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More National Genealogical Society (NGS) Conference Take Aways

Originally published 23 May 2014

Many, many NGS attendees carried a tablet device. While it was exciting to see widespread use of technology supporting the field of genealogy, it was also troubling to me personally—and here’s why. Last year I created the new website using a template available on I loved it because of the nice transitions from page to page. What I didn’t know at the time was that the template used a program called Adobe Flash. Adobe stopped supporting Flash Player for mobile device browsers after the release of 11.1. (about May 2012). What’s more, there is no Adobe Flash Player for iPhones and iPads. Argh!! My mitigating strategy was to set up the mobile “light” Robbins site supplemented by the blog.

Prior to attending the NGS conference, I had been thinking about hiring someone to recreate the site. I sent out some inquiries and received estimates such as $3,000 for creating a 20 page site. has 84 pages. That seemed like an absolute “no go” to me. So, after returning from the NGS conference, I decided to create the site again from scratch using a basic template coded in HTML5. So far, I have re-created most of the main pages and have begun to add biography content pages. The site won’t be published until completion, (at least another month), but since it is readable on iPads and mobile phones, I’m very excited and wanted to give you a heads up about my progress. I’m happier with the layout of articles in this version, which may now be printed. PDF files may also be incorporated into the pages, so that is a real plus as well. (See documents attached in The Attic). Topping the list of features from my perspective is that each individual page can be indexed. This enables researchers to hone in to very specific pages.

There are some challenges. One thing I have learned is that the site appears somewhat differently on different devices and with different web browsers. (So much for What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG)). My browser recommendations are Chrome or Safari.

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