Part of the reason that I’ve gone to the trouble of creating websites for my genealogy projects is out of disgust at some of the sites that are out there currently. There simply has to be a better way to do things than what is being done by many of these sites, and it shouldn’t really be that difficult to do. So, why are there so many really bad examples out there?
I’m not really talking about those sites that are created by individuals as their own personal sites, but rather those that are part of one of the large projects, such as the USGenWeb Project (hereinafter referred to as USGW). Actually, many of those personal sites are far better than what is found on the USGW. Isn’t that interesting?
I used to recommend that USGW to folks who were looking for their roots, though I rarely do so anymore, because, frankly, many of the pages are so poorly maintained that I’m too embarrassed by them to suggest that anyone should go to them for information. This is not to say that all of the USGW sites are that bad, as many of them are quite well done, but the ones that are bad seem to really be bad.
One of the most glaring examples I could point to right now belongs to the State Coordinator of the state for that particular site’s county – on one single page for personal websites related to the area, there were 12 broken links out of the first 20 I checked and one of the links was a political page for the coordinator herself. Tacky! Another page for the local townships had at least 10 links that were broken before I gave up checking. And there’s a menu bar on some of the pages that forces you to scroll horizontally to read it, which is annoying in the extreme. And yet, this site is part of a Project that supposedly has quality standards that are supposed to be upheld. Hmmm.
Ah, a slight update: about an hour after I first posted this, the site in question appears to be in the process of being updated. On the page with the personal sites, the political page link has gone and the other links have been re-organized. There aren’t as many links now, but there are still plenty that are broken.