New Acadian.org Website

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been spending some free time working with my sister and brother-in-law to update the website for the business that their father started and they’ve since taken over.

The site was just HTML written over the years to present information about Acadians and sell Acadian genealogical records. There are hundreds of pages of articles, informational pieces, images, music, recipes and more, but the code was a mix of HTML 3, 4, and XHTML 1. The site was using free scripts from half a decade ago to build out a Javascript powered navigation. While the whole thing was working well enough, I was excited at the opportunity to revamp it and help modernize it.

Acadian.org

The eventual goal is to be able to offer people the opportunity to download Acadian genealogy files from the site, but the first step was migrating away from HTML and moving the site to a content management system. I built a WordPress website using the Divi theme from Elegant Themes, WooCommerce to control the product ordering system, and we moved the payment processing to Stripe.

It took a long time to move the content over to WordPress, and there is still a great deal of work to do with regards to formatting text, removing old images, and optimizing the site, but the shop aspect of the site works much better now than it did on the previous site.

New Acadian.org

My hope is that by the end of September, we will have the download option available for those that are interested in it, as well as much more work done on the interior content pages of the site. I’m very cognisant of the potential SEO shuffle that will happen from this change, but in the end, I think it will be worth it.

In this project, I was able to learn about WooCommerce and KeyCDN, two things I haven’t had much experience with in the past. I also taught some more of my family how to use WordPress, which always makes me happy.

Lastly, I’ve also had the displeasure of working with StartLogic, the hosting company that the site is on. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone running a WordPress site, as I’ve had more issues getting things to work on StartLogic than any other host I’ve used, but I didn’t want to deal with moving to another host right now. I did migrate the business email to Google for Work which has reduced spam by around 90% over StartLogic’s own webmail system, but even that transition was not without its issues.

In the end, I’m very proud of how this project is turning out, and I hope my siblings will continue to run and enjoy it for years to come.

I hope you’ll check out the new Acadian.org website and if you know anyone it may be useful to, please share it with them!

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