Cyndi Howells has just announced a major upgrade for her venerable website. Check it out and tell Dr D what you think of it. Here is her press release:
EDGEWOOD, WASHINGTON (June 6, 2011) – Cyndi's List is proud to announce a newly upgraded web site. With improved navigation, a custom database, and a custom administrative interface, the upgrade means that everything will be quicker and easier for both visitors and for the site's owner and administrator, Cyndi Ingle Howells. The upgrade has been done by fusionSpan of Maryland. Their staff worked closely with Cyndi to make improvements and to implement new technology and new ideas designed specifically for Cyndi’s List and for the genealogical community.
Part of the upgrade was made possible by donations from generous users of Cyndi’s List. To date, 20% of what was accomplished in the project was thanks to them. Donors have been listed on the web site.
What's New with the Upgrade:
* The front page of the Cyndi's List site has a rolling genealogy news feed and a link to The Cyndi’s List Daily, a daily dose of family history news as tagged in Twitter and Facebook. Start each day with the front page of Cyndi's List and read the current genealogy news stories.
* The links are now contained within a database and pages will be dynamically loaded on each visit.
* The custom database and administration interface means that maintaining the link list will be much easier for Cyndi, which ultimately benefits the user with faster and more frequent updates.
* The new interface means that the backlog of uncategorized links can be processed much faster. The goal is to get the entire backlog done by the end of this year.
* New links will be reviewed, approved, and categorized within 24-72 hours after submission by visitors.
* Updates made to Cyndi's List will be immediately available to the public.
* Previous to the upgrade, the "What's New" page and mailing list post contained only new links submitted by visitors. The new "What's New"
page and e-mail will contain those, as well as links added to the site during the day by Cyndi, *and* existing links that have been updated throughout the site (new addresses, updated descriptions, etc.).
* Across the site links have been labeled with graphics as "new" or "updated" when appropriate. With the upgrade these will now be text-based notations (easily spotted in green), which means that you can search on a page for "new" or "updated" with the Edit>Find function in your web browser.
* Now sub-categories within a category heading each have their own page.
And each page displays 20 links, with pagination in place to go to the next page and so on. This means there will be a lot less scrolling through long pages as in the past. Shorter pages mean faster load time in the browser as well.
* Intuitive navigation at the top of the category makes it easy to find your way to previous category headings.
* The number of links within each category/sub-category is displayed at the top right on each page.
* Each of the U.S. counties (more than 3,100) now has a designated page of its own.
* URLs (addresses) for the pages have changed so bookmarks, favorites, and links to Cyndi's List will need to be updated.
* Opportunities to shop, support, or donate are highlighted on each page.
What Has Stayed the Same?
* The category and sub-category names are all the same.
* Related Categories are highlighted at the top right on each category.
* The layout and format of the links are the same.
* The policies, procedures, and disclaimers for maintaining the link list are the same.
* The Cyndi's List Mailing List will still distribute a daily What's New e-mail and a daily Link Activity e-mail. However, the What’s New e-mail will contain information about all new and updated links.
* You can still follow Cyndi's List on Facebook and Twitter.
* The purpose and intent of Cyndi's List is to be a free jumping-off point for your daily genealogical research.
* Cyndi’s List remains free for everyone to use just as it has for the past 15 years.
* This is still just a one-woman show!