This Web Site Might Remain Where It Is

This newsletter has been hosted for about ten years on TypePad.com. While you may enter an address of http://www.eogn.com into your web browser, the pages you viewed were actually hosted at http://www.typepad.com. I have always been very happy with TypePad’s service until recently. Even though I became dissatisfied recently, I also realize the problem was not created by TypePad.

TypePad was the victim of intermittent DDOS attacks for several days. The blog.eogn.com pages were up and down repeatedly for several days. (You can read more about DDOS attacks at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ddos.) Out of frustration, I moved the web site to WordPress.com and tried to make the best of a poor situation. I announced the move at the time as a “temporary change” at http://blog.eogn.com/2014/04/21/this-newsletter-has-been-moved-to-a-temporary-host/.

In fact, the new home has worked rather well.

When articles were moved, hundreds of links were broken. I have fixed many of the links but will never be able to fix all of the remaining thousands of broken links. Nonetheless, operation on the new hosting service has been reliable.

There are many visual differences between the old hosting service and the new one. Most feedback has been favorable, with comments including, “LOVE your new look on WordPress. So much brighter and spread out. Much easier for me to read.” and “Love your new website! So clean & streamlined looking. Very easy on the eye & enhances the ability to read. Love it!”

I have had a few complaints about broken links and I am still working to correct them as fast as I can. One person complained that the new site has very small fonts. That report confuses me as many others have sent messages complimenting the new, larger fonts.

Older articles and comments posted to the newsletter have not been carried over to the new web site. However, all those articles remain visible in the Plus Edition subscribers’ web site at http://www.eogn.com/wp. Of course, you do need a Plus Edition subscriber’s user name and password to access them.

The Typepad hosting service has now apparently resolved the issues with the DDOS attacks and is once again reliable. I could move the web site back to the prior hosting service, if it seems wise to do so.

From my viewpoint, the two services are about the same. Both cost me about the same for hosting fees. WordPress seems to have a better-looking user interface, works better with social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and a host of others), and does a better job of handling users’ comments. WordPress also looks better on small screens, such as iPhone, iPod, and Android devices. In contrast, Typepad does a better job of handling pictures and other graphics inserted into messages. Typepad also has a better iPhone app for remotely handing articles and users’ comments when I am traveling.

In short, it seems the decision is based upon six of one thing, a half dozen of the other. Now I would like to read your opinions. I have created a poll and would love for you to offer suggestions. Please note that it is completely anonymous, there is no need to enter your email address or any other identifying information.

What do you think? Should the newsletter remain where it is or should it revert to the old web site?

27 Comments

Font size: Your WordPress theme is what they call “responsive” or something like that. If I hold down right now, for example, the font gets larger if I “scroll up” with my mouse wheel, and smaller when I “scroll down.” So it’s easy to for different users to see different size fonts. — I think the new site is easier to read but I’m already an avid WordPress fan.

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Dick, the one thing I would suggest adding to the new location which was part of the old format is a Preview button, giving the commenter the opportunity to preview and proofread his/her comment before submitting it. When using Preview at the old location, I often would find little errors to be corrected and/or ways to streamline my comments that, for some reason, would not come to my notice when merely viewing the box we type into. Preview would also give us the confidence to be sure we are using the HTML tags correctly or not before submitting, and less hesitancy in making use of that option where it might be appropriate. Thanks for your consideration.

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The new web page is easier to read due to the larger fonts. The daily email has much smaller fonts and is harder on the eyes. You continue to do an outstanding job!

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Caroline B Smith May 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm

I really like the new format, it’s clean and very readable.

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I like the two column format (rather than 3). It makes the site easier to read by allowing larger fonts. i dislike the white background. It’s too stark when you’re having trouble with migraines.

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I like this because I’m familiar with WordPress. As for the stark white background, in most ‘themes’ (as they refer to the format), you can go in and change the background color. If this theme allows it, it can be done in a few seconds. :)

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The new site is much “snappier”, faster. The old site took forever to load after initially pointing my browser to it. I MUCH prefer the new site. Thanks.

