother Jeff to allow me to post some of his work. It’s a start.
And because running three websites isn’t enough, I’ve since branched out into some other online projects. I’m presently building up a family of websites over at Charest Consulting.com. I have some illusions about being able to do freelance training consulting in logistics, and technical writing, once I retire from daily commuting.
Charest Family on the Web
May 2, 2020, with editorial changes and some new content to catch up with current events. Also converted to the Gutenberg Blocks format and made editorial changes for Yoast Search Engine Optimization function.
October 15, 2020, with news about my portfolio website.
December 14, 2020, adding a screen shot of the former look of this site, after changing to a new theme.
October 21, 2022, added information on content from my late father and youngest brother Jeff.