Anyone who’s been doing genealogy for longer than a few weeks will know about Cyndi’s List. It’s a website that you either get referred to, or find that it just keeps coming up while Googling.
Cyndi’s List is the Mega Site of Genealogy Gateway sites. With over 300,000 links and growing daily it is THE place to start. And I know personally that there are sites that I wouldn’t have found just by Googling.
Cyndi started her website in 1996, and found that 15 years it was time for a major upgrade. So thanks to Cyndi and a bunch of supporters who have donated to the cost of the upgrade we now get to use and play with her “brand new” website, which has improved navigation, a custom database, and a custom administrative interface, it means that everything will be quicker and easier for both users and for the administrator, Cyndi herself.
The upgrade has been done by fusionSpan who’s 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.
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 uncategorised 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 email 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 email and a daily Link Activity email. However, the What’s New email 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!
Cyndi’s List has helped hundreds of thousands of people with their online journey to trace their family history. The site averages 275,000 unique visitors and 5,000,000 page hits every month. Cyndi’s List has won numerous awards and consistently remains one of the
top genealogical portals for beginners, intermediate, and veteran researchers.
If you haven’t visited the Cyndi’s List website recently, it’s time for a revisit!