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I find the large fonts of the new look” hard to read on my iPad because there is not enough difference between the right hand column (with the additional links), which encroaches on the main article, and there is not enough text on each line of the main article for me to be able to readily absorb complete phrases and sentences, which makes reading the articles a chore. In addition, the extremely large font in the right hand column makes it hard to find the section I’m looking for without an excessive amount of time spent scrolling – and scrolling — and scrolling some more.

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Easier to read, possibly, but much less on a page, so much more scrolling etc. As with many web sites they are being designed for “portables” as the “lowest common denominator” and often with reduced functionality (not sure about this site, but just look at things like Gmail), understandable if it means writing 1 application instead of 4 or more.

P.S. This “leave a reply” is a bit iffy, chrome autofil puts things in the wrong place, and on refreshing the page I could not enter my email address. To fix it I had to clear my browser cookies etc and start again.

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I’m confused. Are you running WordPress on eogn.com or are you on WordPress.com? There is a difference! It appears to me that blog.eogn.com is a subdomain of eogn.com and that you are using WordPress as your blogging software, rather than, say, Serendipity, Nucleus, or Ghost. The basic service on WordPress.com is free but you say that your costs are the same as on Typepad.com, so are you paying for addons at WordPress.com?

Your templates are limited if you are at WordPress.com but virtually unlimited if you are running WordPress on your own domain. The IP address for eogn.com is 198.57.172.157, while the IP address of WordPress.com is 76.74.254.126, so it appears to me that you are running WordPress on your own domain.

Please clarify – it makes a world of difference when it comes to templates and customizing your blog!

I’ll second Jim Orrell’s comment about “leave a reply” being iffy – I had to copy my comment, close down the page and re-open it to be able to post my comment.

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The answer is “yes and yes.” (smile) The Plus Edition newsletter has run for several years on WordPress software installed on my server at http://www.eogn.com/wp/ and has always been reliable. When I needed to move the Standard Edition newsletter in a hurry to a new service, I elected to use WordPress.com’s hosted service as I was already familiar with WordPress software. It was also quicker and easier than most other solutions I could think of. So far, hosting on WordPress.com has worked well. The Calendar of Genealogy Events at http://calendar.eogn.com runs on still another server (in Belgium).

The basic hosting service on WordPress.com is free, but limited. I pay extra for custom domain mapping, a template for a “look and feel” that I like, and also pay to not have advertising inserted by WordPress.com. The total charge for all that is roughly the same cost as the hosting fees at Typepad.com.

I have a long-term plan to move everything to Drupal, hosted on Amazon’s EC2 Web Service in the cloud. I will do that for reliability reasons and to allow for future expansion of the services offered. Drupal is a very powerful bit of software but is complicated and will require a lot of planning and customization. I doubt if I will do all the work myself. There are a number of firms that specialize in custom Drupal installations and they have a lot more expertise with Drupal than I have! I will probably hire one of them. However, I expect to proceed slowly and will not implement Drupal as a short-term solution when the eogn.com web site(s) is going up and down like it was a couple of weeks ago. The move to WordPress.com was quick and easy but is not a long-term solution.

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From my desktop the new format looks so very empty with all the white spaces with no text. It looks a bit more realistic on the laptop but still a bit on the sparse side. The colored background of the old format was easier on the eyes. Either way, it’s the content that matters rather than the look. And EOGN has always done a great job at that.

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I’ll echo the first reply about scrolling up or down with the mouse wheel to adjust the font size. I find many things too small to read on my laptop, so I regularly use Ctrl + or Ctrl – to adjust the font. No, you don’t get as much on the screen, but since we can’t have it both ways, it’s just a matter of prioritizing what’s most important. For me it’s font size so I make it bigger and deal with the rest :)

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I prefer the WordPress site but I voted for the old site after you said older articles and comments would only be available through the paid subscription! So that’s my conundrum.

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    I agree LindaS. That is part of what is so good about Dick’s free web site. I search his old articles often. The new web site is too stark for reading comfortably.

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    Caroline B Smith May 7, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I missed the bit about access to back issues. Not a good thing. I’ll change my vote to “Go for the old site” OR make back issues available on a new site.

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The new format is clean and bright, but, for me, not conducive to easy reading. I find the white background makes a glare, the larger font takes more space and isn’t so easy to skim, and the page holds less content than the older three column format. I also miss the lists of links on the right — old columns, etc. I’m voting for the old format, but urging an update to the dirty mustard background!

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The biggest positive for me is that the site loads a lot faster. The biggest negative is that WordPress is user-unfriendly for their comments if you’re not on Facebook or some other site to tie your ID to.

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The design is more attractive, but the colors aren’t. In fact, from a visual perception standpoint, gray is about the worst color for most people to read, and gray on gray, such as is found in the right column, is abysmal for people of all ages. See:

http://accessibility.psu.edu/contrasthtml

http://hr.umich.edu/webaccess/best/color.html

http://www.lighthouse.org/accessibility/design/accessible-print-design/effective-color-contrast

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/web-designer/effective-design-principles-for-web-designers-contrast/

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I agree with above comments – white background is too harsh and it is more difficult to leave comments (from home computer not social media).

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I agree with the comments about the color scheme. It’s hard to read, and certainly not attractive. Gray may be the latest fad in webpage design, but it’s not very functional. Compare this site to the Lighthouse site (thanks, Humphrey). For readability (and attractiveness), Lighthouse wins, hands down.

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What I don’t like about the current site is all that white space on the right side when you log on. Such a waste of space and so unwelcoming.

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In addition to the blinding colour scheme, the comment system doesn’t work properly. Replies to other comments don’t get indented underneath them, and the email field doesn’t seem to accept entries.

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On 5/4/14 I voted for the OLD version but did not post a comment. On 5/17/14 I feel compelled to reemphasize my vote for OLD and to place a comment. The new version is just not pleasant to the eyes nor is it pleasing to navigate. For one example, there’s far too much rebound from the screen. IMO, both the ease of reading and the ease of navigating are of paramount importance for recreational reading and I find neither on the NEW site.

Additionally, I now find that all of the archived articles, I so often referenced, are no longer accessible! I find that totally bizarre. The ‘plus’ edition has retained its archives but the regular ‘free’ subscribers have lost access to the archives. I find that a calculated decision and insulting.
Carolyn

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    —> The ‘plus’ edition has retained its archives but the regular ‘free’ subscribers have lost access to the archives. I find that a calculated decision and insulting.

    Let me explain why that happened. The eogn.com web site is not hosted on one web server but rather is hosted on four different servers in four different locations, all of them a thousand or more miles apart from each other. The Standard Edition web site at http://blog.eogn.com was hosted on Typepad.com and was crippled by a DDOS attack. I elected to move it to WordPress.com, a service that was not being attacked.

    I was unable to efficiently move the old articles from the old server to the new one. I did manually move about 100 older articles to the new hosting service but it was slow and tedious. I estimate that if I stop writing new articles and devote 40 hours a week or more to manually moving the old articles to the new service, I could complete the task in six or seven months.

    The Plus Edition at http://www.eogn.com/wp is hosted on a web server I own, installed in a data center in Provo, Utah. The Plus Edition server did not suffer any attack. In fact, the Plus Edition site, including all its articles, is still running on the same server it has run on for the past four or five years. Nothing changed which is why it still contains all the older articles. Nothing needed to be moved.

    It was not a calculated decision. It was a decision made under pressure and in desperation as there seems to be no practical method of moving about 15,000 older articles, other than copying, re-formatting, and pasting them one at a time. The time required is 3 to 5 minutes per article. Multiply that by about 15,000 articles and the total time required is about 750 to 1,250 hours.

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The new blog’s design is simple and clean. I like it.

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    Caroline B Smith May 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    RIGHT, simple and clean, readable because it is BLACK on WHITE, which is the most readable text. The current trend seems to be to fuss with white on yellow or pale blue or something that almost no one can see well.

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